We live in a visual age, whereby learning is more and more visual and communication is similarly visual-led. Social media makes up a major part of this communicative shift towards the visual medium in this digital age.
In the relatively short time we’ve had social media, there’s been a distinct shift from long form blogging, later microblogging, to fast-paced video and image sharing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat.
Naturally, companies and marketers need to use visuals to their advantage, whether it’s an eye-catching logo, a visually pleasing Instagram account or branded video content regularly appearing across their Facebook page. But brand recognition is a much more than just a stylesheet with a logo, tagline and colour, it’s ultimately about the relationship between brand and consumer, it’s about the values demonstrated, the tone of a brand, the feeling captured and emotional reaction brand communication delivers within its customers and ultimately the end goal is respect, admiration and loyalty gained.
The internet in the modern day is significantly fuelled by video content, and with very good reason because it’s a seriously effective way to earn conversions and generate leads from engaged viewers and followers whilst demonstrating your brand worth and value. So, companies need to focus on video content to raise brand awareness, but how do they achieve that? Think of it as a Who, What, Where, When and Why scenario…
First things first – who is the target audience? Defining an audience to market to should always be the beginning of a marketing game plan and any brand activity. The key is to be specific – it can’t be everyone, because that’s not realistic. Narrow down your ultimate target demographic, where they live, their age range, gender if necessary and focus your content appropriately.
The What is the content – what does your target market want to see? What do they like? What do they engage with? What content might be helpful or beneficial for them? The content will follow from the target market lead. As video content is so adaptable, it can be a good idea to tailor slightly for different channels. Video content made for Instagram won’t work for Facebook or Twitter, so alterations may achieve benefits across the social media suite.
This also means what kind of video content do you need to produce? A product overview video is great for creating initial interest in what you offer, introducing unique features, niche placement in the market and what the appeal may be to your target market.
A demonstration video will seal the deal for those picky customers who fall into your target market but may not be sold on choosing your company specifically. This is the opportunity to go hard on a sales pitch, delivering the necessary details in an engaging way. Think of it as the challenge being: ‘why can’t this customer live without this product?’ – especially if you’re operating in a crowded marketplace with lots of direct competition.
Testimonials may have less success as there is a certain amount of scepticism surrounding the validity of online testimonials, however what it does achieve effectively is demonstrating a human connection and satisfaction with the product. People take the opinions of others to heart so this creates an emotional connection and appeal for the product and brand. The customer is thinking: ‘if this person trusts and supports this brand, it must be good!’ This also ties in to ambassadors and influencer outreach – by having noteworthy names endorsing what you do it attracts others.
Now that an idea is there, step back and think about the content and its message. Put yourself in the viewer’s position – who you are targeting from your demographic. What’s in it for the viewer? Why would they want to take action based on what you’re sharing in this video content? How will it inspire them to engage with you more? Tell them something they don’t know, make them want to know more about this company and product, understand what will move them to purchase or at least browse your offering and, crucially, remember you in the future.
Content in the bag, then it’s time to plan the distribution channels most appropriate for targeting that lucrative audience. Most people are found on social media these days, rather than via traditional media avenues. Videos naturally grab attention more than text and image posts, but aside from being entertaining to watch in your social media feed, video content also aims to inspire, captivate and entertain the viewer. In this social media age where everyone is connected there is every avenue of possibility to spread your awareness activation across several platforms. But, like most things, there is a catch: pay to play is the order of the day and to reach your optimum demographic and get as much ‘reach’ as possible, you may need significant budget when considered in the long-term.
A single posted video isn’t enough to create a splash, so targeting in different ways and at different times is key. Those you target on the morning or evening commute will be different from those late morning or late night, which needs to be factored in to your plan. The more opportunities to demonstrate a product or a company’s expertise, the more traction it will get.
Video, where possible, speaks louder, longer and more powerfully than most other forms of written word, so for brands looking to really crack a market share, press record.