Is video marketing right for your business?
It’s no secret that video consumption is on the rise—and has been for quite some time. Video marketing has become more popular than ever in significant part to increasing consumer demand.
With technology ranging from increased bandwidth availability to devices with faster computing power, access to video—especially streaming video—is greater than ever. In addition, with the cultural shift towards streaming services over traditional broadcast and cable television strengthened, as has the expectation of ubiquitous video accessibility.
So, if the average Joe likes video and has come to expect it, it’s a good time to decide how your business can benefit from video marketing.
This topic is multifaceted and can take days to cover in its entirety so, for now, I’m going to focus first on the top video production types available for your business. In later articles, we’ll tackle additional video marketing strategies and concepts.
Demonstration or Product Videos
For many, the vision of a demo video comes to mind when they think about what video marketing is or what it could be for their business. Whether it’s the idea of an infomercial or a product listing video, it’s easy to see the selling power behind demonstrating how your widget works.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth? Tapping into the audio as well as visual senses, seeing a product in action creates an understanding rather quickly. For complex items, a video that does a good job explaining use or highlighting features can make the difference between getting the sale or not.
As a powerful bonus, these demo videos that help sell the product can often bring the customer back post-sale. If they’re looking for a shortcut to understanding how to use the product they just received, they often return to your website or social channel to watch it again. And this opens the door to an additional touchpoint and potentially another purchase.
How-To and Educational Videos
As a variation of the traditional demonstration video, there’s a lot of value associated with how-to and educational videos. If a demo video is aimed primarily for pre-sale use, a how-to is designed for use when the customer has completed their purchase and has your item in their hands.
These videos don’t try to sell them the product but, rather, help them to master its use. This creates a happy customer and potential brand evangelist. This also has value in lowering the return rate due to misunderstanding the product and its uses.
With a modest library of support videos for your products, their existence also helps to elevate your brand as an authority in your field. Through education you demonstrate your mastery of this product and your place in this industry, bolstering pride in ownership and association with your brand.
When positioned properly on your website and social channels, such content has the potential to drive new traffic to your website and boost your SEO performance.
Brand Building Videos
Video offers the power to creatively build brand awareness. With stylized, informative, or inspirational videos, you can tell your story in a very compelling way. Video allows you to craft a motion experience that aligns with your brand image.
The right soundtrack can speak volumes, literally, about your brand values and their place in the world. Is your business edgy? Is your business hip? Is your business traditional? Is your business casual or is it very formal? All of these vibes can be communicated through the right audio treatment in your brand video.
Consider the Hollywood movie trailers you’ve watched over the years. I’m sure you’re aware of the impact music and special sound effects have on your interpretation of what’s to come. A 2-minute movie trailer will leverage certain visual and sound techniques to communicate a summary and create excitement towards their 2-hour feature presentation to come. Similarly, you can take advantage of this same power to give the elevator pitch of your brand.
And, with the right message, you have the potential for it to go viral—spreading your awareness even further.
If your business maintains a presence in the community, attends trade shows or conferences, sponsors gatherings, and the like, an event video might be a great option to explore.
While providing coverage of the event itself, it also showcases your business in an altruistic light or shows you’re a significant part of the community you serve.
Event videos often feature short interviews of attendees and those who aren’t part of your organization but can speak positively about what you’re doing and who you’re supporting.
Including B-roll cutaways of the event itself, the environment, and the people, does an excellent job highlighting what’s important to your brand. For those customers where brand values are an important part of their purchase decision-making, this video format can serve your business well.
Plus, since these videos [more often than not] shine a light on both you and another entity, such as the event owner, there’s high shareability potential for this sort of content. Your video can be easily shared through the event’s social media outreach, email newsletters, and more.
These videos are ideal for early, pre-sale leads. Usually fictional in nature, these productions put a strong emphasis on the problem or pain point your next customer is facing. With an explainer video, you’re leveraging the inbound concept of marketing where you’re nurturing leads through education and avoiding the hard sell. Leads at this stage may not be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase but, rather, are just starting to explore options to solve their problem.
Explainer videos educate your customers and raise your brand’s stature as being a reliable, trustworthy source and, eventually, solution provider.
For these videos, it’s helpful to have a strong understanding of your “buyer’s persona” or what makes them tick to help your message be more relevant and on-target. If you truly get their problem you can more effectively solve it.
When it comes to animated productions, I usually make the connection with demonstration, how-to, and explainer videos as mentioned previously. There’s an inherent peace, if you will, that comes with animated videos. And it’s this disarming trait that makes them excellent at explaining and breaking down complex or difficult concepts.
If your product often intimidates the uninitiated, animation can help make your good or service feel more accessible and easy to use. It also justifies more playful soundtracks and sound effects which can help the education process and make product use appear less overwhelming.
While the cost of animated productions can vary greatly, depending on the length and complexity of the production, they allow you to create valuable content that doesn’t require camera equipment, expensive lighting, on-air talent, studio sets, and more.
Customer Testimonial Videos
Asking a happy customer to write a quick testimonial for your website is a great way to associate trust with your brand. Potential leads in similar industries often find these experience blurbs helpful in building their confidence with your company.
So, it’s not difficult to see how the power of video can take these customer testimonials a significant step further. Beyond adding personality to the testimonial messaging, it adds legitimacy and creates a connection with the viewer. At a time where some online testimonials and reviews are suspect in their truthfulness, seeing the person quoted sharing their experience with motion and sound is quite impactful.
Interviewing the Experts
Another valuable video type is the expert interview. While educational in nature, these productions share insight from a more first-person perspective. This is less textbook in style and more personal account-focused. Hearing a concept broken down from a respected and often third-party source helps the viewer relate to the problem and executed solution.
These videos also have the potential to draw additional eyeballs based on the star power of the individuals interviewed. If there’s a recognizable name in your industry, videos of this nature can garner more clicks and aid with SEO.
In this same vein, the expert interview video can also create awareness and legitimacy for new, lesser-known individuals, thus elevating their celebrity. This is great for those on staff who need more exposure.
As you can see, there are many types of videos available to your business. These categories of video represent some of the top options for most businesses when it comes to being successful with video marketing.
I recommend considering each, discussing the options and costs with a marketing expert, and seeing which ones are best for your business.
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To learn more about marketing your small business, check out our What you need to know to market your small business article.