Category: Marketing | Posted date: 2019-05-27 03:25:50 | Updated date: 2019-07-29 06:46:34 | Posted by:
Video is an effective storytelling way: Not only can it set out as a central proving ground for your business’ advertising drives, persuasive ideas, and new content efforts, video’s emotionally resonant combination of sound, motion, and visuals can also help you drive deeper, more sustaining relationships between your brand and its audience.
However, to be successful, you need to know the right ways to control video’s great power. One reason for this is, in the words of Enterprise Marketer video blogger Jeff Julian, the way we consume content is moving more and more toward video, motion graphics, and audio. “The growing sophistication of technologies like virtual reality, voice recognition (hello Alexa), and artificial intelligence mean we will soon interact with screens very differently than we used to.”
In addition, younger generations are increasingly communicating through visual means –including GIFs, live-streaming, and social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. In short, it’s hard to deny that brands that aren’t embracing video internally and growing their expertise are going to fall further and further behind.
Videos are among the most versatile of tactics content marketers can leverage, since they can be cooked up, loaded up, cut up, and served up in a wide variety of ways. For example, they:
As with any content effort, your video-based storytelling needs to be supported by a deliberate, strategic plan. Among the components of your plan should be an outline of the core message you want to communicate, how you want the audience to react, and what the next steps are that you want them to take after viewing.
You should also consider how you want your videos to reflect your brand’s values and aesthetics. For example, the content marketing team at REI – a top outdoor lifestyle brand that has received high praise for its video program – built its video strategy on a solid foundation of internal brand guidelines and clearly defined brand voice. According to REI’s Managing Editor Paolo Mottola (2017 Content Marketer of the Year), this base has helped his team provide a consistent audience experience, no matter what stories they decide to tell at a given time.
Of course, a video may not always be the ideal format for achieving your marketing goals or for the consumers you are looking to target. As Paolo reminds us, “The story needs to be conducive to video. You have to be honest and see how visual the subject will be, and if the motion is the best way to get the story out there. Sometimes it will be, but other times long-form journalism, infographics, or a photo series will give the story a better voice, or will better serve the consumption preferences of your audience.”
TIP: How can you tell if creating a video is the right decision? Ask yourself if anything about your story would be lost if you told it without the benefits of visuals and sound. If the answer is no, consider a format that requires less of a commitment (both to produce and consume). If the text version is well received, you can decide down the line if you want to repurpose the content as a video.
As is the case with any tactic, the decision to create content as a video should trace to your marketing goals. Fortunately, from a marketer’s standpoint, the video offers a range of creative and strategic options that can be applied to virtually any content marketing purpose.
For example, Juan Mendez shared some suggestions on videos that suit stages of the buyer’s journey:
Let’s look at a few examples of video content that drives specific goals throughout the purchase process:
Video can convey an appropriate emotional tone in a way that text alone can’t manage. This makes it an excellent platform for educating viewers on topics and issues directly related to your business and positioning your brand as a credible, trustworthy source of vital information.
Beyond brand-building benefits, the video is ideal for topic tutorials, product demos, process guides, and other practical resources that help you live up to the promises of value and service your brand makes to its prospects and customers.
Through video, you can offer a unique, entertaining, or immersive experience that helps viewers forge a positive, memorable association with your brand and what it stands for.
Subaru has earned a reputation as a brand that enables sports enthusiasts and active families alike to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. And, given how many people consider their pets to be their loyal outdoor companions, the Barkleys – an active family of golden and Labrador retrievers – are a natural fit for Subaru’s content efforts.
As a thank you to its owner community, Subaru recently sent a customizable video, which enables brand fans to virtually insert their own likeness into a fun day at the park with the Barkleys. Not only did the spot tap into the personal passions of its customers, but it also gave them a way to see themselves (literally) as part of the experience the brand promotes (and share it on social media).
While video offers a lot of marketing muscle, it’s not always the easiest technique to master or manage.
While the availability of smartphone cameras and low-cost editing tools have made the tactic more affordable than ever, if you want your video content to be seen as professional and authoritative, you need to maintain a certain quality standard. That typically means at least some investment in cameras, editing software, lighting, and sound equipment, as well as in the specialized expertise required to manage the production process from conception to completion.
According to CMI’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research, 72% of B2B marketers in North America use pre-produced video for content marketing purposes, and 17% are using live-streaming videos. Considering how many videos are competing for attention, just because you’ve created compelling, high-quality video content doesn’t mean your efforts will get discovered – or viewed – by your target audience, let alone drive the brand recognition and marketing results you are looking for.
Considering the high costs and tight competition, brands need to be smart in how they plan, produce, position, and promote their video content if they want to see reliable returns on their investment. Here are some tips for making sure your offerings are as relevant, memorable, strategic, and purposeful as possible – no matter what your budget may be.1. Invest in the process, not just the product
Whether it’s awareness, leads, or another goal, every video should have a purpose and a means of fulfilling it.
Too often, video success is equated with lots of views rather than with the actions taken by the right consumers after they’ve watched. You can avoid falling into this trap by including a call to action that directs viewers to take the next step on your designated path, as well as by creating a landing page that will guide their journey toward conversion.3. Write a script your audience will want to follow
Video content runs the risk of getting bogged down by overly complex ideas, heavy jargon, or too many things happening all at once. If you want your video to communicate simply and brilliantly, remember these scripting guidelines:
In most cases, you need to establish a home base for your videos before you distribute them; and there are two main options for accomplishing this, each with its own strengths and limitations. However, live-streaming technology has opened up a third option, as you’ll see below:
Should you share your videos everywhere and anywhere, or only on certain social channels? Will it benefit your brand to get your video uploaded and running immediately on new social networks that emerge or would it be wiser to wait until others have tested the waters?
The answers to questions like these (and most other distribution channel decisions you need to make) are in your buyer personas. Knowing who your audience is, how and where they like to spend their online time, and which channels they prefer for what tasks will help you choose the social networks that offer the best potential for engaging your audience’s interest in your video content. Of course, once you’ve made your decisions, don’t forget to document it in your social media channel plan.6. Include a transcript
Search engines aren’t as adept at indexing video content as they are with text. Creating a full transcript of the copy included in your video helps the content overcome this SEO shortfall.7. Tag your work
Add relevant tags, titles, and descriptions to the metadata of your video content. This will help your videos be associated with your target keywords and get them indexed to rank for relevant content searches.8. Push videos to influencers, subscribers, fans, and followers
A screen capture of your videos (along with a link) can be featured in an email sent to the members of your mailing list. This alerts your audience that you have new video content for them to check out, and gives you a forum for requesting their feedback and asking them to help you spread the word.9.Track attention span to identify optimization opportunities
Engagement data and other key performance indicators can provide important insights on your audience’s preferences and behaviors, which you can use to refine and customize your video strategy. For example, if you notice that prospects are dropping off 10 seconds into your videos, your intros might need to be trimmed.10. Monitor viewer reactions to gain additional consumer insights
Beyond performance statistics, you can also mine the emotional response to your videos –including platform-specific responses – to gauge the value consumers are getting from your videos. For example, in his post on live-streaming video, Josh Brown suggests analyzing the sentiment behind viewers’ use of the expanded reaction buttons introduced by Facebook in 2016: Noting whether they “like,” “love,” or felt “sad” or “angry” after viewing your video can help you determine if your content is moving the needle in the right direction.
It takes a lot of work to position video as the high-performing centerpiece of a successful content marketing strategy. But with the right plan, a little creativity, and some smart decision-making, just about any business can benefit from its powerful potential to tell engaging stories and inspire audiences to act.
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