So, where do you start?
Video marketing is a topic that requires some careful consideration – low-quality content is easy to churn out, but it’s likely to do you more harm than good.
Take a look at what the very best startups are doing with video – what sets them apart from the masses can work for you too…
Capture your audience’s attention – quickly
You’ve got around 10 seconds to make an impression on your audience before they start to click away. If you get to 10 seconds and there’s no reason to stay, you’ll lose about 20% of them – continue with no real ‘hook’ and you’ll have lost the majority before 30 seconds is done.
The information your customers seek is easy to come by, either with a quick search or another video – so unless you make it absolutely clear that you’re going to be delivering something worthwhile within the first 5-10 seconds, the engagement or click-through-rate of your video will suffer.
The good news is, if you pique your audience’s interest quickly, you’ll keep them engaged, no matter how long your video is. Go big at the beginning and expand on your message later.
Think less about CTA – and more about story
Video offers your viewers far more sensory input than written copy or still images – and that increased sensory input means customer’s Spidey-sense tingles much more quickly if there’s a hint of ‘sales’ in a video.
Customers don’t like to be ‘sold’ to – they like to make their own decisions, so, as far as is possible, remove any traditional sales style calls-to-action (CTA) from your video marketing.
Instead, focus on telling your story – or the story of someone who’s using your product. Talk applications and specific benefits. It’s much more powerful to dangle some tempting carrots than it is to try to shove viewers down your chosen course of action.
You’ll undoubtedly have links and company info accompanying your video – so viewers aren’t going to take much directing if they want to learn more…
Remember, video content is still content – and the most effective content is that which offers value.
People love to share information they think will benefit others (often even without fully reading or watching it themselves) so, suggesting that a customer will take some value from your video as early as possible will satisfy number 1 on this list, then deliver that value with unique information or insights that people are likely to feel will enrich their lives – even just a little.
Inject some humor
Don’t be afraid to keep your video light and slightly humorous – it’s proven that people are much more inclined to watch and engage with video that matches the tone they like to be spoken to in.
What’s more, given that there’s tremendous social proof that goes along with being considered someone who’s got a good sense of humor – you’re far more likely to get people sharing your video if it conveys the same kind of light-hearted approach to life people hope to give off.
Make it visible
It’s one thing for people to know about your video – but it’s also vitally important that Google (and other search engines) know about it too – and for that, you’re going to need to brush up on video SEO.
Add detailed but concise descriptions, so, when it’s crawled, it’ll return understandable information to search engines. Optimize with the most relevant keywords and titles that are going to bring traffic your way. More and more videos are being returned on standard search engine results pages – so it’s literally going to pay to make sure you’re visible.
Also, where possible, host the video on your own domain – and enable embedding too – the easier you make it for people to link to you the more often it’ll occur.
Testimonials are always fairly dubious territory – they’re either legitimate, or they’re product of a good copywriter who knows how to press customer’s buttons. It’s often difficult for website users to work out which is which.
Video testimonials bring a whole new level of authenticity. They’re harder to obtain – but when you do, you’ve just scored a video hit that’ll produce results no copywriter could ever hope to emulate.
There are a bunch of reasons you should be using captions on your videos – not least the fact that web users who require some level of accessibility are likely to make up at least 10% of your audience.
You may want to auto-play videos by default – and remember, you’ve got 10 seconds to impress – so make it easy for people to understand what’s going on, even if they’ve can’t hear the audio.
“What does it mean to me?”
There’s a golden rule of marketing that’s overlooked time and time again – but is ALWAYS present in the best video campaigns:
A pay off for your customer.
When you create video, you should imagine your customers are asking “what’s in it for me?”
Now, this doesn’t have to be answered overtly; Apple don’t outright tell you you’ll look good with their new iPhone, but the message is implied strongly from the overall style of the video.
Always aim to create video that lets people know what they’ll get out of your product or service. If you don’t, you stand a strong chance of them walking or clicking away because there’s no indication that your product can meet their desire.
Be consistent with your branding
If you want people to take action based on your videos, there’s got to be some element of trust around who you are and what you say you’ll deliver. To inspire this trust, you need to ensure that your branding is consistent.
It’s worth noting that there’s a LOT more to brand than just colour schemes and logos too – your brand should encompass those things when you shoot and produce video, but you should also ensure consistency around:
- The tone of the message being conveyed
- The language used
- The format of the video
As an example; think about your bank. There’s no single industry that needs your trust more than the people who handle your hard-earned money – and, when you open their letters, emails, website – or even walk into a branch, you’ll experience something that’s unquestionable ‘your bank’ – owing to their careful use of the above factors.
You wouldn’t trust an email that claims to be from your bank but is typed in plain text without their formatting – so, if you want to build something that your customers come to trust, you need to plan your brand carefully – and think about how you apply that to the videos you shoot.