You've heard the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Well, what would a whole lot of pictures be worth in terms of building your brand and boosting your reputation? Video marketing is one of the most powerful and paradoxically overlooked methods of message delivery available today. Many companies shy away from video marketing because they perceive one or all of the following problems:
• It's too expensive.
• It's unreliable.
• It's hard to target precisely.
• It's just advertising, right?
But here's the catch: None of these things are true!
Video is the fastest-growing type of content available today. According to Video Marketing Buff.com, the average user is exposed to 32 videos a day. 78% watch at least one video a week, and 55% view at least one video a day. Sure, some of them might be cat or baby videos on YouTube, but many of them are consumers researching products and services they are interested in and perceive a need for. Facebook has become the undisputed titan of video marketing, outstripping Twitter as the place to get eyes on video traffic. The problem is that many companies are either not using video marketing at all or not doing it right. This feeds into the mythical idea that video marketing doesn't work.
The first and second myths can be easily dispelled by knowing exactly one fact.
64% of users are more likely to buy a product online (Hubspot). If we assume a 10% conversion rate, that means you're getting almost three times the conversion rate from a video ad then you would be from a regular text ad. If you can triple your conversions with a single piece of content, wouldn't that make the content that's more likely to convert the better investment over time?
The targeting myth can be easily undone by looking at how social media marketing works. There are ways to target based on demographics, friends and friends of friends, interests, occupations and even marital status! A plethora of options for fine-tuning outreach exists, but the first trick is knowing how and where to place your video to get the highest possible number of viewers. It's not and never has been enough just to have the content. You also have to have some place to put it that's logical, ties in with your goals and objectives and meshes well with your target audience.
The last and by far biggest myth is the notion that video marketing is "just advertising!"
This would be like saying that a Lamborghini Diablo is "just a car." It has four wheels, an engine, and a steering wheel, but that's where the similarity ends. Advertising is only part of the marketing equation, and while it's an important one, it's not the whole show or the whole story by any means. Marketing embraces how, where, when and to whom the advertising is shown and how to funnel the leads thus generated to direct sales.
Think about this for a minute. You see an ad that tells you all about why you should buy a specific brand of car. Happens all the time, right? Unless you're a car enthusiast or actually in the market for a car, this becomes so much white noise. You either ignore it, scroll past it or click through it to get to the content you want to see. And guess what? Every other person out there who falls into the same demographics you do (not a car enthusiast, not looking for a car) is doing the same thing! This kind of advertising spends millions of dollars to reach a relative handful of people.
But what if you could universalize your content and remove the direct sales aspect from the equation?
This is the advantage of video in all its forms. You can educate, entertain, inform and direct the consumer without overtly selling anything at all! An informative video about "how to choose the best car for your family" is going to perform a lot better than a video or text ad that screams endless iterations of "BUY ME! BUY ME!"
One of marketing's biggest strengths lies in the ability to be subtle. Of course, the consumer knows consciously that you're trying to sell them something. That's the entire point of the video. The point is to get around the conscious blocks by giving the viewer imagery, facts and information in an entertaining format that makes them want to learn more. Videos offer the ability to incorporate music, imagery, information and scripted delivery to maximize emotional engagement. It also works around the conscious psychological blocks most people engage when they're being sold something. Emotional engagement could mean that the viewer walks away happy, intrigued, disturbed, angry or determined, depending upon the content of the video. In any event, the goal is to make them walk away with the intent of acting upon their emotions!
Because of this, videos for small business is one of the most versatile and effective methods of viewer conversion. It's not overtly selling, so it slips under the sales radar. It incorporates multimedia that targets the viewer's emotions and moves the viewer from a bystander mode to an active participant. It sets a tone and invites a conversation, rather than outright "ordering" the viewer to do whatever the desired action is.
The Potential Drawbacks Of Video
As versatile as video marketing is and as demonstrably effective as it can be in driving interest, discussion, and conversion, bad video marketing is worse than none at all. Repurposing content, doing things that worked elsewhere and making a poorly produced video can all do tremendous damage to your video marketing initiative, your reputation, and your brand. This is not to say that any of these is inherently bad on its own…but they must all be balanced against the need to deliver quality content that meshes well with your brand image, reputation and the message you need and wants your prospective clientele to receive.
Think of the last promotional or instructional video you saw that left you shaking your head. What was wrong with it? Was the lighting, sound or content of poor quality? Was the message unclear? Did the content wander down "bunny trails" that made no sense or were irrelevant to the main intent? Was the editing sloppy? Any of these problems can take a great idea for a video and turn it from a click magnet to client repellent!
This doesn't mean you shouldn't use video. After all, we're talking about reasons why you should! Ask yourself the following questions and decide if video is what you need to add in your marketing strategy.
1. Is this video going to have a purpose, or are we just doing one for the sake of keeping up with the competition?
2. What is the unique message we want the viewer to take away?
3. Are we obviously selling something, or do we deliver real value to the viewer that makes the viewer want to follow the call to action we're looking for?
4. Is the script for the video on point, relevant and progressing logically from point to point to point?
5. Do we have the equipment, technical savvy, and know-how to create a video in-house, or do we need to "farm it out" for the best results?
6. Do we have someone with a great speaking voice who can narrate the video clearly and cleanly?
7. Who needs to see or will benefit most from this video?
8. What is the ultimate objective of this video?
9. What is the metrics we want this video to deliver?
10. Does this video tell a story?
11. IS IT ENTERTAINING?
Obviously, there's a lot to think about when launching a video marketing campaign. The best video marketing largely ignores traditional "advertising" in favor of brand development. If people feel comfortable that they can get great information without having someone screaming "BUY THIS!" every fifteen seconds, they're more likely to trust the brand. Even though consciously the viewer is aware that ultimately you're hoping they will spend their money on your brand, a less overt strategy that emphasizes client-brand relationships over direct sales establishes trust and makes the client feel like they're dealing with a friend, rather than a used-car salesman.
Creating a great video marketing strategy isn't as hard as it looks, but it does take some very precise planning and laser focus to ensure your message doesn't get lost. The best video marketing keeps providing a real benefit or actionable information uppermost in the viewer's mind. While sales are the ultimate goal, a branding initiative that tells a story, informs and entertains is more likely to bridge the gap between the viewer and the brand. When a video is done right, it is an incredibly powerful tool that places your brand on the leading edge of modern marketing, but a great idea on paper can become a costly boondoggle in execution if it's not managed properly right from the start. Yes, a picture may be worth a thousand words but a video is estimated to be worth 1.8 million words, which would you choose?