The EOFY sales season, aka one of the most popular dates in the retail calendar, has arrived and many retail brands are hoping to cash in on the $8.8 billion Australian consumers are predicted to spend this year.
To create infamy and buzz around their products and services, many brands will be utilising video marketing campaigns and strategies to capture the attention of consumers. And it’s not hard to understand why. According to iStock’s marketing research, 70 percent of marketers find video produces more conversions than any other content. Even better, 64 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video.
Over the years, we’ve seen how video has become a powerful medium for brands. Take the Meat & Livestock Australia’s Make Lamb Not Walls’ campaign. It tapped into the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, sending a positive message to Australians. The message to reunite over a lamb BBQ video delivered a 16.8 percent uplift in sales during the campaign period. This is more than 1000 pieces of coverage and over 10 million video views.
So, what makes a video cut through the noise? What helps it gain notoriety and, ultimately, drive its target audience to action? From analysing our extensive iStock video database, we’ve identified four essential elements.
Authenticity is an important part of any successful video campaign. Brands can no longer solely rely on selling a product. They need to connect with how consumers feel about the world around them. In this way, diversity, inclusion and belonging are becoming increasingly important to consumers, with the latest iStock VisualGPS data revealing that 80 percent of ANZ consumers expect brands to lead diversity and inclusion efforts.
To be authentic, brands need to consider the expectations of consumers in the video content they service and the service or product they offer. Marketing leaders should continue to challenge and ask themselves: “Am I showing the whole range of life experiences that a person may have?” “Am I showing diversity in all its forms across intersecting identity factors such as age, class, body size, ethnicity, gender identity, disability, and sexuality?”
Encouragingly, more brands are moving in this direction, with “diverse” and “diversity” in the top 50 searches on the Getty Images and iStock website. By representing different genders, ethnicities, experiences and worldviews in their videos, brands can produce more effective inclusion marketing for diverse audiences.
Make it real
Why did Google Australia’s campaign with the AFL ‘With a Little Love’ have so much success? Because it was able to connect emotionally with the hearts and minds of its target audiences. In order to stand out, it is essential for video content to present authentic and realistic portrayals which can resonate with consumers on a deeper, emotional level. Following nearly two years of limited human interaction, people are longing for connections. Whether it be with family, friends and pets, people ultimately respond better to images that depict positive interactions. Choosing video content that focuses on people will do a better job at capturing the attention of their consumers.
Consumers don’t want to be shown the product; they want to be shown how it fits into their everyday experiences and how it can add value to their lives. In fact, the latest iStock VisualGPS data reveals that half of ANZ consumers want to see the product in a real-life setting, not staged. This is particularly important for new or innovative technology products that can feel abstract or unattainable to many consumers.
In 2022, we’re moving into an era of technological innovation that’s less about technology as an additive and more about the ways it enables us to live fuller lives. By humanising video communications – by focusing on concepts such as connectivity, community, empathy and kindness, brands can not only appear innovative, but more authentic and relatable too, and clearly show how the product benefits its consumers.
Have a clear message
Consumers are bombarded with a plethora of marketing messages and promotions on a daily basis, and brands spend a lot of time, money and resources to get those messages in front of the consumers they want to serve. Unfortunately for most brands, many videos are forgotten or ignored seconds after they’ve been viewed, and there is one probable cause for this: the messages fail to inspire consumers to action.
Where once the message was about the effectiveness or uniqueness of the product, creating a compelling and relatable story is now critical as people want to feel a real connection to the brand. Data from VisualGPS backs this up – looking at consumers’ attitudes to sustainability, technology and wellness, the insights found that what moves consumers to action is invariably seeing people like them in the visual messages.
Similarly, videos that are aspirational and uplifting are more likely to capture consumers’ attention and get them to take positive action. Take sustainability as an example. Brands who want to overcome the sense of helplessness that many consumers feel should focus on visual content that helps consumers visualise concrete actions, positive steps and real solutions that will pave the way for a more sustainable future.
Understand your audience
Before the video creation process even starts, marketers need to understand their target audiences’ journey and where they are in the marketing funnel, to create an effective call to action on the most effective channel. Today, there are so many social media platforms at a marketer’s disposal, each with unique video formats and features, for example, videos on TikTok should utilise typical mobile dimensions.
Video is an effective way to meet target audiences where they are, but the right approach and channel are critical to getting people to take action, buy and believe in your brand. Many branded video campaigns fail on social media when the consumer is unable to easily follow or connect with the story and narrative, it feels too sleek and sells too hard like an old fashioned TV commercial or it doesn’t have a clear call to action.
The EOFY sales period may feel like an overwhelming race of advertising and marketing campaigns to capture customers’ attention. Brands that create videos that are authentic, appeal to human emotion and connection, and have a clear call to action on the right platform, will be best placed for success.
Kate Rourke is head of creative Insights at Getty Images and iStock.