Guess what this post is about?
No flying pigs. Just video. (And a bit of really bad humor)
It’s 2018, so video is on every marketing director’s budget line (hopefully) and some are creating some stunning content and using video properly. Unfortunately, some are missing the mark entirely. And in a world where there are 1.3 billion users of YouTube and Facebook is boasting over 8 billion views a day, video is the most powerful form of content online so you cannot afford to make a mistake through content complacency. (Fancy term for creating terrible or sporadic videos, coined by One Globe Studio, whilst writing this post)
“By 2021 video will account for 82% of all web traffic”
It’s kind of a big deal if you aren’t using it…
It’s all good knowing you need to produce video content, but knowing how to make sure it’s the right content and not just a funny cat video, is a whole different story. And that’s what I want to help you with today.
Over the past 2 years, we’ve worked with 100’s of clients and we’ve figured out a structure to create compelling content which I want to share with you here. It’s actionable and practical from the moment you’ve finished reading this post. Think of it as a basic checklist you can use every time you are evaluating a piece of video content. You can even download it at the end and keep it with you every time your team sits down to discuss content.
Are you trying to gain more views, get more subscribers or just keep people on your website for longer? All these questions have an impact on the type of video you create. Nowadays you hear a lot of blanket statements like “oh video’s should be short”. Statements like that can potentially crush your video strategy before your even start so don’t listen to it. If that was the case, Netflix and their 1 hour episodes wouldn’t exist and the average watch time on YouTube wouldn’t be increasing year on year. The way to list out your objectives is simple.
There are 2 types of objectives:
- SURFACE OBJECTIVES
- At a surface level you probably want to drive more sales, views or something measurable.
- DEEPER OBJECTIVES
- But we have to look at this at a deeper level and think what we want to convey emotionally with our content.
So think about it like this: If I sold luxury watches, aside from just wanting to sell watches through my videos (Surface objective), my deeper objective would be to portray my store as the most knowledgeable about luxury watches. Not only does that build trust for the long term, but it provides me with some direction to my videos, because I know what other questions to answer in each video I create, and not just provide the price of the watch. I’m also building the sales pipeline, because instead of just catering to the “ready to buy” customers by answering the price of the watch, i’m catering to the future customers, who are aspiring right now and will trust me and choose my store in 5 years when it comes time to buy their first luxury watch.
So think about it, objectives on surface level are great for you short term, but objectives on a deeper level and better for you long term.
Learning From Peers & Industry
Success leaves clues. Again, this is a very intricate process which we conduct with our clients before we create any content for them. We always need to fully understand the market and the current content being produced in the market before we go through it. With those of you who have worked with us before, you’ll be familiar with the commercial insight workshop that our team runs so that they can direct the creative team to make the right content. Think of it as pairing the best management consultants with the best creatives before we shoot anything for your brand. Every time we on board a new client there is a process of discovery which is always different, but in an effort to explain at least a few of these points I’m going to share some interesting ways with you here.
Using free data is a great place to start to glean a basic insight into what content is working in your industry. Sticking with the watch example a good place to start would be gathering some basic info from industry reports. L2Inc do a phenomenal job of independent research which is usually freely available. Coincidentally, they also have a phenomenal video marketing strategy and I urge you to subscribe to their channel.
Here’s a data chart L2inc provided from their study into the Watches & Jewellery market last year.
If you’re in the watch sector, you’ll understand that I’ve chosen 3 brands here as an example because they are pretty much the market leaders in the watch world. Now, this takes some degree of industry insight you would have about your own industry to make certain inferences. For example, with this chart above, we can see that out of all digital/social media spending all 3 brands are investing money heavily in YouTube, Instagram and Facebook- all heavily visual platforms. Now pair that with a bit more industry insight of knowing that in 2011 the CMO of Patek said they would never do social as they couldn’t sell the story on social media. Yet here they are in 2018, pumping money into YouTube. This must mean it works for them, so as a retailer of watches, if I’m not using YouTube as a main content channel, am I missing out? An emphatic YES! So very quickly, with a bit of lateral thinking you’re picking up on clues left by others in the industry. Learn from it. This is just one of the ways to learn from industry and peers, we’ll be doing more follow ups on this topic in coming weeks.
“Which platforms they use on the train or on the way to work, or even when they are on the toilet…”
Understanding who your audience are is at the core of any content you create. You should not only know the age of your target audience, but on which platforms they spend most time and the types of content they are already watching. I’m not going to get too in depth here because marketers have been building customer profiles since the start of time so it’s likely you don’t need help here. But the key things you need to know at this stage of creating content, is which platforms they use on the train or on the way to work, or even when they are on the toilet (I’ve been told by the team to stop mentioning that last one as a reference point, but it’s true so I had to share it. People consume a vast amount of online content when they are taking care of business whether we like it or not). You also need to know what else they are interested in and what else they are watching. Creating an initial list of 5 types of content that your audience enjoys is a good first step. Is it long format documentaries on YouTube, or is it food recipe videos on Facebook? Ask these types of questions to define your demographic and what appeals to them.
Cater To Platform
Once you know how your customers are consuming content, then you can create for those platforms. So if you see that most of your customers spend a bulk of their day on Instagram, start by creating Instagram stories and making sure all your content can fit into 60 second video posts and still image posts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you want to create a web series, that you have to restrict it to 1 minute episodes. But it does mean that when you create that web series you need to make sure you’re getting content cut downs for Instagram. Think about what those platforms are also investing in, YouTube is pushing more series based content whereas FB is pushing more quick, text heavy video formats. All these various considerations have an impact on the creative you choose and the content you create.
Entertain vs Educate
There’s two ways to grab attention. Entertain them or educate them. It’s that simple.
If you aren’t doing one or the other with your content, you should reassess and figure out where your opportunities really are to add some value to the end user.
Entertaining content is quite frankly why cat videos exist along with why Gangnam style went viral. It’s content that makes you feel an overwhelming positive response even for a fleeting second. Entertainment is a fleeting mistress. It’s difficult to continually entertain your customer without having a 24/7 creative team developing content streams for you.
Education on the other hand has proven to be the most important part of content marketing. People never get tired of learning. TED talks proved that, and so do the 1 trillion makeup tutorials on YouTube.
A quick tip on where to find the questions you should try to answer Try and find ways to educate your customer constantly and answer their common questions, YouTube comments are actually a great place to source out the topic of your next video. Or if you know there are influencers in your industry, browse the comments on their latest video and you’ll be sure to find some of your customers requesting certain topics are covered. You can easily answer these questions in a video piece.
Call To Action
I’m seeing more and more great content out there which ends on a blank screen and that’s a fast track to nowhere. I understand that many brands simply measure direct response in sales generated and therefore if the CTA (Call to Action) does not involve buy now, they don’t consider it a CTA. But the reality is, the way communities engage with your brand, and ultimately buy from your brand, is changing. So we need to take a deeper look at the CTA’s we are and aren’t using in many cases.
The way today’s customers buy is completely different compared to their predecessors. Given this reality, our marketing and calls to action must interact with them in a new way. So the CTA isn’t driving an immediate sale in many cases, but rather building a long term relationship and therefore a pipeline of new and return customers. So what’s an appropriate call to action? Think about using other creative CTA’s like “Subscribe Now”, or “Watch More” content at very least as it ensures the client has taken an active step to hear more from you, it’s almost like getting their permission. If you have a web series, it’s important that you ask them to watch the next episode, or to sign up so they can be notified of the release of the next episode. These micro interactions which are seemingly meaningless, build up emotional equity in your brand which will lead to not just a one time customer, but a customer for life. Plus, no one likes to be proposed to on the first date.
So that’s it, a very simple and straightforward starting point for any video content you want to create. Use this document like a checklist every time you are thinking about content and you will be starting on the right track.
Like always, feel free to check out our other content on YouTube and LinkedIn or feel free to reach out to me directly if you want to discuss what you’re working on right now!