If you are like most marketing professionals, you understand the value that well crafted video content can bring to your brand. I’m not writing this to convince you otherwise; I’m writing this because the vast majority of marketing videos released today, in my estimation, are a complete waste of time and money.
In this blog post, I’m going to get really honest about my thoughts on the current state of marketing with video, and lay out my proposed solutions to these issues. I’m writing this because I’m tired of seeing thousands of dollars wasted on videos that don’t resonate with any audience, let alone drive profitability.
“People don’t care about your product or service nearly as much as you do.”
The very first thing you have to realize is that people don’t care about your product or service nearly as much as you do. Honestly, it’s not even close. I know it can be a tough pill to swallow, but realistically there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. It’s your business, you should care about it more than other people. This fact only becomes a problem when business people assume all they have to to attract new customers is explain their product.
Think of it this way; you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger on the street, introduce yourself, and just start talking about your product. You know that won’t work. So why would you expect that someone who is otherwise occupied on their Facebook timeline, or watching cat videos would stop everything to pay attention to your sales pitch? The sooner businesses realize that their time and money is wasted every time they expect potential customers to resonate with their product’s specifications, the better off they’ll be.
Of course none of this is to say that information based videos are useless. They are just widely misused. While these videos are generally not very good at generating interest in a product, they are VERY effective for guiding the buying process for someone who is already shopping for what you’re selling. Maybe you wouldn’t just walk up to someone on the street, but if they walk into your store, that sales pitch is exactly what you need! A good marketing video is one that entices people to want to metaphorically (or literally) walk into your store to learn more. The trick to accomplishing this is to stop trying to sell to your audience, and start connecting with them on an emotional level.
Think about it; all of your favorite commercials are the ones that make you laugh, or cry, or feel something. Take a look at the videos that are getting getting shares on your social media timeline. I bet most of them evoke some sort of emotional response. Here’s a list of the most viral ads of 2015. Watch them and count the number of times you see a salesman trying to pitch you on their product. It doesn’t happen, because it doesn’t work. These videos make you feel. Joy, sorrow, anger, awe, amazement, amusement, inspiration; these emotional responses help to foster a relationship between the viewer and the sponsoring brand, which is infinitely more influential than knowing your materials or measurements.
Another way that you can connect with your audience with video is by providing them with valuable information. I know, I know, I just said don’t use informational videos to market. Hear me out. There is one type of informational video that can be very effective at marketing your products; How-To Videos. Now before you get too excited, there are rules to this game. These videos need to provide your audience with practical, useful information that helps them with a problem they have. These should be focused on solving that problem, and should not dive into detailed information about your product. If you’d like to learn more about how to create effective How-To videos, and see some good examples, check out this blog post: How to make effective How-To Videos.
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”
– Red Adair
Okay, now we’re going to talk about something near and dear to my heart. Production quality. I’m talking about how your video looks, sounds, and feels. So many businesses seem to be indifferent to this aspect of marketing, but I’m here to tell you that poor quality videos can actually hurt your brand, and end up costing you a lot more money than you saved. 62% of people surveyed by Brightcove said that they are likely to form a negative opinion of a brand that publishes poor quality content! This makes a lot of sense to me. Your potential customers are looking for indicators which will help them make the best buying decision. If your video looks like crap, one could, and very well might, draw the conclusion that you’ve put the same effort into creating your product. To that point, if your video looks average, you probably have an average product; If it looks great, you probably have a great product! The bottom line is, the quality of your video content speaks volumes to your potential customers, so make sure you’re creating the best quality video you can.
My last point is one that I feel should be obvious, but apparently isn’t. So many businesses today invest tens of thousands of dollars annually into videos that they never properly distribute to their target audience. Why? To save money of course! Wait, what?
Let me be clear; If you’re not going to invest into getting your video in front of your target audience, you shouldn’t waste your time or money creating videos in the first place. It is very rare that any video just finds it’s audience once uploaded, so you’ll need to get the ball rolling. Simply sharing the video on your company Facebook page isn’t going to make much of an impact because Facebook intentionally limits your reach to those who like your page. Even before you create your video, you’ll want to have a strategy for distribution. There are many options for online video distribution beyond uploading to Facebook and YouTube, and there are many outlets offline as well. Here is a blog post I wrote discussing the many ways you can get the right eyeballs on your videos.
Video is far and away the best way to engage your target audience IF you can properly leverage it’s ability to generate an emotional response, focus on quality over quantity, and invest in a solid plan for distribution. Just like every other method of marketing, if you cut corners, you probably won’t see great results. If you have any questions about the information presented in this blog post, feel free to contact us! We’d love to hear from you!