Whether you’ve been incorporating video into your marketing strategy for ages or whether you are just starting out, it can be challenging to figure out which format will drive the greatest engagement. I’ve compiled a list of formats to help you figure out which is the right format for you. This, of course, is not an exhaustive list but is a useful starting point.
1. Keep it topical: Holidays and Special Days
Christmas, Halloween, Easter and New Year’s days are great opportunities to engage with your audience and create themed videos. Christmas themed videos are always a great hit and used effectively can boost sales during the holiday period. However, it’s not enough to slap a few snowflakes and tinsel on your video and be done with it. Find creative ways to bring the holiday spirit to life and engaging with your audience.
Apart from the obvious ones, there are many other special days in the calendar that could really help you connect with your brand. From ‘Ice Cream for Breakfast Day’ (first Saturday in February) to ‘World Tourism Day’ (27 September) there is bound to be one that recognises a theme to match with whichever business you are in. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with whichever cause or charity that your business support.
The wonderfully named "List of minor secular observances" page on Wikipedia is a great starting point to mine of ideas.
2. How to videos
We’re going to approach this the long way around but stick with me because the background is important.
When I was a young man just starting out in the working world, I was part of a campaign that required me to stop people in the street and have a conversation with them. Anyone with any experience of this kind of work will tell you just how hard it is to get people to stop and talk to you. I was pretty good at it because I figured out a little secret (which I’m sure you all know but it was ground-breaking to me), and that is if you want people to talk to them you have to have a very good reason to start a conversation. Instead of asking people if they had a minute to chat, I would ask them something related to the campaign for example: “Excuse me ma’am, do you have any pets?” or something similar. Those with pets would stop and talk for a minute because I gave them a reason to have conversation that wasn’t about me and what I was promoting.
Having a good reason to start a conversation with your customers is maybe as important as the substance of your content. Whenever I get approached by a new client looking to start incorporating video into their marketing strategy, I always recommend ‘how to’ videos as a starting point. As a format it’s an exceptionally effective way to drive engagement and it gives your customers a reason to subscribe, like or follow your channels because you are giving them content that adds value to their lives.
Whether you’re are selling frying pans or craft gin there is a way you can incorporate this format into your strategy. A series of films showing creative meals to cook in your frying pans, or a series on gin-based cocktail recipes might seem a bit obvious, but it gives you a good reason to start a conversation with your customer.
3. Include your customers
The testimonial video featuring happy customers is a very powerful asset in any video strategy. Sure, it may come across as schmaltzy and contrived, but they are effective for a few simple reasons. People are far more likely to pay attention to recommendations from other people, even if it is on a video that comes from you. Incorporating case studies shows potential customers how your product can solve their problems and makes them more likely to take a second look.
Most importantly, however, is presenting your testimonial as a customer journey. A narrative. Humans have evolved to process information presented in the narrative form more effectively then any other format, so the customer journey, as a story about someone’s problem being solved has a far better chance of cutting through than almost any other format.
4. "Go Live and grow your audience."
In the early days of America’s expansion, Horace Greenley wrote “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country.” Just as the fertile farmlands in the west presented an opportunity to those willing to work hard, so does the opportunity of going live.
Going live is a great way to drive engagement because of the immediacy of the format. It creates a sense of urgency and encourages your audience to interact with you in a way they wouldn’t normally do with pre-recorded content. It humanises your brand because your audience gets to interact with you in real time and driving engagement. The other advantage is that you can repurpose live content for replay, thus maximising the investment in producing the live content.
It’s a format few brands are using to its maximum potential because of the obvious risks involved, but with a bit of planning and a splash of courage you can saddle up and go till that fertile soil.
This list is a useful starting point and you use a combination of these formats as part of your strategy, but it is important that you have a strategy. If you feel like you would like to have a chat about how best to work video into your strategy, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org