The case for video marketing is clear. Just as evident is that brands miss an exciting chance to connect with customers when they don’t produce videos. Megan Allinson of BKM Marketing outlines why brands should integrate this powerful asset in their marketing mix and offers strategies to creating valuable video content.
If you’re like many people, most of your time online is spent watching videos. In fact, research shows that almost 80% of the people who are active online watch videos every week. Even more substantial than their consumption habits is the amount of information retained from the videos: Nearly 95% of the content sticks in their memory. As a popular, memorable means of delivering information, video is a compelling medium for businesses that want to be seen and attract customers.
Videos can effectively illustrate how a product or service works — but they also have an unparalleled ability to bring a situation to life and highlight the allure of something in ways that resonate with viewers. Imagine a picture of a busy cafe. Now, imagine a video of that same cafe bustling with patrons and delicious food coming in and out of the frame. One is a lot more compelling than the other.
The benefits of video don’t stop there, either. People who watch a brand’s video become more engaged with the brand overall because its personality shines through. Consumers get a real sense of who a brand is and what it represents with videos. That doesn’t always come through in print, audio, or banner ads. Video is also unique in that it encourages consumers to share brand content and comment on it to their network, which builds credibility and social proof (word of mouth) that a brand, product, or service is worthy of engaging with.
Users are about 10 times more likely to interact with video content than static blog content or social media posts. This may be because the human brain prefers visual information to written information. We process visuals — which constitute 90% of the information our brain receives — about 60,000 times faster than text. Research shows that we retain only 10% of written or spoken information after three days, but the recall level jumps to 65% when a visual component is added. Regardless of why people prefer video, it’s an extremely potent sales tool. Including a video on your landing page has the potential to increase conversion rates by 80%.
Brands miss big opportunities to connect with customers and make lasting impressions when they don’t leverage the many advantages of video marketing.
What Sets Video Apart?
Nearly everyone gripes about commercials. So why are we so willing — even eager — to watch branded video content?
One reason video ads work so much better than alternative mediums is that they communicate a large amount of information quickly and often to someone seeking that knowledge. Brands like this because it helps maximize their message. Viewers like this because it doesn’t waste their time. They could spend several minutes reading copy about a product, or they could watch a 30-second video and learn even more.
It’s also more emotional. Eliciting a strong feeling with pictures and texts takes a certain level of artistry. The tools of video (visuals, music, narrative, etc.) are much better at conjuring the “feeling” a brand wants consumers to experience. This has powerful sales potential, considering that customers are 70% more likely to buy a product they saw in an ad if they experienced an emotional response while watching it.
Another appealing feature of video is the ability to explain concepts in-depth. How-to videos and YouTube tutorials have transformed how people approach everything from home improvement and crafts to money management. With video, brands can go beyond advertising and offer customers valuable content they can benefit from.
Why Do Brands Overlook Video?
Videos can do amazing things, and they’re appropriate for almost every platform: social media, in-store displays, mobile apps, demo sites, digital signage, etc. That raises the question: Why doesn’t every brand produce videos? Here are three reasons why:
- Expense: To produce a video, you used to need elaborate storyboards, a film crew, professional talent, and funds to cover the cost of airtime, all in hopes of being seen by your target audience. It was by far the most costly form of advertising. Now, smartphones can replace the film crew, you no longer need to recruit expensive talent, and videos can be free to post across the internet (or can, at least, air for a fraction of the cost through digital channels). People have made viral videos seen by billions without paying a dime. With a few inexpensive tools like editing software and some good lighting, anyone can produce professional-looking video content on a budget.
- Perfection: Some brands assume their video content needs to look like a Hollywood production. While there’s a place for quality and craftsmanship, people love videos that feel raw, real, and unfiltered — as if the moment is being captured rather than contrived. Perfection truly is the enemy of success (and great video content).
- Time: When asked why they don’t make videos, 13% of marketers cited a lack of time. In reality, it’s never been faster (or easier) to make a video and get it in front of a large audience. Even a customized animated video, for example, can be ready in four to eight weeks. No matter what kind of videos a brand wants to create, time isn’t an obstacle anymore. Real-time, raw videos can be produced and live within just a few days.
Using Video to Upgrade the Customer Experience
The case for video marketing is clear. Just as obvious is that brands miss an exciting chance to connect with customers when they don’t produce videos. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to upgrade your efforts, use these strategies to make your video content a valuable part of the customer experience:
- Personalize the Content
Personalized video content sounds like an impossible undertaking, but it’s easier than it seems. The idea is to create content for different audiences (e.g., new customers versus old, domestic customers versus international, etc.) rather than the same content for everyone. Personalization drives better results in all other aspects of sales and marketing because it makes people feel seen and heard while delivering them relevant content. Whenever possible, think about who you want to reach with your video content, then tailor the content to that audience as much as possible.
There are also video production companies specializing in genuinely personalized, one-to-one content using data, so the video each consumer sees is only for that consumer. For example, upon completing the Boston Marathon in 2019, Adidas (one of the major sponsors) sent me a promotional video to purchase apparel. The video was all about my running experience, featuring me running along the course and crossing the finish line. It was so personalized that the video included a shot of me almost tripping over someone.
- Try How-To Engagement
Who among us hasn’t consulted a how-to video to navigate unfamiliar territory? How-to videos are extremely helpful — so helpful, in fact, that 72% of people would rather learn about products or services through video. By walking viewers through the how-to process, brands get an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their products and services while highlighting the most appealing features.
Best of all, these product demonstrations don’t feel like ads because they’re actually helping the viewer do something or solve a problem. Look for opportunities to make your own how-to videos, even if it takes some creative thinking to make them relevant to your product or service. What problem do your customers have? Solve it for them in your videos.
- Serve the Sales Cycle
The sales cycle can be a difficult, drawn-out process that gets derailed unexpectedly, especially in B2B markets. Inserting video content throughout the sales cycle makes things better for both businesses involved. For the customer, video proves to be more engaging and informative (because of the reasons outlined above). For the seller, video offers a powerful demonstration or reinforcement of the claims made in the sales pitch — a way to show and tell.
Finally, the fact that video is easy to deliver anywhere is good for all involved. Instead of trying to arrange a demonstration, which can be inconvenient, salespeople could send videos to prospects’ emails. At each point in the sales funnel — from prospecting and developing to closing — video offers a compelling complement to or even replacement for traditional sales strategies.
The best time to get started making video content to showcase your brand was years ago. The second-best time is today. Don’t go any longer without this powerful asset in your marketing mix.