2020 accelerated our reliance on digital technology in business. Marketing experts have called on CEOs and management to integrate better digital strategies for years. With the eCommerce boom that rose out of the last year, businesses have had to adapt quickly or risk falling behind the forward-thinking competition.
While late adopters are still working through the more established marketing tools like paid ads and SEO content, a new trend is on the digital horizon: video marketing.
Video marketing does what it says on the tin, with some built-in advantages we can leverage. In short, video marketing is the use of audio-visual media to market your product. While the name is self-explanatory, we should avoid oversimplification.
Like any marketing tool, video marketing is defined by what it does – not how to do it well. Learning the techniques and where to apply them is how we maximise the potential value behind the concept.
Video marketing isn't cheap, not even in comparison to other digital marketing tools. Putting out quality images, blogs posts, and social media updates takes skill, practice and experience. Creating a video requires all those elements and a much higher production cost on average.
There are ways to be cost-efficient in production, but doing so without compromising quality or compensation requires a dedicated strategy. While a manager might congratulate a marketing team for coming in under the budget, it's vital to focus on generating sales once the video is done.
A video marketing strategy works best with the following elements:
Investing in these elements is more a matter of planning than finance. When you layer those requirements into a cohesive strategy, you position yourself to see a better return on investment (ROI).
It helps to lay out the challenges of a concept first. Now that we've touched on the areas where video marketing can thrive or fail, we can break down the advantages of a video-based strategy.
1. Convert views into sales
According to Social Media Today, 83% of video marketers report a boost in lead generation because of video campaigns. The report was published in June 2020, at which point 95% of responding marketers either planned to invest more in the second half of the year or at least match their first half investments.
These statistics offer some insight into the confidence markets have in video advertising, but what do consumers think?
2. Sustained growth in online marketplaces
2020 saw more people than ever shopping online, and growth only increased throughout the year. The eCommerce boom seems set to stay as brands get even better at keeping their online customers in cyberspace.
No business can afford to neglect its online markets in 2021, not if they want to remain competitive. Video marketing is a tool tailor-made to expand with these markets.
3. Build brand trust
The production cost of making a video has given this form of marketing a sense of prestige. While the quality of business videos has a staggering range, many media-savvy consumers appreciate a good one when they see it on their screen. Video marketing also shos that a brand is willing to invest in itself. That can encourage an audience to buy products, invest in the brand or even share the content on their platforms.
Speaking of sharable content, let's touch on "going viral" next.
Most digital media strategies consider the possibility of the campaign going viral, even if it isn't a primary goal. There are two definitions of viral which shouldn't be confused, though. While neither is wrong, one description is more beneficial for marketing than the other.
The first definition of viral content uses memefication, which doesn't always help a campaign. Memefication is the process of designing content to deliver information that is quickly digestible and encourages contagious sharing - usually through mass appeal.
As appealing as that sounds, aiming for scale can reduce a message's impact once it goes beyond its target audience. For videos published through paid advertising, this can mean paying more to be seen by very cold leads.
At least in a digital marketing sense, viral content encourages the consumer to share your content with people in their circle. Data analysis has evolved to an incredible level, but word-of-mouth still offers the best ROI. Rather than create mass appeal, viral marketing equips consumers with the information they need to explain your value proposition to people in their sphere of influence.
The list of video types available is endless, but we've narrowed down the five most effective ones for video marketing.
1. Customer testimonial
A testimonial, much like a review, is a form of social proof directly from satisfied consumers. Text-based testimonials are already good at building brand trust, and videos only expand on their potential to do so.
2. Stakeholder testimonial
A satisfied customer appeals to potential leads, while a stakeholder testimonial aims to humanise a brand. These testimonials give founders and other key stakeholders a platform to speak directly to their customers and create a level of trust through transparency.
Videos with founding members can be especially compelling when they present the brand's story through the people who built it up.
3. Product tutorial
A tutorial video describes how to use a product to viewers. Explaining the mechanics shouldn't be a boring list of instructions – this is the perfect time to reemphasise the benefits of a product directly to an attentive audience.
4. Product close-up
Usually accompanied by background music and studio lighting, a close-up video can highlight a product's design quality and aesthetic appeal.
While we could break these video templates own further into particular functions, they show great potential even at the broadest level. Depending on the budget, the video's goals, and the parameters around it, one video can combine multiple templates for incredible impact.
Whichever video appeals to you, though, we always recommend making the most of best practices to help you maximise your next campaign's impact.
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