The Decade Of Video Marketing…
2015 was widely touted as the year of video marketing, and the statistics certainly reaffirm that claim; I’m not going to get into the numbers here because I think it is already pretty clear to everyone in marketing, or even savvy consumers, that this trend isn’t subsiding. Anyone now not considering video as part of their marketing strategy is an outlier, a statistical anomaly being washed away by a rising tide of video content. But wait, isn’t being an outlier a good thing in marketing? Standing out from the crowd rather than following the herd? Setting a trend rather than jumping on one? Well, yes of course, but to set a trend you need to blaze a trail ahead of it, not be so far in the rear view mirror that you’re no longer choking on the dust of your competitors. With that in mind we’re giving our predictions of what will be trending this year in video marketing, what you can do to stay ahead of the curve, and how your content can remain current and relevant in an ever more competitive marketplace.
We’re pretty excited about the idea of being able to influence what we’re watching, and although it’s really nothing new in itself – I mean video games have been doing it for decades – it’s still a relatively new way to consume video, and it’s certainly not had its potential tapped yet. There have been some experimental films involving audience participation in forking story-line choices, and even mild use in advertising on VOD players, where it less involves influencing actions or story-lines and more on choosing content which may be of more interest to you; this feels like kind of a waste with the metrics already available to these companies to target advertising to the right demographics, although it is an extension of that, and if you do have multiple adverts, allows the best one to get to each potential customer.
So it has been around for a while yes, but it has never been as seamless as it is now and that’s why we’re excited. No interruptions, no buffering between scenes, and if you miss a choice or simply don’t want to choose it doesn’t pause and wait for you. What’s even more exciting form a marketers point of view are the metrics which are available from this sort of video content, because if there’s one thing we love more than creating videos it’s seeing the success of campaigns in tangible numbers. It opens whole new avenues for data gathering, offering potential consumers, or even current clients the choice of paths through a video really gives an insight to their psychology, and how they respond to being offered these choices. Having this information not only helps you to identify the needs of consumers, giving you a higher potential conversion rate, but it lets you see what people identify with most with regards to your brand, and therefore to tailor your future content to hone or alter this image as applicable.
Interlude have made it accessible and fairly intuitive to create your own branching stories with their free to use software, and we think that the surface has barely been scratched yet. You can check out some of the work already created on their website and judge for yourself, but we see huge potential given the right creative concept and clever design.
Although technically another interactive video type, the 360 video is slightly more common than the branching story-line one in terms of how frequently they trend, which I guess is mostly unsurprising. Although the video production process is slightly more prohibitive as special rigs and software are needed to capture and splice the footage, it can produce spectacular results when the right subject is chosen. Extreme sports are a great example, giving either an exhilarating ride along, such as on a skydive or flying a jet, or stunning scenery to enjoy, such as scuba diving or skiing.
To utilise this type of video you obviously need to be somewhat creative if you are not in an exciting or faced paced industry, and I’m not talking about how fast tech moves here. But I have also seen them very well used for more mundane videos too, such as selling property. It’s a great USP for an estate agent for example, especially one focused on high-end properties, to be able to offer what is essentially a virtual tour controlled by the potential buyers.
Social Media Video
This isn’t really new to 2016, but it isn’t always a priority when building a marketing strategy, and we think it should be. Lets face it, people spend way too much time on social media, ourselves included (although we call that research of course), and it’s how most media is now consumed. With the auto-play feature on Facebook you can actually reach people that would never even consider clicking on a marketing video. The key is to be short and to the point, stay on brand and get your message across in less than 15 seconds if you can. Start with something that catches the eye and stops someone scrolling past, and end with a call to action so that they can follow up if you hook them in, giving you the opportunity to convert.
Again this could fall into the social media video category, but we feel it deserves special mention because the idea and strategy behind it is really quite different, although the method of delivery may be the same. You need some following already to really maximise the potential of live video steaming, but it is a great alternative to webinars, tutorials, or Q&A’s. Although the content of your recorded webinar may not be stale, the delivery will often feel so to your audience; we certainly can learn a lot as a passive consumer, it’s why video is so great for marketing in the first place, but we do even better if we can interact. Imagine being able to get answers to your questions as they pop into your head, that’s what your potential customers can do if you are streaming live. Rather than having to get in touch with you and wait for a response, possibly losing you conversions, or in the very least slowing down the process, they are able to affirm their beliefs or find their answers immediately, and straight from the source.
The other benefit of live streaming is that more of your personality will come across. Small companies in particular thrive on the personal customer service they offer, and a (mostly) unrehearsed live Q&A really helps your potential customers to get to know you ethos, along with gathering the important information about your products and services they are looking for.
There’s certainly a connection between all these. We expect to see a rise in the use of interactive video in the near future, and we want to get ahead of the curve. Will it be a fad? Possibly. Like 3D, or even smell-o-vision, until it reaches a point were it supersedes the current enjoyment of consuming media it won’t become standard practice. But that isn’t ever a bad thing for marketing, like we said, blaze the trail and show others the way, when you’re a pioneer you’re going to get a great return on your marketing investment.