This year we were fortunate to sit down with some thought leaders in business video production and marketing. Below are some highlights of those conversations to help you develop your video strategy in the new year.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR COMPANIES JUST STARTING TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF ONLINE VIDEO?
Chris Savage, Founder and CEO, Wistia
Just like email marketing the key to being successful with video marketing is to figure out how to use it consistently and effectively as a holistic part of your marketing.
Be very clear about what you want the goal for each video to be. If you have too many goals for one video, that’s probably a good sign that you should be making more individually focused videos instead of one video with scattershot goals.
HOW DO YOU CURRENTLY USE ONLINE VIDEO? HOW DOES ONLINE VIDEO FIT INTO THE WORLD OF HR?
Brenton Williamson, Video Producer, BambooHR
I categorize it into four different areas:
First, video has been great for brand awareness. For people who have never heard of us, or if it’s their first time seeing us, video has become a good way to get a broader reach.
The second area would be brand validation. Once people come to our site and they visit the different pages, there’s a lot of video embedded – video of our customers, video of certain features of our software. I think that there’s a certain amount of emotional connection that comes from watching a video and it’s kind of like a window into your company. We use mostly our own employees for our videos and so there’s a certain bit of validity that comes when you’re able to get that intimate feel with your video.
Next, we use video to educate prospects, people who are interested in using our software. We use it to highlight features or do sales demos.
Finally, we educate our customers with video. In our help section there are loads and loads of step by step tutorials. We just recently started a “Hints and Tips” series where we give little insights into different ways to use the software or better ways to use it.
How should video fit in to a company’s content marketing strategy? When does it make sense to use video instead of something else (i.e. text, infographic, etc)?
Andy Crestodina, Co-founder/Strategic Director, Orbit Media
Aside from an actual face-to-face meeting, video is the most powerful format for any message. When you add body language and tone of voice to your content, it becomes much more credible. Put simply, text is weak compared to the strength of video content.
Video is important when trust is important.
So for simple, transactional products or services (like paper clips) you don’t need video. But everyone else needs a little video. Especially these kinds of companies…
- The product or service is complex or new, and needs a lot explanation (cars, startupcompanies)
- It’s a consultative sales process with lots of considerations for the buyer (customized products or services, like home building or web design)
- There are multiple decision makers and the sales team doesn’t have the chance to meet with everyone (enterprise buyers, like EPR software)
- The service is very high-touch (professional services, like attorneys and coaches)
Beyond these, almost every company should have video on their about page. Video is a critical step in the lead generation process. Leave it out and you’ll weaken your funnel.
This “about” video should explain the purpose and passion of the company. Without this video, people might know what you do, but they won’t know why you do it.
Write your story and they’ll know it. Show them a video and they’ll feel it.
What types of videos have been most successful for you during 2014 and what do you plan to do more of, or differently in 2015?
Eliot Brodsky, Sr. Manager of Enterprise Multimedia, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL, MT, NM, OK, TX
We created a wide variety of videos this year ranging from animation and screencasts to live action. We saw that relevant content and goal-driven strategy were much more instrumental to a video’s success than any particular style or type of video.
Timely and relevant content targeted to specific audiences has consistently yielded better engagement and clickthroughs. The vast majority of our most engaging (longest viewed) videos were short (around 1:00 or under) and were either lightly branded or unbranded.
We have also seen improvement in views and engagement with videos published on a consistent schedule, particularly if the videos were related (e.g. serials). Promotion and page placement are also key: our most-viewed videos were either promoted (paid, social media, email etc.), prominently displayed, or both.
At a recent Wistia conference, Mathew Sweezey (@msweezey) said that 25% of your audience will not engage with your content again if disappointed once. We are definitely keeping this in mind in 2015 as we focus on clearly defining the goals for each video and making sure that audience, placement and promotion are considered before production begins.
What tips do you have for other companies looking to start making web video content?
Shaun Hildner, Video Producer, Basecamp
Do it. Pay someone to do it. There are a lot of people out there like me. I never wanted to go to hollywood or do anything like that. I’ve even started to tell people “Oh yeah, I do corporate video”, which used to have such a terrible connotation and people would think “Did you create that video that taught fry cooks how to flip a burger?” I wish [laughs]!
It’d be hard to have more video content mess something up, how are you going to go that wrong with it. Just decide whether you want to hire someone on full time or contract a company, like Demo Duck, to do it. Depends on where your priorities are.
These are just a select few of some of the great words of wisdom that are out there. What are some of your favorite sound bites from video experts (or your own) that you think help shape the way you approach video? Share them below!