In the past few years, video has become a major focus for brands looking for new ways to capture their audience’s attention. An Animoto report showed 84% of consumers have ‘liked’ a branded video in their social media news feed, which is fantastic news for anyone looking to boost their engagement on social media. Additionally, 51.9% of marketers worldwide named video as the type of content with the best ROI.
Whether it’s by posting on traditional video channels like YouTube or Vimeo, or on newer platforms that are improving how native video is viewed and shared, like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, a video component is crucial to any marketing campaign. Clearly, consumers not only want to see video, they’re starting to expect it.
So, how should you get started? Effectively integrating video marketing into your current campaigns requires planning ahead and, most importantly, a clear definition of your overall marketing goals.
Define Your Video Marketing Strategy Goals
First, ask yourself how video fits into your marketing strategy. Whether you’re a retail brand, an ecommerce site, a travel agency, a movie theater, or even an independent musician, consider how introducing new marketing tactics, like video, may affect your desired outcome. As you add video marketing into your overall strategy, how will you integrate or transition with your other marketing channels? Be sure your messages are consistent and complementary to maximize your impact.
Establish Your Measures of Success
As with any other marketing strategy, determine your KPI’s (key performance indicators) ahead of your campaign. Are you looking to increase overall traffic to your website? Grow brand awareness? Increase sales of products you’re marketing in said video? These are things you need to determine up front so that you’re able to measure success as you produce and launch videos in the future.
Free video hosting sites give you a basic set of data including the number of views, subscribers, and shares your videos generate. Paid subscriptions and business accounts to these same platforms can give you more demographic data, allowing you to see the reach of your campaign in a specific segment. Stay tuned for tips on choosing the right video platform, making the most of your data from videos, and how to target a video audience with personalized content.
Understand The Elements of a Successful Video
You want to project the right image while creating entertaining, engaging video content in line with your brand. When creating videos, consider including these elements:
- An intro that grabs your audience’s attention
- A problem to solve
- Action or challenge
- Resolution, solution, or punchline (if humor)
- Audience call to action
That last one, your audience’s call to action, is a vital component of every video. As long as you’ve got a viewer, you want to make sure that viewer takes a meaningful action or next step that will help your brand after watching. Consider including your CTA both as part of the video, and in any text elements surrounding your video.
Dive Into the 5 Most Compelling Video Genres
Video content can run the gamut from whimsical humor to fact-intensive tutorial, and from long-form to short-form. Keep in mind that it’s possible to slice and dice long-form videos into shorter, more shareable snippets that are better suited to platforms like Instagram and Facebook. YouTube found that out of their top ten most viewed videos, the shortest was 42 seconds and the longest was 9 minutes and 15 seconds. The average video length was 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
In addition to length, the types of video you choose to create will depend on your messaging and your goals. Here are 5 video genres that generate the most engagement.
Controversy is interesting! Any marketing pro can attest that controversy generates conversation. The issue with controversy is that there’s a fine line between getting people talking (good) and flagrantly flying in the face of good taste (bad). Tread carefully to ensure you don’t have the unintended effect of alienating your audience with an over-the-top message.
Here’s an example of a good way to use controversy in video form.
Laughter is one of life’s simple pleasures. If you can create a video that gets your viewers to laugh, they’ll love you for it and share it with their friends.
One caveat: Just as with controversy, it can be hard to strike the right balance with humor. It can be easy to offend with an off-color joke. Or you can veer too far from funny and land somewhere closer to laughable. One way to ensure that your video is funny for the right reasons is to test it out with a “sneak peek” and gauge the reactions you get. You can also run it by others on your team or in your company.
Consider Kinaxis’ series of videos as an example of video branding that does humor well.
3. Novelty and Surprise
Videos offer your audience an escape from their day-to-day lives, even for just 30 seconds at a time. When crafting your video, think of ways you can inspire, pose questions, or challenge your audience to look at something from a new perspective.
Browse the videos on TED.com to find various examples of novel ideas that surprise and delight audiences.
If you can teach your audience something useful, they’ll consider you a valuable resource. Strive to create a video that educates or explains. Colleagues can share tutorial videos with others in their field to increase their reputation as forward-thinking problem solvers.
The Khan Academy videos provide “free, world class education” materials on their site and are widely used by public school educators.
Appealing to your audiences’ ego will pay off. Consider influencer interviews, noticing someone’s good behavior, and handing out awards.
One caveat with this approach is that you want to make sure the production content is high quality so it will be shared widely.
Learn from Successful Video Campaign Examples
Now that we’ve covered creating content, it’s time to look at a couple of brands who have had success with video marketing.
Blendtec created a humorous, quirky campaign with their “Will it Blend?” Series. iPads + blenders = sharable comic genius (Note: Don’t try this at home!).
GoPro‘s user-generated viral marketing turned them into the top global YouTube brand. While their video campaign started with extreme athletes showing off stunts using their helmet-based cameras, they’ve since branched out to regular users who post videos of their own stunts.
Patagonia took a different approach with their well polished, mini-documentaries. They used video to curate their brand culture and demonstrate their products being used.
International brands have certainly demonstrated that video marketing is the future. But that doesn’t mean that smaller companies can’t go viral with their own video marketing efforts. For example, Lawyer Jamie Casino’s Superbowl spot showed that with a little creativity, you can awe viewers and go viral at the same time.