From web development companies to online pet shops, all businesses, be them large or small, can benefit from the power of video marketing. However, in order for your videos to succeed, you need more than a professional video production company behind them. What makes a video stand out from all the millions that are out there is personality as well as flawless execution.
Execution refers to filming and editing techniques – all the technical aspects that the video production company will take care of and that you don’t have to learn yourself. On the other hand, personality means crafting something memorable. Personality is what separates an average video from a fantastic one. It means aligning the video with your corporate culture to send a compelling message that attracts customers. And how do you that? Here are 15 starting points to discuss with your video marketing team:
1. Research your audience
Before starting to work on your video, ask yourself what the target audience is and then take decisions with that target group in mind. There’s a big difference in style and content between a video aimed at 40+ executives and a video aimed at teenage skater enthusiasts, so make sure you clearly define who the video is for. Know what your clients like and dislike, what they expect from your brand and why they used your services in the past.
2. Know your message
From beginning to end, your video needs to have a clear message. Why are you making a video? What are you trying to achieve with it? Do you want to promote the benefits of a new service, explain how a product works or perhaps thank clients for their loyalty? Answer these questions in advance and not only will the video be more effective, but it will also be easier for the video production company to create something relevant.
3. Find your format
No matter what business you run and who your target audience is, there is a video format for you out there. Whether you want to promote your brand with a short and funny video or with a professional one, each style is associated with a recommended format. For example, you can choose an explanatory, cartoon animated video to explain the features of a new product or a 3D interactive video to send them a customized festive greeting.
4. Consider the platform where the video will be posted
Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn and Instagram are different platforms with different audiences. A video that becomes viral on Facebook might go unnoticed somewhere else because it doesn’t quite align with the platform and its users’ preferences, so take the type to optimize the video format and story depending on where it will be uploaded.
5. Keep it short
The more time we spend online, the shorter our attention span gets – in fact, as short as 8.5 seconds. If you don’t capture the viewer’s interest in the first seconds, there is a high chance they will no stay until the end, so make sure you connect with the audience from the very beginning by stating your message clearly. Use bold colors, start off with a thought-provoking question or use bold graphics – but never wait more than five seconds to get to the interesting part, because few viewers have the patience to stick around.
6. Be unique
Looking for inspiration in other videos is a great way to make a video yourself. However, stealing is not. Even when you take inspiration from a particular style of video production or video editing, don’t forget to make the video your own and add a unique touch. You don’t want your branded message to be confused with another company’s message. First of all, this is risky from a copyright perspective and secondly, you want your video to stand and be memorable, not get lost in the crowd for being a copy.
7. Write a script – then polish it
Having a good script is essential for a well-made, successful video. If you work with a professional video production company, you won’t have to worry about this step – although you can always review their work and make suggestions when needed. However, what you need to know is that the final result might not always be 100% loyal to the scrip. The initial version might have minor alterations because the idea sounded better on paper, especially when you are dealing with human actors and real-world settings.
8. Focus on storytelling, not selling
The mission behind most marketing videos is to sell something – a product, a service or a brand. However, this mission shouldn’t transpire from every second of your video. Nobody likes watching pushy, infomercial-style video ads that force them to “call now”. Instead, encourage your viewer to become a customer by telling them a story. Present your message in a compelling and elegant way that doesn’t abuse sales language. Take them on a journey, use the influence of colors and sounds with subtlety and have a story behind every video.
9. Follow a consistent style
Another important trait of modern web-users, apart from the fact that they have a short attention span, is that they value consistency in brands. Change is good, but only when it is done gradually and based on careful market research, not just for the sake of change. Following this philosophy, make sure your videos have a consistent style, both in terms of format and in terms of technique. This will help you consolidate your brand image and familiarize viewers with your style.
10. Think about the thumbnail
If you are uploading your video on YouTube, you should note that choosing the right thumbnail is an entire process in itself and the number of views may depend on it. No matter if you decide to go with a still image from the video or create a separate image, make sure it sparks viewers’ curiosity. For consistency on your YouTube channel, you can create similar thumbnails that use the same font and graphics. And don’t forget – no clickbait. It’s a cheap trick to get views and it will affect your brand’s image.
11. Customize it
According to a Triblio study, using a personalized web experience leads to a sales increase of up to 20%, and a personalized call to action increases conversion rates by 42%. You can include customized videos in your email marketing campaign to thank customers for their loyalty, introduce them to a limited offer or persuade them to make a purchase. Why do customized videos work so well? It’s simple: because clients like it when a brand takes their time to make something just for them, and the message feels more personal and thoughtful.
12. Use the power of sound…
From soothing background music to energetic sound effects, sounds can set the mood of your video and cause a certain psychological response. For example, in a video about a life insurance company you might want to play an emotional tune that taps in the viewer’s empathy, whereas in a promotional video for an online casino coin sounds effects and lively music would be more appropriate. See for yourself how sounds can influence the mood in a video by asking your video production experts to use different soundtracks on the same scene.
13. …or optimize the video for silent playback
Sounds are important, but sometimes viewers choose silent feedback. On Facebook, for example, many users change their settings so that videos don’t play sounds, because there are a lot of ads that could become intrusive. In this case, you have to test your video; play it without sound and see if the message comes across as clearly or if it’s awkward and confusing. Some great tips for silent playback include adding subtitles or some key words in the video. Engaging visuals, in general, are great because they keep the viewer interested even if the volume is muted. BuzzFeed’s Tasty and Nifty are great examples of engaging videos that work just as well with and without sound.
14. Don’t forget about post-production
Even the best videos require a bit of post-production. Whether it’s to fix some technical flaws, enhance image quality or add video effects, post-production can polish the video, adding that extra touch to make it ready for sharing!
15. End the video with a call to action
The last seconds of your video are the best time for you to include a call to action, so don’t waste them. Include the company logo at the end and don’t forget about links to your website and social media pages. For some platforms, the end of the video can be personalized to include references to other videos. On YouTube, for example, you can add buttons to like and subscribe, as well as clickable cards that link to blog posts, websites, videos and other YouTube channels.