Unless you’ve been hibernating for the past year, you know that mobile and video are the two big ‘it’ factors in digital marketing today. That means if you aren’t involved in one or both of these hot market drivers, you’re probably going to be on the losing end.
And this is especially true for video, which over the past two years has blasted onto the digital landscape with sound and fury.
And as digital marketing project manager Markelle Harden said recently, video marketing can work even for those who are camera-shy, because you can still post tutorials, create a web series or pre-record a webinar that provides value to your audience.
But you first have to know how to create an effective video, so here are three strategies that can help get you started.
Engage Interest Within the First Few Seconds
Video marketing isn’t entirely different front written marketing, and that means your opening few seconds are one of the biggest keys to whether you will keep a viewer engaged.
So you better have a hook right away, regardless of whether you’re making an instructional video, corporate culture video, or Q&A.
For example, if you’re a legal firm talking about what to do after a car accident, you could show footage of a happy family chatting in an SUV, then seconds later…WHAM…their car is broadsided by another vehicle, and everything changes in an instant.
That shocking incident buys you those precious few seconds you need early in the video to hook viewers so that you can deliver your advice while they’re still engaged with the content.
Whether you decide to use something shocking, unexpected, unusual or humorous, the goal is to grab your audience by the throat and keep them in your grip until the video has ended.
Remember To Keep It Short
One of the advantages that you gain through video marketing is the fact that it is delivered in digestible, bite-size chunks of streaming goodness that your audience loves to consume quickly.
It isn’t just about attention spans, however, it’s more about the fact that your audience has become conditioned to consuming video content in very short bursts of time.
That’s become apparent by the skyrocketing popularity of social media sites like Instagram and to a lesser extent Snapchat, where disappearing content and visual content that only lasts 10 seconds is the hottest thing going.
You can’t think of video as merely written content translated into visual content, in fact, video marketing is its own unique animal, and this beast is most effectively unleashed in content that lasts no more than two minutes.
But we know there’s no one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy, so that doesn’t mean you can’t make videos that last longer than two minutes. But you do need to reserve those longer video marketing pieces for things such as Q&As, interviews, and tutorials.
For most other type of video marketing, you should try to stick to the two minutes or less model to ensure that your viewers are engaged.
But you can also split the difference and create a series of super short videos that all tie into one theme.
So instead of running a 60-second video, you could run six 10-second videos that act as a short elevator pitch for each topic.
And according to inbound marketing expert Erin Hayes, more than half the marketers in a recent survey said that video had the highest return-on-investment of any visual content.
Focus On Storytelling
Yes, storytelling has become the latest buzzword in digital marketing, and there’s a good reason for that.
Your audience has had it up to here with statistics, facts and figures, and if you make the mistake of including that in your video marketing, you’ll put them to sleep.
Let’s go back to the example of a legal firm that is creating video content as a driver for lead generation.
And let’s say that the legal firm is running a series on what to do after a car accident. We’ve already talked about how that firm could grab viewer attention in the first few seconds of the video, but what about the rest of the content?
The firm could cite boring stats about the number of car accidents in the city where it does business every year, or the number and types of injuries from those accidents.
Or…it could show us that same family we talked about before, getting out of a damaged vehicle, with the children crying, the mother trying to comfort them and the father, usually so strong and decisive, absolutely confused and uncertain about what to do.
The father could just stand there, saying nothing as activity swirls around him, and the words, “What do you do now?” flash on the screen. And then the video ends.
See how those images appeal to the raw emotion of what it feels like to be in a car wreck? It’s not about compensation and fault and damages, it’s about real people who have just experienced a life-changing event. That’s a story that does more to sell the idea of why personal injury lawyers are important than a thousand words ever could.
And you can do that in 10 seconds or less. That’s the power of video storytelling when it’s done correctly.
Video Is Now and the Future
Video marketing is here to stay, and if you’re able to harness the power of moving images to instantly hook your audience, keep them engaged for a short period of time, and do it through storytelling, you’ll be well on your way.
If you need marketing advice or need resources to help your marketing take off, please contact us today for a consultation.