The moving image is a game changer
We’ve been told a picture tells a thousand words, so video must surely tell a million. That’s with the added bonus of never being as long or as dull as novel-length text.
Some marketing experts have yet to grasp the power of the moving image. They haven’t realised videos and animations are making an impact that’s often bigger than static content.
The reasoning is simple. Convenience and immediacy are crucial to consumers. A huge wall of text and specifications can rarely compete with a quick and exciting story told by a video.
Video is more important than ever
The way we consume has moved over to mobile devices and social storytelling. The two most prolific social networks, Facebook and Twitter, serve up personalised feeds of updates we look at in our spare time.
It’s no surprise that image-based posts perform much better than pure copy. The same applies to videos and animated GIFs, yet to a higher degree. Facebook users are finding videos five times more engaging than images.
For those in a marketing department struggling to boost brand visibility and conversion rates, they really should look to the power of the moving image. Facebook videos are increasing brand awareness from 32% to 65% and are lifting purchase intent from 44% to 72%.
Animated GIFs and videos are increasingly cited as the ‘thumb stoppers’ for Twitter. Like the network’s unique selling point of tight brevity, videos should run to a maximum length of 30 seconds. Of course, a simple YouTube or Vimeo link can let you break out of these conventions.
The email approach
Simply having the word “video” in your subject line can boost open rates by 19% and CTRs by 65%.
As any techy will tell you, embedding video into an email is a huge obstacle. Not enough email clients support these protocols, but that does not mean video should not be a part of your campaign.
Often, marketing emails are designed with ‘play button’ images that take the user to a landing page where the video actually is.
Animated GIFs are seen as a partial solution for giving the feel of an embedded video within an email. One of the shortfalls for this is that Outlook versions right up to 2016 don’t support such animations, only showing the first frame. Another headache surrounds filesize. Care must be taken not to make the file too large, as this can lead to a long download.
However, even with those limitations, there are huge opportunities for those who want to indulge. Dell experienced a 103% increase in conversion rate when they used animation in an email campaign.
Pressing the record button
You want to galvanise your marketing results and video is clearly a huge factor in reaching this achievement. Yet you’re unsure where to start and how to formulate a strategy. Here are some overviews on the major formats.
As outlined in our introduction, consumers love these videos. They touch upon a factor that conventional e-commerce often misses out on. Brick-and-mortar shopping allows people to get up close to the product for an examination.
A well-crafted video can evoke that experience, strengthening purchase intent well above the usual gallery of photos and paragraphs of copy.
The obvious move is to film your service, showcasing what it does that mere words can’t cover.
In addition to this, you can prove how well your services are appreciated by clients, by asking them to deliver a spoken testimonial in a video. This adds an enormous amount of credibility.
An emerging artform that’s gaining ground in marketing. These initially look like static photographs, but part of the image will be moving, on a loop. The key here is subtlety.
These animated memes are normally produced as animated GIFs and are cited for having CTRs over five times higher than static images. They’re increasingly prolific on social networks and work beautifully on webpages.
Quite simply, moving words. This approach has been very popular in recent years. They’re not for the amateur to attempt. You need a solid script and at least an intermediate handling of Adobe After Effects to produce such a video.
The pitfalls of video content
You’re probably feeling enthused about the advantages video can provide for your campaigns. However, as with all kinds of marketing collateral, a sense of professionalism is needed. Creation Agency has expertise and experience in producing videos for high profile brands; so do consider speaking to us to tap into our working knowledge on using video effectively as part of an online strategy.
Let’s touch upon a few areas where video and animation can potentially wreck a campaign.
You’ve seen that latest viral video shot on a smartphone and you want to recreate that buzz for your brand. Don’t fall into this trap. At the very least you’ll need an SLR camera. Some outstanding videos have been shot on mobile phones, but these will be at the highest end and with considerably good lighting used.
No serious agency would use the Comics Sans font for copy, nor would they craft up images in Windows Paint, so don’t assume you can win over your audience with a grainy video shot on a handheld device.
Invest in lighting, which makes a significant difference, especially for green screen jobs.
Sound can be overlooked. Your camera or camcorder may have internal microphones, but they’re not optimal for a professional feel.
Consider microphone equipment with XLR sockets, an industry benchmark for television, radio and theatre. Yes, cheap microphones with the standard 3.5mm connection are definitely more convenient, but almost all of them will lack the depth and dynamism that XLR-equipped microphones have.
Make your video short and punchy. Just as copy can suffer from being too long, it’s vital that your production has a maximum length of three minutes. Any longer, it’s likely your audience will be bored before the CTA comes in.
Text overlays are common for driving forward key phrases into the viewer’s mind. These can be done very badly, to the extent a consumer is simply put off.
Can your captions be read against the background? Are they screened long enough to be read? Are they really necessary?
Viral memes across social media will often shamelessly use parts of pop culture to get across their humour, and that’s especially true for video. As a marketing business, you have to be careful where you stand.
Covering a hit song doesn’t absolve you of the legal bills if you have no authorisation for it. Likewise, copying clips out of Game Of Thrones or WWE wrestling may generate a LOL factor, but could result in serious consequences.
Be creative. Certain fads and TV/film references are worth a nod and can be done cleverly without giving a copyright solicitor a reason to send an angry letter.
Outperform the static
We hope you’ve picked up some vital points from this article. There are many ways we can strengthen commercial success for your brand. Video is a vital part and here at Creation Agency, we believe in measurability.
Our clients can see how well the video and social content we produce, works for their campaigns.
Video is an exciting and growing area of marketing. It seems as if anyone can do it, which is nearly true. However, if you value a commercially focused aptitude, look to us for the right deployment of a video strategy. We’re ready to have a conversation on taking your product or service to the next level.