Video is a potent and wildly effective marketing tool, but only when it is part of a measured and considered content strategy.
It is no easy task to succinctly and effectively communicate your brand values and core messaging to an audience in a way that is original and compelling.
Before you even begin you need to have spent time seeking to understand who your customers are in the first place.
Promotional videos require proper planning if they are to be successful but then they must also be created and produced to high standards. Once this has been done, it’s no good sitting back and hoping for the best.
All the most successful video campaigns online have sophisticated activation strategies behind them, making sure they get the exposure they require to gain traction and do their job.
In this article, I’ll explain the three stages that go into creating a successful promotional film. It is a structure that we follow closely at Aspect and one that, if you stick to, will keep your video content on track and on message.
Promotional Video Planning
Currently around 200 million people worldwide are thought to use ad blockers when browsing the internet. Combined with the rise of on-demand TV, this trend represents not only the ability for users to switch off from traditional ‘push advertising’, but also their willingness to do so.
From a video marketing perspective, this requires an insightful and innovative approach to video marketing and a renewed focus on what it is people actually want to see from your company, instead of just what you’d like them to see.
In this sense, it may be helpful to think of the planning stage of creating a promotional video from a publishing perspective, rather than a traditional advertising one.
Your aim here should be to create content that your audience wants to see and will actively seek out, because it is helpful, interesting or appealing to them.
The creation of successful video content requires a balance of five different elements:
As a representation of your brand, each piece of content you create must meet, and preferably exceed, certain production standards. Maintaining this quality it important.
You need your audience to care about what you are creating, and they are not going to care about something that doesn’t hold their attention.
Consistency is key because you need to know your business is going to be the first that springs into the minds of your audience.
How and where do your audience want to engage with your content? If they can’t find it, all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Your creations must come to fruition within a budget you can comfortably afford.
Your video content strategy must therefore cover several key areas, to overcome the challenges inherent within these five elements.
A comprehensive understanding of your audience is imperative. As well as closely considering their needs, understanding their habits, tastes and interests will help you to tailor your approach in ways that you can be confident will engage the precise people you want to appeal to.
You also need to consider the role of your business, to ensure your approach will help you to reach key business objectives and to guarantee your methodology is both different from and better than your competitors.
A holistic approach and strategic planning is necessary to create a comprehensive calendar of content within your budget, deliver a good and measurable ROI, grow your brand and secure those all-important conversions.
Promotional Video Creation
Video content creation requires solid teamwork, creative flair, and a thorough understanding of where your videos sit on the help, hub and hero content spectrum, to make a positive impact and drive results for your business.
Ever present, and designed to demonstrate your products or services as well as your brand, help content is where your audience will turn to for advice and prompts for how they can further engage with your brand.
Examples include: Product demonstrations, how-to videos, case studies and testimonials are all solid examples of help content
Vintage clothing company Modcloth have completely nailed hero content, by creating a stream of fashion, craft and styling tips and how-tos that appeal directly to their core market.
Often referred to as ‘magazine’ style content, hub content should be designed specifically to form connections with your audience and appeal to their passions and interests.
This content should be regular and designed to engage with those who are already switched onto your brand and what you do.
Examples include: Regular branded ‘magazine’ style content, behind the scenes snippets, documentary style entertainment pieces, sponsorship and endorsement films.
Redbull are masters of hub content and Redbull TV is a perfect example of how they’ve achieved such recognition.
By providing their target audiences with a constant output of footage from across a spectrum of hi-octane sports they sponsor, they’ve established themselves as one of the most recognisable brands on the planet.
You should think of your hero content as your ‘go big’ opportunity. Designed to maximise brand exposure and raise awareness of who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer, hero content should always be impactful and attract a more significant budget.
Although hugely challenging, the rewards from producing successful hero content have the potential to bring about wildly positive changes for your business.
Examples include: New product launches, large-scale social campaigns and television advertisements.
OK! So most businesses don’t have the budget of Audi but this remarkably entertaining 90 second video is a perfect example of a bold, brash and beautifully produced piece of hero content. Hard to look away, right?
As we have seen, although the subjects of your videos may vary, your voice must remain consistent throughout, to reliably and coherently communicate your core messages and values to as many different people as possible.
Promotional Video Activation
You have successfully navigated through the planning and creation processes, but without an effective activation strategy, your time and resources will not secure the ROI they deserve.
With earned, owned and paid media opportunities to consider, a thorough content and social mapping strategy is necessary to ensure all eyes are on your content.
Using the assets you have for each campaign (such as stills and imagery from filming), you should aim to secure appropriate external placements and at the same time strive for seamless integration into your own platforms to reach the right people.
Attention to keyword optimisation and paid media within key target regions is vital, as is having a strategy in place to make an impact with journalists, vloggers and bloggers. You should aim to promote your content across multiple social channels and strive to make it as easy as possible for your audience to both find and share it.
Alongside developing your activation approach, it is important to closely monitor all results and maintain an open mindset that allows you to alter and refine your campaign when required.
Remaining adaptable is key for maximising the overall performance possibilities of your ongoing video content, successfully supporting your wider digital strategy and securing the most effective and positive outcome for your business.
Successful promotional videos are not born overnight. They come from a strategic approach to planning, creation and activation, from a team with clear objectives and a comprehensive understanding of the current digital landscape.
Without a plan, there is the danger your content could feel rudderless and irrelevant, and without a clear activation approach, even the best content can end up getting lost and largely unnoticed in an extremely noisy and competitive digital landscape.
A complete and effective combination of the three pillars of successful promotional video content, will lead to the creation of meaningful content that your audience will want to seek out and share. Get it right and you will soon find how quickly a well executed video strategy can elevate your business.
About the author
This article has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Evelyn Timson. Evelyn is Managing Director at Bristol-based video content agency Aspect Film and Video and has worked with well known national and international brands like Coca Cola, Samsung, Microsoft, the British Library and the National Trust. To see a selection of their award winning work check out their YouTube Channel.