One of the biggest problems of marketing videos and animations for B2B is many business people don’t have audio turned on in their offices. It’s just impractical for some or obtrusive for others particularly in a company with large areas of open cubicles. Suddenly the CEO’s talking head in your video or a voice-over describing how your service works isn’t heard or conveyed as effectively as possible to your viewer.
So what do you do as a B2B marketer when creating an online marketing video about your product or service? Here are a couple of very simple solutions.
“Comparing subtitled videos to identical videos without subtitles, PLYmedia found that the videos with subtitles were watched 91% to completion, compared with 66% to completion for those without subtitles.”
Even more significant was that subtitles increased viewership of videos on “mute,” by 20x.
This all clearly shows that adding closed captioning or subtitles to your product demo or marketing video will greatly increase the efficiency of your your video when primarily selling it to business people.
Make audio a “bonus feature”
Not literally, but as part of the scripting process for your videos think of the visuals that will be involved so they tell the story for you. This is so simple to do but something that so many people fail to take into account when producing a marketing video. Animation is exceptional at taking concepts or hard to describe features and conceptually bringing them to life for the viewer through visual communication.
Another reason visually scripting your video is a best practice is that the language you produce the video in, may not be the first language of your viewer or your target demographic. So while having a slick talking voice over may sound fantastic, it may be difficult for a non-native speaker to follow.
Utilizing a visual scriptwriting process for your animation not only reinforces points to your native speaking audience but also communicates your information to your non-native speaking audience. The bonus is this method also delivers your message effectively to your audience who don’t have their audio turned on or are forced to watch it in “mute mode”.
So what about you? What are you doing to make sure your message is communicated as effectively as possible?
A recent post by Chad Northrup at Chatterbox about LinkedIn being the “No Fun Social Network” recently got me thinking about many of the companies I have worked with that are clinging to the old school methodology of marketing by constantly staying on message and not seeing what is going on right now in the online world.
Years ago, staying on message was how you branded your business. So whether someone saw your newspaper ad, brochure, radio ad, TV spot, etc. it all had the same look, feel and message. Recognition through replication.
Now however things are changing. Branding through certain visual markers like colors, fonts, logo, etc. is still equally important but the message is different because people online want to engage and interact with your brand. They don’t want to get your mission statement delivered to them, they want to know about what interesting projects you are working on or how your product is going to help them personally. You need to have a conversation with your potential audience not deliver a soliloquy.
Given this seismic shift, you also need to change how you brand yourself and your business because the people behind the brand are taking center stage now. Your voice is now equally as important to your branding as your logo. Don’t handcuff your employee brand advocates – let your companies personalities shine!
Another pitfall companies fall into is being bland. I can’t tell you how many businesses I have met with and all they want to do is plug their same boring sales message into video format. Why? Do something wildly creative! Solve one of your most frequently asked questions or problems in a creative story. In every blog post, in every video or podcast you create there’s got to be emotion or opinion to trigger an action of some kind. Make interesting content that people want to read/view and if it’s REALLY interesting share with their network. No one is going to share your mission statement unless maybe you make it into a rap or something entertaining.
Creative thinking and authentic engagement will be what makes some brands more noticeable in the coming years…not how much money they dumped into traditional advertising. Small companies like Blendtec will be the household names of tomorrow because they are creating online content that people like to consume and be entertained by.
What about you? What do you think the future holds for branding?
There is a new podcast called NomX3 – a brilliant idea where two guys (Mike Langford and Jeff Cutler) go to lunch and discuss interesting topics as well as the great food they are eating at different restaurants. NomX3 (or nom, nom, nom best pronounced as if you were a Muppet) i’s a great way to spend your lunch as a viewer at your desk (if you eat lunch like I do) and have a good laugh. It also reminds you that lunch is a great opportunity to get out there and meet some new people or reconnect with old friends.
Recently I created an intro for the podcast and they invited me on to the show to talk briefly about short form online video versus podcasting. Then they profiled the Telly Award winning video we created through JCSI for OpenPages as an example of what we do. The lunch at Burton’s Grill was absolutely amazing and the conversation was great. Enjoy this while you eat your lunch…I know I did.
Here are some amazing statistics from a client of ours that recently did both a direct mail post card and an online marketing video sent out via email to the exact same client base. They did both methods because they wanted to make sure all of their customers were touched and also because they didn’t have all of their customers email addresses. Due to client confidentiality limitations, we cannot disclose our client’s name.
The business is a service oriented operation with predominantly a business-to-consumer base. They also have a reputation as an environmentally responsible company and try to do what they can to diminish the amount of waste they create. This business was beta testing a new service which would streamline how their customer base would interact with their services. To clarify these changes, answer any questions their customers may have, etc. they needed to reach out to their entire regional customer base of about 16,000 customers. Their objective wasn’t a direct call to action for their customers – but simply to notify and educate them of the new service and to make sure their customers knew who to contact if they had any questions about the service.
Their internal marketing department had already planned to send out a postcard with a follow up brochure to their entire base of 16,000 customers. They did have over 6400 email addresses for a portion of their client base, so we suggested incorporating an email marketing e-newsletter linking to a short interactive video explaining the changes to the service and including helpful links for more information, download a PDF of the brochure or to contact someone at the company. The postcard was sent out first and the email newsletter with links to the video was sent out two weeks later.
Postcards sent: 16,000
Direct replies & requests for further information: 12 or 0.075%
(responses were entirely phone calls about the program)
Costs: includes design & printing of postcard, ink jet printing of addresses and postage = $5,470*
*if you include the design & printing, ink jet printing of addresses and postage for the brochure as part of this campaign – the overall cost was $12010.
- Open Rate (OR) – 43.8% or 2804
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) – 44.7% or 1254
Direct replies & requests for further information: 146 or 2.28%
(responses were entirely email responses about the program).
The email responses varied – many were requesting further information, others were thanking the company for how clearly the email, PDF and video explained the upcoming changes to their services and a handful expressed gratitude for the company keeping their message environmentally friendly by using email with the video.
One respondent when asked about the post card remarked that they “didn’t remember ever seeing it” and assumed that they had “thrown it with the rest of the junk mail in the recycling bin”.
Costs: includes email service provider subscription*, web hosting provider & domain for landing page*, design for email newsletter & landing page to host video, PDF and FAQs about program and the online video production = $4176
* Email Service Provider (ESP), domain registration and web hosting were all yearly billing costs included in the overall budget for this one campaign.
From the perspective of action the clear winner was email marketing with video which garnered a response rate that was 11x higher than direct mail. While their varied customer demographic will never allow for a completely emailed list, the results from direct responses and the ability to track the emails effectiveness through the email service providers statistical tracking data are obvious.
From a cost perspective on the single campaign its also clear that email marketing with video was obviously not only more effective but far less expensive. This is especially noticeable when you factor in that the email service provider, domain registration and web hosting costs (in the amount of $901) were all for one full year, not just this single campaign.
This brings up another important issue, which is that this service was only launched to a fraction of their customer base as part of a beta test of the program. So if they choose to open the program to a wider selection of their customer base – with direct mail all of their production costs will repeat (with the exception of their initial post card design costs if there are no edits to the content) while with email and video they will absorb a fraction of those email service provider and web hosting yearly fees and they may need to tweak the email content but other than that the second blast of this information using email marketing and video is completely paid for and they have endless distribution.
The company’s program director expressed his thoughts on how the campaign worked out by sharing, “E-mail made it so much easier for our customers to respond because they could simply click to reply to get more information. They also loved the fact that the video so clearly illustrated how the new service would work.”
For over 20 years, Rizon Design & Build has been recognized as one of the most creative residential contractors serving the Greater Boston and New England areas. This was a fairly simple and straightforward slideshow style animation we created letting their images do most of the talking. You can learn more about Rizon Design & Build at: rizondesignbuild.com/
Permission TV which offers an outstanding video platform allowing you to build those call-to-action links right into the video player creating more interactive experiences to everyone who visits your site. Both offer outstanding analytics so you can track and analyze your video’s performance.
Ultimately a call-to-action is useless unless the video itself is engaging and can easily be found. If your video is buried on your website, who’s going to see it? What if the content is so boring no one ever gets to the call-to-action?
What you need to do is to think of the call-to-action within your video and the trigger button or action as one seamless process, not separate parts. That is the future of online video, it’s all part of the viewer experience.
That’s what I think anyway, what about you?