There are serious benefits to adding video to your marketing campaigns. 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube daily. Executives say they are 59% more likely to watch a video than read an article. Viewers retain 95% of information from a video, compared to just 10% of the same information in text form. As powerful as video clearly is in marketing, there are lots of things to consider when looking to add it to your overall marketing strategy. It’s not something to take lightly.
Different Types of Video
Video is not one, singular thing. There are lots of different kinds of videos you can use for lots of different purposes. Have a new product that no one has ever seen before? Try an explainer video. Want to showcase your brand of deck sealant? Maybe make a “how to” video showing how to seal a deck (using your brand). New technologies like 360 video and VR allow for more immersive tour videos to showcase your apartments available for rent, or your new showroom floor. Maybe a regular old sales commercial is best for what you’re trying to accomplish, or maybe something like a recurring series of YouTube videos will help drive your brand and message home for people (much like the IKEA Home Tour campaign).
Details to Keep in Mind
When adding video into your marketing strategy, the first consideration is time. Short videos are more likely to do better, since people have short attention spans. Having a hook right at the beginning is beneficial, since when scrolling, people tend to hover for just 2.5 seconds before moving on to the next thing. Also, timely videos do better. It’s unlikely your “how to hang holiday lights safely” video will get many views in mid-June, but a “how to keep your house cool on hot days” video will fare better.
It’s also important to remember that video is a different medium than other ad forms, like blogs, radio, or print ads. Think of it this way: create, don’t convert. Your video copy needs to be original to the video, since things like timing and tone are completely different for video than they are for other forms. Your video must form a connection, by doing (at least) one of the following: amaze, amuse, inform, move.
“Amaze” by having Jean Claude Van Damme do the splits on your moving vehicles. “Amuse” by having a personified Mayhem taunt someone who’s car window is getting smashed in. “Inform” by telling the viewer how your brand of knife is so sharp it can cut through a shoe (why someone would need to cut a shoe is another issue). “Move” by showing adorable puppies and kittens who need adoption set to a Sarah McLachlan song. By creating a conversation, there’s a better chance of making a bigger impact, or hitting that ultimate goal of going viral (in a good way).
Video isn’t just a visual medium, it’s also includes audio. It’s important to have sound in your video (people become less interested when a video is silent) but also have a video that can play muted without losing its immediate impact, for things like autoplay on Facebook (that plays muted unless the user unmutes the video). It’s also important to remember to include Closed Captioning (CC) for accessibility reasons. You don’t want to lose an important client because they’re annoyed you didn’t bother to include captioning (therefore making you seem uncaring about your customers and their needs).
The Business Side of Things
Video content is an investment, first and foremost. Sure, people may “see” your print ads on social media (as they scroll passed), but they’re more likely to stop and ingest your ad when it’s a video. Videos need budgets, pointing your iPhone at a guy sitting in a badly lit room isn’t going to be a very engaging (or inviting) video, but proper lighting and sound recording equipment can help make a video look much more professional, giving your brand credence.
It’s important to remember your company’s approval process. Sometimes failing to get an unconvinced executive to sign off on your great idea can kill a marketing campaign before it even starts. A lot of the time, executives are going to want to know about a campaign’s Return on Investment (ROI), which can be hard to prove with video marketing (but not impossible). The most obvious proof of ROI (especially to the dollar and cents bosses) is revenue and sales. If you can show that your campaign causes more money to come in, that’s most likely getting approved. Keep in mind that 83% of those who use video marketing think it gives them a good ROI.
But sometimes things less immediately quantifiable like brand awareness or driving traffic to your app or website makes a campaign worthwhile. Burger King recently added a feature to their app using Augmented Reality (AR) that lights a competitor’s ad on fire (on a phone screen, sorry arsonists). The offending is then replaced with an ad for Burger King. Not only is this a clever, fun way to get your ad visible, it’s a very interesting way to get people to download the Burger King app, a business most people probably wouldn’t think to download an app for (I’m assuming most reading this article don’t currently have the BK app on their phone).
Implementing video into your marketing strategy can be an extremely effective way to create engaging content that creates connections with your clients, customers or fans. It’s important not just to know that you want video content, but what the content is for, and what you’re trying to say. A well-planned and faithfully executed video strategy can help your company reach more people more efficiently and in a more meaningful way. Plus, why deprive future YouTube of fun nostalgia gold?
What makes video such a powerful medium? Why is it that even small toddlers natively understand videos? Why are “how-to” videos more popular than “how-to” books? Why are movies and television more popular than radio or novels? They’re easy for any human to comprehend, even children that can barely talk seem to just absorb Elmo videos (over and over and over and over again). Every single day, 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube.
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