Increase Engagement Through Video Marketing

Facebook now favors video updates in Newsfeeds, and average over 1 billion video views per day. Last year, Buzzfeed scored over a billion video views per MONTH, leading them to launch the new Buzzfeed Entertainment division, led by web video impresario Ze Frank. Listicles are so 2015….video ads are now delivering the hype.  And thanks to their ever-evolving algorithm, Facebook reach has plummeted to a dismal 6% (according to this Social@Ogilvy study). But here’s a happier stat: 1.65 BILLION people are watching video on Facebook everyday.

Those of us who follow such things surely noticed the high number of mentions of online video marketing in those ubiquitous Top Digital Marketing Trends of 2016  published last January. I don’t know about you, but we paid attention. And we came to the conclusion that video marketing is the new social media, in a sense.

With both digital trends, companies were initially reluctant to recognize and admit that they needed to include them in their marketing, or risk getting left behind. Both were seen as time-consuming and slow to generate ROI.

This is no longer true, of course. Companies can use instant gratification platforms like Vine or Snapchat to generate videos for their brand, or find increasingly affordable outsourcing options like Humblee or VeedMe. These serve as a kind of matchmaking service between companies and a vetted network of videographers and producers – awesome! Or there’s always platforms like Typito (which is subscription-based), a sort of Canva for online video that lets you craft videos out of standalone images or video clips, or use a template.

There are a few different types of marketing videos you can make, depending on what you’re selling:

Explainer Videos

These are one of the most common asks, and consist of a short statement about what your company does or sells at a high level.

One of the most talked about and most copied of the last few years is Dollar Shave Club’s:

It’s hilarious, features their actual founder, is shorter than most explainer videos, and clearly works – Unilever bought them for $1billion this year. That is “F***ing Great.” And the video is still collecting views on YouTube – at the time of writing this article, they’re at 23M views. Damn.

Customer Testimonial

As the name suggests, this is like a video version of a case study you’d use to show off your client wins. It’s also one of the best ways to get social validation if you’re selling a product, especially since millennials tend to trust reviews by their peers more than any other type of advertising.

Customers vouching for your product or service builds trust and credibility, which is why this is one of the best and highest-ranking formats for B2B companies. They are also considered to be one of the most challenging types to make.

This testimonial by 99designs is awesome because it’s eye-catching, moves fast, and does a good job of showing how their logo creation services helped this successful accessories designer launch her business from scratch:

And as an added bonus: reviews and testimonials boost your search rank.

Product demos

Ah yes,….ye olde product demo. This is where you get to, as the old pros say, eat your own dog food. These usually feature someone from your company talking enthusiastically about your product or service.

Go ahead and fanboy or fangirl right out on your moneymaker, like Squareup did. Way to make that “little white thing you plug into your phone to take credit cards” sound cool:

A couple tips first: write a script. Not a good idea to wing it, as you don’t want to miss all those key elements like “value propositions” and “product specs,” do ya?

Also, hook them early. That’s right, drop your hook right in the water at the beginning of your demo with a good tagline or amazing stat about how much money people can make with your app, or whatever.

And finally…Finish Strong. BOOM, like that. This is a CTA (call to action) and is kinda the whole point of your video.

Animated videos

People like these because they remind them of cartoons. Just kidding…sort of. But  they do eliminate the need for shooting a lot of expensive, time-consuming live footage. They also allow you to make quick cuts and transitions, which is particularly useful for explaining why people should care about your startup, for example. And short and sweet wins the day on Facebook (30 seconds max, plz), just make sure to use some punchy text overlays since Facebook auto-plays videos without sound.

Pinterest went this route when they unleashed their strangely addictive virtual hoarder social platform:

Their video went for 90 seconds since it was 2012 and attention spans hadn’t shrunk down to 30s yet, but it was a nice touch letting people know that up-front.

If you use 3D animation (less expensive than you’d think), you can create a nice, lifelike prototype of your product. And you don’t need to have a company mascot, like those annoying Afflac ducks, to create animated videos. Of course, if you already have one, by all means use it as a narrator – you won’t find a cheaper spokesperson.

One more tip before we leave you to your Red Bull-fueled brainstorming sessions – don’t get caught up in the Periscope, Facebook Live, and Instagram Videos hype to the point that you’re ignoring YouTube. It’s still the second largest search engine on the Web (never forget their parent company is Google) and the third most visited site. So keep posting your videos there, and use good SEO practices when you do – it matters.