In a day and age where most companies are using video as part of their marketing activities, it is crucial to approach each video strategically in order to make sure it resonates with your audience and drives the results you’re looking for.
Every industry is different, so each video you create probably differs pretty significantly from those that we publish at NES Financial. But the approach we take in getting to that end result should be relatively similar. First and foremost, we all must take our audiences into consideration. One audience may be looking for a little comic relief, while another, like ours, may find that inappropriate.
You know your audience best, but regardless of the style of video you wish to create, the message of the video should follow certain guidelines.
- It should be related to your brand. There is nothing more confusing for a viewer than watching a video that strays from the branding you’ve worked hard to create. Every video you create should align with the perception you’re trying to build. Not that a live action video must only include your brand colors, but the consistency in the tone, topic, and messaging should be evident.
- The content must be new and truthful. Consumers need to trust you. And if you’re bending the truth or not coming across as genuine in your videos, it’ll be difficult for them to get to this point. Similarly, consumers want something new. You’ve got a lot of content competition out there, so find your niche and stick to it. If it is difficult to find new messages for your industry, try spinning some older but still relevant content in a new and exciting way.
- Videos should help your audience relate. While funny may not always be the route to go, more often than not, videos that make your audience feel something will outperform those that don’t. When the viewer has a connection with your message, they are more likely to remember your company and come to you when they are ready to buy.
At NES Financial, we’ve used this approach in two particular video campaigns – one past and one that’s about to launch.
Campaign #1: Education, Thought Leadership, and Trust
Our company serves many sectors, but primarily the real estate sector. We work with people who are dealing with complex financial transactions such as 1031 exchanges and multiparty escrows (i.e. EB-5 investments). In this space, it is not easy to find “new news” on a regular basis. The industry is relatively static, and there is nothing that our audience finds particularly humorous when it comes to entrusting us with their hard-earned money.
We’ve met this challenge and balanced an approach that works for our audience with our brand message, through educational videos.
For something that has specific requirements mandated by the government, it is crucial that people do it correctly and since (a) we have expertise in this area and (b) our audience needs to trust us, this was a perfect pairing. We happen to be very lucky in having one of the 1031 exchange industry’s top experts as the General Counsel of our company.
Rather than be promotional, our video content features her speaking to the audience about the basics of a 1031 exchange. We have found that this type of approach is very well received and helps solidify our goal of being considered experts on the subject.
Try taking a thought leadership stance yourself and leverage your position to establish recognition and credibility.
Campaign #2: Knowing When and How to Use Emotion
The EB-5 program is essentially about creating U.S. jobs and boosting our economy, while allowing foreign nationals a chance to live the “American Dream”. Again, we’ve found that with people’s immigration status and life savings at stake, this is a very thin line to walk when trying to create exciting content.
For this campaign (launching soon!) we’ve taken the emotional/inspirational angle. Our videos talk about the good the program does for our country by creating jobs for thousands of Americans. As part of the NES Financial video strategy, our future videos will profile an actual investor who took part in the EB-5 program and was able to successfully receive permanent residency for themself and their family. This gets the viewer involved in the story and makes them feel compelled to take action to make sure this same story can hold true for many more foreign nationals.
Going Beyond the Content
Beyond the content of your video production, there are a few other important components to consider when publishing your video to improve it’s chance of success:
- Calls-to-action: Having a call to action somewhere throughout the video reminds your viewer that they should be interacting with your content. Try linking to a relevant page on your site. A video is a short way to gage interest, but directing people to a more detailed landing page really gives you a chance to expand on your message for those people who are truly interested in what you have to offer.
- Social sharing: Share buttons for social media are a norm when it comes to videos, especially using a platform like Vidyard that allows you to include them so easily on the screen. This lets your video be seen by a wider audience and possibly even go viral, which is a relatively inexpensive yet highly effective way to get your brand out there.
- Tracking: Track viewing behavior of your video. The tracking features provided by Vidyard allow you to see what messages resonate with your audience, where they stop watching your video to help you determine where the best messages should be placed, and where to include your call to action. If the majority of people do not make it through half of the video, make sure you put the important information at the beginning of the clip!
Although every industry and every company have different audiences and ultimately very different video campaigns, these principles of video content, and basic rules of thumb are important to keep in mind for every video you produce – no matter how emotional or educational.