I’m going to share a secret with you. Are you ready for it? What we do in marketing isn’t magic, although we do use our best ninja skills to make it look like it is. I know, crazy, right? We just have knowhow and tools to share messages effectively. One of our favorite tools is video! We’ve written a lot over the years about video and have created a lot of videos ourselves.
When used correctly, video is a really powerful tool for sharing your message with the world. However, just as you wouldn’t start swinging a hammer into the air and hope to build a house, you can’t aimlessly create video content without a solid plan and strategy.
81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool - up 63% from last year (HubSpot).
Knowing you SHOULD have video content is not the same as knowing WHY, and WHAT video content you need. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE seeing brands embrace the idea of utilizing video in their marketing and we get excited for them when they start cranking the videos out!
What is super hard to see and even bring up, however, is when we see a video they’ve just spent time creating having the potential to create the opposite effect than they intended. Time and attention is our most valuable asset and the last thing your brand wants to see is time wasted or anyone being discouraged that their video marketing efforts are falling flat... because then many brands give up and write it off as something that just doesn’t work.
That’s why we want to share with you a few things to consider before you start cranking out your brand videos and why it’s important. When you get this part right - that’s when the real magic of your message can shine through.
It’s not about the tools, it’s all about your technique. So here are 5 things to consider before creating your brand videos
1 > Consider who will be watching... and who you WANT to be watching your video.
The beautiful thing about video marketing and what makes it effective, is that it allows you to share your message with personality. As our good friend, Brian Fanzo, always says, “Video helps shrink the distance between you and your audience” is your ideal client, current client, team, community, etc.
So with that in mind, you must first know who your ideal audience is, or buyer persona as we like to call them.
Make that persona the focus or hero of the story you are telling with your video! Make them feel like this video is made for them because it should be focused on them. Considering their struggle or problem and how can you as an empathetic guide help them solve it. Bringing their story full circle to a happy resolution where they win the day, is a great way to really relate to your audience in a meaningful way which will keep your audience watching & coming back for more.
Here’s an example of someone who literally made their customers the hero of the video with a testimonial style video.
2 > Consider where the video will be used
Where and how will the video be used? Is the purpose of your video to help your audience convert on your website and will it be shown on a landing page? Or will it be used on one of your social media channels?
Each placement of the video has a slightly different style and all of which will be a heck of a lot different than a TV commercial or a video Advertisement online. Is the goal to show how a particular feature works and how to maintain the product for optimal performance? Keep this in mind as you are going through this process.
3 > What’s the purpose of your video?
Each video being created should have a clear purpose that could allow you to build a better relationship with your ideal audience. For example, is the video taking into account one of the 4-E’s of relationship marketing?
- Is it Educational?
- Is it Entertaining?
- Is it Engaging? (i.e. sharing a story about a lesson you learned and how it helped you overcome. Then ask the viewers to share a lesson with you.)
- Is it positioning you as the Expert and giving tips that show you’re a leading voice in your industry?
(For example: a Video like this one below that walks through your unique and valuable process of helping people solve _____ problem or reach _____ goal.)
4 > What is your desired outcome
What do you want your viewers to do after watching your video? This will allow you to make sure you have a plan or roadmap for the flow of your video. If you’ve already accomplished the hardest task of getting your viewers attention, the last thing you want it to do... is nothing. Your time & theirs could be wasted simply because your viewer doesn’t know what you want them to do after watching the video.
This is where a timely, relevant “Call-to-Action” comes into play. For example, do you want them to visit your website, subscribe to your channel to see more videos as they roll out if they found the video beneficial? Do you want them to call you to book an appointment? What is the win that you would get to know this video was successful? Ask your audience to take that action.
5 > Relax & keep it simple
Show your viewers that you value their time by making the video as simple as possible. As Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand, puts it, “save your audience brain calories”. Your potential clients can’t remember what you say if you tell them 10 things at once about your product. It’s best to focus on one core idea and hammer that home. Confused customers will not buy your product or service. You can even make different styles of the same video for different personas if you need to, but just be as clear as possible.
Here’s an example of a television commercial we produced for a local trade school which follows these tips.
We start by talking about the viewer (the hero) and what they want and need. Then we position ourselves (the guide) who can point them in the right direction to achieve their goals. We kept it simple and didn’t talk about the many types of courses they offer, just that the viewer has an untapped potential that we can help them unlock. Lastly, we tell the customers what we want them to do. CHOOSE us.
Marketing professionals have found and shared in a recent survey that nearly 50% of internet users are looking for product/services videos prior to walking into a store (Hubspot). Video is quickly becoming consumers’ preferred method for research when learning about a brand.
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)
Remember, video can be a powerful tool to capture attention, articulate your message, build relationships and keep your audience coming back for more. Best used with a specific purpose in mind, if you prove yourself worthy to wield its power, you will be rewarded with an effective form of communication for your brand that your audience will appreciate and value.
What are some worries that have kept you from jumping in and getting started with video in your marketing? What are some of examples of the best use of video in marketing that you've seen... let us know in the comments.