Now, more than ever, consumers want advertisers to speak WITH them, not AT them. A disconnect has formed between advertisers and consumers, because…
consumers feel as though brands aren’t really listening to them
that brands don’t really understand them
that brands aren’t willing to adapt their products/services based on consumer feedback
So, the way in which companies approach commercials and marketing videos has to shift. This is illustrated well in a short video that we posted to this blog last year, entitled The Break Up. Based on this change in attitude and behaviors, marketers and video producers have to be more focused on providing viewers with an experience. Tell them a story. The old marketing strategy (shove your product front-and-center and brag about how awesome it is) isn’t effective in drawing viewers in. Don’t misunderstand: There’s still a place for showcasing all that a product or service can do for a consumer, but companies have to be a bit more creative in how that message is communicated.
Even before YouTube, BMW was already buying into this strategy by creating a series of short films, starring Clive Owen as The Driver. Each episode featured Clive Owen driving a BMW vehicle, but the car wasn’t the focus of the story. The car was simply IN the story. If you had taken the BMW out and put any other car in, each episode still would have worked. There’s a reason why ancient philosophers, prophets, and teachers used parables to instruct; it’s because people learn and retain information best through stories. Think about how you can utilize storytelling techniques in your own videos to market your company, products, and services.
Brands are really starting to embrace interactive video content, which gives viewers options of what they would like to see while the video plays. It’s an excellent way to boost consumer engagement, while increasing the amount of time a potential customer spends with one particular brand. Video producers and marketers are not only interested in video views, but also on completed video views. Recently, Coca-Cola Germany released this interactive video for Sprite Zero. It features a skateboarder launching himself off of a ramp and doing tricks while in mid-air. However, viewers have control over which tricks they want to see. By using keyboard keys 4 through 9, viewers can skip certain tricks, replay others, and create a customized sequence. It’s interesting to note that the producers chose to minimize branding, because, “[We] wanted the focus to be on the content and interactivity.” So, how can you incorporate this kind of video content into your marketing efforts to draw your potential customers into learning more about your products and services?
One of the things I love about video is the way that it can engage an audience. Video consists of images, words, text, music, and motion pictures, all wrapped into one presentation. When executed just right, it captivates like no other medium. And motivating an audience to slow down, spend time with you, and listen to your message will help to create a network of enthusiastic customers, eager to support your brand.
In today’s social media climate, time is the greatest currency you can have. Think about it. Consumers have access to more information than they ever have before. So, companies need ways to encourage those consumers to stop and spend time with their products and services. Because customers want to do their research. They want to get to know a brand. They want to have conversations. They want a forum in which to discuss their needs. And video can create that level of engagement by generating discussion and conversation.
Consider this evolution:
The more you can engage potential customers/clients, the more they will talk about you.
The more they talk about you, the more your company’s name will spread.
The more positive things people hear, the more they will be inclined to spend time with you.
And the more time they spend with you, the more they will be inclined to buy from you.
It’s one thing to sell to a customer once or twice, but you want more than that. If you can capture a customer’s time, you will eventually create a following. And that group will become your greatest advocates. They will support you. They will bring others to you. They will sell your products and services for you. That’s what time can do. And video is a great way to get started.
Many of the videos we produce end up on a website. It’s a growing trend. More and more companies are integrating video into their online presence. Soon, internet users will expect to see videos on the sites they visit. In the September 4 issue of the Birmingham Business Journal, Haley Aaron writes about the popularity of online videos and the impact they have on today’s consumer. Below are some highlights from the article.
When local law firm Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris wants to share information about their company and cases they are working on, the company doesn’t just post a press release or add a link to their Web site.
Instead, the firm uses Web video to tell its story. It created short films that give a brief introduction to its lawyers, as well as information about high-profile personal injury lawsuits the company represents.
“We want people to be able to come on to our Web site and not just look at who we say we are, but really get a much better feel not only for the firm and the work we do, but also for the individual partners,” said Melanie McCraney, director of communications at Cory Watson.
Internet video is a relatively new medium, but Americans are spending more time watching it. According to a survey compiled by comScore, a Virginia-based research company, Americans watched a total of 16.8 billion Web videos in April, from Web sites and video sharing sites such as YouTube. The average viewer spent 6.4 hours watching videos online during the month.
While consumers look to web video for entertainment and education, businesses are discovering the advantages of using it to market themselves…
Even more importantly, the nature of Web video may allow businesses to reach a more engaged audience since viewers can watch at their convenience…
Companies interested in producing web video should consider their tone and message carefully before producing and uploading videos… While free distribution through YouTube and Facebook cuts costs, it’s important that businesses don’t place cost over quality when filming and producing Web video.
A well-executed video can have an incredibly positive impact on your brand and shouldn’t be the last thing you think of when planning your marketing strategy.