A successful online marketing video is a video that helps inform consumers and helps move more consumers further down the purchase funnel. Examples of this include:
- Videos that help build more brand awareness early in the purchase funnel that will later influence purchase choices the consumer will make further down the funnel at a later date
- Videos that inform existing consumers about new products and services
- Videos that help drive traffic to a company website where a consumer can learn more about the marketer’s product and services
- Videos that provide information that generates a call to action that leads to an actual purchase decision towards the end of the purchase funnel
Successful marketing videos are also entertaining videos that get watched often, get watched all the way through, and encourage consumers to share the video with other consumers.
Effective marketing videos can also serve an educational purpose such as showing a customer how to use a product or to troubleshoot a problem with a product that in turns leads to higher customer satisfaction with the company.
When thinking about what kind of video to make to support online marketing, it helps to consider the following:
- How to create video content that consumers will want to watch
- How to include content that leads to a call to action
- How to make sure that the video gets in front of as many people as possible who might want to watch the video
We will cover the first two categories above in this post and third category in our next post.
How to Create Video Content That Someone Will Watch
Before shooting a video, it is helpful to have answers to the following questions:
- Who is the target audience for the video?
- Will the point of view of the video be from one of the actors in the movie, a 3rd person narrator, or the person behind the camera?
- What are the key points/messages that will move the story of the video forward?
- Why should someone watch the video?
- How will the content in the video connect emotionally with the audience (use of music, something not seen before, inspirational story)?
- How can humor or other forms of entertainment help engage and keep the viewer watching the video until the end
- What do you want the audience to take away from the video?
When thinking about the messaging in the video, consideration should be given to making sure it is consistent with messaging and positioning in other marketing materials of the company. It helps to create content that puts the focus on why a consumer should consider your business over other similar businesses (“Why Us?”). The content of the video should cover the benefits your service or product provide to the consumer and less on what you do as a business or what the features of your product are. People don’t tend to watch web videos that are overly promotional in nature…a softer sell that is informative, inspirational, enlightening, educational and entertaining is better in most cases.
It’s important to keep in mind that web videos are most often viewed on a smaller screen than a TV…keeping this in mind will affect what types of shots are included in the video…for examples, shots of a big crowd will not be as effective as a close up shot of people in the crowd.
Web videos should not be too long. YouTube data shows that the average video on YouTube is watched for 2:38 minutes per viewer; while this is only an average and some videos are watched longer, as a general rule, you should target the video being in the 2 – 3 minute range and maybe 4 – 5 minutes if you have really compelling content.
It’s also important for web videos to engage the viewer quickly and not spend as much time as TV shows or Hollywood films might do in setting up the movie. Viewer patience is much shorter with online videos so you need to capture viewers’ attention quickly at the beginning of the video and then provide more context for the story of the video a bit later into it.
Marketers might want to consider creating two different types of videos for their web marketing strategy. Create a shorter 1 – 2 minute video to capture awareness on video sharing/social media sites that will help drive traffic to your company website, and create a longer 3 – 5 minute video for the company website that provides more content and is designed to drive conversion.
Finally, it’s also important to pay attention to technical aspects of the videos particularly audio and light quality. Both amateur and professional videos have a role on the Internet but it’s important that even amateurs learn a few of the basics about shooting, lighting and sound. There are many video-making tutorials on the web where videographers can find this information. There are also lots of tutorials about the art of shooting a video and mixing up shots to achieve the best effect. As a general rule, for example, it helps to shoot a wide angle shot to give the audience context, then use a medium shot for the audience to learn more about the specific subject of your video, and then shoot close up to capture the emotion of your subject.
How To Include Content That Leads to A Call To Action
First and foremost you need to create a video that people will want to watch. After getting over this hurdle, you want to think about what you can include in your video that will help generate calls to action that help move your business forward. It’s important to include contact information or a website address (or both) in your video. As a general rule, it’s important to include this information towards the front of the video since every video begins to lose viewers from the moment the play button is pushed. Many videos shows a website address graphic overlay throughout the video.
On some video sites such as YouTube, it is now possible to add annotations to your video that have specific calls to action (e.g., visit our website, please share this video with others) and in some cases actually allow the viewer to click on a annotated URL that will take the viewer directly to the company’s website. This will be covered in more detail in the how to leverage YouTube capabilities in future posts.