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Why Online Video Is Critical for Connecting with Customers

It took awhile, but it finally seems like Microsoft is developing a personality. And they’re doing it using online video. Between the new Surface ads, and their latest ad for Internet Explorer 10, “IE Sucks…Less” (below), Microsoft is successfully connecting with their customers in a meaningful way. The hilarious IE10 ad uses self deprecating humor to re-engage a disenchanted audience, and from all accounts, the strategy seems to be working.

From the years I’ve spent in marketing, I haven’t come across a medium (other than face to face interaction) that does a better job of “humanizing” a brand than video. Video is engaging, it’s personal, and it communicates in a way that no website, advertisement, or brochure can ever do. Video gives your company a voice, a chance to be funny, to be serious, and to let your customer’s see who you really are regardless of the industry you serve.

Wistia is a company that does this exceptionally well. Every week they’re coming out with new videos on their blog that give you a picture of who they really are and makes you feel a personal connection with their team, even if you’ve never met them or even had a conversation with them. They have fun with it, don’t take themselves too seriously, and share useful information that keep people coming back for more (and I can only assume, new customers signing up every week).

And while it’s far from a perfect example, here is a “behind the scenes” video we created to give our customers an inside look at how we create our videos. We get lots of positive comments on it, and it shows that we’re not just a website – there are real people behind Demo Duck (believe it or not, it’s not just robots…yet!) doing real, creative work. We turned on the cameras during a day at work and threw this together in a couple hours. The investment was minimal, and the return has been fantastic.

So what’s next? Here are a few takeaways:

  1. If you’re not in the game already, you need to take advantage of online video for your company. I don’t care if you sell books, serve waffles, or code software – online video is the best way connect with your customers on a personal level. And don’t tell me it’s not in the budget. You can produce a video in 30-minutes on your iPhone, or start working on an explainer video for less than $100.
  2. Don’t take yourself, or your company, too seriously. Connecting with customers means being vulnerable, putting yourself out there, and admitting when you’re wrong. Microsoft’s IE10 ad is a perfect example of brand humility. Wistia knows how to have fun while providing valuable content. Loosen up!

Have you seen a video recently that does a good job of connecting with customers? Please share it with us!

Written by Andrew Follett
Andrew is the Founder of Demo Duck, a video production agency. He lives in Chicago, loves startups, and enjoys traveling. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.