It’s a table-stakes truth of marketing: People like to buy from people they can engage with. In the context of video marketing, consumers make those calls based on what they see and hear.
Especially if you’re taking a more customer-centric approach like TubeScience has with performance video — a direct-response format often found on social media that focuses on customer acquisition rather than likes or shares — alignment is key. To maximize their conversion and clickthrough rate, every video your brand puts out should feature talent that your customers can connect with.
What, exactly, creates that sense of connection? No one attribute can do it alone; the answer is holistic fit. When deciding on actors, the information they’ll present, and the context they’ll present it in, think about how the following would engage the customers you’re trying to reach:
1. Energy level
Whatever your company stands for, one aspect of alignment it should consider is energy level. Say you’re Australian surf brand Billabong. When your customers think of you, the terms that come to mind might be “laid back,” “authentic,” and “adventurous.” To meet in the middle of those words, you might feature a relaxed-yet-daring surf team in your video ads.
Why wouldn’t you always opt for high energy? Imagine Billabong hiring someone like Billy Mays, the late spokesperson for OxiClean. That kind of frenetic personality might cause your customers to question how well they actually know your brand.
Somewhat similar to energy level is style, a tough-to-define area of alignment that’s perhaps even more critical to get right. Given how nebulous style is, how should you go about finding the right fit? Start by associating adjectives with your brand. Is it sophisticated? Edgy? Considerate? When choosing members for your video campaign’s creative team, look for that same personality. Ask what candidates like to do in their free time, and observe their behavior. Someone who holds the door for people is probably considerate in other ways. A skydiver is likely to be adventurous in and out of the air.
You might think someone’s personal values aren’t relevant to the work he or she does for your brand, but you’d be wrong. Nearly two-thirds of consumers worldwide will boycott or buy from a brand exclusively because of its stance on a political or social issue, according to Edelman research published late last year. In the court of public opinion, whether or not you meant to endorse that person’s views by hiring them is immaterial.
All it takes is a quick Google search to see everything a person has posted online. If your company works with an actor whose values aren’t aligned with yours, someone will spot that sooner or later. After that, all it takes is a social media post for that someone to tell the world. Don’t accidentally hire a hunter if your company is big on animal advocacy.
Why did Safe Step Walk-In Tub choose singer and actor Pat Boone to star in its video ads? Because viewers want to see that a product is for people at their life stage. Imagine if Safe Step Walk-InTub had chosen a 20-year-old, or even a 40-year-old: Seniors might have gotten the impression that the product was for on-the-go professionals instead.
As much as you might like to think age is just a number, it’s often the first thing people notice about you. When beauty brand Allure polled 2,500 Americans, 80% of them said “everyone” judges by appearance. If you want viewers of a certain age group to engage with you, then make sure the actors and actresses they see are in that group.
Another key appearance-related aspect to pay attention to is gender. For one, gender inclusivity is especially appealing to young people. Deodorant brand Axe recently revamped its hyper-masculine image with a series of video ads that were not only spearheaded by a woman strategist but featured a woman using its products. What’s important isn’t matching the gender of the target audience; it’s choosing actors or actresses according to the message you want to get across.
There’s a reason brands turn to agencies for video marketing: Finding the right actors and actresses for your audience is tougher than you might think. When they do, it shows — and more importantly, it sells.