Over the summer, my company was selected to participate in a marketing incubator program hosted by Google for rising brands. In one session, the Google team described the years of TV and radio as the Broadcast Age, while the internet launched the Information Age. Marketing likewise moved from advertising (broadcast) to content (information).
It makes sense; but where are we now?
The Participation Age
Interactive technology, such as smartphones, has pushed us into the Participation Age, where people want to engage with brands and each other. Check out the YouTube interactive video ads for Skittles candy as an example:
In addition to video, marketers have developed more dynamic websites, social media quizzes and other widgets to promote engagement. All of your communication tactics need to fit within a larger brand strategy that emphasizes the customer journey.
We were already using video marketing at the time, but we came away from the Google incubator program totally energized about taking engagement to the next level. Going into 2017, we’re doubling down on our video marketing strategy and budget, for good reasons.
Just consider this projection from the team at Google, which owns YouTube.
By 2019, 80 percent of all internet traffic will be video content.
At first I was shocked by that number, and figured that was the exaggeration of salespeople. But, independent research from Hyperfine Media reports that already today one third of all online activity is watching video, and YouTube consumption is growing 100 percent every year. Moreover, video embedded in email doubles click-through rates, and 64 percent of online consumers are more likely to buy a product after seeing a video.
I’m in wealth management, an industry that often lags marketing trends. But given these trends, the industry must adapt to using video in marketing materials, otherwise, we’ll get left behind in the Participation Age.
What to consider
Production styles and costs can range widely depending on the type of video being produced. One of the most interesting strategies employs user-generated content which holds costs down, but that may be a risky place to start in financial services, where regulations are restrictive. Here’s what I consider to be a more basic menu:
- Product demos – Videos capture a prospect’s attention and are statistically proven to lift consumer response rates for new products and services. “Explainer videos” are a popular form of product demos – fast, simple, animated pieces. Imagine explaining to people what to expect when they work with you.
- Tutorials– Many manufacturers now rely on videos to replace instruction manuals. We’re doing a lot with tutorials across our business to help teach employees and clients.
- Video documentaries – This is a form of storytelling that takes case studies up a notch by adding a personal touch. At our company, we tell the brand story and our founder’s story, creating connection that faceless institutions can’t achieve.
- Interviews– Go beyond whitepapers or traditional thought leadership. For instance, we did a series of author interviews on topics relating to life and money, and took viewer responses to make it more engaging.
- Behind the scenes – Why not let clients and prospects see the inside of your company – the 360-degree experience, like a kitchen tour in a great restaurant? We’ve used Facebook Live for an inexpensive way to have the back office say hi to our clients.
- Company culture videos – We revved up internal communications by creating UCDN, our own digital network, and the weekly video shorts featured on our intranet are fun, fresh and informative. For us, a consistent culture that is very human and authentic is critical to our brand.
Tips to Get Moving with Video:
- Start by using video for internal communications, so you can test the tools available and get people comfortable on camera.
- Select and train your talent, if you’re going to use spokespeople, to ensure they reflect your brand and personality.
- Once you’re ready to go live with clients and prospects, make sure you’re happy with the production quality, or upgrade equipment.
- Until you are really comfortable in your video strategy, you may not want to go it alone nor hire dedicated staff, and you don’t have to. Recruit freelancers and small agencies for help.
Video marketing is here, it’s now, it’s powerful and it’s not optional. My guess is people who are avoiding video think it’s too complicated or a fad.
Sure, just like the internet. Good luck with that!
Super! Thank you! was just talking about this earlier today, where video is NOT the next big thing, but how we are constantly seeing more SMBs (our clients) ask and use videos in their online marketing efforts.
In a similar discussion on existing and emerging solution for content creation (where we saw a bottleneck). after using anything from iMovie to Animoto and a few ‘promising’ mobile apps for video content creation, these days we found our winner with Slidely’s PROMO (not sure I can add a link, but it’s slide.ly/promo – please edit out if needed:) we saw incredible results for our video ads efforts. With really some of the videos look like big budget ads that were once exclusive to big brands, and that’s pretty awesome and welcome change. Good stuff! again thanks!