An image is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth even more. This is especially true when video used to demonstrate your brand, or re-enforce it’s message in the mind of the audience. A short film sells your brand vision better than text ever could.
Video content marketing has become the favoured medium of choice with both e-commerce and SaaS businesses in recent years, in part because video is one of the quickest and easiest ways of explaining complex products or software to customers – and in part because the cost of producing high-quality video has dropped drastically since the rise of digital cameras, powerful home computers and free online video streaming.
But can your brand take advantage of this increasingly accessible medium to create valuable content that offers a genuine return on investment?
No matter what it is that you sell, we believe that video content can help you – but there are a few things to consider before you travel down this appealing path.
Okay, I’m interested. Now what?
There are a few main styles of video which brands tend to begin with when producing for YouTube, Vimeo or their own video streaming platform.
Below are examples of each type of video along with a few words about which each style sets out to achieve.
Explain your app
Here is an example of an SaaS business (in this case, Shopify) who have used video content to explain what their product does to customers who know absolutely nothing about it yet.
Show off the product
The “Will It Blend” campaign is held by digital marketers as one of the all-time best viral video campaigns. It demonstrates the product beautifully but is just off-the-wall enough to be interesting and shareable – even if you’re not in the market for a high-end blender.
Demonstrate the lifestyle
Some videos neither explain the products to new customers, nor demonstrate the product outright. Some are simply branding exercises designed to cause the brand to be associated with a certain image or lifestyle.
As you can see, this video is neither an outright advert for RedBull, not to do with their product. It’s simply entertaining, sharable content that people would want to watch regardless of any advertorial message. This isn’t an advert that interrupts your favourite program, it is the program.
What are you hoping to achieve?
Having seen these three videos, it’s probably quite obvious now that you can’t start producing video content without understanding what you are trying to get out of it. It’s essential to know what you are trying to achieve before you start producing video. Too often, informative videos and brand videos find themselves bundled into one, and the final product ends up failing at either purpose. Know what you are trying to achieve with your video campaign before you start – or it will be harder work, more expensive and less effective.
As well as working out the purpose of your video content, it’s also worth working out how many videos you want to produce and what the point of each video is individually. Sometimes marketers can fall into a trap in which they end up creating video series where much of the content has no agenda, or where promotional videos are separated out from the main content and ends up being viewed by very few. While this can still be a worthwhile branding exercise, ROI is improved when a promotion is carefully combined with content. Work out which videos are promoting what and make sure every piece of content has a clear agenda.
Respect the customer journey
There is a “right time” to present customers and potential customers with your videos.
For example, brand-building videos could be ideal for targetting towards potential customers who have yet to hear about your message – whereas tutorials on how to use lesser known features of your product are mainly relevant to those who are just about to purchase, or already have.
Make sure your videos are produced with a certain point of the customer journey in mind, and then go about tailoring the content for those individuals in particular. Someone who has just heard of you for the first time and someone who spends money with you each month probably want different things from you.
Target the right user
Once you have created your video content, you’ll want to go about putting it in front of people’s eyeballs. You might do this via your mailing list, your blog, your social properties, PPC, SEO optimisation or blogger outreach.
What’s most important, is that channels are selected and used in such a way that targets the relevant section of the audience.
For example, you might save your most exciting, least promotional content for blogger outreach, as it’s more likely to get picked up. A video comparing your product to a competitor might be a good candidate for pay-per-click advertising, on the other hand. Short Vine/Instagram videos clearly work best on social. Create different videos to suit different contexts.
Hopefully, this post has given you a taste of what can be achieved with video content and has inspired you to create some thought-out, high-value content of your own. You’re aware of the pitfalls, now go out there and shoot!