Why use video as part of your content marketing mix?
Video may form a strong part of your content marketing, but if not, this article explains how it will help increase the success of your next marketing campaign.
Let’s be honest, one of the main challenges facing all businesses and organisations is standing out in today’s crowded and noisy marketplace! Unless you are one of the few businesses that have a product or service that’s in constant high demand, or so niche that you are the only player in the market, you will understand this challenge. Having brand presence, killer marketing strategies, kick-ass sales teams, brilliant marketing funnels and a healthy budget for paid advertising, will make a considerable difference and go a long way to helping you achieve this. But I believe that if you have some if not all of the above in place and you do not use video, you are missing a vital tool to elevate you and help you move to the next level. I have written this article, for this reason and hope it will enlighten you about the benefits of video, how to use it effectively in your marketplace and how to create the right type of video for your next campaign. I will go over these different formats in the next few paragraphs.
Video is emotionally stronger, more engaging and offers so many more attributes above and beyond traditional marketing content, such as static email and direct mail marketing campaigns. It provides a powerful way to tell a story, resonating through tone of voice, drama and music and engages on an emotional level. Video content can help you articulate and explain your products or service in a clearer, faster, simpler way. It is more efficient and effective than any other type of content.
- 51% of marketing professionals worldwide report video as the content type with the best ROI
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users
- Views on branded video content have increased 258% on Facebook and 99% on YouTube as of June 2017
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
- YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet
There are many facts and figures available online, but I hope you get my point, professionally created videos work exceptionally well. It’s proven, tried and tested and they will continue to increase and outperform traditional marketing content.
In my personal experience, as a creative and when having discussions with marketers’, that haven’t used video, it is often seen as an afterthought or a nice to have. In reality, the value video content provides versus traditional content demands that video should be at the forefront of your content marketing.
We work with companies ranging from SME's to large global organisations, specialising in healthcare and tech. We are involved from the conceptual and planning stages, being very privileged to support some amazing brands and organisations that really make a difference in transforming people’s lives. Often the science and technology behind the products and services are complicated and this is where video takes on another dynamic. It simplifies the very complicated. The organisations that we have engaged with who didn’t initially consider video and then switched, have seen the positive impact video delivers. This includes:
- Stronger consumer attention
- Higher engagement
- Better retention rates
- Powerful emotional connections
- Increased conversions
WHAT TYPE OF VIDEO SHOULD YOU USE FOR YOUR CONTENT MARKETING?
Each style of video has its place and value, and all three can be blended together.
I think it’s pretty obvious what’s involved with live video. I will focus on motion graphics and animation videos and clarify the difference between the two styles. Both are animations in the sense they are both graphical images, with moving parts. Animations are best described in what Disney and Pixar (of course, the same company) do incredibly well. A series of successive images drawn or created in frames and when put together in a sequence, create the illusion of movement. It’s the same principle as a flick book.
Motion graphics is different from the frame by frame method of animation, having evolved recently with the development of computer-generated graphics. It’s a more illustrative and graphical in approach. The static illustrations, or graphics, are first created, and the elements are given specifically-timed movement to create the illusion of movement. Like animations, voice-overs, music and sound effects can be added to create a multi-sensory experience from beginning to end. Both types of video can be created in 2D and 3D. 3D videos are more complex, requiring additional effort and technical expertise, however the results can be mind-blowing.
Here's an example of a Motion Graphic explainer video we created for the team at Xynics. When we first engaged with Xynics, there was no plan to produce a video, however once we started unfolding their story and showed them how we could potentially create a video to enable them to simplify and explain their services and what they do so well, they were fully on board.
It is important to understand the purpose and outcome of the video before deciding on the type and length required. This also helps with budget allocation. Motion graphic and animations (or a blend of both) videos are best when used for:
The length of the video will be dependent upon the outcome. Always keep in mind, from a creative point of view, it’s harder to create a shorter video that captures the essence of your messaging, than creating a longer one. Keeping and holding an audience’s attention online, is becoming increasingly more difficult.
Content is king, irrespective of technological advances but it needs to be relevant, engaging and ideally provide solutions for your target audience. The beauty of video content, when placed in the correct platform, is that it's instantly measurable, providing an immediate insight and understanding of success. If your objective is to create a training or instruction guide, I would suggest motion graphics over an animation, as infographic by nature is excellent for clear instructional content. Again, be focused on creating the shortest length of video possible. However consider, or ask your agency to think about how you will retain the interest and engagement of your audience, whilst very clearly describing the process or procedure which needs to be taken by your user.
Instructional guides don’t need to be boring and the user will absorb and take in more information if the content is engaging. For example, working in Pharma and healthcare, we have produced a lot of patient guides over the years. We have always worked hard to push the boundaries in this space. Patients don’t necessarily want to be treated like patients. They want to feel empowered. They want empathy. They want to feel better. In my opinion, traditional medical instructional guides have not met these needs.
Now you are clear that video will help with the success of your content marketing plan, here are a few things you should consider when discussing and engaging with your agency in order to maximise ROI.
DEFINE YOUR GOAL
Some common goals are:
- Lead generation
- Higher engagement
- Data capture
- Brand awareness
KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Without knowing your audience you are unlikely to get your message to the right people. Start by asking yourself a few questions about your target viewer, some examples are:
- What problem do they have?
- How do we solve that problem?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What age are they?
Once you’ve answered these questions you can start to think about what kind of video will appeal to your target audience and where you are going to show it, in order to reach them.
CREATE ENGAGING CONTENT
The hard bit! People love to watch video but it has to be engaging enough to keep your audience watching. That’s where your choice of creative agency comes in. Make sure you research your agency and they can show and demonstrate their ability in this area of expertise.
INSIST ON AN ANIMATIC
Some people are unaware of what this is and some agencies don't use this in their standard practises. An animatic is an animated storyboard with music, sound effects and voice over added. It will give you a really good idea of how your video will look when it’s finished. Animatics helps you to refine or amend your story before you start the costly process of animation, helping you achieve the best results possible.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE VIDEO BE FOR OPTIMUM ENGAGEMENT
The length of your video will of course depend on the outcome you are trying to achieve. In general its proven that shorter videos have a better retention rate, but just because someone’s watching doesn’t mean that they will take any call to action. Focus on getting your message across quickly and concisely, NEVER sacrifice the quality of the message to shorten your video.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
It’s always tempting to try and cram as much as possible into your video but remember people have limited attention spans and as mentioned above you need to keep them engaged. You may want to tell your customers 20 reasons for using your product or service, but they will switch off or get information overload and you’ll end up with a costly, bloated animation that nobody has watched. 90 seconds seems to be a sweet spot for most animated explainer videos.
INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION
Think about what you would like the customer to do when they’ve finished watching your video. It could be a link to your website, a download or an offer, but make sure you don’t loose the opportunity to get the most out of the interaction and continue the conversation.