The best marketing videos work like a personal referral from a close colleague or friend—they kickstart relationships or remind existing contacts that you’re still competitive and relevant and ready to do business.
Let’s face it. You probably don’t have time to sit down for a one-on-one conversation with thousands of new business leads this week. Even if you do, a great digital video strategy means you can invest that development time elsewhere.
So whether you’re shooting it yourself or working with a production company or advertising agency, here are five creative strategies every emerging company should consider before they produce, shoot, and upload:
VIDEO STRATEGY #1: TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT
An Internet Retailer case study found that “customers who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than people who don’t view videos.” Whether you’re booking an overseas vacation or searching for a new phone app, trying it first isn’t just common sense, it’s a way-of-life for most shoppers.
One of our favourite “try it before you buy it” campaigns is Blendtec’s Will It Blend? series, which also happens to star Blendtec CEO Tom Dickson (see Video Strategy #2 below). Between 2007 and 2009, Blendtec attributed a 700 per cent increase in retail sales to this campaign. As of May 2012, their 119 videos have generated 190 million views on YouTube. Effective? You bet.
VIDEO STRATEGY #2: PUTTING A FACE TO YOUR COMPANY, PRODUCT, OR SERVICE
There’s no better online tool to show customers who works at your company and what it will be like to do business with you. Show some personality. For example, what’s more memorable: a two-minute product demo featuring an animated iPhone screen or a real person conducting a product demo while explaining why they can’t live without it?
The massive success of Old Spice’s “The Man You Could Smell Like” campaign is a testament to the power of attaching an attractive face (or mascot) to your brand. On a smaller/niche level, this quirky, wine industry-specific campaign by Gundlach Bundschu is an excellent example of the power of personification and giving a human face to an object or product.
VIDEO STRATEGY #3: SEX, TOILET HUMOUR, AND PUPPIES
Sure, there’s no guaranteed recipe for a viral video. That said, nearly-nude models, potty humour and baby animals almost always deliver one or all of the following: viewer traffic growth, an increase in brand exposure, and substantial online buzz. For an excellent example, check out last year’s viral parody by Smartwater (Jennifer Aniston’s “Sex Tape”). It generated 400,000 views in one day.
Scion IQ’s four-part donut vs. donut series (“Babes ‘N’ Donuts”) from earlier this year playfully blends a variety of digital video strategies while also serving as a clever product demo—at a much lower cost than casting Jennifer Aniston.
VIDEO STRATEGY #4: FEATURE VS BENEFIT
Our advice to emerging tech companies and tech startups: you will want to apply this strategy to your product demo. Your product or service may have the most jaw-dropping features in the world (intuitive, free-to-download, incredible design, low-monthly fees, etc.) but it’s the benefit that typically converts a potential business lead into a sale.
Does it save your customers time? Does it save them money? Does it increase repeat business by increasing customer loyalty? This is a where a well-thought out and carefully crafted value proposition will pay off big time.
VIDEO STRATEGY #5: INTERACTIVE VIDEO CAMPAIGN
Online campaigns where the viewer can directly influence the outcome or narrative of a video are few and far between—which is what makes them so memorable and special.
TippEx’s “A hunter shoots a bear” interactive YouTube campaign in 2010 received one million views and over 100,000 Facebook shares in just 36 hours. To date, it’s received over 35 million views online in 217 countries with an average viewing/brand exposure time of over five minutes.