Having a video marketing strategy is no longer an elusive claim to fame left only for those who can afford TV advertisements and big budget film crews. Living in an evermore-globalized marketplace means that businesses are now relying on visually tempting Internet dwellers to engage with their content – and thus their product – rather than using more traditional marketing mediums. The impact of visual marketing is being understood on a deeper level every single day, with Forbes predicting that 80% of your online traffic will be facilitated by video in 2019. With the rise of technology, the evolution of social media as an integral part of daily life, and the continuing need to visually draw consumers in using original techniques, it really is no wonder that business owners are starting to re-evaluate their video strategies. But how do we plan, implement and execute a strategy that really works in the modern technological world? How do we create not just a well thought out plan, but something that stands out among the overcrowded visuals of our consumer’s news feeds?
This article will look at not just how you can plan a good video strategy, but how you can plan an original, eye-catching and ultimately successful video campaign. After all, a good 90% of consumers agree that product focussed videos help them to make an informed purchase.
1. Understanding Your Competitors
Ah, the dreaded competitors. Every business has them. The silver-tongued, suited and booted, ready for business competitors that seem to dominate your target marketplace. But competitors themselves are often one of your most rich and revealing sources of information. These are the people that are targeting the same demographic as you, with the same product as you. So, take a look at what they are doing. Find out what is working for them, and what is not. Maybe they have created their own video campaign. Have they done it well? Which videos get more views, comments and shares? Which ones elicit more participation and engagement and on which platforms? Utilising your competitors campaigns will help you to learn from their mistakes, helping you to get better results, quicker.
2. Understanding Your Audience
It goes without saying that you need to have a firm understanding of your audience in marketing. There are many ways to do this. From A/B testing and polls through to asking consumers or simply putting yourself in their shoes, understanding your audience is both imperative and easy to facilitate. Here are a few things that you’ll need to consider:
#1 Age Demographic and Social Platforms
The macro-social categories (age, race, gender) of your target consumers are always going to play a pivotal role in how you not only compose your film visually but how you distribute it thereafter. If you are marketing a makeup brush for teenage girls, you will most likely target Snapchat. If you are marketing a new gin then you will most likely use Facebook. Take a long look at your demographic when considering which social platform to use for distribution.
#2 It’s About Them, Not You
The most common mistakes that we see in business video strategies is that they make an advert that is about them.
“This is us!” they shout, “look at how cool we are, look at our logo and our beautiful [insert product here]. Aren’t we amazing?”
No. Not so much.
How are consumers meant to relate that to themselves? We live in a world of self-indulgence and, quite frankly, if your video doesn’t tell your consumers about them, then your strategy may just fail. Tell your consumers how your product is going to help them, how it’s going to make their lives easier, how they deserve your product, should treat themselves to it and how their lives will be positively benefited from it. Your brand, product and business will emerge naturally.
#3 When Are Your Audience Active?
If you sell Christmas trees, then you are going to make darn sure that you aren’t releasing your sparkly new video content in late January, aren’t you? Make sure that you fully understand the contextual and temporal activities of your target audience. Here is an example of the way a recruitment company might use time-based audience information to inform their video strategy:
Recruitment Consultant: ‘Wow, I have noticed a staggering trend in the job market in January and September every year. More people must be looking for employees and jobs during those times’
Recruitment Marketer: ‘Really? Well, we have a new video strategy set for release in early December. Perhaps it would be more powerful to use it in January instead when companies and candidates are actively looking for jobs/staff.’
3. Platform Specific Content Creation
Having considered two of the main aspects of curating a successful video strategy – your competitors and your audience – it is now time to start analysing the specifics. What platforms will you use, and how will you creatively make use of the affordances of said platforms? With websites and social media being the most common distribution channels, it is easy to see the importance of knowing the affordances of each one.
Each social platform provides us with different affordances. A few examples are outlined below:
- Instagram is primarily a visually focussed platform, with images – most often of high-quality influencers, photography and popular culture – taking centre stage.
- YouTube is a video-centred platform ranging from homemade movies and advertorial content to music videos and informative discussions.
- Facebook has scope for videos, photos, descriptions and other multimodal marketing opportunities such as the creation of memes, infographics and gifs.
Here are Some Questions to Ask….
- Which of these platforms offer the best range for what you want to create?
- Which platforms are your audience more likely to be on, and when?
- How will you access the right communities within these platforms?
- What will benefit your customers during their buying experience?
A company selling protein shakes, for example, may wish to access the vast health community on Instagram by releasing short 30 second videos of people working out or drinking their shake. A tech and software provider, on the other hand, may want to release ‘how to’ videos on YouTube that inform their consumers while simultaneously selling their products. Alternatively, a small brewery might start engaging with a more global enterprise by posting product videos on Facebook.
4. Staying in Line with Your Brand Identity
During the genesis of a brand, you are moulding, creating and crafting a key set of elements that you will funnel across multiple platforms, in different mediums and through several genres. This means instigating consistency, relevance and familiarity. Unfortunately, inconsistent brand identity in video strategies is a mistake that a lot of companies make. The excitement and possibilities that come with video production can lead marketers to run away with themselves. The new tools available such as of colour, lighting, narrative, voice-overs and music in videos can make it all too easy to stray away from your brand’s identity. Make sure that you make your content recognisably you. Otherwise, you run the risk of your audience having no idea what the video is about, let alone that it is connected to you. Take the example below:
Brand Identity Example…
Product: As a luxury Gin living local to Exmoor, Northmoor Gin provides pubs, bars, restaurants and individuals in the local area with first-rate premium gin.
Video spec: The brand wanted a video that showed off the Gin’s lavish taste, while simultaneously exemplifying its grassroots character.
Sticking to Brand:
In order to coincide with Northmoor Gin’s brand identity, we made sure that we captured the essence of their homegrown characterisation through shots of Exmoor and the surrounding area. As the gin’s logo is a stag, we incorporated shots of stags into our video. We paired these with close-ups of crystallised water running down the edge of a glass, as well as the swirling mixture of a traditional gin and tonic. We stuck to the woody, earthy aesthetic of the gin through our consistent use of colour, while the music and close-ups generated unification with the luxurious aspect of the brand’s identity.
What You’ll Need to Consider
It is easy to see how marketers can get carried away with the resources that video supplies. There are so many different aspects to play with. From which shots to get and whether to have a voice-over, to colour grading, music and logo, there are so many different elements that one could include. But creatively selecting these elements, and tailoring them to your brand identity, can be the difference between a successfully recognisable or overcrowded and confusing video. Here are some of the key elements that you need to include to keep your brand identity cohesive during your video strategy:
- Colour and Aesthetic: Brands have a colour scheme and a company aesthetic, see if this can be matched and kept consistent in the videos you make. While it is great that video gives us the opportunity to really play with visual aspects, keeping the content recognisably yours is really important for your audience.
- Logo: If you have a particular logo, then use it in the video. Don’t edit or change it for the video. Make it easy for your audience to recognise you.
- Voice over: Having a voice over is great and it can be an effective way of informing your consumers, but make sure it fits in with your brand and style. If you have a chatty style in written communication, then try to make it more casual and fun in your video. If you have a more informative brand, then make it more professional.
Sticking to your brand identity is a huge part of creating a successful video strategy. Straying too far can lead to confusion over your brand, or a lack of recognition from potential consumers.
5. Other Things to Consider
There are so many things that need to be considered, analysed and decided upon during the video strategy process, and having a basic understanding of your audience, competitors, platforms and brand are just a few of the main ones. But here are a few alternative methods of consideration that may get your creative juices flowing.
#1 Advertorial V’s Emotive
A lot of the best marketing these days is not explicitly advertorial. This means that, contrary to traditional forms of marketing that state ‘buy this because…’, new marketing has taken a more emotive route. By capturing an emotional response in your target market, you are engaging them in a more meaningful encounter that will help build a connection between them and your brand. Ultimately, consumers are more likely to remember the video that made them laugh or cry than the video that just told them to buy something. Emotive content is a definite route to consider.
Thinking up a cohesive and strategic narrative, like emotional marketing, will allow potential consumers to understand not just you and your product, but how that product plays out in the real world. Whatever it is that you want to promote, a cohesive narrative structure will help your customers to engage with, and understand, its purpose in their lives.
#3 What is Trending Now?
Make sure that you account for the context of your video. If something is trending on a social platform and you think that your brand could fit into it, then go for it! Global warming and deforestation is a regularly trending theme on social platforms, so Iceland Foods recently created video content promoting their rejection of palm oil. This, of course, went viral. Knowing the trends and issues that are at the forefront of social commentary and subsequently showing your audience how you fit into these areas can be a really great way of drumming up the views.
#4 Considering Aerial Footage
Aerial footage is a great way to get truly astonishing shots. With the rise of drone technology and the popularity of aerial footage, this really is a great strategy to consider. Capturing scenery, city life or a particular geographical location relating to your product will help your target audience to better understand who you are. In a recent snowboarding video that we created for Maserati, we utilised drone footage to highlight the geographical significance of the video (a frozen lake in St. Moritz), while simultaneously gaining more comprehensive and aesthetically pleasing footage.
Getting in the Professionals
Gone are the days of silver-tongued businessmen running the video and film industry. Now, every man and his brother can shoot a movie, though not necessarily a good one.
Ultimately, creating a video strategy is a long, drawn out and comprehensive task. Creating a video strategy that actually works, gaining attention among the overcrowded marketplace of the Internet, is even tougher. This is true for both small and large-scale companies, whose in-house teams may not have the knowledge, manpower and creative means necessary to facilitate a successful video strategy. In these cases, there really is only one thing for it: getting in the professionals.
Here at OLCO Studios, we have a wealth of knowledge behind us to help you build, maintain and execute a successful, consumer-focused and results-driven video strategy for your business.
We have worked with a diverse range of clients, and have subsequently gained a breadth of knowledge about the conception, production, editing and distributing of video online.
If you would like to discuss any work, or even if you would just like some pointers and tips on your own campaign, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.