Embrace video to tell your story

What has the YouTube generation taught us? My daughters (14 and 12 years old) don’t watch television, they enthusiastically follow YouTubers. More important, the website has taught millions they can find and learn anything from watching a video — I admit, I have used the site for a few home improvement projects. While it may be empowering to be able to DIY just about anything, the flip side of this trend shows there is not as much reading taking place as compared to the nascent days of the Internet. Quite simply, YouTube has taught a generation that it is easier to watch the message versus read it. 

This shift is so pervasive that Facebook is expecting its platform to become a streaming home for video in the coming years. Add to that the hundreds of research papers available sharing data that reinforces how valuable videos have become for marketing efforts. 

How does this relate to your business and what can you do to incorporate video into your strategy? Before you grab your smartphone or set up a camera, you may want to first ask yourself a few questions. 

Why am I doing this? 

It may sound like an obvious question, but it is most commonly ignored. Your answer should be strategic in nature, such as we have a new product to introduce or the need to demystify an issue. It takes time, energy and effort to produce a video so be sure you answer this question before engaging your team or agency. 

Look at Legos. This brand incorporates video to expand creativity while effectively showing the power of their products. From emails to in-store displays, the use of video — a blockbuster film helps, too — is constant and is one of the reasons the company has achieved significant growth in the past years. 

How do I want to engage? 

Visuals are extremely important to engage with customers. Dove’s Speak Beautiful campaign engages on such an emotional level that customers can picture themselves in the visuals on screen, which builds a relatable element. Combining the use of video with social media as this campaign did, strengthens the message allowing anyone to engage with the brand, male or female. 

Not all campaigns require an emotional context, but developing a relatable and engaging message produces significant value. Many companies miss this point and it impacts on success. 

What are my expectations? 

Setting the expectation is important for the initial discussions. Understanding how the final pieces will be used supports the production aspect so there is no guessing, which can save significant money during production. When we identify our expectations, we can plan and produce videos that are both message-driven and segmented for a variety of uses. 

More important, our expectation help us to realize our effort should focus on simple visuals that support specific messages, not trying to become the next Spielberg or Scorsese. 

Is the piece effective? 

Looking beyond the ubiquitous likes and shares lies a treasure trove of measurement elements that are often overlooked. If the piece is focused on an emotional message, what are the comments? Are viewers connecting with the message intent? For new product introductions, are people making purchases? Are viewers sharing your work? Do they find your message valuable enough to subscribe? Monitoring the results of your efforts will provide insight into your audience and assist with improving the quality of your future endeavors. 

Video marketing is extremely successful – 91 percent of companies responding to the Video Marketing Strategy Survey, say a video is the most effective tool. The visual aspect and connection built via video also generate significant engagement. In fact, 76 percent of respondents to an Animoto survey said their business improved as a result. 

As video becomes more universal, developing a strategic plan for success will help your audience listen to your message, actively engage and connect with your brand. 

This article was written by Chris Martin and previously appeared in TEQ Magazine.