If the ancient Chinese saying of a single picture being ‘worth a thousand words,’ how many words do you think one short video is worth?
We’re talking about possibly thousands and thousands of words.
As powerful as the written word is in drawing emotions and calling us to action, video can be so much more effective than text content.
Video can produce an experience where the viewer is just swimming in a sea of different signals and suggestions all leading to the same place.
This isn’t just theory. This isn’t just some nice comforting idea that seems to make sense. It is actually backed up by actual experience. In survey after survey, marketing firms report a higher level of user engagement with video content compared to other media types.
It’s easy to see why video is so engaging.
Video can engage viewers through background music, musical score, background scenery, lighting-and we’re not even talking about the actual content of the message being delivered! That’s how powerful video can be.
If you are trying to take your online branding campaign to the next level or you simply just want to sell more products or sign up more service customers, listen up. The answer to your online marketing problems might actually be simpler than you think: you need to tap into the tremendous power of social video.
Social Video? What’s that?
Many online marketers “know” that video can engage their target customers enough to push them to buy. Sadly, when these marketers get around to actually posting up video content online, their videos just lie there.
Like lumps on a log, these videos don’t do anything. They don’t get views, comments, or likes. They don’t get shared. They don’t do anything.
What went wrong?
Too many marketers think that video marketing is all about creating videos targeting certain keywords. They upload the videos, tag them with the ‘right’ keywords, put their link in the keyword-targeted description of each video. They then rinse and repeat.
It is no wonder these videos fail to deliver traffic and sales. Unless you plan to create hundreds of thousands of videos this way, this is no way to do video marketing. You’re essentially just spamming Youtube if you do things this way.
Most marketers who fail to achieve success with video marketing failed because they did not focus on creating social videos.
Make no mistake about it-if you want your video marketing campaign to produce more than just hefty video production expenses, you need to create social videos. Follow the steps below so you can get a better return on investment on your video marketing efforts.
The Basics of Social Video
If we were to get down to the basics of what makes some commercial video successful while others fail, it really all boils down to this: You have to engage in storytelling with videos on social media.
You have to use your videos to tell stories.
That’s the bottom line.
Indeed, if you were to view most of the commercial videos in your niche trying to attract your target audience, you’ll quickly notice that these videos don’t tell stories or they fail to tell stories competently.
Effective video marketing is all about communicating your value proposition loud and clear.
Stories filter, draw, engage, and call your target audience to action.
Videos with no stories or which tell stories in a confused or ham-fisted way only end up confusing viewers. Sadly, confused viewers can be relied to do one thing and one thing alone: they don’t do anything and they leave your site.
Imagine spending all that time and money getting videos together, distributing your videos on the right social networks, and nothing happens. Talk about frustrating.
Unfortunately, if you don’t tap into the power of story telling, your videos will never be social. Viewers wont’ be engaged. They won’t want to share your videos. You just wasted your time and money.
If you don’t want your video marketing efforts to burn a hole through your pockets, pay attention to the steps below. This step-by-step guide will help you put together a video marketing campaign that has a high chance of putting dollars in your pockets.
Step 1: Don’t reinvent the wheel
Log on to Sociocaster and enter your niche target keywords and look at your competitors’ most viral social media. Focus on video content that gets the most social engagement (as measured by likes, shares, retweets, etc).
Take the time to study the most popular videos in your niche.
Do you see a pattern?
Are the videos are particular type? Do they feature interviews, ‘how to’ guides, testimonials, humorous topics, explainer videos, or do they tell you about what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ in your industry?
Video type is a very important clue as to how your videos should engage your target audience.
The fact that a certain type of your competitors’ videos are more popular on social media than others indicate that your target audience members find certain video story telling or messaging methods more engaging than others.
Resist the temptation to do things ‘in a brand new way’ and come up with experimental video. Sadly, much of that experimental approach simply fail. Instead, focus on the actual behavior of your target audience on social media sites and give them the story telling format they prefer. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Step 2: Be aware of different ways to tell a story through video
The most common reason why most marketers fail with video marketing is that they don’t know how to tell an effective story.
The good news is that there is only so many ways you can tell a story through video. Use this limitation to identify the story telling method that most resonates with your target audience and optimize it. That’s all there is to succeeding with social video marketing.
If you did step 1 right, you should be able to identify the storytelling approach that works best for your niche’s audience. The next step is to get a clear understanding of these different types work so you can maximize their effect when creating videos.
Please note that each storytelling type brings its own set of issues to the table. You need to make sure your videos avoid these issues.
Customer story/testimonial videos
Ask your customers to submit videos where they tell their stories about your product or service. This type of video persuades the viewer to buy your product or sign up for your service because they get a ‘real person perspective’ of what it’s like to use whatever it is you are offering.
Issues to be mindful of:
Many customer videos are so one sided and so positive that it is obvious that these videos are commercials and ads. Viewers might not find these authentic and discount them altogether when trying to decide whether to buy your product or service.
Pick customer testimonials that are realistic and don’t have the slickest production values. This ‘gritty’ and unpolished approach sheds a realistic light to your brand. Since these video aren’t overly negative, your brand can benefit from the much welcome dose of ‘realism’ they bring.
Your personal story videos
Tell your personal story. Narrate an event in your life that led to your business’ formation or why you offer the services you offer.
The big advantage of these personal narrative videos is that they serve to put a personal face to your business. Your potential customers discover that there is a flesh and blood person with emotions behind the online brand they are interacting with.
Issues to be mindful of:
It is too easy to go overboard with personal story videos. Remember that the focus of these videos should be your brand. It is never about you. You might get all caught up in trying to be a Youtube celebrity that your brand suffers.
When your stories focus too much on you instead of your brand, your target audience confuse you with your brand and this can lead to distorted brand engagement.
Be very selective of the stories you tell. Make sure they involve your brand values and make sure your stories directly and quickly lead to your brand’s overall value proposition.
These videos tell the story of how your company was formed or how your company solves problems. Done right, documentary videos help build credibility because they highlight your company’s problem solving skills and strategic thinking.
Issues to be mindful of:
You target customers are always thinking of ‘What’s in it for me?’ Keep that in mind. They don’t care much for business jargon or supertechnical stuff that you may be obsessed about. You might be so wrapped up about the technical details of your operations that your documentary video might look more like a training video or technical specification video. This can turn off your intended audiences big time!
Keep the video simple by talking about simple concepts. Try to keep things as basic as possible. Focus on how your operations produce direct benefits to your customers. Avoid mentioning jargon or industry gossip or technical news if you can avoid it.
Interviews can help communicate the industry credibility and authority of your company to your target audience. Interview videos featuring recognized authorities can create a context for your business which can impress your target customers.
Issues to be mindful of:
Make sure you target your viewers carefully with these videos. If your viewers are already familiar with certain niche industry figures, interview videos can be very effective. However, if you are a business-to-consumer business, these interviews won’t help you if the interviewees are too obscure or the topics they talk about are too esoteric.
In fact, it’s too easy for these videos to turn off your audience members if they feel the interviewees are talking a ‘foreign language’ or ‘talking above’ their heads.
Interview only known or famous individuals. Keep the topics simple. Make sure whatever the resource people say are directly related to your brand and what your brand offers.
‘How to’ Videos
These videos teach the viewer how to do something related to the service or products your business offers. These are instructional in nature.
The big advantage of how to videos is that they establish in the minds of your video’s viewers that you know the ins and outs of the particular problem they have. How to videos build credibility and authority quite quickly.
Issues to be mindful of:
There is no shortage of ‘how to’ videos on youtube. Sadly, most of them don’t make any money for their creators. Why? They give away everything. There is no mystery. Potential customers just get the information and leave and don’t get around to ordering from the company that created the video.
Make sure you highlight why viewers should buy from your company despite the fact that your video teaches them to solve their problems. Maybe they can save time and money by ordering products and services from you instead of doing things themselves? Maybe you have a better way of doing things?
Whatever the case may be, you have to make it clear to the viewer that he or she should consider what you’re offering.
Step 3: Brand your video… HARD
Now that you know which video your target audience members prefer and how to avoid the issues posed by that type of video, the next step is optimization.
Put simply, you need to brand your video viewer hard with your video. Use a watermark. Mention your website at least once within the content of the video.
The point here is that your video should be clearly identified with your brand. Viewers must walk away with the clear impression that this video isn’t just floating around on Youtube but was produced by a specific company regarding a specific set of issues.
Step 4: Build a list with your video
While some people have been known to buy products or hire services right off a video, for the most part, people require several engagements with a brand for them to take action. This is where list building comes in.
First, tell your video viewers to sign up for your video channel or click like on your facebook fan page. This enables them to know of your video updates in the future. Next, always ask them to sign up for your mailing list.
Using this double-barreled approach, you increase the likelihood of getting your brand in front of your target customers enough times that they end up putting money in your pockets through a product purchase or service sign up.
Video marketing can be very frustrating. It is all too easy to come up with tons of videos and have none of that content contribute to your bottom line. The good news is you don’t have to settle for mediocre results. By simply getting a clear idea about the different types of videos you can make and how you can workaround common issues these videos have, you can increase your likelihood of getting the results you want from your video marketing campaigns.
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