Everyone knows a video is an ultimate tool in a content marketer’s arsenal, but 80% of marketers I have spoken to are clueless about going about making one. How does one decide on the narrative? Is there a way to simplify creating this digital video in a landscape, like a checklist or a set of questions that you ask before you decide the course? And once you do, how do you maximize the success of each kind of video?
‘A successful video combines story-telling and strategy to achieve results.’
Before we get started, we need to understand why we are creating content, by one definition:
‘Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience -- and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”’
If I were to pick a phrase I would pick: clearly defined audiences to drive profitable customer action. If any content is created without an end consumer action on mind, then the content is positively useless. Same goes to the video, every video drives action and has a clear purpose. A lot of clients come to me and I want to create an explainer, without having the remotest idea of why one is creating an explainer.
So how do you go about this approach, it all starts with the BUYER’s JOURNEY, this is a process that each buyer takes to become aware of, evaluate and make a decision about purchase a project. You can read a lot about it here: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/what-is-the-buyers-journey
In short, there are three eponymous steps of what a buyer goes through before he decides to buy your product and service
#1. Awareness Stage: A buyer realizes that he has a problem. If we take a doctor-patient analogy, it is like someone who goes to a doctor, knowing he has a problem but doesn’t know what the problem is. (TOFU - Top of the Funnel)
#2. Consideration Stage: A buyer knows that he has a problem and knows his problem well. Again, in the same doctor-patient analogy, it is someone who goes to a general pediatrician without a stomach problem, the doctor can now diagnose and decide a course of action or refer him to a specialist. (MOFU - Middle of the Funnel)
#3. Decision Stage: A Buyer makes his selection, In the doctor analogy, the buyer knows that he wants this particular medicine, explains his problem and asks for a particular course of action. (BOFU - Bottom of the Funnel)
Before you start deciding on your video or any content. You need to have an intimate understanding of your buyer, his problems across the journey. This is a non-negotiable precedent to move ahead. If you don’t have it yet, I suggest that you do it first.
So you have your buyer’s journey and know every problem that the buyer has across the lifecycle, so how does it fit with your video making. It’s simple:
Awareness Stage (TOFU): TOFU videos are designed to attract attention and drive traffic to your website and remind customers of your brand. THEY DON’T CONVERT
Consideration Stage (MOFU): At this stage, the buyer’s interest is piqued and he is ready to understand more about your product and service. THEY DON’T CONVERT
Decision Stage (BOFU): The video has to create a strong case for your offering, addressing final questions and obstacles to drive them to a decision. THEY CONVERT
Before starting any video, ask yourself this question: What is your video objective? In this objective, drill down to the problem that you have on the sales funnel. Understand where your churn is, are you getting enough leads, but not enough sales qualified inquiries? Are you getting enough inquiries, but clients aren’t converting? If you have a mix of products, you may have a smorgasbord of problems in the journey to address.
Videos at this stage entertain to entice and engage audiences, they don’t delve into deeply educating about the product or service. They are short and are striatum boosting. You want your audience to share them to more people to spread the message.
The production quality of these videos is great because your entire brand gets introduced in these shorts and they have to serve as a strong representation of the brand.
In short, these videos need to be designed for an extensive digital deployment, with native versions for each platform that you are deploying. Once these videos complete their organic lease of life, you will want to choose the best performing video and further expand its horizons using paid advertising.
While there are many videos including a brand story or an ‘in the moment video’ that makes the impact, we have chosen the Brand Shorts as a clear winner for its versatility and efficacy across different industry to create an impact.
Recommend Style: 2D Motion Premium/Flick
Target Duration: 15 Secs
Recommended Number: 3 (2 Minimum)
Estimated Budget: USD 8K
‘Making a Video is never enough, Always make sure it gets out to your audience’
Oscar Insurance Series
You have piqued interest of your audience, they have been sufficiently engaged and they know who you are. They find you important enough to give a moment of their attention to learn a more about you and why they should be interested in your product and service.
This is where a premium Explainer video comes to the rescue, Ah. Explainers the most misused word in our inquiry. An explainer is a special video that tells your potential client what problems you solve and how you intend solve them.
These videos are often used in the landing page of the website, as the initial brand shorts drive the clients to the website and these videos take over. A lot of people also recommend that creating a teaser from the main explainer as a brand short, while it is a cost effective idea, it is almost often hit and a miss in each case.
‘All Videos are not Explainers, but all Explainers are Videos’
Recommend Style: 2D Motion Premium/Flick (Character for Storytelling/Infographics for Abstract Ideas)
Target Duration: 90 Second
Recommended Number: 1
Estimated Budget: USD 5-7K
Google Analytics - Infographic And Motion Design Style Explainer
Intel ‘Tablet’ - Character Animation
In the Middle of the Platform, having someone influence walking through your platform (live action) or leaders sharing insight on what is next (Educational), the video will give them the trust they need to understand that you are the right doctor to their problems. The video will serve as tease for the asset and create hyped up excitement, without actually being pushy or salesy at all.
Each video is strategically designed to connect with one particular pain point, the content starts from analysing the different objections to the sales and working around creating a video series and a channel to build up the perceived value. This is great in a red-ocean industry, helps you stand out from the competition.
Recommend Style: Whiteboard/Infographics/Premium or below
Target Duration: 60 Sec each Max
Recommended Number: At least 3
Estimated Budget: USD 7.5K
Blue Cross Blue Shield (Educational Series)
Obviously at this level of the funnel it is critical that your potential customers have understood about your product and service. The videos above would give them enough information to start worrying about other variables. So at this point you are probably competing with a fair-share of vendors in the market offering different products and services.
This is a Video that actions to ‘Move the Needle’ is absolutely pertinent. The video will address final questions and mirrors the target audience. You need to live breathe and exist in the shoes of your prospective customer who will further up your perceived value and won’t worry about paying that extra $$$.
Testimonials with a single camera are passe’ so make sure you make them as exciting as they get (Read more on why here: https://b2w.tv/blog/animation-vs-live-action-part-1/)
Recommend Style: Motion Premium
Target Duration: 90 Sec each Max
Recommended Number: Minimum 1
Estimated Budget: USD 5K
Airbnb - Testimonial Stories
While this is not an exhaustive list of videos in a library, but these are absolute minimum must-haves in 2018, if you don’t it is imperative that you are creating a budget to get these videos out. You will be surprised that with a good understanding of the buyer, an agency of experience and a little bit of patience, these videos will pay dividends many times over.
While there are other video types that we didn’t cover and that is a topic for another day, but one video type came too close to miss the cut, which is a brand story for the TOFU.
Recommend Style: Flick/3D
Target Duration: 90 Sec to 2 mins
Recommended Number: 1
Estimated Budget: USD 9-10K
Brand Story- Erdos Miller