What’s your video purpose?
Marketing? Advertising? Or communications?
Visual media, especially that with moving images or graphics is everywhere. On YouTube alone there are 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. The days of only four TV channels or ‘buffer-face’ are long gone. And with that comes opportunity. An opportunity to produce and distribute a video with purpose quickly and easily.
And you might be wanting to use video over other tactics as it’s easier for our brains to digest moving visuals over written text or spoken word. Especially if you have a complex subject you want your audience to understand. We spoke about making the most of your video in our last blog which focussed on production value. But it’s equally important, if not more so, to look at the purpose behind your video. What’s the strategy? Why a video?
What’s your strategy? Why a video?
Well, why not a video? We’ve know visual content is far easier for people to understand so why not video? And as a video production agency, we completely agree, video is powerful. But the power of video is that it can tell a story more easily than other media.
And that’s important to bear in mind. What comes first, the video or the story? Well probably neither and the aim comes first. What do you want to achieve by using a video? That’s a question we’ll always ask our clients: what’s the why behind the video? If the answer is just because we need a video, that’s still OK, as we’ll sit down and work out where the video sits in your organisation.
Is the video for marketing, advertising or communications?
What’s the difference in using video for marketing, advertising or communications?
At a basic level, there is no difference. You tell a story using video for your audience. But adding more purpose behind your video will increase its chances of success.
If we take marketing first. Marketing is part of communications and advertising is part of marketing. But let’s keep things simple. Marketing should work alongside your sales funnel to generate leads for your business or organisation. This might be in the shape of email sign-ups or increasing followers if you’re a public sector organisation. Or in more tangible leads if you’re selling products or services.
Using video as a tactic in the sales funnel
Video can be used as a tactic in each stage of the sales funnel. But by focusing on the aim of the video you can align it to your sales funnel for maximum impact. For example, your aim might be to raise awareness of your company. A corporate video telling the story of your company that is distributed across a range of channels would tell potential customers more than a tweet, email or page of copy could.
This might then turn into a series of videos that narrow their focus at each stage of the funnel. You might want to raise interest in the benefits of a particular university course once a prospective student is interested in your institution. Or you might want to target those prospective customers aware of your business with a product or service that is right for them. At this stage your purpose is telling the prospect more about something specific. An explainer video on a product or service, a case study video featuring testimonials or an animation explaining the detail could all work here. And all give a purpose to your video and help move a prospect through the sales funnel.
Finally, for decision and action stages, you might want to focus on an offer or a demo of your product or service. An academic institution might focus on a campus tour or a property developer on a walk-through of a new build. At this stage of the funnel, video has hopefully helped move your prospect through each stage by telling them about you, your products or services, your features and benefits in an easy and engaging way.
What if I’m not a salesperson?
If you’re not a natural salesperson another strategy to use is YouTube’s Hero, Hub Help model. It is aligned to the sales funnel and helps shape how you think about the purpose of your video. By thinking about a hero video, a hub section, and help content you can start to shape a strategy for any audience.
Advertising: the video comes first?
At any of these stages, one of your tactics may include advertising. Advertising is part of marketing but always includes a spend behind it. The benefit of advertising – depending on advertising tactic – is that you can target down in detail. This is likely to be one tactic where the video comes first over the story.
Why is this? Because we know moving visuals increase conversion. Data from Facebook advertisers suggests that this is as high as an extra 20-30% conversion rate compared to plain text and images alone.
That fact alone might mean that you decide you need to include it within your advertising campaign. And that’s before you’ve even thought about the purpose. And in this instance that’s ok. A good video production agency will identify the story of video for an advertising campaign.
This might be looking at slices from a case study video interspersed with graphics. Or turning a talking head into a shorter, snappier version with subtitles depending on where the advert is being placed.
For video advertising the purpose is more about where the video will be seen. A TV advert – despite being able to be targeted through Sky AdSmart to your audience – might be different to a drilled down Facebook advert and different again to a YouTube advert. The story is still important but where you are spending to promote the advert will impact how you tell the story.
Don’t forget the power of video for communications
You might be reading this and thinking that marketing and advertising are communications so what are these guys on about? You might also be wondering why we are writing rather than using a video? That’s because our strategy includes a range of tactics throughout the sales funnel. To get back to the first point, yes marketing and advertising are ways to communicate. But, to put it simply, communication is about sharing information. And this is where thinking about communications for your employees, or as part of your brand strategy can set a different purpose for video.
It’s clear that video can benefit how you communicate on a subject. And you don’t need to limit these subjects to your prospects. Training videos can be useful for employees – we’ve just completed one for Dettol as part of the Commonwealth Games – especially when your staff might have different reading ages, different first languages or receive information better when it’s a moving image.
Video can be incorporated across your business. During events, showcasing events, workplace learning, employee induction, health and safety, the list can be endless. And this video can be professional video but also delivered through video meeting software such as Teams or Zoom. A good video production agency will help you professionalise how you want to use video for your communications so your internal brand reputation remains high. Or even increase.
Why not focus on video for your employees too? Especially if your workforce is below 40? Gen-Z and even Millennials use TikTok, SnapChat, Instagram to communicate daily. If your workforce comprises this age group the purpose behind video might be to use this tactic to engage and retain staff.