Here are some ways that businesses are using video to help improve their bottom line
In many companies few people have the time or interest to understand what other groups or functions within the company do or even why they exist. Internal videos that highlight business plans, new business activities and achievements can improve knowledge transfer and lead to more effective communications. They are also a great way to show off your local heroes. These videos can be either live or recorded and are typically used in larger more geographically dispersed companies. As more employees work from home or remote locations, these videos will become more important.
Event/Conference and Trade Show Communications
Companies can spend a disproportionate amount of their marketing budget on attending and participating in a variety of industry events and yet only a very small percentage of employees ever benefit from these activities. Share the knowledge gained at these events by capturing the presentations, demos, and interviews on video.
New hires can benefit from employee orientation videos. This is a great way to get new staff up to speed. Company history, structure, procedures, policies and codes of behavior can all be communicated effectively with video. It’s consistent and available any time.
Health, Legal & Safety
The cost of dealing with health and safety related issues within organizations continues to grow. Video is one of the most effective means of minimizing these costs and assuring that key points are conveyed in the video.
Customer Reference Videos
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer describe the virtues of your products and services or explaining how your company helped them to achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from fifteen second snippets to a minute and are typically combined with or used to support other marketing material.
Similar to a customer testimonial these videos run between one and two minutes and follow an interview format where the person on screen answers questions posed by an off-camera interviewer. These videos are usually delivered as stand-alone marketing support materials and are often grouped with other customer success stories.
Video Case Study
A video case study combines customer testimonials with more a more in-depth explanation of how your company’s products and services helped your customer be successful. These case studies usually incorporate two voices - a narrator and the voice of your customer and can run anywhere from two to five minutes. The video structure follows the “Problem, Solution, Benefit” format and usually include b-roll or other supporting text and video.
If one of your customers is presenting at a conference, trade show or event or even in your offices and is talking about your products or services either directly with you or indirectly as part of a larger discussion this may be a perfect opportunity to capture the presentation on video (with permission, of course) to re-purpose on your website and intranet.
Product and Service Promotion
Product PresentationsProduct or Service presentation videos are typically employed early in the buying cycle. The presentation emphasizes benefits from your customer’s perspective. They should speak clearly to how your product solves a specific business problem that your prospect is experiencing. They are used to help your customers and prospects differentiate between your products and services to those of your competitors.
Product demos show how your product works and highlight features that differentiate it from your competitors. Software screen captures, a 3D cut-away, or a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works. These videos are typically used to influence a prospect who is relatively far along in the sales cycle. In technology marketing these videos would be targeted at the technical approvers who need to understand how something works. In consumer marketing these would be targeted at the economic buyers of larger ticket items who may be further along the sales process.
The best product reviews are trusted third party reviews. Video reviews can be found anywhere from YouTube to various business portals. To the extent they are positive and promote your brand, they should be referenced. You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your own products.
Visual stories employ illustrations, animations and motion graphics with a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner. These are sometime referred to as ‘explainers’ and are usually between one and three minutes in length
These videos are intended to give new visitors to a website a better idea of the company. Corporate overview videos typically company history, key products, executives, owners and other top level business info.
Whether you are preparing for a quarterly update, responding to a major event in your industry or making a regularly scheduled presentation - there is great value in presenting your leadership team to all of your constituents.
Your senior leadership team should not be the first and only consideration to represent your company. It is becoming important to showcasing the people that drive the day-to-day operations of your company. Customer service representatives, technical experts and legacy workers are all valuable considerations for this category of corporate video. Surveys show that there is more trust associated with these employees than with senior management. When you are selling to influencers in organizations (versus economic buyers or decision makers) it is especially important you represent your company with people that your customers and prospects can relate to.
Public corporations are legally obliged to create annual and quarterly report. Video can either supplement or replace these materials.
Video is a cost effective substitute for in-class training. You can also easily integrate video into online training management tools or on DVDs distributed to field locations or key customers.
‘Just in Time’ training videos are becoming very popular on the web. ‘How-to’ videos, video manuals, on-site video reference, quick assembly demos, and other types of video are being used to supplement or replace traditional training. Mobile (smartphone, tablet) video increases the popularity of this type of video.
Post sale support and maintenance videosNo one reads manuals. You can save thousands of dollars of post sale support by replacing printed manuals with informative assembly, installation and maintenance videos for your products and services.
In certain formats video can be a suitable replacement for text where an authoritative voice, support materials or other visual references are required. A list of Frequently Asked Questions answered by a company expert is an example.
Advertising, Marketing and Promotion
While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, event sponsorships and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast and cable commercials. A proliferation of video screens cropping up on every building, device and structure will create an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities. The challenge will be to create specialized content targeted to ever shrinking niche audiences.
A video is viral if it is so compelling that people want to share it. (Calling a video ‘Viral’ doesn’t make it so). Viral videos have to be extremely engaging, entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful. Unfortunately some of the most successful viral videos have little connection (and therefore value) to any brand. Look at “A Hunter Shoots a Bear” on YouTube. Twenty Million views. This is viral on steroids. But very few viral videos are remotely this successful in actually driving sales. Viral video is very difficult to do well.
Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing activities. To be effective the video should be purpose-built to drive a specific conversion activity such as requesting a demo or to obtain more info, etc.
Infomercials have been around as long as we have had overnight TV. While they continue to be the primary focus of web-based parody videos they have remained remarkably resilient over time. The shopping channel is, in effect, a 24 hour infomercial. If done well, Infomercials can be very effective at selling certain consumer products.
This is a broad category, but much of the content being created today by companies is focused on selling and focused on the brand. Focusing on solving your customers problems first and then associating your brand with those solutions will be increasingly more important and effective. For example, Home Depot has developed a branded ‘how-to’ series that sits on their website and shows their customers how-to fix various things around the house. What knowledge do you have that can help your customers and prospects. People don’t go to your website to see your sales pitch. They go to see if you can solve their problem.
Home pages and micro sites
Video is beginning to replace or supplement text and graphics as a content element on many corporate websites. Home pages with video can offer a more compelling call to action.
Viral Video in many ways is just branded entertainment. There are many ways companies can benefit from having their names attached to content. In the ’50 the ‘soaps’ were a great way for P&G and other consumer companies to promote their brand. Everyday there is a new format for sponsored video being created for delivery on the web. Many will fail but some will become hugely popular. Associating your brand with the right entertainment and informational content on the web is a very interesting opportunity.
Branded Entertainment and Sponsored Video
Event Presentation video
Events represent a unique combination of expertise and opportunity - often under-leveraged. Trade Shows, meeting and conferences are usually attended by your top sales people, your corporate executives, industry experts and other influential business people. If you are speaking at an event or someone is referencing your company you should be capturing this valuable content on video to share with customers and employees who couldn’t be at the event.
Round table Sessions
Take the opportunity at an event to corral four to six of your best customers and other industry experts, put them in room and video tape them talking about industry trends, business issues and the future of your industry. This content will be the most valuable content you could ever capture.
PR Support and Community Relations
Video Press Releases
The standard four paragraph press release is supplemented by adding video to tell a more engaging story. Video can support important company announcements. The challenge for press releases is to change the focus from the company to the customer.
PR Support Materials
Make it easy for networks, bloggers, news gathers and others to promote your business and also to talk about your industry. Smart companies are developing video support catalogs of company and industry related materials (b-roll, industry footage, sound bites etc) and offering them to news and business portals. The demand for video is everywhere. If a news agency is looking for stock footage to use in a story it might as well be yours. (assuming the story is positive, of course)
Community Relations Video
If your company is out working in the community, being good corporate citizens, helping the environment or contributing to important causes you should be capturing those efforts on video. Show the world what you are doing, don’t just talk about it.
Corporate Talk Show Interviews
Weekly newsletters require a lot of effort and the ‘open’ rate on most of these is quite low. Companies of all sizes are now starting to develop talk-show format video where a host interviews various people, either internal or external to their company, to discuss things that are important to your audience. Think of it as the long tail of interviews where very specific interviews are being delivered to very specific audiences.
EPK (Electronic Press Kit)
While EPK’s are still being delivered on DVD, web based video and text are quickly replacing this electronic version of the press kit which became popular in the mid 90's.
Other Uses of Video
Finding the best employees is the single most important function of any company and yet comparatively small amounts of time and money are allocated to this critical task. Recruitment videos that feature company employees, highlight corporate culture and promote the direction of the company can be very influential.
In Store Video
Wal-Mart has its own profitable in-store TV network that makes shoppers aware of new promotions. LCD screens are everywhere. In store monitors will be networked and customizable offering you the ability to promote your own goods and services or make money by promoting other complimentary services.
Company Lobby Video
HD video screens are popping up everywhere - why not in your lobby or reception where you can get a jump start on first impressions and also take advantage of a captive audience.
Yes, ‘there’s an App for that’. Mobile video will soon be the largest video category outside of broadcast. In the short-run, mobile video will consist of hastily re-purposed video made to fit on a mobile device. It will quickly evolve into a much more specific format - i.e. five to fifteen second hyper targeted messages that are part of geo-located (‘location aware’) and micro-niched promotions. Adding mobility (true context) to video will generate many new uses and formats for video.
Video White paper
Video white papers are a professional delivery that is accompanied by charts, graphs and other visual references to make the presentation more valuable.
A Video Magazine delivers a serialized video to your customers. Like the name implies video content is created on a regular basis (usually monthly) that customers and prospects can view through a subscription service.
Personalize your brand. Open up the curtain and let customers understand who you are - a group of humans rather than a ‘brand’. This adds authenticity to your poduct or service.
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