Carving or crashing? How to ride the video marketing wave
Will video marketing go the way of corporate blogging and ad banners – abused to the point of spam? At any rate, Patricio Cummins says the best way to ride the wave is with careful planning; method among the madness.
Visual experiences, in the form of short clips, memes and animations, form part of the marketing arsenal for companies of all shapes and sizes and, done well, video can be an entertaining and engaging medium for conveying persuasive messages. Marketers think so, at any rate. Research in 2017 from HubSpot showed 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content, while Aberdeen Group found companies which used video marketing grew almost 50% faster than those that did not.
A video marketing strategy is a must-have for companies selling directly to consumers and they’re becoming increasingly important in business-to-business marketing too.
Read, aim, shoot?
Making video marketing clips can be quick and cheap. Anyone with a smartphone, rudimentary audio-visual skills and a modicum of creativity can come up with the goods. Or some sort of goods, anyway – there’s a world of difference between doing something and doing it well.
We’re seeing a growing number of businesses demonstrating the erroneous belief that ‘more is more’ – churning out oceans of video content with little regard for its relevance or quality. Short-sighted companies do things like putting video players online and asking employees to start filming themselves so they can publish and share the clips on their websites and social channels.
It’s supposed to be cheap and effective, but whether it’s the latter is open to question. With thousands of businesses starting to do the same thing, what began as a killer idea to drive customer engagement and sales is likely to quickly devolve into visual clutter and noise – the video equivalent of junk mail.
It happened with corporate blogging a decade ago and, more recently, with ad banners and SEO keywords – and there’s no reason to think video marketing will fare any better.
Start with a strategy
Effective video marketing – marketing that generates a positive return on investment by driving sales – starts with a strategy, not with producing scads of short videos for the sake of it. A plan detailing the key messages the campaign seeks to convey, the number of videos that will be shot and their scripts should be the first step.
But the challenge doesn’t end when the product starts to hit the pipeline. For companies that are serious about making a long-term success of their video marketing push, thinking like a production studio and building a robust ‘media supply chain’ is almost as important as creating killer clips.
The media supply chain difference
The term supply chain management was coined in the 1980s to describe the process whereby key business processes are integrated, from original supplier through to end user. Supply chain management aims to fulfil customer demands by delivering goods and services via the most efficient use of resources, including distribution, inventory management and labour.
These days, all industries have made optimising the supply chain a goal. Media production is no exception. Just as an assembly line turns raw materials into finished products, video clips must also be put through a series of stages before they can be viewed by the consumer on their browser or device.
Typical steps in a video marketing supply chain are: pre-planning, scripting and production; shooting the raw footage; entering metadata to identify and describe the video; ingesting the footage into a media asset management system; compressing the digital file; post production editing; quality control review; and delivery to a video player, app, web or social channel.
Professional media companies follow their supply chain protocols to the letter and businesses which are serious about making a success of DIY video marketing do well to follow their example. The steps may vary somewhat, depending on the business’ needs, marketing strategy, budget and scale of production.
Including a ‘scheduling and syndication’ step, in which short ‘teaser’ versions of clips destined for the corporate site are created for social media use, may be necessary if Facebook, Instagram et al are important marketing channels.
Lead nurturing and monetisation may also be added to the supply chain, if a business is aiming to convert viewer engagement into immediate action.
Doing things professionally
Video marketing holds great promise for Australian businesses, provided they manage the process professionally. Regardless of the size of the internal ‘production house’, approaching it with the rigour a well designed supply chain demands can help companies turn out clips that drive engagement and sales, rather than visual ‘junk mail’ that sees their customers switch off.
Whatever you put out there should be talking about your brand and driving your message. Don’t let that message become junk.
Patricio Cummins is JPAC vice president of sales at Ooyala
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Image credit:Jeremy Bishop