What is video marketing and why is it vital to your success?
To answer this question, we need to understand the basics behind the value of creating promotional videos. First, videos provide an incredible opportunity to reach customers in a more engaging way than a flier or static banner ad. They offer more success and are more memorable, but are they worth the money? According to a WordStream study in 2018, 82% of online marketers use video content to promote their brands. 82%! Because of this, creating a quality video and pushing it to a large audience is more important than ever. This article is going to help you understand some best practices and how to get started.
For a marketing campaign, choosing some form of video marketing is a big decision. Marketing videos give campaigns dozens of options of where to place their ads as well as a much more captivating and interactive event for your target audience than a standard image or blog post. Videos grab your attention and hold it while you absorb the information presented. The marketing team decides what you see, how you look at it, and what actions they want you to take. The best part is there’s little or no reading involved! We are a society much more likely to watch a one minute video than read an article or even a small ad because we want the information to come to us.
Let’s look at the evidence by examining places where marketing videos are becoming more and more predominant.
Social Media - Social media quickly turned over to more video marketing options as a result of the speedy cell networks and the abundance of free Wi-Fi. Videos now take seconds to load, and as we’ve discussed, they grab a customer’s attention much better than a static image. In fact, the majority of posts promoted on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are videos while Facebook is playing catch-up. The benefit to this boom in availability is more affordable options to display your videos. The proof is in the numbers as well. On average, videos between 1-30 seconds see higher click-through rates than their static counterparts, while videos between 1-15 seconds are even more popular according to a Marketingland.com study.
Not only are there billions of potential clients browsing social media, but the platforms also provide several ways to specify your audience and put your ad in front of the right people.
Traditional Website and Banner Ads - Traditional websites also feature opportunities for video promotion but with fewer options for customization. Where they lack the abilities to add text or customize the audience, these sites can make up with audience size. For example, a local business can use the built-in audience of a local news website to target residents as opposed to the strictly geographic setting in social media. Local news sites also carry a level of trust not found on other sites.
Traditional sites also give several options for your ad placement. You can choose from standard banner ads across the top or down the sides of the page, or you can choose more aggressive placements such as a pop-up in the middle. With the saturation of video content, many articles have accompanying videos, so you can create an ad to play before the featured video begins.
Television - While streaming services are taking over live television and standard commercials are becoming less and less popular, standard TV ads are still a powerful way to reach your customers. TV spots are seen as more expensive than other platforms which helps to project a level of success, but given the other available options, it may be better to diversify in other mediums.
Effective Video Marketing
Why do we respond to videos?
Our brains are programmed to remember visual content better, and videos combine audio and visual to grab our attention and entertain us. Video promotions allow us to include several types of content like photographs, music, text, and even links.
We use these audio and visual cues to make a more engaging experience which will resonate with customers better than standard text campaigns. The question becomes, what message do you want to push?
The most useful video promotions contain a compelling call to action (CTA). The goal with any ad is to create interest and draw traffic to your business, so your message should build throughout the video into your call to action. From a sales perspective, we need to build value and stress urgency before we can ask for the sale. The same principle applies to marketing strategies.
If a restaurant is promoting a new menu item, they can spend time celebrating the venue, promoting menu quality, and building value in the experience of coming to the restaurant before announcing the new menu item as the “newest and best” feature. The restaurant can add something like “For a limited time only” to stress urgency. They can produce a 15-second promotion explaining the value in coming to the restaurant and trying the new menu item, while emphasizing the need for customers to visit immediately. This ability to build a complex story in a short amount of time is why video marketing trumps static images and text ads.
Of course, there are other versions of video promotions like public service announcements. These videos may not stress a particular product, but they still feature a call to action for the business or organization. Even if a company just wants to announce something simple like a grand opening, video promotions can use several images and text shots to create something more gripping and memorable than a simple flier.
In short, a video promotion is only as good as the call to action it produces.
Video Marketing Techniques
As we discussed earlier when it comes to videos, the shorter, the better. The vast majority of customers will either stop watching a video or not watch at all if they feel it is too long. The ideal time for a video promotion is in the 5-15 second range. That’s the range where 46% of consumers live. The challenging part is expressing your message and call to action in such a short amount of time.
Static photos have one chance to grab someone’s attention, and there is only so much room for information, so they have to be concise. Videos give you the ability to grab attention one way, build value a second way, and call to action a third way, all in the same ad.
We covered the fact that most customers want short videos, but there are several techniques used by video marketers based on what the campaign needs. With our restaurant example from above, the campaign only needs 15-30 seconds to introduce a new menu item. Let’s take another example for a restaurant that also offers catering and event hosting. Without bombarding the customers with an overwhelming montage of features, this marketing campaign has to be opened up to more extended video formats such as full-length commercials (60 seconds) or promotional videos which can last several minutes.
Just like any marketing technique, video marketing is about judging the situation and designing your ad accordingly.
You’ve made the leap and decided to create a video promotion for your company! Great choice. The pros far outweigh the cons, and it’s a great way to set yourself apart from your competition.
But where to begin?
Producing even a 15-second video can be a daunting task if you choose to do it in-house. Unless someone on staff is a professional with video editing software and you have access to high-quality recording equipment, creating videos in-house is not ideal. The worst case scenario is making a choice to create a video, dedicating hours and hours of labor toward it, and ending up with a low-quality product. Think back to the terrible used car commercials you’ve seen on TV. Did any of those ads make you want to visit that dealership? Probably not, and you probably only remember that the video was awful and not the name of the dealership.
If you choose to look for outside help, you have two main options. The first is finding a freelance videographer. Freelancers have benefits like providing equipment and handling editing themselves. They can also be much more expensive for a high-quality video, and you lose a lot of creative design at that point. Freelancers are also much more of a gamble than professional production studios. There are less structure and services, and since the only real penalty for not completing a job may be a poor review, it can be challenging to stay in control of the project. This seems like a very negative review of freelancers in general, but some are outstanding. You just have to hope you’re lucky enough to find one!
The other option is a local video production company. These companies provide a wide range of video production services and employ a staff of experts with defined roles to consult with you to create a compelling marketing video. As opposed to a freelancer, these companies rely on a strong portfolio and customer testimonials, so you know the kind of quality to expect. I want to note that I specify using a local production company since they’re a better source of customer service, and you’re able to work with the whole staff directly. Out of area production companies may just send a cameraman to capture the footage come back later with a finished result. Finally, production companies carry a wide array of equipment to handle different requirements as opposed to producing in-house, which may be with one camera and no microphone. A freelancer may use one camera and one microphone. Speaking from experience, it is a small, but significant difference.
The most important value that video marketing adds is the ability to separate you from your competition. Customers have many choices. They can choose somewhere close, somewhere their friend suggested, somewhere they drove past, or somewhere they see video ads online or on TV. More often than not, we rely on the latter to tell us where we should go, and the more you stand out, the more customers you bring to your store. It’s that simple.
A well-crafted video promotion can also express a level of success and professionalism. Looking back to our used car dealership example, they had a poor quality video which is counterproductive since you only remember the commercial and not the company. Using a local video production company to create a professional looking, adaptable video to be used on multiple platforms will give you a better chance to reach customers.
Aside from setting yourself apart from the competition, study after study shows video promotions provide better click-through rates than other ad types. Even a pop-up, five-second video can give you a much better chance than a static banner ad. Whatever medium you use to promote your video, you will see the power of video marketing in your results.
Getting started is the easy part. Decide on how you want to produce your campaign, and begin designing your message. This is also the step where the experts at a local production company are invaluable. They can help you list your goals and craft your message to create the most effective promotion possible. Once you’ve taken your first steps, the rest begin to fall into place. Choosing your budget, where to post your video, and what key performance indicators you want to use all come during the development and implementation phases. If you work hard and design a strong campaign, it will do the rest of the work for you. Your job becomes watching success rates and handling all your new business!
If you’d like more information on how to get started or what practices may be best for you, I strongly recommend a consultation with a professional production team. They can help make such a daunting task seem more achievable, and get you on your way to your first video promotion!