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When Facebook first began introducing video ads into its news feed, the novelty alone was enough to get many consumers to stop and watch. But these days, video is an unavoidable part of the online experience, no matter which channels consumers use. Unfortunately, the ubiquity of those videos has made them pretty easy to ignore, especially if customers deem them irrelevant.
According to a recent study by HubSpot, 63% of businesses were using video as a marketing tool at the beginning of 2017. By 2019, that number had risen to 87%.
Since pretty much everyone is using video to get their message across, there’s a pretty big chance that message could get lost in the clamor for attention.
Here are some expert tips from Kurtis Thomas, manager of video marketing for OpenText for creating attention-grabbing video that actually makes an impact.
Content produced in collaboration with OpenText Hightail.
Expert tips for strategic video marketing
The average human can maintain about 150 relationships — and that includes brands too
Robin Dunbar is a British anthropologist who studies primates. He discovered that there is a direct correlation between the size of a primate’s brain and the number of animals in its tribe. Animals with bigger brains can have bigger tribes. Dunbar theorized that the average human can maintain about 150 relationships. So what’s that got to do with video marketing?
According to Thomas, the number of relationships consumers can have with brands is also limited, so to form a connection with a target audience, brands have to prove they’re worthy of those limited relationship slots:
“While our mothers, husbands, and children may have their own associations in our brains, the pickup hockey team we play with every Wednesday is a single group,” Thomas says. “Where this all ties back to marketing is that the same theory about how we group things together and how we interact with the things that matter most to us all comes back to the stories we interact with. If marketers anticipate the relationships customers are actively looking for, we can make better content. Because humans only have time to make meaningful connections with content that matters, especially since we’re flooded with content every day.”
Forget the word “viral” and focus on what your target consumers are looking for
If you’re struggling to form meaningful relationships with your target audience, it’s probably best to throw out the idea of creating video that gets millions of views. The idea of creating a sharable video sensation that reaches audiences across the internet has been the gold standard of video marketing probably since the first time “Charlie Bit My Finger” graced our inboxes.
However, creating a viral video probably isn’t such a great marketing goal, since a ton of views doesn’t necessarily mean content is serving its purpose for your overarching marketing strategy.
Thomas says that instead of focusing on views alone, marketers should probably focus on more specific purposes for video.
“Rather than shooting for the success reserved only for baby sharks and dogs reuniting with family members, it’s important to focus on your organizations real and tangible goals,” Thomas says. “Define what success means early on. Is your video mainly to help close a sale? If so, one million views are not nearly as important as one view from the right person. Having defined goals can inform your content, and can also give marketers and content creators a means of defining your own success. It’s really easy to get caught up in view count but what does that mean? A view count may mean something went viral, but it may not translate to the needs of your business, so taking that step back and trying to halt the word viral in its tracks lets you think more about the strategy for the video you’re creating.”
Consumers, for instance, seem to prefer videos in order to learn about a product or service. In fact, 68% of consumers in a survey said they prefer video over a text-based article, an ebook, a sales call, or even an infographic.
Make sure your video has friends: Content thrives within a marketing ecosystem
And once you’ve decided on clear goals for your video, make sure it’s part of a bigger plan. A video that exists all alone with no “friends” or other marketing materials that help further the conversation is a lonely video indeed. So lonely it might not be enough to build those valuable customer relationships, according to Thomas:
“Too often, marketers create video in order to fill a gap,” Thomas says. “Once it’s live, that’s where its engagement ends. There’s nothing worse than creating content with no friends. Video is a social creature. It survives best in a thriving marketing ecosystem. Ask yourself whether the video is going to be paired with a product launch or an upcoming campaign. Is there a social effort tied to this? Because if so, you should leverage that. Tying video to other marketing efforts is so important. Make sure there’s an organic flow in which video is being released alongside other assets that can direct that back to it.”
To get more tips on how to create video that builds relationships, listen to ClickZ and OpenText Hightail’s webinar, “Video + your content marketing strategy: How to determine if there’s really a fit.”