ULTIMATE GUIDE: Video content for local business in 2020
Earlier this year, we were so busy with big-name brand activations we simply didn't have time to post on social media or publish blogs.
You can imagine it - calls, emails, texts coming in every day from new and existing clients wanting to organise new activations all over Melbourne.
From a weekly Bob Jane T-Mart activation at the WAFL, to Morris Finance at the Grand Prix, and a family fun fair at Forest Hill Chase.
We. Were. Slammed.
Of course, this was a good problem to have!
We focused on building our team and our client base, with each day busier than the last...
Then the coronavirus hit, and our industry, the events industry, was the first on the chopping block.
We had to think FAST - the ACTIV team put our heads together and developed strategies for our clients to continue engaging with their audience digitally.
You can post photos and text all day long, but at the end of the day, video content specifically produced for a brand's target audience cannot be beaten.
And here's why...
Video is the future - it's the best way to deliver information and entertainment for social media engagement, sales and SEO.
While only 20% of viewers will read the text on a page, 80% will watch a video.
You've probably noticed that social media platforms and even blog pages are including more and more video - it's because it works.
Now more than ever, video is crucial for communicating value to and establishing a relationship with your customers.
The average person watches more than an hour and a half of video per day.
People expect a lot of free value before they purchase from you. On average, consumers require 7 touch points (exposures) to your brand in order to buy from you.
With innovative technology and marketing strategies, this number can be reduced.
A viewer is 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video.
Using video is the best way to tell your brand story, demonstrate products, show how-tos/instructional material and provide entertainment.
Most people don't have the energy to read through a text-heavy piece of content and would much rather play a video or audio to learn new information.
When given a choice, over 72% of customers prefer to learn about a product or service by video instead of text.
Communicating information that prevents mental and visual exhaustion is imperative to capture the attention of consumers and prevent them from pressing x or scrolling past.
With so much stimulation available, consumer attention is the most valuable commodity to local businesses.
So what video content actually works?
It's common for consumers to search for entertainment and education from the brands they buy from.
Think about what your audience is interested in seeing more of, or better yet, ask them directly.
Just because it's long-form, doesn't mean it has to be expensive or time-consuming.
Here are some ideas for content:
Sit-down interview with your key staff to talk about new product developments
Behind the scenes of your office/warehouse/factory
Instructional videos using your products
Highlights for the month/year
This works for:
Podcast (convert to audio)
Engagement Hub/customer portal
Consumers will often seek information or entertainment without wanting to commit to a long-form video.
Short-form content is great to post to multiple platforms, providing quality content without the investment of a lot of time.
This is the perfect time frame for most video types (see below for a full list), in particular how to/instructional, product, and FAQ videos.
This works for:
Podcast (convert to audio)
Engagement Hub/customer portal
Attention span statistics are dwindling as each year passes.
Content styles and apps have emerged to match these figures, including TikTok, Snapchat and stories. Some successful video content is as short as 3 seconds.
Consumers love bite-sized content.
This can be some of the easiest video content to create - as it's acceptable and even preferable that it be filmed right from your phone, talk-to-camera style.
This works for:
Live Streaming - The Key to Authenticity
Have you plucked up the courage to live stream yet?
Social media users respond incredibly well to live video. In an increasingly fake and curated digital world, people love to see the real you.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are all popular platforms that support live streaming.
Give a Behind the Scenes Insight
Pull back the curtain and let your customers see the work that goes into the final product.
Here are some content ideas:
Meeting the team
The making of a product
New product development
Tour the showroom/store/warehouse
Promote an Upcoming Event
If you have an event (in person or virtual) that you would like to promote, a live stream is a great way to drive attention to it.
Here are some tips for successfully promoting an event:
Schedule your live
Post about it
Share the event URL verbally and in the comments
Track your URL with a tool such as Bitly so you can see which platform gets you the most sign-ups
Tease New Products
Give your audience a sneak peek at your products before release, or announce the release as it becomes available.
To make the most of this option:
Drop a link during the video to take pre-orders
Answer questions from customers
Hype the release with excitement
People are the core of any business, both the staff and the customers.
You can use a live stream to answer FAQs or spontaneous concerns. This is a time-effective way to both tackle some repetitive questions and maintain an authentic connection with your audience.
Before you go live, consider these tips:
Have a plan Outline your key points and objective for the live
Prepare a Call to Action (CTA) There should always be an action for viewers to take to encourage engagement, anything from registering for an event or dropping a comment
Check your video quality Make sure your visuals are crisp and the audio is clear.
Video content ideas - what do you film?
If you need ideas for content, check out our guide to creating content your audience actually want to see.
Here are some video formats that will help you get the ball rolling.
Brand videos tell a story, invite viewers into the brand and are useful for increasing brand awareness. After all, a brand is not a logo or colour scheme, it is what your customers think about you.
For a successful brand video, make sure it is:
Follows a story arc, and
Hits on a core need/desire
Think Apple and Nike. They tell a story that captures the essence of the brand, who would buy it and most importantly, why.
Educational videos are useful to drive organic traffic to your channel or website, increasing brand awareness. They are specific explainer videos that answer questions that people search for online.
For a successful educational video, keep the information:
For example, the Westfield Shopping Centre group might film a video about the best hygiene practices for shopping safely during COVID-19.
Instructional videos put your products and services into context.
So you sell kitchen supplies, great, how does that benefit your customer?
Your audience will be far more likely to purchase from you if they can imagine themselves needing and using what you offer.
Provide a free PDF guide along with your video to deliver extra value. You can create one for free on any word processor, but I recommend using a free Canva template.
Our digital and productions team have recently collaborated with Greensborough Plaza to produce their own Engagement Hub - a customer portal where they can log in and access new videos, PDFs and other useful resources every month.
This is a unique way to engage and entertain the community from any device. More on that later.
360° Experience Videos
360° videos allow the viewer to preview a location before they invest the time and energy to visit it.
These involve some specific tech and skills, so unless you'll be using it regularly, it might be worth hiring someone to film it for you.
It can give local businesses an edge to include one in their Google My Business listings, giving customers a better idea of what to expect and helping them make an informed decision to work with them.
Realtors have used them for years to include virtual tours in listings, and have become increasingly popular while social distancing regulations are in place.
Sometimes images and a text description is just not enough.
A video of a product in use gives the potential customer a better idea of what it's like to own and use it. It also captures things that images can't - such as sounds, movement and ergonomics.
They don't have to be pricey, high production videos, you can shoot simple demonstrations on your phone.
Normally people touch, pick up and inspect a product in-store. Think about giving the viewer this vicarious experience through a short product video.
Let's face it, often, people do things because others do it first and they want to fit in, but they also follow suit because it gives them peace of mind that they can trust in your brand before investing their own hard-earned cash.
A video testimonial will provide proof of value, and also activate the Jones effect - whereby people follow social norms to fit in.
A testimonial should include:
Positive affect (happy/satisfied)
A clear before, during and after purchase story
A genuine customer
You can incentivise customers to be filmed by offering on the spot discounts, or to send in their self-filmed video testimonials through a competition.
It can get tedious and time-consuming to answer customer queries one by one.
Over time, you'll find that you get asked similar variations of the same question, which presents an excellent opportunity to film a FAQ video.
These are far more engaging and set you apart in the industry. Did you know you can reply to comments with a video response?
This is a great way to establish personal connections with your customers online.
Video Hosting - where do you upload your videos?
Social media platforms are excellent for sharing and starting a conversation. Make sure you upload your video directly to the platform, as native videos perform much better than linked videos.
Over 1.9 billion people use YouTube.
If you want people to find you via searches and recommendations, YouTube is the best place to upload your videos.
Almost every brand should have a YouTube channel, as it's the second largest search engine in the world. If someone is looking for your product or service, it pays to upload here too.
There are pros and cons to consider when uploading to YouTube.
YouTube is excellent if you want to be found by new potential customers, contribute to the knowledge base, and even run video ads.
However, YouTube's algorithm often shows your competitors videos as suggested content right beside your own. Many users will access your information, then click onto someone else's, especially if they have auto-play turned on.
If you want a customer to engage deeply with only your brand, then read on.
Engagement Hub Customer Portal
Developing a mutual connection with your audience has never been more important.
Customers build real relationships with the brands they buy.
Engagement Hubs are personalised portals where your customers can receive free or paid resources that provide value related to your products and services.
This is an excellent way for your customers to solve many relevant problems in one place.
Your customer is a multi-faceted human, and there's no reason you can't incorporate their life into your content.
For example, a gym can create an Engagement Hub that offers:
At-home workout routines - HIIT workouts - Strength training with household items - Bodyweight training
Healthy recipes - Instructional videos - PDF downloads - Meal tracking advice
Kids zone - Parents and kids workouts - Colouring sheets of muscles - Healthy food activity sheets
These solutions provide something for multiple aspects of a customers' life, and they will thank you for it with their loyalty and advocacy.
Check out Greensborough Plaza's developing Engagement Hub here. This has taken their community engagement to the next level and given them a competitive edge.
This might seem like a great idea, but how do you go about setting one up for your business?
This service is unique to ACTIV Brand Management. We take care of everything from building the site to video content creation.
Contact us to book a strategy session and find out if this is right for you.