Most marketing professionals will swear by the power of video content marketing. More than half a decade ago, Cisco predicted that video will comprise more than 80% of global Internet traffic by the year 2020.
We are on the verge of finding out!
When implemented strategically, a video marketing campaign can engage the minds of millions of people in a short time, regardless of shooting it in-house or using an outside agency.
Maximize the impact of your brand this year with the following best practices in your videos:
1. Hook Your Audience Quickly
A year ago, most video marketing experts would have told you that you had about 10 seconds before you lose your audience’s interest. The reality in 2020 is that you have much less time than that. You actually get about three seconds.
People have a lot of content from which to choose. If your graphics and title do not woo them instantly, you will lose them. The first few seconds at the start of a video works exactly like the headlines on a text blog post or email. You use them to get the viewers’ attention immediately and make them want to learn more.
2. Tell Your Audience a Story
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate a message. Use your videos for this purpose. Create a message that works as a story, with an arc—a beginning, middle and an end. Try to affect your viewers on an emotional level. This will require you to learn who your audience is and to truly understand what they care about and want. You should be able to connect with them and to understand how your product or service will fit into their lives.
Take Airbnb’s example. While they were still in their “growing” phase, the ultimate home-stay provider wanted to show the world that they are more than just a cheap alternative to a hotel. Their social media sites did work to highlight beautiful accommodations and experiences that users could get by using the app. But, it was one of their visual storytelling campaigns that really brought this concept to life.
During the Diwali celebration in October, Airbnb released an ad showing the story of an American traveler who visited India and stayed in an Airbnb home during the holiday. The video showed how a friendly host kindly involved her guest in all the preparation that takes place for the festival. This included shopping at the market, all the way to enjoying a traditional meal with friends and family.
This story ad functioned as a wonderful PR tactic and helped Airbnb to tell a better story by highlighting the unique encounters travelers can stumble across through the app. The company recently launched their experiences category, which invites travelers to get a feel for local culture during their stays.
3. Avoid an Overtly Sales-Focused Video
Most people want solutions to their problems, but they do not want to have to listen to a sales presentation. Your message will simply be tuned out if your audience gets the idea that you are only interested in their money. On the other hand, selling a solution means that you are trying to make their lives easier. This is far more interesting and they are more likely to see it as being worth their time.
4. Make Sure Your Videos Work Without Sound
If you plan on sharing your videos on social media platforms, it is important to make sure that your videos still convey your message while muted. The vast majority of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Most people set their players to mute videos that autoplay.
5. Use Customer Data
Use what you know about your customers to create content for them. The idea is to create personalized and relevant versions of your brand message for your video campaign. If done well, information on locations and purchase histories can engage your customers.
6. Stick to the Basics
If you want to get your message across clearly, what you do not want to do is give viewers too much information. Your audience can be bogged down if there are too many irrelevant messages.
Your goal should be clarity. You want to communicate a couple of simple ideas in ways that viewers will remember. Compose these carefully during the planning phase of your video campaign. Take full advantage of the tools that video marketing provides to deliver a message that resonates.
If video is new to your content marketing strategy and you want to get to grips with the basics, then stick to the simpler tactics. These include things like keeping it short and using crisp audio with clean images. Always have an attention grabbing ‘hook’. Do add music as its strength can carry a video that otherwise may be very average.
If you can, add humor as people love to bring others in on a joke and your video will get shared much faster. Consider covering a parody video to piggyback on another viral video. More than 2000 parodies of Gangnam Style were uploaded to YouTube in the two weeks that it was at its most popular for example.
One angle to consider includes going for the shock factor to make your audience gasp. Think back to GoDaddy’s 2013 Super Bowl Ad called ‘The Perfect Match’ where supermodel Bar Refaeli shares an awkward-to-watch kiss with a stereotypical nerd. GoDaddy was trying to promote its website builder and the video ended up scoring them 100,000 additional customers and was its biggest sales day every at the time.
Another angle to look at is to do something really practical in as many ways possible. For example, fashion blogger Wendy Nguyen created a video called ‘25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes’ which did exactly as its title suggests it is going to do. It received more than 13 million views.
7. Aim for Virality
This is the golden rule when trying to plan any viral video, you have to evoke an emotional response in your target audience. Whether that response is joy or happiness as in this case, or sadness, anger or shock; this is what will contribute to the video being shared by thousands or (if you are lucky) millions of people.
The below infographic was created by One Productions and is a snapshot of some of the top tips to consider when creating a viral video. For a more in-depth read, see this guide.