As a retailer, you might think that to market your products online, a website, social media, and some online ads are all you need. Well, if you haven’t tried online videos, you should definitely experience this effective form of online marketing. Online videos have been so successful at getting customers to purchase products online that retail giants have started using them to increase sales and conversions.
What are some examples of retailers that use videos?
Why are online videos so effective for retailers?
Videos make use of visual and auditory effects to present brand messages in a way that is easy for customers to understand and relate to. A well-executed video can be used to connect with customers through facial expression, body language, imagery, and music. In essence, they help customers “experience” a product in a way that pictures and words don’t allow for. Through videos, retailers can also reach new and existing customers by providing them information they're searching for. It is for these reasons that studies related to video marketing show that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after watching its video.
What are some types of videos I can use for my business?
While video commercials and advertisements are the norm, other more informative and subtle formats can be used to better connect with customers:
Okay, let’s get right to the chase. I'm not a fan of Like and Share campaigns. *GASP* Yes, there I said it and I mean it. I am not a fan of Like and Share campaigns. Wondering why? Well pull up a seat and please take the next five minutes of your life to let me tell you.
First off, as a digital marketer and an rule abider I would first like to point out the fact that Like and Share campaigns are actually against Facebook’s rules. Specifically, here is what Facebook has to say about Like and Share campaigns, “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted.”
I know, I know, people break the rules all the time so what's the big deal, right? Well, to be honest this first point is probably one of the minor reasons for me but I thought I should mention it because it is actually against the rules to run a Like and Share campaign. (This point mostly bugs me when I see other “marketers” running these types of promotions themselves or for other businesses. Just. Don't. Do. It.)
Yes, I can see why a Like and Share campaign could be appealing. Typically, you can put out a like and share post on Facebook and within minutes you have people sharing your business with your friends. You may be getting new likes and you're thinking, “This is great! So many people are sharing my post.” Yes, that may be true but (... BUT) who are the people sharing your posts? Are they your target market? Or are they the same people that share every giveaway post not because they actually have an interest in being a paid customer but because they actually just want someone for free. (And this isn't me bashing people wanting something free. Everyone loves something for free. This is me pointing out the obvious because it’s relevant to this message.)
There are benefits to running a Like and Share campaign. You may be able to touch enough people to get a decent bump in business. You do get the benefit of being one of the last 50 businesses that a person has engaged with (and therefore able to show up in their timeline with follow up posts since Facebook will integrate posts from the last 50 businesses a person has engaged with.) BUT… that takes me to my next point...
By running a Like and Share campaign you are essentially promoting Facebook spam. That is essentially why Facebook disapproves of them. They are interested in maintaining a level relevance in the content that is shown in a person’s newsfeed. After all, Facebook wouldn’t be the largest, most used social media site in the world if everyone had a poor experience while on the site. Not only is it faux pas to promote spam posts through “like and share” bait posts (that’s Facebook’s term not mine) but it can actually harm your organic reach in the long term. Here’s an excerpt taken from Facebook’s Newsfeed FYI blog , “Publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months. We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.” So although you may see an instant increase in your organic reach, you may be causing your business page more harm than good in the long run. (HINT: Daily posts filled with awesome content do wonders for organic reach. Just ask some of our happy clients!)
So next you need to ask yourself, how does this campaign align with my business goals? What is the best outcome I can receive from running this campaign and is there a better way the achieve these goals? This is important. This is actually one of the first things you should be asking yourself when starting a new marketing campaign.
What do likes account for any ways? You can't keep the lights on with likes. Likes don't pay the bills. Money does. Revenue does. And that is why a campaign's focus should always be based around that metric. Facebook has actually become tired of all the focus on businesses trying to attain likes and has recently started experimenting with eliminating the total number of likes from pages – not deleting them, but not displaying them, either. Some users and pages may find that those likes aren’t showing up anymore – and whether or not Facebook makes this permanent, it says a lot about their attitude toward likes.
But... but what about brand awareness?!?! Yes, you may see an increase in the awareness of your brand but there are so many more effective ways to attain long term brand awareness. The likelihood of you staying top of mind after the contest is done is quite small. (And again, we should remember back to the previous point that if your Like and Share campaigns will actually hurt your organic reach in the long run, then is there any real long term brand awareness benefits?)
Last but not least (and to me the most important point is), with a Like and Share campaign you are not attaining new leads or prospects. You need these in order to convert them into sales. Once a Like and Share campaign is done that's it. You may have new likes but even some of those likes will drop off as soon as the contest is over. What your business really needs are leads, new customers and repeat customers.
So am I totally against running giveaway contests? No, I’m not. The team at Jeronamo Solutions runs contests for our clients all the time. The main thing we try to do is run a contest with purpose. We run them with intent so that when the campaign is over we can have tangible results that our clients can be proud of.
Interested in running a social media contest or campaign? Schedule a consultation and let’s get a brainstorming session started.
With your video edited, the final stage of making a marketing video is deciding how to distribute it. No one platform is best for all videos; instead, you should choose the distribution method that best suits your target audience. Because of the abundance of websites for uploading videos, the selection may seem daunting, but fret not; here is a guide to the primary choices available right now:
The web titan is obviously the first thing that comes to mind. It boasts the highest number of viewers, as well as videos uploaded, and is undoubtedly the most popular video destination in the world. Uploading videos on YouTube is free and very simple, so it’s certainly a cost effective way to go. What's more, YouTube is owned by Google, so you are assured of its quality and features and perhaps even an influence in their search engine. YouTube channels also enable users to generate a fan-base and provide useful statistics. Lastly, YouTube allows ads and links to be placed on your videos. On the other hand, because of YouTube's large domain, your video might get lost amidst the millions of videos uploaded regularly. This means that your chances of standing out on this venue are not very high. YouTube is also infamous for the notorious comments left by viewers, and some businesses do not want to associate themselves with this. Nevertheless, because of its dominant standing, posting marketing videos on YouTube is almost obligatory. To expand your horizon though, you may cross-post in another portal and your website.
Vimeo is more selective with the videos they allow to be posted. The website shies away from television clips, video game footage, and music videos, and focuses on art and quality videos. This narrowed content aids in building a community that shares common interests and paves the way to creating long-term relationships with a common audience. The guidelines of Vimeo also strictly prohibit personal attacks and insults, so unlike with YouTube, there is almost no possibility of receiving crass comments. On the flip side, the focused content and numerous restrictions, including not allowing commercial content, might prevent your video from even being posted here. Also, because of their smaller audience, your video might not easily find viewership. Lastly, only the basic account, which allows 500MB of upload, is free; beyond that, you have to pay.
Metacafe promotes original, short-form video content, but they do get 40 million visitors monthly. Because of the short content (a Metacafe video averages only 90 seconds), full-length movies, television episodes, and news stories are not allowed. They're not as strict as Vimeo though; any kind of user is allowed to sign up, and the community of users can pretty much use the site how they want. The highest rated videos also get a cash reward, and they have a zero tolerance policy for defamatory material and comments. The downside of this site is its content limitation, both in length and genre. They also seem to focus more on video game content. Plus, compared to YouTube, their audience size is still relatively small.
These are just a few of the video platforms you can use. Remember, don’t limit your video’s audience by posting it in only one place. Make sure you also include your video on your website, as well as spread the word about your video through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
That’s it for the How to Make a Video blog series. We hope you found the tips useful and go on to make a viral video featuring your brand. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And, of course, if you’d like to meet with us, contact us and we’d be happy to work with you to create a video that makes sense for your brand and audience.
Even though the filming is done, the project is not yet over. Post-production in video marketing is all about putting everything together and coming up with an end product that demonstrates your message and meets your business goals.
Editing the Picture
Editing the video should be done in an organized manner, since it is a time consuming and quite laborious process. The first step of editing is importing raw footage from the camera and converting it to appropriate files for the computer. Always make sure that you create a back-up file of such footage for safety purposes. Then arrange the takes roughly into place. There are layers and layers of videos that should be gathered and brought together, not to mention trimmed and properly paced. These will include stock footage, retakes, talking heads, and even B-rolls (shots that do not focus on your primary subject). The painstaking task of frame-by-frame editing requires more than creativity and skill; the editing professional should have the utmost patience.
Incorporating Music and/or Voice over
To improve the overall viewer experience of your video, you should incorporate the appropriate music. Adding music to the video will make it more interesting, but you should make sure to pick the tune meticulously. If the budget permits, you can use an original track custom-made for your video. Of course, the alternative is to choose stock music. If this is what you decide to do, make sure that copyrights have been secured to avoid infringement issues. Not all videos require a soundtrack; if you do use one though, just make sure it highlights the theme of your video. If the video content calls for a voiceover or dubbing, getting professional talent is a great choice. The voiceover could set the tone for the rest of the video, so, if you can, hire professional voiceover talents to do the job. Lastly, the use of sound effects is optional, but adding them astutely could make the audience more engaged in the video's message.
Aside from editing and the addition of music, finalizing the video also entails adding titles and credits, color correction, and the use of graphics and/or special effects. Try to keep the video no longer than a minute to keep in step with the maximum attention span of viewers. It is also advisable to introduce the company name within the first 30 seconds of the video. The video footage should be edited into a draft and reviewed before finalizing.
Make sure that the person in charge of editing is familiar, or better yet, an expert in using the editing software. Stitching together raw footage into not only a comprehensible story, but a perfectly executed marketing strategy, is a significant step. If executed correctly, you’ll produce an attention-grabbing and crowd-pleasing video that delivers the intended value or call to action.
Once you've created a video you're proud of, it's time to share it with the world. Learn more.
All that planning and preparation will take you to this: the actual production. The day of the shoot is when everything you've conceptualized will finally materialize. First and foremost, production entails filming. With your storyboard, shot, and production schedule on hand, you have a multitude of guides on how the filming should go.
Here are some tips to guide you in the video production stage:
1. Safety First
Upon arriving on the video location, make sure that all safety concerns are addressed. The necessary contacts, scripts, and equipment should be handed to the crew, and everyone on set should know the location of the first aid kit. To keep the cast and crew safe, also make sure everyone knows the do's and don'ts of handling equipment. Beat Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.) by ensuring that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency.
2. Final Cast Call
The video's success is reliant on the talent you have, so get the actors to relax before the actual shoot. Make sure that they are well-rehearsed and take time to ask them about any last minute questions and concerns they may have so they can be addressed before production.
3. Audio Tests are Crucial
Testing your audio equipment before shooting is a smart move. You should have an audio technician check prior to filming and cover all the bases: microphones, recorders, camera feed, batteries, playback, volume levels, and even background noise. This will help you avoid a great amount of delay.
4. Lights and Setup
Lighting is highly determined by your setup, especially whether you're filming inside a studio or outside in open daylight. Outside and inside filming will have their own set of challenges, so knowledge on lighting is quite essential. If you're shooting outside, consider doing it during the golden hour, which is in an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. Weather changes will greatly affect your shoot, so check the weather forecasts ahead of time. Indoor videos, on the other hand, necessitate the use of artificial lighting.
5. Camera Setup
The quality of your video will depend heavily on the images and action captured by the camera. Cameras should of course be fully charged and working well, and tripods should be solid and leveled, as they will be used heavily during production. The director will determine the settings of the camera by adjusting elements like white balance, exposure, grain and video quality, and frame rate. You might also want to use the Rule of Thirds, wherein the camera relies on reference points for good framing.
6. Lights, Camera... Action!
Finally, it is time to shoot. The first couple takes might not always go well, but, gradually, you’ll get the flow of things. As long as you have the script, storyboard, shot list and production timeline, you have all the guide you need to keep track of the filming and determine if it is going according to plan. Take note that shooting multiple takes may come in handy in case anything wrong goes with the original takes.
Once you got all those shots in, you're ready to create your video. Read all about editing.
Once you know your objective, audience, budget, and timeline, it’s time to get creative and organized. In the second phase of video marketing, you’ll be preparing to start filming. This will involve organizing the logistics of video production, including script writing, creating storyboards, production scheduling, determining your equipment needs, finding locations, lining up your talent (including the cast and crew), getting supplies and props, as well as selecting wardrobe. As you enter this phase, remember, the best defense against unforeseen problems and delays is planning.
Below are some tips on how to make the most of your preparation:
1. Get your script and storyboard prepared before anything else.
Since in the strategic planning phase you’ve already determined the purpose of your video, the next step is to conceptualize how you’re going to convey your message. Now’s your chance to get creative and think about how you’ll tell your story and demonstrate why your brand is best. You’ll be thinking about the type of video you’re creating (for example, product or how-to), the speaker(s), and the best way you can share your message and engage your viewers. After drafting a few versions of your script, if you are not confident with what you’ve put down on paper, you may want to get professional input. This will likely come with an extra cost, but it may be worth it since your script will be a major part of your production. Next, you’ll be creating your storyboard, which, despite what you may think, doesn't require you to be a talented artist. You can either use drawings or picture clippings to create the scenes in your script. A storyboard is crucial because it makes you visualize the scene by scene breakdown of the video; hence, you will have an invaluable guide on how the shoot will go and can make the necessary adjustments beforehand.
2. Construct a shot list.
A shot list is simply a detailed shot-by-shot breakdown of each scene. It is usually done using Microsoft Excel and creating a table composed of three columns: scene number, location, and detailed description. Unlike the storyboard which only presents visuals, the shot list points out the specifics of each scene, including what props should be used, how the camera lights should be placed, and the amount of crew members that need to be present.
3. Come up with a production schedule.
Creating a production schedule (or a shooting schedule, as it is sometimes called) will determine the overall production workflow and steer the process in the right direction. The schedule should list: location, scene or shot, equipment needed, people in shot, contact information, and the date and time of the shoot. Having all of these important details written down will help you track the flow of the production, manage expectations, target concerns, and coordinate with all of the people crucial to the success of your video.
Planning ahead of time and getting everything you need before the actual production will help you handle unforeseen elements like scheduling conflicts, scene confusion, location unavailability, or equipment shortage. Therefore, spending the necessary time on the pre-production stage can save you a lot of trouble down the road.
In the next blog, you'll learn about seeing the results of your careful planning. Read Part III.
Nowadays, marketers rely heavily on videos to create a buzz about their products, services, and brands. And why not? Video marketing is a highly effective and efficient method of delivering your message to the world. Most people would rather watch a video than read text. In fact, all over the globe, people spend more than 6 billion hours watching online videos every month. That's equivalent to almost an hour for each person on the planet. Another fun fact: video-sharing website YouTube is the second most used search engine, right after Google.
In this digital age, many companies use video marketing because it can be time efficient and cost effective. (Uploading a promotional video onto websites doesn't take much time and is often free of charge.) Although a video might be easy to upload, creating videos that engage consumers can sometimes be a challenge. There are 5 aspects of video marketing and they all require substantial amount of work. They are strategic planning, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.
This blog will outline what is required in the Strategic Planning stage:
Decide on Your Purpose
As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” Every video can’t do everything, and before you start writing your script, it’s important to decide what you want your video to do for your company. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” You can then pick one primary goal and generate a strategy from there. Examples of goals might include generating awareness for your brand or increasing sales of a specific product. Choosing your overall goal will also help you decide on what your message is. You can then tailor the video to communicate a clear and specific message to your viewers.
Define Your Audience
Not all video content is appropriate for all audiences, so you need to decide who your target audience is. Marketing campaigns often fail because they did not focus on their target viewers; hence their content seemed either irrelevant or too broad. Make sure that your goal of your video is aligned with the most important people in your business -- your prospective customers.
Building a buyer persona will simplify the process. To do this, determine the imaginary profiles of your customers by establishing their age, gender, income, and preferences. This will help you narrow down their wants and needs and anticipate what kind of content will be suitable for them. Moreover, once you’ve figured out who your audience is, you can decide on what kind of platform you will use to deliver your video to them, for example, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, blogs, or your own website.
Organize Your Budget, Timeline, and Marketing
Planning also involves budgeting for your video. It is important to decide on the amount of money you want to invest on this endeavor, because this budget will guide you it determining your limitations. Make sure that you also set a timeline. At this stage, you’ll mainly decide when you must shoot, edit, and distribute the video, and you’ll organize your production schedule at a later stage. Make sure you provide allowances to compensate for unforeseen events, though. You may also want to pre-determine your distribution and marketing strategy, which primarily involves how you are going to share and promote your video.
Ready to learn about planning your script and the logistics of your video? Click for Part II.
marketing can be a fantastic way of earning new customers, and videos are a
great addition to your content marketing mix. If you haven’t heard of
content marketing or don’t yet use videos, read on to learn more about how
content marketing and videos can assist you with your marketing goals:
What is content marketing?
What makes content marketing different from other forms of marketing is that it provides the customer added value. Content marketers believe that delivering consistent and valuable information to customers will lead them to support and trust the company who provided them useful content. Content marketing is not selling to consumers; rather, it is informing, educating, or entertaining them in the hope that they will buy a company’s products. What is important in this type of marketing is to give customers quality content – content that they are willing to seek out, pay for, and share.
What are some examples of content marketing?
Content marketing has gained popularity and traction among marketers and companies. Marketing leaders and experts agree that it is not only the present of marketing, but also its future. You will often see content marketing online on websites and social media. Examples of content marketing methods include infographics, articles, blogs, and podcasts. Content marketing does not stop there, though.
How can videos be used as content marketing pieces?
Most people would not think of the “The Lego Movie” as a content marketing “masterpiece,” but this box office hit effectively captures and promotes the Lego brand and weaves it into a story told in a fun, awesome, and enjoyable way. It tells, but does not sell, which is what content marketing is about.
Video marketing is basically using a video to promote a product, service, or brand. When used for content marketing purposes, videos often take the form of how-to videos, training videos, online tutorials, or promotional trailers. Video marketing is steadily gaining popularity among companies and brands for a number of reasons.
Why should videos be a part of your content marketing mix?
1) Videos are an effective way of communicating to consumers. They make use of the visual and auditory senses to present or explain concepts and ideas. This is why viewers who watch a video are more likely to retain information than those exposed to written or spoken media alone.
2) Videos appeal to consumers’ emotions. They make use of elements such as body language, facial expression, and music to connect and relate to viewers. Since people make decisions using their emotions, videos are a great way to access viewers’ psyches and influence them to buy a product.
3) Videos increase sales and conversions. Studies show that online consumers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video. The company Stacks and Stacks reports that shoppers are 144% more likely to add a product into the cart after they see its video on the product page.
4) Videos are highly accessible. Companies can post their videos on the company website or on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. That way, videos are not only limited to desktop and laptop users, but also on-the-go consumers who access the internet through their mobile phones.
With these advantages and many more, it makes sense to add videos into your company’s content marketing mix. Volvo Truck’s “ Epic Split ” video featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, for instance, garnered 70+ million YouTube views and 8 million shares online. This epic video boosted awareness for the brand and increased its customer engagement. It is great content videos like these that show achievable success through video marketing and encourage other companies and brands to start making quality videos to promote their products.
If you have any other examples of great video marketing success stories, please share in the comments below.
This is the first blog post in our Video Marketing training series.
With so many companies using online videos to market their products, businesses now have to contend with lots of competitors to vie for the attention of prospective audiences and customers. This is why just having a video for the sake of having one simply won’t cut it anymore. A video needs to stand out and offer value to its audience. With this in mind, here are some tips from video marketing experts that you can use to create your next great marketing video:
1) Have a clear purpose: Jennifer Jager, a Creative Director at Plum Productions and a Contributor at Entrepreneur.com , shares that most clients and companies consult her without knowing what to do with a web video. She explains that often companies want a new video for a website or a campaign but either have too many ideas for a 60-second video or they have none at all. They need to be guided to discover what they want to achieve with their video. Before you start throwing together a script or selecting the speaker, you need to understand the purpose of the video you’re creating. A rule to keep in mind is to be clear. Be clear with your goal. Be clear about who your audience is. Be clear with your message.
2) Know how to use videos online: Brenton Williamson, a Video Producer at Bamboo HR – the No. 1 online HR software for small and medium businesses, shares that companies can maximize a video by knowing how to use it online. He shares four purposes for online videos. First, videos are great for brand awareness, as they easily reach people who have not heard of your product or brand. Second, videos build brand validation. The videos that are embedded on the Bamboo HR website act as “the windows into their company.” Videos can give clients and prospects an idea of what your company is about and what you stand for. Third, videos educate prospects. Bamboo HR’s videos highlight their software’s features and advantages. Therefore, videos not only inform clients and prospects, but they also give them confidence in Bamboo HR’s products. Fourth, videos help retain and educate existing customers. Bamboo HR has hints and tips videos that help customers use their products. When you make videos to share online, follow Bamboo HR's lead and know how you will use them.
3) Provide compelling content: Instead of having a company CEO or VP talk about a product in front of a camera, companies can get more creative and tell a story. This need not be a company or brand story, but the characters should be relatable and go on a journey that viewers want to follow. Aside from storytelling, companies can also help customers or viewers by giving tips or hints, or show how to use, clean, or fix a product. They can also share new information related to your products or industry. When creating your video, remember that the more interesting, creative, and informative the content, the more it’s going to intrigue and help your potential customers. This means more shares and more conversions.
4) Invest in production: Have you seen a TED Talk lately? Although most lecture-type videos are boring, TED videos are compelling and fascinating. Although they last longer than music videos, TED videos have millions of views and are widely shared. What makes them successful is that TED invests in quality and production value. Chris Anderson, TED’s Founder and Curator, shares that they put a lot of thought into each lecture. They make it like a music video and play with lighting, camera angles, graphics, and audio mixing. This is all to say, when creating your marketing video, don’t skimp on production. Making a quality video may require the help of professionals who can add creative insights and solve production issues that come up along the way, but this will leave you more time to focus on what’s important – your strategy and message.
If you have video advice, feel free to leave us your thoughts in the comments below. And remember, if you need any help or advice with creating videos that are right for your company, feel free to contact us.