If you’re a marketer in 2019, you’re more than likely considering a way that video can help you. You’re smart. Video is a fantastic way of engaging with your audience, communicating a message clearly and memorably, and drawing attention to the product you’re marketing.
While current online trends lean towards visual poetry (like the video below), the most important factor of any video, and indeed any piece of communication, is story.
Homo sapiens have been communicating through stories pretty much since we developed language. The ability to create and imagine non-tangible things is what gave us an advantage over the other early humans who walked the earth with us thousands of years ago. Our earliest philosophers even communicated their ideas with stories of characters telling stories. Clearly this is a powerful communication method.
But still, why video? Video isn’t the most effective communication method for selling. In-person communication and word of mouth are still by far the most effective way of convincing people to act (reference book). However video isthe most effective mass communication method for selling. Combined with the Internet and a few well-placed pounds on ads, you can directly target a very specific audience with a very specific message and highly increase your chances of converting
But how does this all work? Video can seem like a daunting and massive project to manage, but this guide will hopefully shed a little light on how to streamline your process, or the process of your production company.
Defining a very specific target audience will greatly improve the quality of your story and your video. There really is no such thing as an average viewer, and the more specific you can be, the easier and clearer your message will be to understand. Really drilling down on this target audience is not only important for your message but for your production crew too. It will make the pre-production process much faster and more effective. There are three key steps you can take to define your target audience.
Articulate who you are
Defining what it is you offer, and what problem you’re solving will really help you figure out who your target audience is. This is really starting at the beginning. Asking “what problem am I solving” will benefit both you and your audience. By defining what you’re doing, it will make your goal clearer, as well as the message you’re trying to get across to whatever audience you identify.
Create a Customer Profile
After you know what you’re offering, you can start outlining who you’re offering it too. Who is suffering from the problem you can solve? What do they do for work? For fun? Who are their friends? What political views do they hold? What kind of TV and movies do they watch, or music do they listen to? Are they an outdoorsy type, or do they prefer relaxing inside? Adventure or comfort? What are their eating habits?
The more specific you get here, the more creative you can be with your message, and the more likely it is you’ll know how to say whatever you want to say. This specificity allows you to tailor the message right down to an individual level. Imagine an advert that speaks to you as an individual who is interested in the unique mix of hobbies and pastimes as you are. You’d be far more interested in the product.
Engage in Conversation
Go to places that are already reaching your target audience, and engage in conversations there. There are multiple benefits to this tactic.
It’s vital research. You can learn here about your target audience’s needs and wants, and whether they match up to what you identified. Engaging in conversation this way allows you a unique insight into what your target audience is thinking and feeling. Invaluable information.
Potentially more importantly, your target audience also knows you. Whether online or in person, this is akin to the in-person communication we mentioned in the introduction. You’re paving the way here. Having this as your only method of marketing is far too costly in terms of time to be sustainable. That’s why laying the groundwork, and then following up with powerful, well-told stories through video is a killer tactic.
Remembering that your viewers are at different points in the buyer’s journey will also help you specify your message. Do they need convincing that they have a problem? Or are they already looking for a solution? Are they researching or are they ready to buy? These are all poignant questions, and your goal as a marketer should be to help your viewer move through this buyer’s journey to the successive steps.
We have defined four steps to this buyer’s process, though there are other modelsout there that you should check out. In this section we will define the stages, and afterwards we will move onto how to engage with people at each stage.
The Alien doesn’t know about your company or what you offer. They may not even know that they have a problem. These are the people at the very early stage of the journey.
This person has identified their problem, and is shopping for a solution. They’re willing to listen to you, as they can see that you might be able to provide value to them.
This person has made, or is just about to make, their decision to go with you. They’re willing to invest in you or your organisation.
The Raving Fan
Have been a client or a fan, and are willing to spread the word of your product or service.
Knowing these stages is a crucial step in creating specific messages for your target audience.
You’re now ready to craft your story. Here we can figure out the structure and format of the story. Will it be anecdotal? To the point? Or hypothetical? Is the scope wide or narrow?
Decide on one key message. Keep it clear, precise and remember that one video can’t say everything about you.
Saying more than one thing in a single video can dilute both messages, making each less powerful.
What’s The Shelf-Life?
The shelf life of a video is determined by its purpose. Some videos will be designed to sit on your website for a few years, some will be designed to last a month, or be designed around a specific event. Knowing how long your video will be relevant to your audience will help with the scriptwriting and the references that are dropped in.
The Oldie but Goodie
Some videos can be a timeless piece in your collection. They will be used on your website for several years, or internally for similar amounts of time.
Culture/overview – a description of you. Who you are, what drives you, your goals and ethos. This is an insight into daily life into your company/personality.
Explainer – an explanation of a crucial part of your process, product or service.
Content marketing – recurring information generated by you that serves as a resource for your audience.
Some videos will be relevant for a few months to a year in infamy, then fall out of fashion. This doesn’t make them a bad choice! They can be incredible for exposure, attention and brand building. Just look at EXAMPLE
Viral – you can’t really plan for this one. These catch fire online and spread super quickly.
Trend – focuses on a current topic with a new or unique spin.
Newsletter – recurring news material for external audiences or stakeholders.
Calls to Action
The whole point of having a video made is to motivated your audience into some kind of action. How do we do this? With calls-to-action tailored to your target audience. This can range from just taking a look at your website to purchasing a product or leaving a review.
Moving your viewer onto the next stage relates directly to the sales process. You don’t want to skip steps; otherwise you’ll lose them. For instance trying to sell directly to The Alien isn’t likely to result in a conversion. Below we’ve outlined some potential calls to action for each stage of the buyer’s journey that we outlined above.
- Offer another resource, like a download or a related video
- Ask to subscribe
- Invite to learn more about your organisation
- Provide contact information
- Ask to subscribe
- Establish emotional connection
- Compel to share
- Transfer excitement
- Invite to join mailing list or become member
- Compel to share
- Transfer excitement
- Offer to join the cause
What is my Sharing Strategy?
Is the video for a being shown once at an event? Or does it have a complex social media sharing strategy surrounding it? Outlining the planned implementation will allow the production company to tailor the video to your specific needs, allowing you to get the maximum return on investment.
Whether you video is internal or external, there are different platforms that will allow you to get the maximum reach or impact. We outline a few below, and are happy to expand on these further in a strategy meeting.
This is where a social media strategy is incredibly important. Getting the word out about your new video can vary from posting it on your social channels to designing a complex and dense content release schedule to build some awareness that you are producing and releasing a video. This can be content from the video shared in pieces, bespoke content created about the production or even bespoke content created to shout about the video!
This is a service we can offer as part of our strategy package.
It pays to brainstorm how a video is delivered even if you are aiming it internally. Having certain delivery methods will increase the watch time and open rates of a video.
Defining the success of your video comes from setting clear and measurable goals from the outset. Not doing this is a risky strategy, as you’ll miss out on knowing how effective your video was, and how big your return on investment was.
It really is that simple.
What results do you want to see and on what timescale? Sharing this information with your production company will allow them to ensure they employ the right storytelling and visual techniques that will allow you to achieve your goals.
Sometimes the things you are aiming for aren’t quantifiable, but they are still valuable to your brand image and growth. Think through a few of these things and decide on what you want your video to achieve.
Things you can put numbers to
- web views/video views
- click-through rates
- phone calls
Things you should still think about
- brand value
- audience engagement
Here’s a quick summary of what you should be thinking about.
Target audience– the specific group of people you’re aiming to reach.
Viewer context– where your viewer is in the sales process.
Key message– the clear point your viewers should walk away with.
Video shelf life– how long your video is intended to live online for.
Calls-to-action– what you compel your viewers to do in response to the video.
Sharing strategy– your plan for implementing your video and getting the word out.
Measuring success– your specific, quantifiable definition of success.
If you enjoyed this blog, check out our PDF on the same subject, which will give you a briefer overview of the same topics in a nice and neat document.
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