We’ve entered an era of fast moving technological change, and online audiences expect the Internet to keep up. In this three-part series, we'll explain how companies can best utilize new forms of digital content and interactive media to drive customer engagement for their brand.
PART 1: VIDEO
Incorporating video into your digital marketing plan can be a great way to elevate customer interest, create more memorable experiences, and impact tangible marketing objectives. In fact, according to recent data from Wyzowl, 72% of businesses who use video say it has increased website conversion rates.
Don’t expect a decline in this anytime soon. Findings by Syndacast say that 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 is projected to come from video. The medium is especially popular among Millennials, who currently make up over 50% of the U.S. Labor force (and growing).
Of course, depending on specific marketing goals, there are many types of video content that brands can consider—from Pixar-style 3D animations to simple cell phone recordings. Let’s run down the list of a few popular video types we’ve been seeing so you can identify the ones that best align with your brand objectives:
With the introduction of platforms like Meerkat and Periscope, live video has become increasingly popular. These videos have quickly evolved into a great way to let users feel connected to a brand and its personality in real time. Live video also keeps the relationship between customer and brand more conversational because of its unedited, casual style, such as in this Sephora live video where the brand showcases their products in a laid back setting. In fact, this format is growing so much that Facebook recently changed its algorithm to move live video closer to the top of the news feed.
Showing first-hand accounts from current and former customers can provide a sense of truthfulness and connection to potential customers. Most people will follow those whose opinions they trust. By providing potential customers with testimonies or interviews, this approach immediately creates an “I’m with them” mentality that can be highly influential and persuasive. This testimonial video from Boise State does a good job of showing former students explaining their college experiences while also capturing the school's branding from the setting as well as the intro bumper animations.
Short ‘explainer’ videos are a great approach to inform people on complex topics, usually with clear visuals, animations, and voiceover. They are a more engaging way of presenting ideas and information to viewers and potential customers than other traditional presentation methods. In this animated explainer video, Men's Health does a great job of explaining a somewhat difficult-to-understand scientific process in a way that is easy to comprehend. The fun animations, voiceover, and overall tone of the video make it enjoyable to watch and in line with the Men's Health brand.
Tutorial/Instructional videos can come in many different forms depending on the subject matter being taught. It’s a great way to walk someone through a procedure—whether it be a recipe, construction process, or even how to use Adobe Photoshop. A great engaging example of these are the popular “Tasty” video series, which show a quick process tutorial on preparing different recipes.
Animation can mean a lot of things, but in this case, we are referring to short animated (2D or 3D) videos that are created with the purpose of being engaging enough to raise brand awareness via social media. A great example is this iconic short campaign that Chipotle did talking about their all natural foods. The video was also used to promote an app that Chipotle had created, which demonstrates how brands can apply animation as part of a larger customer experience strategy to drive users to take a desired action.
Short documentary style videos are typically under 10 minutes or so, and can be a compelling approach to get a feel for a person, project, event, or company. Here is an example of a short one for The Dyneema Project about lightweight hiking gear:
This example is very successful for their brand because it presents actual hikers in a real-life setting that is relatable to potential customers. It not only gives the brand an opportunity to showcase their products, but provides expert information in a conversational, accessible, and customer-focused format.
Culture videos are something we know a lot about here at R2i. They are a great way to allow your customers a little view behind the scenes. You can show anything from your organization’s working process to the social elements of your company outside of the office. Most importantly, it’s a great way to introduce your current and potential customers to the real people they’ll be working with.
Webinars are something most of us are familiar with at this point, but to those who aren’t, a webinar is a seminar or presentation conducted via the internet. It’s another good opportunity, especially in the B2B space, to present a topic while discussing your viewpoints on the subject, allowing the presentation to feel more conversational.
Most importantly, offering customers to attend live webinars adds an active element to their viewing experience. SiriusDecisions research suggests that live vendor-hosted webinars are one of the most sought after content types for mid-market organizations during their decision-making journey, because it allows these buyers to have a human interaction with a sales representative while still learning about the company’s product or services in an environment that’s on their own terms.
Video PSA or announcement videos are a good way to offer information to your viewers and customers. These can be anything from health precautions, to helpful tips, to letting customers know about a new summer sale. Using video to take these announcements from static to motion is likely to increase engagement, information retainability, and social shares. This example demonstrates how Verizon introduced a new product launch in a way that's not only easy to understand, but keeps the visual experience enticing, playful, and fun to watch.
While the amount of video formats to choose from may seem daunting, it's important for companies to apply a customer-first approach when deciding which content type is most appropriate for their brand. Take time to consider what format would resonate most with your consumer base, where they are most likely to view it, and what desired action you want to come from the interaction. While great creative is an obvious component to any video, perhaps even more important is the ability to connect this digital content as part of a larger customer experience strategy that drives awareness, action, and of course, conversions.