The world has gone crazy over video content—we’re consuming video materials at a frantic pace and in enormous amounts. The best indicator to demonstrate that video content has become a real trend in communication is the fact that the two major social networking providers, Facebook and YouTube, have been competing for the title of video hegemon for almost two years. No wonder that brands all over the world include this form of expression in their campaigns, and I’m pretty sure that in 2018 we’ll be able to see plenty of really effective examples of video content marketing activities.
It’s not like I’m going to reinvent the wheel by saying that people usually go for those forms of communication that require the least effort on their part. And video is such a form. Generally, we may say that actual activity of watching video is passive. And, as a result, when faced with a decision whether to read an entire folder of files or watch a movie, we usually go with the second option. So it comes as no surprise that specialists dealing with building efficient communications are using more and more video content in their marketing strategies. We don’t have to dig deep to find some great examples; it’s enough to take a look at Allegro’s strategy which was implemented less than two years ago and has been consistently implemented on YouTube since then. Who of us didn’t shed a tear when watching their holiday commercial with a Polish grandfather learning English?
How Can I Use Video in Communications in The Most Effective Way?
To use video content in your communication activities in the most effective and efficient way, you must answer one key question. And it’s not about trends, but rather on the purpose of your actions. The things that are trending right now are not always what’s best for you. So, before you start arranging anything—recording, looking for distribution platforms—first, you need to establish what is it that you want to achieve with video marketing. In this piece, I will show you three different video formats that you can use in a way that works. I will try to present each of these formats as plainly as I can, and I’ll also show you how and where to use them. Then, I’ll present some examples. Are you ready? Let’s go!
How to Make Talking Heads More Compelling: Video Testimonial
What characterizes testimonial videos? A testimonial is a recommendation which showcases celebrities or clients chatting on camera about how great your product or brand is. It may not sound particularly encouraging, but video testimonials can convince even the most unconvinced customer to buy your product or service. In an age where, we’re bombarded with over 3,000 branded messages each day, we’re not very willing to trust any of them. What’s more, we even tend to assume that brands are not trying to help us—they only want to make money off of us.
This is why communications itself has changed significantly in recent years, and—as described by Philip Kotler in his latest book Marketing 4.0—it is becoming horizontal, meaning customer-oriented. So it comes as no surprise that brands are increasingly choosing to replace the artificially created advertising message with one that is more authentic, somehow uttered by the customer him- or herself. This is where video testimonial comes in. Imagine that you bump into the website of a company that offers services you’re interested in. But instead of seeing a standard and rather unexciting statement saying, “Our firm has over 10 years of experience in delivering high-quality services…,” you come across video testimonials in which customers who actually used the service in question are telling you why they decided to use it in the first place and how it changed their professional or private lives. I’m pretty sure that seeing this would drastically improve your experience with the brand and influence your decision to engage with the company. This definitely works for me!
How to make use of this format? Video testimonials should be used wherever the customer who is looking for a particular product or service comes into contact with the brand. So, this will be primarily the company’s website. Also, you may, or even you should, have a YouTube channel. As you probably know, video content from YT may come up in Google’s search results. That’s why it’s worth to invest in video content marketing activities on YouTube. At the same time, I should stress that YT is the second most popular search engine in the world, and your customers will frequently look for your business on this site first, even before going elsewhere. Video testimonials may also be successfully used in the in the process of customer service, e.g., via email. When a customer asks about specific cooperation terms, you can send him or her a video testimonial instead of sending them a traditional description of a given service.
“How to…?” Video Tutorials Provide the Answer to All the Problems and Difficult Questions Your Customers May Have
What characterizes video tutorials? They’re expert materials showing viewers how to do something in a step-by-step video. The easiest way to explain what a video tutorial is is by referring to a food recipe. In this form, you can see what ingredients to buy to prepare a dish, and then you’re led through all the stages we must complete. This mechanism, however, may be used even when developing expert materials in the services sector or B2B relations.
How to make use of this format? Video tutorials are most often associated with the electronics, computer and beauty products industries. But according to my experience, tutorials can be used in virtually all lines of business. After all, if you know that people continuously look for answers to some of the most detailed questions, you can create video content which addresses these questions and thus give them valuable materials that additionally have the power to strengthen the relationship between the brand and its prospective customer. How to choose the right: baby stroller, TV set, insurance—these are just a few out of the many questions Polish people ask via YouTube’s search engine.
As Google claims, there are three elements that must appear in any video tutorial if you want to make it valuable and frequently searched for. First and most obvious, these materials must address the needs of your audience. Second, your videos must mirror the current trends. Remember that trends also match the different seasons of the year. Just before Christmas, we search for decoration ideas, and during the summer holiday season, we tend to search for stuff like tanning safety tips. And last but not least, the third key element of a successful video tutorial is expert knowledge. Everyone who runs a business is an expert in his or her field. A car dealership owner can show you how to change a tire in the middle of a road, an accountant will tell you how to fill in the VAT form, and a fashion brand representative will explain how to treat a stain on our favorite blouse. In the case of lengthier video tutorials that can be searched for by the customer, the best distribution platform will be YouTube. If, however, we’re planning on developing regular and short video guides in the form of tutorials, we may want to choose platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
What characterizes video reportage? Video reportage materials created by brands fit into the very expressive trend of storytelling observed throughout the recent years. These, however, are the most authentic stories as told by the brands, because they show real people. In 2017, I came across an awful lot of great examples of video reportage used by brands. What is particularly interesting is the fact that the majority of these films starred people I’ve never heard of before. And their stories are just unbelievable. From the perspective of effective communication, these stories are incredible, because they reflect the values and the DNA of the brand, and at times, these videos also show the products of a given brand.
How to make use of this format? Video reportage is such a universal video format that brands can use it in many points of contact with their customer. So it can complement your product site nicely. It can also constitute the key element of a narrative told by the brand via YouTube. The example below comes from the channel of a brand which markets equipment for people who spend much of their time away from home, e.g., fishing. Such reportage materials form the communications backbone of the YETI brand. On their website, you can find the tab “Stories,” where you can watch all reportage videos presenting the most interesting people in the US, who aren’t famous but are still doing amazing things. These stories can also be found on the brand’s YouTube channel. I have to admit, after watching one of those videos, I saw another nine, just devouring them all.