One of the key players in customer engagement these days is video. And why not? In the best cases, videos are entertaining, easily accessible, and have real impact. Sure, a brilliant email campaign, quality content, and spot-on social media are all great — but nothing carries quite the weight of a truly terrific marketing video. At the same time, nothing can turn off customers as quickly as a bad one, so strategy and execution are paramount here.
What makes video such a powerful tool? It’s simple. Customers’ attention spans are shrinking. They need images and they need stories. They need a reason to actually care about what your business is doing. One of the ways you can get them to care is to create a certain level of relatability. That, mixed with just the right amount of wryness and a dab of sincerity, will give you a head start with the competition.
But how can you make sure your video will get the attention it deserves? It’s not enough anymore to come up with a good idea. Execution is also important. That said, the most beautifully produced video won’t make up for the fact that the concept just doesn’t cut it.
Believe it or not, it takes more than a GoPro and a budget to create a successful marketing video. And by successful, we mean one that gets views, likes, and comments— quickly and in large numbers. It might not go viral, but it will still have value if it’s executed properly. We’ve compiled a list of steps to take when creating your next video marketing campaign, and while the list isn’t all-inclusive, it can act as a solid guide. Who knows? In a society that’s oversaturated with content, one of these tips may mean the difference between functional and exceptional.
Get a plan
Let’s say you’re blessed, and you’ve got all the right tools to start you off on the right foot. You’ve got money. You’ve got a producer. Heck, you’ve even got George Clooney to be your spokesperson. None of these things (well, maybe with the exception of George) will matter if you don’t have a solid marketing plan. Do your research and prepare before picking up that camera. The keyword being before. For example, create a teaser and post it on social media. Get the attention before the actual event via other marketing tools.
Tell a Story
Anyone and everyone loves a good story. As humans, we’re suckers for them. Carve out a beginning, middle, and end. Create a conflict. Have a hero(ine), even if it’s the product itself. Make us care, get us to emotionally invest in what you’re saying, and you’ll not only get attention, you’ll keep it. Stories are that powerful.
Appeal to Emotions
We’re not saying you have to — or even should — make people cry. ‘Emotion’ doesn’t mean ‘sad’. Appeal to the emotional nature of your customer with humor. Get them excited. Make them curious. Maybe even make them a bit confused and then show them how your product can be an answer to that confusion. Turn them on (and we don’t mean like that). Anything provocative is good, but remember: avoid the maudlin. Anything over-the-top or overly sad will just be a downer and leave your company with nothing but negative attention.
It’s no longer cool (was it ever?) to blast your viewers with BRANDING. Keep your cool, and be strategic about placement and message. Get some advice from an expert who specializes in customer experience to help you say just enough at the exact right time.
It’s like dating: you don’t want to seem too eager. If your product is that good, it will speak for itself.
It’s About Quality
An obviously poor-quality video will do you no favors, no matter how strategically placed your message is. Check and double-check the sound quality. Make sure the mic is close to your subject. Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting. Use a tripod if possible — shaky camera work went out with the Blair Witch Project.
Length is Key
Remember when we mentioned short attention spans? Just like strategy helps with how you communicate your message (subtly, strategically), it’s also a big part of how long you take to communicate it. As they say, timing is everything, and making marketing videos is no different. You want to make sure you give yourself enough time to make an impression, but without overstating or beating the message into the ground. People want to be delighted, not hit over the head.
Make it Useful
It’s like anything else: if you give folks something they can actually use — whether it’s an object, a lesson, or a piece of advice— they’ll be more likely to engage on a deeper level. You’re not just doing this for you. Give them an incentive to stick with you and become loyal followers.
Focus on a Cause
People love a good cause. Four words: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Entertaining and altruistic.
Look, we know nothing is perfect. But perfectly executed is another story. Do your research, keep the target audience in the forefront of your mind, be creative and strategic, get help from experts, and give them something they’ll remember. More than that, give them an experience they’ll want to share with others.