Having A Video Marketing Strategy Is Critical To Your Business
23 October 2017When I wrote about the value of using video in marketing back in 2015, little did I know I'd look back on that post as the seeds of something that's snowballed into something much bigger.
At the time, I referenced stats that led me to pose a simple question: Why wouldn’t a company dive into the video marketing world? When nearly 90% of website visitors will hang out longer on sites with video than on those without, it was a prescient inquiry.
Fast-forward to mid-2017, and I’ve realized the question isn’t “Why wouldn’t you?"; it’s “Why aren’t you?”
I can hear the knee-jerk replies: "Video is too complicated." "It’s out of our budget." "It’s not relevant to our market."
With all due respect, such objections couldn't be further from the truth, especially when you consider innovative new options for video ad production and strategizing.
Videos Are No Longer Optional
Did you know the teenager next door probably has a better handle on how to expertly utilize video than you do? She has a YouTube following. She's an influencer among her peers. Clinks? Comments? She's getting them like crazy.
Yet you say your company can’t follow suit?
To help you uncover your brand's viral potential, as well as its industry niche, I’ve connected with Hope Horner. She’s the CEO of Lemonlight, a video marketing and production company that focuses on telling visual tales. Specifically, her organization makes incredible branded video content at scale for all types of clients. Horner's third entrepreneurial venture, Lemonlight, has been featured all over the web, and I decided to talk with her about how low-cost, high-quality video storytelling can boost your impressions and your brand.
Steve Olenski: Thanks for speaking with me, Hope. So can you tell me why it’s integral for companies to integrate video into their marketing strategies now?
Hope Horner: Brand videos today are what websites were 20 years ago. Instead of people searching sites and sifting through only static images, they lean toward those that contain videos. In a Demand Metric survey, almost 75% of marketers agreed that video is key to driving conversions. And some statistics indicate that on Facebook, a video post offers a whopping 135% greater reach than a post with a photo.
Videos are the No. 1 way to showcase your brand to your customers. They help you stand out among the crowd. Plus, they allow you to build an emotional connection with your audience and transmit the feel, tone, and details of your brand in 60 seconds or less.
Olenski: Why do you think otherwise-savvy companies neglect video on their sites and in their social media marketing efforts?
Horner: Traditionally, video was difficult and expensive to make because getting the location, licensing, production life cycle, equipment, etc., in order were all cost-prohibitive but required. You likely needed to hire an outside company to make a high-quality video, and it was hard to know which company would be the best fit.
All of this has changed pretty dramatically with the ever-evolving advances in video production technology. Today, companies of all sizes, including startups, don't need in-house expertise or resources. For $5,000 or less, they can have a stellar three-minute video. Regrettably, that word hasn't gotten around, which is why I'm such a champion of educating the public on the facts surrounding modern, economical video production.
Olenski: How does Lemonlight approach video strategy with its clients?
Horner: We offer a wide variety of options, so the most important thing we need to know is the goal of the video. Are you trying to engage more customers? Attract more customers? Where are they in the buying cycle? Do you need a how-to video for your internal team? Maybe a recruiting video? Or an explainer video to let people know what your newly launched product is all about?
Once we determine the purpose of your video, we explore the different styles of video: mini-doc, lifestyle (includes actors and locations), or animation. Once we outline the style, we begin diving into the more specific creative decisions as we journey through preproduction.
Olenski: Can you explain more about how you work with clients' specific goals and styles?
Horner: Absolutely. E-commerce customers want to feel a tangible connection to your products. That's hard to do without video; static images simply don't convey what it's like to use a specific product.
This video from HolaBird, for example, successfully touches on the sensory aspects by featuring representatives of the business's target consumers unboxing merchandise and using it. Visuals of tactile experiences like this help prospective customers get a feel for what they can expect if they purchase from HolaBird.
Another video that resonated with the target audience and moved the needle on the company's branding goals was this Sensazao video. Throughout the shoot, we focused on Sensazao's high-energy dance classes, which really appealed to the brand's prospective customers: young adults who are fitness enthusiasts. But that wasn't all — we also told the story of the brand to help viewers form an emotional connection with the business.
Olenski: After a company has a video, how can it best promote it? What distribution channels should companies be focusing on? Should they be producing with distribution in mind?
Horner: There are a lot of distribution channels available now — Facebook, Google, and television being among the most popular. At Lemonlight, we have found the most success for our clients on Facebook.
It's important to know where the ad will be placed because the platform will influence the video's performance. For example, a video on Facebook will likely run without audio, so you want to make sure to create a visually heavy video with text callouts. On Google, preroll is popular, which means the audience will have to watch for five seconds before they have the opportunity to skip your video. If you're running on Instagram, plan for a square video to maximize your viewing space.
Olenski: What can companies do to implement a video strategy without breaking the bank?
Horner: Seek out clear examples of exactly what you want your video to look like; then, shop around. A production company can likely give you a fairly accurate quote if you're able to show them what you're looking for.
Talk to several companies and see which feels like the best fit for your brand. Be sure to look for high-quality portfolios and not just a low price. You can find very inexpensive solutions, but the quality will reflect that. Ultimately, it will cost your brand a lot more if you publish low-quality content that drives customers to your competitors' snappier, more compelling ads.
@steveolenski is a writer who drinks too much coffee and knows a thing or two about marketing.
Steve Olenski CONTRIBUTOR
I write about advertising, marketing, media & all subgroups therein.
All rights reserved.