Using Video in Marketing
I’ve found that there is increasingly a belief that video is one of the ‘must haves’ in any marketing plan. I’m often told by people that they ‘have to do videos’. When I ask them why, invariably the answer is along the lines of: “Because I heard that online videos make up more than 80% of all internet traffic.” Whilst this sounds like a very convincing argument, it leaves out the most fundamental part of all: your individual audience.
This stat that I’ve heard time and time again that videos make up more than 80% of all internet traffic is actually too general for it to be reliably used in a marketing plan. It assumes that the internet is one definite thing that we all use in exactly the same way, regardless of gender, age, interests, location or just about any other demographic. But the truth is it’s not. It would also be fine if you were marketing to a general audience made up of a mix of lots of different demographics. But you’re probably not.
Know Your Audience
I’ve been told by many people that everyone watches videos nowadays. But I know that’s not entirely true from personal experience. I’m a word nerd. I’m a writer who loves the power of words. If I had a choice between seeing a video or reading a blog that told me the same thing, I’d choose the blog every time. Mainly because it’s faster. A video will take 3 minutes to get all the information I need. A blog can be quickly scanned through so you can get to the points you want and then decide to read the whole thing if you think it’s of interest. You can’t digest video in the same way.
So if someone was selling to me, I’m far more likely to engage with content that’s written than spoken. I know many other writers out there who are exactly the same, because we respond well to the written word. Therefore, if I was your main audience, video is not something you ‘have to do’. There are far more powerful ways of capturing my attention.
Why Use Video
As the example of my preferences show, if you think you must use video, the ‘must’ or ‘have to’ should be led by your research and because you’ve found that it’s the best channel to communicate your messages and reach your audience. If it’s not, or you’re simply not sure, then you need to ask yourself why you’re doing it.
Make sure you know that your audience will watch the video. Make sure you’re confident that it really is the best way to convey your message. Don’t just do something because you like the idea of it. Do it because it’s the most sound business decision.
If you’ve made the decision that video is the best way to communicate your message and you believe your audience will be interested in it, the next step is to make sure you execute it properly.
It’s not about why someone should watch your video at this point, but rather what you want them to do when they have. If you’re using video for marketing purposes, there needs to be a point to it. It needs to be aligned with other areas of your marketing, and there needs to be a call to action. Surely you’re not just doing this for fun. You’re doing this to launch a new product, sell your services, get in leads and make sales. So how are you going to achieve that via this video? Make sure there’s a purpose to it that will practically work. Make sure you plan things well before you start.
The Video Itself
When you’re ready to go, keep your script sharp. Never, ever start off with “Hello and welcome to…” Not for a marketing video. You have just a few seconds to grab attention and convince your audience to keep watching. The words “Hello and welcome to…” don’t provide anything useful and are a waste of time for the person watching. You need to get that value in straight away. By all means introduce yourself or the video, but do it in a meaningful way.
For example, rather than say, “Hello, my name is John Smith and welcome to my video. Today I’m going to be sharing with you tips on how to create videos.” Instead say, “Are you using video in the right way? Get the results you want with these 5 simple tips from me, John Smith, a marketing expert.”
The second version is straight to the point, gives the viewer everything they need to know about the content of the video and will engage from the outset. That’s what you need to do. Every second of your marketing video counts, and the opening will determine whether someone sticks around or moves on to the thousand other pieces of content just waiting for them to explore. You’re literally battling for attention, so put up a good fight and make it punchy.
Joined Up Approach
As with anything in marketing, things rarely work in isolation. You need a thread running through all your marketing for it to be as successful as it can be, and video needs to play just one part of a larger marketing plan. With the right content aimed at the right audience, video can be a very powerful medium. But don’t waste the opportunity by executing it all wrong.
If you’d like any further help on how different marketing channels could work for you, please contact Lindsay Woodward Marketing. We can’t wait to hear from you.