A content and social media marketing specialist, Ben Jacobson joined the Lean Labs team in the summer of 2014. Ben has been active as a digital branding professional since the early days of social media, having overseen projects for brands including MTV, National Geographic, Zagat and Wix. His writing has appeared in Social Media Explorer, Search Engine Journal, Techwyse and the Mad Mimi Blog. Ben resides just south of the Carmel Mountain ridge in Israel with his dashing wife and two sprightly descendants.
Many marketers are known to plug away diligently on the big social media channels, but when it comes to video, they get intimidated. You might assume that video is expensive or beyond your abilities. In 2015, this is an outdated notion.
With today's quality smartphone cameras, DIY aesthetics, gig economy-driven talent marketplaces and free editing apps, video is both inexpensive and easy. All you really need is an iPhone and a creative idea, and you can start churning out awesome video for marketing purposes.
How To Use Video for Marketing
YouTube leveled the playing field so that startup brands can get their product directly in front of an audience without having to go through all the media gatekeeping middlemen who may or may not be interested.
The creator of the OraBrush, for example, was struggling to figure out how to market his tongue brush until he teamed up with a student who created a video with a few hundred dollars. A product demonstration that was set at a fair where OraBrush had a booth, the clip slowly went viral, and the product became a success. Now it's sold in major drugstores around the world.
Product demonstrations are fairly inexpensive to create, and they can make a big impact on viewers. When you make use of an event that’s already happening or set your video in a natural setting (such as your office, a park or a busy city street), you will save on expensive scenery and props. Instead of hiring an actor, find a customer or team member who is especially passionate about your product and can make that come through on film.
Laugh with Your Audience
Pranks are more or less universally enjoyed and can be a great way to market a brand. Putting people in an uncomfortable position and watching them react can make for great footage.
American Greetings accomplished this in a clever clip, where they conducted video interviews with potential candidates for a fictitious job. The interviewer described the most thankless job he could, leading the candidates to be more and more upset and flustered. At the end, he revealed that the job is held by billions of people around the world: moms. The reactions of the candidates are priceless, and the personal messages they send to their own moms at the end of the video pull at customers’ heartstrings.
This video was inexpensive to produce, since it was filmed in an office setting and there was only one real actor. It tapped into a theme that everyone identifies with and reminded people of happy memories. Use your video to tap into the emotions and moods that your brand represents, and take advantage of people’s genuine reactions to surprises.
Your Brand's Values in Different Formats
YouTube is not the only online video platform available to marketers. Vine and Instagram shorts can make a point in an extremely short time. Facebook videos have the advantage of playing automatically in people’s feeds, so if the intro is exciting, viewers will continue to watch.
For example, Target creates fun and low-budget Vine videos in which they make holiday or promotion-themed artwork from products sold in the stores. These videos are amusing enough, and they serve to remind customers why they need to go shopping at Target.
Look around your place of business and see what you can use to create a compelling video. Think beyond products and include amusing team members, interesting interior design or an element of your company culture. Connecting customers to your brand’s values or reminding them of their own values is an excellent way to market on video.
You Can’t Afford Not to Be Making Videos
Video marketing beats out many other forms of marketing online. People prefer video to text, and YouTube has almost as many searches as Google. It’s easily searchable, works well on mobile and helps you rank in the search engines. Conversions from videos can be as much as 35% greater than other types of content, and videos are the most shared type of content on social media. Let go of your video production perfectionist paralysis, and dive in with some fun experiments.