If a picture paints a thousand words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million, at least according to Forrester’s researchers. With more than one billion hours of video watched on YouTube every day, it’s small wonder 64% of marketers expect corporate video production to dominate their strategies in the near future.
Apart from its ubiquity, there are four main reasons why successful businesses invest in video marketing.
- Conversion. People are 144% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
- Engagement. Web users spend 88% more time on sites with video making it the stickiest of sticky content.
- SEO. Google prioritises video content, giving you a 50% greater chance of appearing on the first search engine results page (SERP).
- Measurement. Analytics allow marketers to track engagement statistic and behaviours, ultimately driving better ROI.
So the good news is that corporate video production can deliver big results, fast. The bad news is that everyone knows this. That means there’s a lot of video out there vying for the fleeting attention of an easily distracted audience.
A recent study showed that 5% of content pieces garner 90% of all content engagement. Consider that a moment. That means only 1 in 20 is going to be the success its makers hoped it would be. The other 19 are consigned to digital oblivion, ratcheting up a handful of Youtube views and a solitary retweet.
The purpose of this blog – and video marketing in general – is to help you elbow your way to the top of the heap. Here are six ways to help your video become the 1 in 20.
1) Have a clearly defined objective
Video is part of the marketing mix, it doesn’t exist in isolation. Make sure it shares the same visual identity and tone of voice as your other marketing communications, and that it’s helping to achieve a clearly defined objective.
Is the video designed to drive traffic to a web page or build an email database? Grow and activate your tribe or create buzz and anticipation around a launch? There are no right or wrong objectives, but you must have at least one and keep it in mind throughout the process.
2) Know your audience
Identify the people who are likely to have the most significant impact and help you achieve your objectives quickest. Know the influencers and the most passionate advocates who might share your video and help it gather momentum early on.
Now give them a face and put yourselves in their shoes. What are they like as people? What do they respond to? Are they cynics or sentimental, discerning or easy to please? Do they like cat videos or the Economist?
This is a crucial part of planning because it establishes your style, format and tone of voice.
3) Think Mobile
Smartphones are our most intimate possession: the last thing we see before we go to sleep and the first thing we check when we wake up.
Because we see them as an extension of our personal self and of our mind, we consider the things we watch on phones as more significant than those viewed elsewhere.
So we need to create mobile-friendly video content. 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound so include captions, or at least give viewers a reason to whack on their headphones. And consider shooting in a portrait aspect ratio rather than traditional widescreen.
4) It’s not me, it’s you
Can you grab someone’s attention in less than eight seconds? That’s how long the human attention span is now said to be. That’s right, less than goldfish – so get to the point quickly.
Your video should be about your audience, not your business. Show them something they didn’t know, or know how to do, and address the issues that excite or bother them, not you. Make sure the video has an emotional driver (e.g. FOMO or laughter) and weave it through the content.
5) Make it shareable
Not every video can go viral (in fact, 95% get the tumbleweed treatment) but you can give yourself a chance by thinking smart. In a nutshell, be short and sweet, be upbeat, be timely, involve the viewer, be informative and inspiring.
Give viewers a link to click on, a petition to sign or some other way to interact with the video. Have a clear message and try to provoke high arousal emotions, especially positive ones.
Think hard about why your audience would ever want to share the video. Most people are motivated by looking good in front of their network, so make the video unique, informative or funny.
6) Do your research
Watch a bunch of corporate videos. Have your competition made films about themselves and their products? Find out what you like and don’t like and make a list.
Think about the visual style you’re looking for. Cut out photos from a magazine (or use Pinterest) to show the kind of colours or lighting you like. Bookmark Youtube clips that tell a story in a way that you think your audience would like.
Now think of something you can provide that’s new. Different. Something bold or out of the ordinary. Something your audience won’t be expecting.
Finally, and most important, make sure your video has a clear call to action. What do you want the viewer to do as a result? It doesn’t have to be as obvious as a click-through to your product page, though that’s not a bad idea.
Do these six things and you’ll give yourself an excellent chance of being that magical 1 in 20. Do any of the following, however, and you’d be better served spanking ten grand on the horses.
No-no #1: Go on too long
Almost all corporate videos are longer than they need to be. A general rule of thumb is to cut until you can’t conceivably cut any more…then cut 20 seconds more.
No-no #2: Follow the herd
Time is precious. Peddle the same old buzzwords, acronyms and bland corporate guff and your audience will switch off never to switch on again.
No-no #3: Assume the viewer cares
Be humble, be hungry, be honest. Earn your audience’s attention. Just because you care doesn’t mean they do too. Give them a reason to lean in.
Video famously killed the radio star. In marketing terms it’s destroying all before it in terms of its potential to reach and engage a massive audience of potential buyers. It’s also good fun – shooting a video can create a real buzz around the office. But the real prize is making the 5% of videos that garner 90% of the audience share – now that’s something worth aiming for.
Simon Bates is Content Director at Touchpaper. Email him today to arrange a free content strategy consultation. Simon also leads a dedicated training day on Online Video Content & Strategy – you can check it out here.