No one’s asking anymore whether their marketing plans should include video. What they’re asking is, How many different ways can we use it? and How do we do it right?
Companies aren’t just considering social media, websites, online ads or vlogs, either. We’re also seeing a remarkable shift to video among the Fortune 500 in their internal communications — some going so far as to replace written memos with videos. They recognize the power of video’s visceral impact, whether they’re telling a brand story or explaining a new policy. Think about it: Who gets the business, the insurance company whose ad simply reminds us that we should buy life insurance, or the company whose video makes us feel the raw emotional strife of losing our home or business?
Backed by thoughtful strategy, video can be the most compelling element of your marketing mix. Here are a few tips for getting it right:
1. Assess your audience and objectives.
The most effective videos connect immediately with their intended audience. Who are you targeting? What are they interested in? Which type of approach — serious, humorous, quirky, sassy — is most likely to appeal to them? Evaluate this information in the context of what your objectives are, whether building brand awareness or spurring your audience to action.
2. Evaluate your video choices.
Determining which types of video you’ll use — product demonstrations, customer testimonials, tutorials, etc. — is a creative endeavor in itself. Become a storyteller in the truest sense, combining various types of videos to ensure that every chapter is fascinating and memorable.
3. Keep versatility and searchability in mind.
One of the most wonderful things about video is its potential for repurposing. Shoot more footage than you need so you have enough B-roll to create a variety of materials for multiple audiences — Facebook and Instagram posts plus a trade show loop and an employee how-to, for example — and test a variety of lengths.
Versatility also counts as you appeal to the senses: A 2016 report said that 85% of Facebook videos were being watched without sound. We haven’t seen an update on this figure since Facebook changed its mobile news feed default from silent to sound in 2017, but our hunch is that video viewers still prefer the silent treatment in many settings: when they’re watching at work or on the bus, for example. Your video needs to work with or without spoken narrative.
4. Know what to look for in a video partner.
Demo reels are essential to your evaluation of a video partner. Look for not only beautiful quality but also work that reflects relevance to your needs. No short-cutting here: Look at enough samples to identify which agency conveys messages in a manner your audiences would embrace. Also, choose a firm known for its consultative capabilities. In the extremely challenging creative environment, you need a hands-on strategic partner.
When vision, strategy and execution align, video has the power to lift your marketing performance to new heights.