Every business owner or manager is responsible for maximizing the impact of their marketing budgets. The consequences of wasting money on a poorly performing ad campaign or a snazzy video that languishes on YouTube with seven hits are significant. Compared to other forms of online marketing, professionally produced video is expensive, making some business owners leery of betting big on a video, opting instead for lower-cost options like adWords or banner ads.
While certainly understandable (we’re all inclined to avoid risk), it also misses a great opportunity. When video is done well, it has tremendous reach, deep impact and a long shelf-life allowing companies to profit from their investment in good video content for a long time to come.
In a recent article chronicling the success of the online retailer Stacks and Stacks’ video library, Cathy McManus, Stack and Stacks’ Marketing Director, indicated that customers who view a video are 144 percent more likely to make a purchase than those who do not.
For an online retailer like Stacks and Stacks, the modest investment in video pays for itself quite quickly. McManus indicated she aims for a 10 to 1 return on investment on any marketing investment, and the video library “isn’t there yet, but it’s getting close.”
So, how can a business owner predict whether their video marketing efforts will be a success? We use the four guidelines below to ensure our clients make the most impact with their videos.
1) Tie marketing effort to clear business goals: It’s critically important to focus on what the video is supposed to accomplish for the business. Is the goal to entertain, generate leads, cut down on tech support calls or encourage viewers to download a white paper? Clearly articulating your business goals and communicating this with your video production team makes for a tighter, more engaging video because all elements within the video (script, visuals, music) all work to compel the viewer toward the goal.
2) Pre-test messaging terms & ideas in less expensive mediums: Let’s say you have a clever new tagline for your business. Quickly test whether or not it resonates with your audience by purchasing AdWords with your new slogan against searches for your company or product name. Create simple comps of three different print ads, each with different tag lines or visuals, and have your Facebook fans vote on their favorite. Knowing the key elements in your video connect with your audience significantly lowers your risk of the video flopping.
3) Know your audience: How well do you know the needs, fears, hopes and dreams of your audience. Can you piggyback on a clever Internet meme currently making the rounds within your audience’s social network? Does the content of your video help your viewers feel connected to a higher goal, inspire them to be better at their jobs or give them a valuable piece of information? If so, you’re primed for success.
4) Tell a story: The final, and most important, of all the tips on this list is to tell a story. We’ve connected with each other through story for millennia. And it’s stories, not a dry listing of features and benefits, that we share with each other, that entertain us and become part of our social fabric.
By focusing on what your audience would like to see, pre-testing key elements of the video and clearly focusing on what you want the video to do for your business, you’ll greatly eliminate the risk involved in investing in a professionally produced video and increase your odds of success.