Virtually every day, new statistics are released that reveal the increasing importance of video for companies on the web. For example, a recent survey of online shoppers by online ad platform Invodo found 44 per cent were more likely to buy products after viewing online video ads. As bandwidth increases and more businesses realize the potential of video as a key method of communicating with their customers and prospects. Video is quickly becoming a marketer’s media tool of choice for two reasons: video is engaging and, more importantly, video is persuasive. Here are some of the ways to use video online that you should consider when trying to grow your business:
1. Corporate Overview
These are the video equivalent of the ‘company brochure’, designed to give new visitors to a website a better idea of the organisation. These videos typically contain company history, main products, executives and other key business information but can be creative and emotive.
Amazing corporate video from Chipotle
2. Executive Presentations
Whether you are preparing for a monthly update, responding to a major event in your industry or making a regularly scheduled presentation there is great value in presenting the “face” and “voice” of your leadership team to all of your staff. It is particularly useful in a franchise organization where a video can ensure a consistent message is presented in an informative and enthusiastic manner.
3. Staff or Client Presentations
Social media and other online changes have made companies reconsider how they communicate with external audiences. Your senior leadership team should not be the only consideration to represent your company. It has become more important and acceptable to showcase the people that drive the operations of your company. Customer service representatives, technical experts and other employees are all potential candidates for this new category of corporate video. Research has shown that there is more trust and credibility associated with these employees than with senior management. When you are selling to influencers in organizations (as opposed to decision makers) it is especially important you represent your company with people that your customers and prospects can relate to.
4. Corporate facilities or equipment tour
In the past, corporate facility videos and equipment tours were popular. Downsizing, outsourcing, and recessions have change the priorities placed on these videos. Many companies have shown that a creative approach to this type of video can still be successful, however, uniqueness is the key to success. For maximum impact, the focus should not be on your company but about how you can solve your customers’ problems.
5. Annual Report / Review
Public companies are legally required to create annual and quarterly reviews. As well, larger privately-held companies also create their own quarterly and annual reviews. Video is a great way to supplement or even replace traditional print reports.
Customer Reference Videos
1. Video Case Study
A video case study combines customer testimonials with a more in-depth explanation of how your company’s products and services helped your customer achieve their goals. These case studies often incorporate a voice over and your customer and are generally between two and five minutes. The video structure follows the same “Problem, Solution, Benefit” format found in a printed case study and usually includes footage of the customer’s business and other supporting text and video.
2. Customer Testimonials
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer (ideally in their own environment) extol the virtues of your products and services or explaining how your company helped them to achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from just fifteen seconds to a minute and are typically combined with or used to support other marketing material.
A simple customer testimonial can be very effective.
3. Man-in-the-street Interviews
These videos are typically done to promote activities and to build buzz around coming events but can also be employed to capture ‘spontaneous’ responses to targeted questions that help promote your product or service or to help differentiate the benefits of your brand compared to the real or imagined problems associated with your competitors. Consumer focused companies such as movie distributors and fast food companies often use this format in advertising but some companies are also using it as a stand-alone promotion on business websites or YouTube business channels.
4. Customer support videos
No one reads manuals but your company can save thousands of dollars of sale support by creating informative assembly, installation and maintenance videos for your products and services.
Product and Service Promotion
1. Product Presentations
Product presentations focus on benefits and talk from your customer’s perspective. They need to clearly address how your product solves a specific business, personal or economic problem that your customer or prospect is experiencing. They are used to help people differentiate between the benefits of your products and those of your competitors.
2. Product Demonstrations
This type of video shows how your product works and highlights the features that differentiate it from that of your competitors. A high impact demonstration by a presenter or a software screen-capture are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works.
This video for Dollar Shave Club is so compelling it has around 12 million views on Youtube.
3. Visual Stories
Increasingly popular, visual stories employ illustrations, animations and motion graphics with music and a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner. These are sometime referred to as ‘explainers’ and are usually between one and three minutes in length.
Corporate video first gained prominence with training and continues to be one of the best uses of video. Online video is a cost effective substitute for in-class training. You can also easily integrate video into online training management tools.
This training video from Dupont shows the value of video in training as well as the challenges of using humour.
2. Overnight expert videos
If you service a large area or sell-through channels then it is well worth the effort to put together short ‘overnight expert’ sales support videos that highlight the key selling points, features, benefits, objection handling and follow-up issues to consider by your direct or channel sales force.
3. ‘How-to’ Videos
Contextual training videos are becoming very popular on the web. ‘How-to’ videos, video manuals, on-site video reference, quick assembly demos, and other types of video are being used to supplement or replace traditional training.
1. Employee orientation
When employing new staff, employee orientation videos are a great way to get people up to speed. Company history, structure, procedures, policies and codes of behavior can all be communicated effectively and consistently with video.
2. Health, Legal & Safety
The cost of dealing with health and safety related issues within organizations continues to grow. Video is one of the most effective means of communicating this information while reducing these costs.
Advertising, Marketing and Promotion
While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, in-game advertising and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast commercials. The challenge is to create specialised content targeted to ever-shrinking niche audiences.
2. Viral Video
Although the best viral videos can be very effective, they have to be extremely engaging, entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful. Unfortunately, some of the most successful viral videos have little connection to any brand. Viral video is very difficult to do well.
A clever concept and good execution increases the chance that a video will go viral
3. Email Video
The last few years has seen a resurgence in email marketing and embedded video in emails or links to video in email is becoming very popular. Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing programme. To be effective, the video should be designed to elicit a specific conversion activity such as requesting a demonstration, more information, etc. If you do email marketing on a regular basis, try embedding a video update to offer something new to prospects and customers.
4. Content Marketing
This is a broad category that will become very important over the next few years. Much of the content (video or otherwise) being created today by companies is focused on selling and focused on the brand. Focusing on solving your customers’ problems first and then associating your brand with those solutions will be increasingly more important and effective. This can include a branded web series which, if executed carefully, can become a compelling way to communicate your company’s character and communicate key product messages. For example, Ikea in the US has successfully achieved this for more than four years with its series Easy To Assemble.
5. Landing pages and micro sites
Video is beginning to replace or supplement text and graphics as a primary element on many corporate websites. Landing pages can offer a more compelling call to action with video.
PR Support and Community Relations
1. Video Press Releases
The standard press release is now being supplemented with video and rich media to tell a more engaging story. Video is now being purpose-built to directly support the important company announcements. The new challenge for press releases is to change the focus from the company to the customer.
2. PR Support Materials
Make it easy for networks, bloggers, news sites and others to promote your business and also to talk about your industry. Smart companies are developing video support catalogues of company and industry related materials (industry footage, sound bites, etc) and offering them to news and business portals.
3. EPK (Electronic Press Kits)
While some EPKs are still being delivered on DVD, web based video and text are quickly replacing this electronic version of the press kit. This also has the benefit of allowing immediate updates and additions as required.
Although this is not a complete list of potential business uses for web on the video it should give you some new ideas for applications of this exciting tool, in marketing and other areas.