YouTube DIYs and explainers. Instagram Reels. TikTok duet trends. The online world of 2021 is dominated by video content in every corner, ranging from a few seconds for a quick laugh to hours-long livestreams of new products. As marketers, they are a huge part of our toolbox in getting messages out to people in an engaging and cost-effective way, and even Google’s own stats say that at least half of people considering a purchase will look up a video on the product first – even if they’re standing in front of it on the shelf. The rise in popularity of video content is impossible to ignore, and when you look at the trends for the last few years, it’s clear to see that if you’re not exploring your video options, your brand is missing out on major opportunities.
Why Video Marketing Matters
So the big question you might have: why is video so important?
To start, think about the difference in engagement between plain text posts and image posts. Our eyes are primed to react more strongly to the colours and imagery presented within pictures, and this effect is compounded when it comes to videos. People are much more likely to stop and watch a video, even a few seconds of it, than they would be to stop and read a block of text – no matter how well-written it is. Video is designed to catch attention and keep it, and when the phones in our pockets can make any post look professional and engaging, it’s almost impossible to resist.
The ubiquity of smartphones, quick-editing apps, and posting platforms has launched a creative revolution that is pushing the limits of what great videos look like and are able to accomplish. This is not limited to individuals, either – companies with their fingers on the pulse of their audience are using video strategies to great effect, too. If you’ve ever paused while mindlessly scrolling through a social feed because an interesting clip caught your attention, you’ve seen just how effective a well-done video can be. And if you’re not there already, the next step is to start making them on your own.
How to Create Effective Brand Videos
So you’ve got a decent smartphone, an editing program, and a few hours to spare. There’s never been a better time to jump into video content, nor a more friendly atmosphere for learning and finding your niche. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Creating a Full Video Strategy
The first step is to think of your video strategy holistically. It shouldn’t be something that comes as an afterthought to everything else, and it shouldn’t result in one 30-second clip every few months. Work them in to accompany your regular content, and boost their appeal by creating them to cover a range of uses and purposes, while feeding in to the broader brand style that ties it all back to you. Videos are just one part of a solid foundation that holds your brand up for all to see.
Balance Your Content Types
Sometimes quick and off-the-cuff works great – but sometimes you need a product that’s a bit more professional. The good news is, they both have their place in a strong strategy, and you no longer need to spend huge amounts of money trying to get full camera crews and equipment.
For quick videos for social media, any smartphone with a decent camera will do. You can invest in a relatively cheap microphone to help with sound quality, but that’s enough to produce great content on the fly. If you are doing a longer, scripted video instead – such as an educational video for a product, or hosting a webinar – simple equipment like a tripod and lighting will go a long way towards a credible end result. These longer videos can also then be cut or modified for use as promos or social media, too, further establishing your presence online.
It’s About Connection, Not Perfection
No one will ever make the “perfect” video, because such a thing doesn’t exist. Express your values and voice in the ways that work best for you, and that is all you need. Take the time to learn the basics and discover what your audience responds to, and remember that it’s okay to learn along the way. Just stay authentic and you’ll reap the rewards.
Using Short and Long Form Video
Shorter content – but not necessarily with low production values – finds its home on some of the most popular apps in the world, like TikTok, Instagram Reels, or Facebook Live. These apps are like having a whole production crew on hand to edit, add effects and music, and unleash your creativity in full. And with TikTok having more than a billion monthly users by now, the audience is there, waiting – even if your content is just a one-shot video with a simple premise and no big budget. It’s possible to reach the entire world with a few taps on your phone.
Short videos are just one part of the equation, though. As a brand that wants to establish yourself with your audience, longer videos will be the main attraction that brings attention to you. Think educational videos that people can follow along with, DIY sessions that show how to do something new, or webinars about an interesting topic that live on your website or YouTube channel. Everyone’s heard of Twitch streams, TED Talks, and DIY repair videos – they’re some of the most popular content in the world. In fact, in 2018, 70% of YouTube viewers said they watch helpful videos for their studies, hobbies, or work, and that number has only increased in the years since. Right now, a lot of people are stuck at home with very few in-person events going on. This means you have a perfect audience to educate, entertain, and bring on board to your brand.
As the capabilities of our devices get more powerful, it’s clear that video content – and the ease with which we can access it – is here to stay. With a bit of planning and strategy, you can establish yourself as a source of information, entertainment, or inspiration for your customers and clients, and deliver your message clearly, in your own words, for all to see. It looks simple, but there are many facets to consider, so if you need help in the process, William Joseph is always here to help!