For many customers, seeing is believing. That’s why 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
Videos can often be more entertaining and less of a commitment of time and energy than reading a web page, article, or other form of text content on the topic. If the video piques your customer’s interest, that customer is more likely to delve into company or product details offered through text-based web content and collateral, or make a call to a salesperson.
You’ll find a variety of video formats to help you show customers and others what you’re all about. Here are a few popular types.
- Brand videos: These tell your brand story, highlighting your values and culture. They can also help you identify your target audience through the lifestyle depicted. This example from Volvo is a bit long but well worth watching.
- Explainer videos- This type generally gives you an overview of a product, explaining what it does and why it matters, in two minutes or less. Check out the variety of formats in this set of explainers.
- Product videos – You can showcase the features, benefits and/or differentiating factors of a product with these videos. They can take many different forms, from 3-D animations showing how the various components of a product work together, to this celebrity video focusing on a product’s key differentiating factor.
- Training videos -These videos, used to train sales staff, partners and others, can take many forms, from talking heads to animated presentations to demonstrations showing people interacting with products and customers. As with this site’s examples, it’s OK to make them fun and entertaining as long as you cover your key points.
- Livestream videos: Businesses can use streaming technology to broadcast an event live over the internet (on social media, a website or elsewhere). Be sure it’s the kind of event that will attract a large and enthusiastic audience (and commenters, if comments are enabled).
How to Approach Your Video Project
We asked ETMGs long-time multimedia specialist and creator of the 3D animation video mentioned above, Seth Wilson, for a few pointers on how to approach your video, and what to avoid. Wilson says he has seen a resurgence in video over the past few years. This is largely due to improvements in video technology and the growing use of mobile devices and other platforms where people can consume high quality content.
Video content can be particularly effective in the early stages of the sales process.
“It’s easy to cover complex subjects quickly and consistently with video. It can take time to produce it, but it’s a real asset to sales teams who are trying to go out and pull in new customers or keep existing ones,” says Wilson.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to sell a product, tell the story of a company’s foundation, train new hires or help your sales team understand your product’s benefits. In terms of effectiveness, video can be the clincher,” Wilson adds.
To help you get started, or improve your existing videos, we’ve asked Wilson to share a few pointers on how to approach your video strategy so you can effectively engage, inform and even wow your audience.
Make It Personal; Avoid Templates
There it is: that easy-peasy video template. All you need to do is plug in a few lines of text or drag-and-drop your company images and logo to the appropriate frames, and Voila! You have a video. The only problem is that your video might look a lot like everyone else’s.
“There’s so much video content I see that makes me just cringe because they really haven’t made any effort to put a personal touch on their work,” says Wilson. “That’s not high-quality corporate communication.”
Invest in Quality
With the growth in the popularity of video and improvements in technology, viewers are becoming more sophisticated about what they’re watching, especially the B2B audience.
Wilson notes that, in this era of multimedia production, viewers are expecting great video content, but creating it can be a little more challenging than people realize.
“If the editing, direction, sets or the lighting is poor, or the script doesn’t have a good flow, or visual effects are low in quality–all that will clog your message and reflect on your company,” Wilson explains.
With the right equipment, experience and skills, he adds, your video expert can make even your most basic, straightforward talking-head explainer videos engaging and compelling.
“We can make these people look like rock stars,” says Wilson. “It’s pretty amazing. But it does take some forethought. It requires someone with an eye, someone who knows how to handle the camera and move it around in the right way.”
Keep Your Expectations Realistic, on Message and Within Your Budget
Wilson points to a common scenario in video production. “We get into this process of climbing this impossible mountain. The client will have this vision of something grand in their mind, and we really try to strive to deliver it on budget, but then the content becomes watered down with all this fluff. That gets in the way of the message,” he says. “So it’s important to make sure the content remains clean and consistent, and on budget, and doesn’t spin out of control.”
Most importantly, he says, understand that the video is a reflection on your company, its values and what it has to offer. Creating a well-planned, high-quality video makes your business, your product and people look good, and your message shine.
Great Concept and Footage Isn’t Enough
While having a great concept and amazing video and audio footage seems like it would be enough, you also need a dedicated team of project managers, creative experts, writers and marketing folks to ensure that all your objectives are met. Often videos suffer from creators trying to wear several hats at once. Identify the key roles in the creation of your video, and assign your best experts to each role. That will help ensure you create a high-quality video that meets your marketing goals.
By Julie Vallone, ETMG Writer/Editor
When writer/editor Julie Vallone isn’t blogging about marketing hacks, lifestyle trends and quirky little grammar tips, she’s turning complex technical concepts into clear, engaging content guaranteed to remove the knitted brow from your favorite technophobe. In her “free” time, she’s a dedicated stage mom, creating big, elaborate props and calming her resident thespian, or she’s busy at home herding way too many cats.