Tips for promoting your brand or product with video.

I didn’t always work in video production. But video is one of my favourite things.
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As a former live entertainment/touring shows marketer, video has been an integral part of all of my marketing endeavours: TV spots, digital campaigns, paid and earned social, Instagram stories, YouTube pre-roll. You name the placement, it more than likely utilized a video.

Even when I wasn’t advertising, video was there to support. It was in every press kit, every asset treasure chest, above-the-fold of every website. Countless PR opportunities required some sort of footage. Something visual to play alongside an interview explaining who we are, and why we’re on your screens.

So when I shifted gears into working for a video production agency, I was notably flabbergasted that video is still a relatively new frontier for lots of companies the world over. Rotating through conversations with prospective clients, the following things came up routinely:

“We haven’t done a video before.”

“We’ve been wanting to try video for a while, but it keeps going on the back burner.”

“We don’t really know where to begin.”

“It’s a big investment, and we’re a start-up.”

Perhaps another thought-process that begs mentioning is: “We want video to have a measurable impact on ROI, on brand recognition, or [insert other metric], and we want to do it right.”

Well, I’m here to tell you that video is one of the most useful, convertible, and “worth the money” tools you can put in your toolbox. And (at risk of sounding like a former entertainment marketer) it’s going to be the headlining act of your show*queue confetti cannon*

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Tips for making your video content count.

In my career, I’ve had many conversations about “thumb-stopping creative”. These are the assets that stop a scroller dead in their tracks (or at very least, slow them down a little bit). The best ones are coupled with a compelling caption, and a call to action that is impossible to refuse. These are the “A-Listers” of marketing assets, and here are some ways that you can cast a video in that starring role:

1. Boost your video content with a social media campaign.

It is so common-sensical that it needs to be at the top of the list.

Why invest in a custom explainer video, brand video, or product video, and not also augment it on your channels? That would be like preparing the most beautiful charcuterie board in the world, telling no one, but still expecting people to show up for wine and cheese night.

As social media becomes more and more of a pay-to-play landscape, an affordable and effective way to drive eyeballs to your video, and by extension, usher those impressions onward to your website, is through a paid social campaign. The best part is, you can start small, and customize from there.
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2. Invest in a series of short-form videos.

When a prospective client is on your website, or already seeking out your services, that is the best time to serve videos of length (anything over 1.5 minutes). When you are still lead-generating, and the client has not yet reached your website or conversion tool, a strategy I really like is keeping things Short and Sweet Diverse.

Having a collection of short-form videos in your arsenal is one way to add longevity and diversity to your video strategy. And when I say short-form, I mean SHORT. 20 seconds or less. However, you will want a few of these videos (focusing on different parts of your business) at your disposal. They become a treasure trove for content creation, and help to minimize ad-fatigue by refreshing your content and messaging at key times.

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3. Design for mobile…. officially.

In 2019, 53% of web traffic came from mobile devices, and you will want to work with video production teams to ensure that your final product looks amazing on both large and small screens.

If the goal is to keep someone’s attention for longer than a moment, both text and imagery need to really punch through on a mobile device. Sometimes this means using a more minimalistic approach during key calls to action, and other times it means assessing the form and colour of your visuals to make sure that they “read” crisply and clearly.

You will also want to consider any instance where the viewer of your video is watching without sound. Is someone watching on public transport without their headphones? Do your viewers require closed-captioning, or a greater emphasis on written text? The likelihood of these instances is probable.

A great video design team will work with you to ensure that your brand is appropriately represented, and that your message is never lost on any device.

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4. Size (and shape) matters.

If you asked me what “shape” video I’ve used the most, I will tell you (honestly) that it’s a mixed bag. And this seems worth reporting!

A square video looks gorgeous on a feed. A vertical video is going to be your secret weapon for a Stories placement. A standard aspect ratio of 16:9 is going to serve you well on your website, on YouTube, or on television. And all of these placements can result in measurable conversions if used strategically.

But moreover, being specific about aspect ratio means that your video will be a positive experience no matter where it is being enjoyed. So, if you’re already investing in video, go the distance, and ensure you have all of the sizes you’ll need for all of the places that video will go.

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We are indeed in The Golden Age of Digital. As 2020 slowly draws to a close, we are seeing more and more of our experiential opportunities relocate themselves to the web. This is exactly the time to add video to your brand’s lineup, toolbox, treasure chest (whichever metaphor you prefer), and give it the boost it so deserves!

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Lia Karidas