Marketing with Video & How to Rise Above the Noise

Your average scroll through your social media feed will only confirm what we’ve known about the human species since… well, ever: visuals grab our attention. We know this so well that we sometimes have to remind ourselves not to fall for it (i.e. “don’t judge a book by its cover”). But with this natural pull in mind, it’s no surprise that video is increasingly becoming the go-to marketing method, particularly on social media.

So, how do you use video to your advantage? And how can you stand out from the crowd?

The truth is, you have to treat video content how you’d treat everything else (written content, photo content, etc.). It can be easy to only think of a video as a stand-alone piece of marketing – and complete videos with a full story (news stories, commercials, interviews, etc.) can be just that – but just like the right photo, passage, or tagline, video can also be implemented as part of a larger picture. For instance, many business websites have begun to implement video directly on their landing pages, either as background imagery or as featured sections of the site (think of testimonials). As a result, businesses are seeing better conversion rates, as well as other benefits. [For more ideas on how companies are using video, click here.]

I must admit, I purchased a piano keyboard precisely because of effective video (and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t use it often enough).

If you don’t have seven minutes to spare, I’ll sum up the content. A keyboard connoisseur, if you will, spends the entirety of the video discussing his collection, and eventually plays the Williams keyboard. Only around the 5:15 mark does the video actually address the product. It seems lengthy, but in reality the video creates a purposeful and strong build-up of credibility in the musician that leads to a trustworthy conclusion about the instrument. It’s a strong testimonial, and it does better to display the capabilities (and quality) of the instrument than any short demo could do.

Why did this work on me? Because it resonated. The video was of a high quality (which reflects back on the quality of the product), they knew their audience (customers who were unsure of the quality of the product for the price), and it was genuine. The musician’s delight of the quality of the instrument mirrored the company’s desire to share it with customers, and it made the purchase of the keyboard more of a buy-in to their passion for music as a whole.

Viewers want to know that you care about whatever product, idea, etc. you’re trying to sell them, and that needs to be evidenced by the production quality of your video content. Does your video need to be able to win a short film fest? No. Do viewers need to be able to clearly hear dialogue of an interviewee (for example) rather than a blaring backing track? I’d wager so. (Will I continue to use lots of questions? Probably. Please bear with me.)

Now that we know what makes video content worth watching, surely the next question is how to stand out when everyone will inevitably be pushing video content. Some experts suggest keeping up with trends and tailoring your message, but I personally wouldn’t focus on trends (especially if that feels untrue to your brand). Chasing trends can lead you astray from your brand – or at least lead to eye rolls (or worse) from the very audience you are trying to attract. (Surely a quick search can provide examples of Twitter hashtags gone wrong.)

The honest answer is that if it resonates, people will spread it. If a viewer takes the time to watch something and ends up feeling it wasn’t worth their time, they won’t be checking out the next one. However, quality content that is engaging and satisfying will lead to its spread. If viewers connect with it, they are likely to share it with friends. After all, what’s better: reaching a wide audience for a short time with one topical post, or building a reputation amongst friend groups, peer groups, communities, etc.?

Finally, in a world of click-bait, don’t be that guy (or girl). If you have quality content that stands alone, give it the headline/title/caption it deserves.

If any of this is starting to sound applicable to social media in general, that’s because it is. While video is rising in popularity and setting competitors apart from those who aren’t up to speed, the audience is the same. We’re still visual creatures. The same rules apply.

And we can still see through disingenuous crap.

 

By Amber Schadenfroh, Business Major – IUPUC

As a part-time student, Amber is aiming to graduate with dual concentrations in Marketing and Management. While most creative fields garner her interest, she most aspires to someday work in the film industry.

 

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