Online video has grown tremendously in the past year. It’s less a situation of “Let’s create a video” and more a scenario of “We must have a video”. But you, as a marketer, probably need numbers to convince you. OK. Here goes. Statistics show (comScore Video Metrix) more than 184 million US internet users watched 36.9 billion online videos in July. Video advertising in July totalled 9.6 billion video ads viewed. Happy now? So if online video content is in your scheme of things, here’s how to maximise its engagement value with your customers.
1. Brand Discreetly
Start with realizing that the video is to be watched by people. And most people dislike strong persuasion. Plus, there is an instinctive mistrust for marketing efforts. So instead of trying to hard sell and overuse your brand name, brand discreetly.
Look instead for engagement. Keep your audience involved with the content and get them to watch the entire video. Think more about the amount of times the video can connect with the viewer instead of how many times the brand name is used. The story matters more than the product. It should however support the brand and product.
2. Create a Strong Script
The audience has not come to the internet looking particularly for you. They are looking for anything that will hold their interest, give them information that they are looking for, or amuse them. Without a great script your video won’t be any good and you’ll be wasting your time. This has been proven time and time again with feature films. It will hold true for your brand and product video too.
Be very sure of what you want the video to accomplish, who you want to reach, and what you want them to do. Then take the time to develop and write an engaging video script. Well begun is half done.
3. Grab ’em Quick
Your viewer has literally a million options on the web. If your video does not grab people within the first 5-10 seconds they will move on. (Youtube clickable ads have a 5 second timeline.) The best way to do this is by creating an emotional connection -humor, joy or surprise. Long drawn-out stories can cause people to stop watching.
4. Know and Connect with Your Audience
The story you tell depends upon who you’re telling it too. You don’t really want to tell the story of a pimply 13 year old girl to an 80 year old man, do you? So defining your audience early in the video creation process will dictate the storyline and pretty much all other aspects of your video. Also, try to define when or in what situation the user will use your product.
This is how you will connect with your audience and make your video so much more effective than a blog post, Tweet or Facebook update. While the technical aspects of a video are important, what is vital is the connect you establish with your audience. Make sure that when your audience is done watching your video, they identify with your message. When viewers are finished watching your video, they should want to share it with their friends and feel that they need and want your product and/or service.
5. What Makes You Unique?
As technology becomes ubiquitous, it is also promoting the democracy of products – all products are being born equal. There are hardly any differentiators left. Plus the web is allowing every manufacturer and marketer to get their products out there. You need to put a spin on your product and its story to catch the audience in this world of “me-too” products. Some products and/or services may seem simple, boring or common, but try to create a twist to make it unique and exciting.
6. Be Creative
For a moment, shut your eyes and reflect. Which commercials do you remember? Obviously the ones that gave you their message in a humorous, emotional and creative manner. Follow this formula: Creativity = Memorability. Get a creative team together and brainstorm. Then brainstorm some more. Invest time to think creatively about your product and its video. It will pay you rich dividends in the success of your video.
7. Use Multiple Scenes
Having multiple scenes/mini stories is more effective than only having one or two. Old spice, Fevicol, Cadbury – these are great examples which prove that a series of short films is better than a single film.
8. Surprise, But Avoid Over Doing It
Surprise the viewer or even shock – it’s a great tactic. But please, DO NOT BE CRUDE. People will not share anything that is extremely graphic or crude. When people share content it needs to be the kind of stuff they are willing to be associated with They do not wish to appear insensitive or crude themselves.
9. Target Influencers
While shared content by people may get you a few views, the maximum views are for content which is shared by social influencers via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and email. Influencers have many followers and you are likely to get views multiplied many times over.
10. Invest in Quality Video
You don’t hook your viewer the first time, you’ve lost him or her forever. So, make sure your video is as professional as possible. DO NOT try to be Francis Ford Coppola yourself; you’re not. Hand the job over to a professional. And do not be stingy with the costs. A good video will cost some money to produce. Think of it as an investment and pay.
The story doesn’t end here. There are many more points to cover. But these should be a good start. Begin using these tips to create and push a great video. See the increase in your leads and sales!
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