Online Videos More than “Just Commercials”

Online Videos: More than “Just Commercials”

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and culturally we are seeing a definite shift toward visual marketing, not just in the form of pictures and infographics but also video.

It’s no secret online videos have a renaissance, from Vines to YouTube to shareable videos on Instagram and Facebook. If you aren’t using video marketing and are still relying on the simple power of words to tell your story, you’re losing your audience. By 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer traffic online. Audiences love videos, videos tell a story. Videos make things real.

When one thinks of using a video to reach customers, of course, the classic “commercial” comes to mind. Since the 1950’s when television entered the house of every consumer, using short, slick, and well-produced televised clips to sell a product has been marketer’s strongest go-to strategy. The commercial was designed to do one thing: sell a product in 30 seconds or less.

In the last few years, with the advent of DVR, consumers learned to record and forward through commercials. Pop-up advertisements online are seen as an annoyance and more of an assault than an ally. At the same time, the ability to create and share video content has blossomed. Anyone can create a video, and with a few clicks, the same video can be used on your website, social media, and blog. Engaging, shareable, and interesting video storytelling is the way to reach your audience.

Go Beyond the Typical Commercial

The best way to advertise is to get customers to share and engage with your video beyond just a typical commercial. Using humorous content or stories to evoke an emotional response can reach your customer without “feeling commercialized.” Not only that, but customers will connect with and share your message if it truly speaks to them.

For example, this Thai Life Insurance video that went viral last year. Shared over and over in many languages, the message of this “Garbage Man” video had very little to do with directly selling life insurance. It’s much longer than a typical commercial. There was no talk of variables, growth, statistics, or policies. It followed the message of the company’s past commercials; how one life can make a difference. It was powerful and consumers responded, sharing the video on Facebook and YouTube thousands of times.

Now, not every video needs to tell an in-depth touching story or have a hilarious message. In fact, most forms of video content aren’t even commercials in the traditional sense, they are simply ways to engage and interact with your audience. Consider less conventional “stories,” such as adding a face to your business. Using video biographies to introduce visitors to your company’s key players can be interesting and compelling. While they don’t rely on the typical narrative, they still tell a biography and the story of who you are as a company.

Try informative videos.How to use your product with tutorials and demonstrations can be another simple, yet fun way to add video content to your customer outreach repertoire. Ask customers to share their own stories and demonstrations as well. The wonderful thing about today’s visual marketing is you need barely more than an iPhone and an idea to capture.

Share Your Stories and the Stories of Your Customers

Share these stories and videos in your email marketing campaign. The word “video” in a subject line boosts open rates by 19%. Consumers LOVE videos! Even if it’s just a short clip, a greeting or sharing an interesting video from a related source. Share them in your online newsletter, on your blog, and on your social media pages; everywhere you engage with your audience.

Of all the video types, perhaps the most powerful are the testimonial and customer case studies. Used frequently in the legal, medical, and non-profit world, these videos convey your impact to your audience. It might be an interview with a customer or a video clip of someone joyfully using your products or services. There’s nothing more powerful than a real, “everyday” consumer advocating for and benefiting from your product. Your audience can and will relate, and your message will be clear.

Sharing your customer’s stories and capturing them on video showcases your impact. Your audience can’t miss the way you have had an effect on the lives of those you work with. Ask clients and customers to explain why your product or service made a difference to them. Ask them to tell their story.

Video’s a powerful tool to breathe life and truth into your brand's message. It tells a narrative and makes your message accessible and engaging. It keeps your audience involved and stimulates their imagination and emotional response. Videos are the content of the future and the future is here.