Video Marketing is an Essential Branding Tool
Starting a business today is very different than it was even just a decade ago — in essence, the demands keep going up. The internet’s vast toolbox continues to expand, and the businesses that most extensively and capably draw from those resources are the businesses that win. Don’t want to adapt to new paradigms? Unfortunately, your rivals do, so you don’t have a real choice.
There is a balancing act inherent to modern marketing, of course. It isn’t as simple as using everything in that toolbox, because no business (no matter how massive) has the financial or creative resources to achieve that. It’s all about knowing the options on the table and prioritizing them smartly to suit your specific needs and goals.
Of all the options currently on the table, video marketing is likely the most interesting. It isn’t new, but it’s changed radically during the internet’s maturation, moving from a product-centric tactic to something altogether more versatile. By now, it’s gone past being useful and earned a place as an essential branding tool for growing brands. Let’s look at why:
It can host almost any type of content
The most basic form of video ad is all about a product. Think of the type you’d see before a movie: here’s a product, make it look good, and push people to buy it. But video can do so much more. It’s great for behind-the-scenes office footage, talking heads, documentary pieces about clients, comedy skits, educational shorts, company updates… almost anything you can imagine.
If you’re unsure about the value of that, think about how broad e-commerce has become. Top sellers today use rich automation to offer their products across myriad platforms and channels while marketing relentlessly and at great scale. The more types of content you can provide, the better you can perform in all the different scenarios, and the more thoroughly you can take advantage of the chaos.
It’s the best way to show personality
I mentioned office footage and talking heads first for a reason: that type of content is extremely powerful, and not to be overlooked. Why? Because it allows you rich opportunities to show personality and humanity, something that matters enormously for ambitious brands. Simply having the best offers or the best service isn’t enough to win some people over — you need to earn their personal approval before they’ll buy from you.
That calls for a break from the stolid business communications of the past. Instead of sending out formal press releases and issuing measured statements, company managers are increasingly expected to address their customers directly and candidly. Storytelling is a big part of this, letting you showcase your brand is a way that feels real and organic to the customer.
The rise of interest in business ethics also plays a part in this — it matters to people that the brands they buy from are invested in operating ethically, and that’s much easier to gauge through video.
It’s practically platform-independent
When you create text content for the web, you need to make it sufficiently adaptable to fit each likely channel: it might need to fit in a social media post but also work well as a blog post, requiring you to create numerous different versions. This process is arduous and irritating, and often results in watered-down content.
Video, though, can be embedded almost anywhere from a common platform like YouTube or Vimeo, requiring no other alterations. Simply get the embedding code using a service like Embed.ly and add it to the post or page. Share it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, add it to your homepage — it’s up to you. This means that investing in high-quality video can really pay off, because just one video can do great work in numerous distinct circumstances.
Might you need to make minor alterations in some cases? Sure. Distinct platforms have distinct requirements when it comes to length, size and format (Instagram videos cap out at 60 seconds, for instance), but if you start with the full version of your video, it should be relatively simple to make those accommodations as needed.
It gets (and reliably keeps) attention
Getting people to look at your marketing content isn’t easy, and anything that’s easy to scroll past will struggle to stick out. Text is only effective when properly set up, and even bold images can start to blur together — but video (great video, at least) always sticks out. The movement inevitably catches the eye (it’s instinctive), and any audio just adds to the potency.
What’s more, video is sticky in the sense that it keeps people watching. You want people to stick around and commit more time to learning about your brand, and great video content will easily retain enough attention for your brand to leave a lasting impression. And by using annotation links, you can ensure that your other forms of content benefit as well.
It consistently provides great ROI
Even without all the other reasons, this one would be enough. Video converts in a big way if you use it correctly, and that’s the entire point. Given the availability of rich digital analytics, you don’t need to view it as a shot in the dark — you can closely follow everything from the site clicks your videos generate to how people watch them (e.g. at what points do they tend to stop watching, and what patterns are there to how they queue videos up?).
So you don’t need to like video marketing (you might vastly prefer sticking to text-based content), but if you want to be competitive, you do have to value it. Ready to start working video marketing into your strategy? Start discovering what exactly this flexible form of marketing can do for your brand today.
Rodney Laws Bio
Rodney Laws is an e-commerce platform specialist and online business consultant. He’s worked in the e-commerce industry for nearly two decades, helping brands big and small to achieve their business goals. You can get his advice for free by visiting EcommercePlatforms.io and reading his detailed reviews. For more tips and advice, reach out to Rodney on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.
Marketing Strategist and web designer at XL Consulting Group. Author of Fabulous Fempreneurship, a startup guide for women entrepreneurs.