The rise of the connected digital customer has led to continuous shifts in the way marketers are managing their mobile, social and engagement marketing strategy. While it was always obvious that the customer is less interested in what brands are trying to sell to her, and more interested in knowing ‘what’s in it for me’, video marketing has now become the secret weapon for marketers globally as a means to providing the customer with that message.
The reason for this is simple. When faced with a steady onslaught of multiple digital advertising messages, the customer is most likely to gravitate towards a play button.
The rise of video marketing has been one of the most exciting trends in recent years. In fact, 96% of B2B advertisers globally are utilising video to attract the audience and to differentiate themselves from other marketing and advertising messages. Over eight billion videos were being played each day on Facebook alone in 2015. Cisco predicts that by 2019, 80% of all Internet traffic will be streaming video content (up from 16% in 2014). Research firm Demand Metric says that 74% of B2B marketers globally believe that video now converts better than other content types.
The insight here is to recognise that video is not just about attracting attention, but also is a means to enhance the customer journey. It’s simply about telling a brand story, rather than just presenting an advertisement.
So what’s the secret to creating your own secret weapon? Here is a four-step checklist:
Video should drive your customer journey
Client testimonials, demo recordings and explainer/instructional video content are the best means of customer acquisition and conversions. The multi-sensory means of conveying a brand message that video provides, does 90% of the job of convincing the customer about a brand.
Produce videos for each step of the customer journey. Keep them short and provide the next steps to the customer that lead to action.
Facebook is undoubtedly the master at this. Its how-to tutorials are tied directly to the service but they’re not ‘pitchy’. Instead, they aim to provide solutions to their users’ most common questions in a way that’s actually entertaining.
Pay attention to the silent film
Consider the way you look through your social media feed today. The languid pace of swipe, click and swipe. Videos now auto-play on Facebook without the audio. Therefore any audio toward the start of the clip will clearly not be heard by anybody scrolling through their feed. This means that as a marketer, you need to plan your video such that the visuals, during those initial few moments, can grab the audience. Videos need to be intelligent and more targeted in their screenplay.
Hotels.com was one of the first to create a Facebook auto-play ad. The campaign, featuring its mascot ‘Captain Obvious’, directly addresses the need for a silent auto-play on Facebook. The campaign offers two experiences. When the ad plays with sound, you will hear a speaker. Without sound, you will see subtitles that tell the story more thoroughly.
Focus on the brand mission, not the product
Thus far, video content has been a one-to-many type of marketing activity. The consumer too has been passive, treating it as a ‘recliner experience’ (press play, sit back and consume the message).
To differentiate your strategy, you need to convey your brand’s mission (in unique ways), rather than just advertise your product. The latter leads to a consumer blind-spot. We know that videos based on emotions have a more lasting impact on the consumer. To therefore use an emotional thread and link it to the brand’s mission would be a surefire success strategy.
A global brand that executes this very well is Dove. It has crafted stories and encouraged its target community to participate in stories through its various video campaigns (#ChooseBeautiful #RealBeautySketches). Binding your marketing to a larger mission results in developing a loyal base of customers. According to data by Gallup, customers who are more loyal and emotionally attached to brands bring in 23% more revenue.
Right content, right time, right channel
Amul ads have become a part of our folklore. They effectively connect with the audience by capturing the essence of any trending topic. Cardsstore.com by American Greetings created a video which focussed on #TheWorldsToughestJob, a few weeks before Mother’s Day. It used a creative, faux interview process to bring to light the impressive day-to-day routines of mothers everywhere. Needless to say, the emotional connect, coupled with the timing of the campaign, worked very well.
By following the four-step checklist, any marketer can bring his/her own blend of innovation, while using fundamental theories for effective video marketing — your new secret weapon.
By Priyanka Shroff
The author is COO, Digital Republik, India