In this podcast we talk with Roop Sood, founder and CEO of Fifth Weapon, a digital marketing company.
The vast majority of people are visual learners, which is why video marketing is such an important tool in your arsenal. Video can be an incredibly impactful way of meeting customers on every step of the customer journey, ensuring you capture their attention and potentially influence their behaviour either in the short- or long-term. Video is a way of communicating a particular message, whether you want people to act immediately or to take away an impression of your brand which might make them more receptive to other forms of communication.
There is a real art to video making, however, and knowing what you want to achieve and how to achieve it are crucial. If you’re keen to the master the art of video making, there are a few simple rules you need to follow and pieces of advice which you should heed.
Know the level you’re at
Unless you’re turning over a significant amount of money, you’re not going to have huge amounts of cash to throw at a video marketing campaign. Big name brands have big budgets to match, and they are the ones who can pour money into slick, glossy productions which grab headlines. For smaller companies, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve.
Some of the most effective marketing campaigns for SMEs involve employee- or user-generated content which goes viral on social media, and you don’t need big bucks to get in on the act. Simple selfie-style video content can be just as impactful as any big budget production and can reach the people you need to reach, it all depends on the message you’re sending, how well you convey that message and how it is targeted.
Know your audience
Knowing who your message is aimed at is half the battle, so you need to spend some time researching your demographic and the social media platforms they frequent. Different social media platforms are suited to different types of video content. TikTok, for instance, is best suited to short, light-hearted videos, whereas LinkedIn is better geared up for longer-form, more professional content.
Millennials might gravitate towards Facebook, Gen-Z towards TikTok and older customers towards LinkedIn, so you need to study which age groups use which platforms the most and tailor your content accordingly. Knowing your customer and their preferences will ensure you target the right people in the right way.
Story-telling vs. Story-selling
While there are big differences between video production as art and video production as a marketing tool, there are also plenty of similarities. Both need to lay out a narrative which satisfies the human need for stories, namely a stage setting at the beginning, a problem in the middle and a resolution to round it off.
The building blocks of story-telling and story-selling are essentially the same. In both instances you provide a little background to set up the ‘plot’, then demonstrate the problem and show how your product or service provides the solution. A company selling oven cleaner, for example, might set the scene by showing the hard use an oven in a family home takes. The problem becomes the build-up of grease and other food which is difficult to shift, and the solution comes in the shape of the oven cleaner which can cut through the mess better than any other oven cleaner. In following this sequence, the company pulls people into a relatable situation and shows them how they too could solve the problem.
Understand the customer journey
In order to target your content more effectively, you need to know where you are meeting people on their customer journey. If someone has subscribed to you on a particular social media platform, then you’ve already won half the battle and the content you aim at them wants to have a built-in message which will affect their long-term interaction with the brand. Such content doesn’t need to urge them to do something immediately, but it should make them feel a certain way and keep them engaged with your brand.
Adverts targeting customers you haven’t yet won over will probably need to be more direct, as they’re at the start of their customer journey with you. Instead of a subtle, long-term message, this type of marketing needs to be immediate and include a call to action (CTA) which will prompt them to respond straight away. Whether that CTA is to subscribe to your social media channel or buy a specific product, it’s a straight-to-the-point way of making people interact.
Don’t second guess what will and won’t go viral
You may think you have the best video marketing piece in the world, but if it fails to connect with people then it fails full-stop. Even the most expensive and high-quality video can flop, however much money has been poured into it. At the same time, it might be the inexpensive selfie-style content which somehow captures customers’ imaginations and takes off, so never try and second guess what will work.
What matters in the end is the numbers. How you build those numbers can be very unpredictable, but once you know what your customers are tapping into, you’ll have a better understanding of what to put out there next time. If you can, gather feedback on what people liked and disliked. Combined with the figures, such comments can add real depth of insight into what people want to see.
Producing video marketing is an art, not an exact science. This is as much a case of trial and error as it is working with data and analysing your market, although that can only help in narrowing down your demographic and where to find them. In an ideal world, you’ll have an online presence across all different social media platforms and tailor your videos to suit them and the audience they attract.
As long as you can tell a convincing story, target people at the right stage of their customer journey and provide them with content of real value, you’ll build up your following and see a real difference in your sales figures.