Think back to your college years – Hours spent in the library, coffee flowing through your veins in a hopeless attempt to keep your eyelids open. All in desperation of finding sources to verify “truths” in your 25-page paper for a class you only took because it was required. The process of finding information can be tiresome and exhausting, and that is a reason why video marketing has been successful for many years. Information prepackaged for you, and when video is done right it is easy to understand.
With the high cost and singular distribution of TV, until recently video marketing had been standardized; a 30 second commercial that was either cute or funny in attempts to get the word out about your product or service. Today’s audience is more savvy and more difficult than ever to market to and may not think you’re cute or funny ad is that “cute” or “funny”. Millions are spent on commercials every year, including writers to compose brilliant scripts, actors to get the point across, and directors to mold the idea into reality, and so on. Sometimes the hard work and money spent pays off, but other times the audience is not affected (and you end up with a less than viral commercial).
Luckily, with the advent of internet video, millions do not have to be spent on video marketing. You can have an effective video to reach your target audience within a surprisingly reasonable budget. The new digital age of marketing is all about storytelling – video is perfect for this.
So how do you tell your story? Contemporary Creative works with many companies to help them produce their video stories, and here are our key components to effectively tell your story:
- What are your marketing objectives and who are you trying to reach?These questions apply to any marketing initiative, but for video these questions will determine what kind of video you want to create. Are you looking to increase sales young people? Create a video that is interesting to them. Are you looking to educate current customers on how to use your product? An animated how-to video might be the best approach. Whatever the goals are, make sure you think about those first, a video that is produced with no goal in mind makes it much harder to measure return on investment.
- Are your characters “characters”? One of the most important things people relate to when watching video is a personal connection. As it turns out, when put in the right situation, you and your employees are dynamic, memorable, and have something of value to say. But look beyond your employees. Your partners, vendors, and customers can give a unique perspective on your business and would probably be more than happy to participate.
- What is the story your business tells? While you don’t have to make Gone with the Wind, there should be some type of narrative arc to your video. It can be as simple as a tour of your facility where you make your product, or as complicated as that vampire musical you always wanted to make. What matters is the video needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Are you ready to rock? Music is an element often overlooked in video. The beauty of video is it is not only a visual medium but also an audio medium. Music can complements your images and makes your video more engaging. There are a ton of sources for cost effective music. Does one of your employees play in a band? He or she would be thrilled for the extra exposure.
- What do you want people to do? What is your call to action? So the viewer loved your video. Now what? You need to present them with a clear action at the end of your video, as well as in the text surrounding it (for example, the description section on YouTube). If you want them to sign up for your email list, tell them. If you want them to post the video on Facebook to share with their friends, tell them.
- You think we’re done? Now for optimization. There are too many different ways to optimize your video to go into detail in this blog post, but video is the perfect way to take advantage of search engine optimization and social media. There are techniques and strategies which include keyword research and video sitemaps. Stay tuned for a future blog post to find out more.
When you give your customers and potential customers a behind the scenes look, you show them the high standards at which you run your business. And, the best part is, you can produce something cute, funny, dramatic, musical, or however you wish to portray yourself as long as it is authentic. Audiences are smarter than ever today, but also more passionate about people and products they connect with. When you make a truthful connection, you make a new customer. So think about the stories your company wants to tell. Chances are there is an effective, engaging video in there just ready to be made!
About Alex Mechlin of Contemporary Creative
Alex Mechlin is a filmmaker and creative director of Contemporary Creative – a full service video production firm. Alex graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland with a degree in Computer Science. He enjoys directing music videos and documentary projects such as Music in the Air a documentary on Chicago Street musicians which premiered at the Siskel Film Center. Contemporary Creative focuses on helping businesses market themselves through video, by telling their stories in an effective and engaging way to optimize their video online.