A few months ago I posted about the survey Flimp Media, ReelSEO and the Web Video Marketing Council were conducting about online video usage by businesses. Well the results are in and here are a few of the highlights:
One of the first stats that I found the most interesting is the number of marketing professionals who were utilizing video in a wide variety of ways. 84% were using it on their website, 65% had posted it to YouTube and 62% to social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. A number were also using it for various lead generation and lead nurturing marketing endeavors as well as 60% used it for email marketing and 49% for other lead generation activities. What this means for your business, is the need for customization is vital. A customized video will convert at a much higher rate when it is customized to the location or platform where the viewer encounters it. As an example a video on YouTube directing the viewer to sign up for a free trial on a landing page of your website is great. If that same video has the exact same call to action at the end when the viewer is watching it on that exact landing page, not so great.
Another interesting tidbit for me was that 60% of surveyed marketers believed that their prospects and customers were more likely to make purchases and convert after viewing a video from a marketing email. We wrote a case study about including video in email a few years ago and, at the time, the click through rate when including a video on email led to a 175% increase in click-throughs when video content was included. Those numbers have gone down slightly over the years but that is due a bit to the saturation of marketing email messages many people receive now. The point is if your business is already email marketing; video is still going to increase your click through rates over what you’re receiving without using video.
More than 93% of marketing professionals specified they are currently using video for online marketing, sales or communications. With more and more marketers using video, you just need to know how to tailor your videos to your marketing funnel and provide lots of snackable video content to help convert your viewers more efficiently. The effectiveness of video as a marketing tool is only going to continue to grow.
The rest of the report is packed with lots of stats and info that you’ll probably find very helpful or, at the very least, interesting. If you are interested, the full results of the survey can be downloaded as a PDF from Flimp Media.
Have you seen the Google Ad from 2011 called “dear.sophie.lee”? Yes it’s an old video, but what this ad did was single-handedly propel Google Chrome from barely a blip on the radar screen of web browsers when it launched in 2008 to the top web browser in the world today.
At the time of it’s public release in December of 2008, the biggest feature in Chrome was the “omnibox” that replaced the separate URL box and search box in the browser. It was a big deal at the time but not the sole reason to try out a new browser. Internet Explorer, by comparison, held an impressive 65% share of the browser market.
Google’s hope was that with the integrated search and URL field they could guarantee more searches on Google which already captured over two-thirds of search traffic at the time. At first, their ads were focused on the speed with which the new browser loaded. At the time, Internet Explorer and especially Firefox which was also in front of them were slow to boot and get results quickly. Here’s one of their more clever early ads:
The ad did fairly well but it was speaking largely to the audience that was already using Chrome: namely the tech-savvy early adopter. Momentum continued to slowly grow for Chrome over the next year as more of these ads were rolled out but then Google had a revolutionary out of the box idea. Up until that point they had focused their videos on the features and tools. With the release of “dear.sophie.lee” they focused on the user and how that user uses those tools to augment their lives. The browser became a backdrop for the bigger story. If you haven’t seen “dear.sophie.lee” take a look. If you are a parent, get a box of tissues.
It’s direct. It’s emotional. They stopped focusing on the product and started focusing on the lifestyle their products aspire to create. They started speaking to a larger audience. More people can relate to being a parent and wanting to have the tools to capture every moment of their children’s lives. It’s moving.
They used spectacular storytelling to weave a story based in reality that could appeal to everyone. It uses a simple piano score without words that builds in pace as the video unfolds until finally slowing at that pinnacle moment when the Dad is reflecting on his daughters life going by so fast. Nearly stopping as he admits that he can’t wait to share all of these moments he’s saved with her. The music carefully builds and controls the emotional connection with the viewer. Bam. Every parent feels that.
This video is hugely effective because it ties the knot between technology and lifestyle. You can’t put a dot on the timeline of browser usage and say “There! That is the moment that directly made Google Chrome become the number one browser.” But the “dear.sophie.lee” video was huge for them garnering the interest of millions of casual web users who may have otherwise just stuck with Internet Explorer. In May of 2012 Google Chrome edged out IE to become the top web browser and as of October 2013, Google Chrome has increased it’s margin at the top growing to 40.44% while Internet Explorer has dropped to just 28.96%.
A Google spokesperson I talked to about the video stated the following regarding Google’s inspiration for creating it:
The ‘Google Chrome: Dear Sophie’ spot was inspired by a collection of true stories about parents using technology to capture the special memories–big and small–of their child from birth to adulthood. Our goal for the spot was to visually represent this narrative and illustrate a father’s use of technology, whether it be Gmail, YouTube or other products, to communicate with this growing daughter.”
The whole idea behind this post is that you shouldn’t feel trapped in a box because of what you do or what your product does. This was a web browser. Google could have continued to create cool videos to show how fast Chrome is or how secure it is and all the great whiz bang features it has. But they didn’t and it won for them big. What about you? What are you doing for your video marketing to think outside the box?
All browser stats courtesy of StatCounter.
In the process of planning for that amazing new video you want Adelie Studios to produce for you (I know shameless plug), have you thought about where that video is going to live? What I mean is, the call to action at the end of a video on your home page should be a natural progression to somewhere else on your site. Whether that is to download a whitepaper, signup for a free trial or webinar demo. Maybe that signup form is built right on the page next to the video or even right into the video player. A seamless way to start the viewer’s path down your sales pipeline. Whatever it might be, you want to keep that viewer on your site and engaged. Now what if that same video were on YouTube? Chances are, you do not own YouTube unless you are Google, in which case…”Howdy, thanks for reading my blog!” So the call to action is different, you’re trying to get them to your site where you can control their experience and keep them from clicking away (hopefully). What if it’s on Facebook? What if it’s on a distributor’s site? So what is the answer? Simple…customization.
When your video is living in multiple places, you need to customize the call to action at the end to optimize the results of how well your video will perform for you on that specific site.
Here’s a unique example of customization we recently did for a client. Discount Drug Network was launching a campaign in over 10,000 doctor’s offices on a special broadcast network that included an integrated brochure card holder beneath the television. They were running both 30 and 60 second spots on the network but also wanted to have a slightly longer version for their own website. They still wanted to keep the online version of the video short but obviously wanted to customize the call to action at the end and also take advantage of being able to weave a deeper story and character profile at the beginning with a bit more time.
Here is the 30 second broadcast network video:
It’s very quick. It get’s the point across of what the prescription discount card is, what it does, and how it works. Knowing that their brochure was always going to be in the first slot on the left of the brochure holder kiosk allowed us to customize the call to action at two points. The first was where the main character reaches down and grabs the brochure from that exact spot in the brochure holder. The kiosk design featured in the video was designed to look exactly like what the viewer would be seeing in the actual doctors office. The second point of customization was at the very end where there is an arrow pointing down exactly above where the brochure would have been held in the brochure holder beneath the screen with a reinforcing image of the brochure on screen. Now let’s take a look at the 60 second broadcast version:
See the differences? It starts in the very beginning. There is an introduction to the main character of Sarah. A simple step but then it identifies the person to you. Sort of like a virtual handshake with the character which can help the viewer identify with them. You also get a deeper dive into how this card can help the viewer with the introduction to the web app to find the lowest price for prescriptions. You still get the same call to action at the end but with just 30 more seconds you can introduce more topics and add a layer of personality to the character.
Finally here is the website version which is just under 90 seconds:
Here we get a real understanding of who the main character “Sarah” really is. We developed this persona for the video using the demographic profile fitting the primary Discount Drug Network card user. Working with the client’s team we identified and zeroed in on who their primary target was so we could add in layers of who Sarah really is. There is a bit more humor added in and the video is allowed to “breathe” a bit by developing the character a little more before we dive into how the card helps her. On this version the call to action is different because we’re driving to signup on the site or to download the mobile app. We also consulted with their team to make sure the landing page was built in a way to make that signup or mobile app download intuitive.
With some very simple edits we were able to tweak the content so it was customized to the audience that it was intended to be viewed by. It’s a fairly simple process which all starts with a couple simple questions “Where are people going to view this video?” and “What action do we want them to take from there?” Once you answer these questions, you know whether you need one or twenty different alternate versions of the video. Sometimes it’s a simple edit to the graphics or maybe a different voice over for each. The simplest way to augment your results is to customize your video to where it will be viewed and design the next step you want the viewer to take from there, no matter where they are.
How about you? Have you experimented with customizing your video content?
This is a repost of an article originally published on the Tunefruit blog titled I wrote: ”Tunefruit is Going Bananas: Getting Noticed With An Explainer Video“. Enjoy:
Intro Video. Brand Video. Explainer Video. You may have heard one or more of these terms recently, but what exactly is it? The most popular term right now is explainer video and the gist is these videos ‘explain’ what you do quickly and easily so anyone can understand it. It’s a short and concise version of exactly what your company does.
So why are they so popular right now? The biggest reason is people like to be entertained. Let’s face it, if you have the choice between reading and scrolling down a web page of text or sitting back and watching a one minute video. You’re watching the video. That’s because people prefer to learn through audio/visual methods. If the viewer watches a video with both audio and visuals they are far more likely to remember that than just a text description. In fact, in a recent survey by Forbes of C-level business executives indicated that 59% said they would rather watch an online video than read text covering the same information on a website.
So you’ve just got your new business up and running, congrats! You’ve got some ads out there, are working the SEO and decide you’re going to make your own video for the website. You wrap filming and now it’s time to add some background music!
Unfortunately that Coldplay track is going to cost you $100,000 to license….if only you could find an awesome track at 1/100th the cost? Hey that’s why you hire pros to make your kick ass explainer video (like Adelie Studios) who utilize royalty free music licensing sites like Tunefruit! Tunefruit has an enormous library of amazing pre-screened tunes. And while we probably are a little biased, the right music can make or break your video.
I Wanna Live on Science Alone
You too? It’s a good thing that there is a ton of research out there proving just how important the music is. I’d love to bore you with the details and technicalities, but it’s not quite nap time.
It all comes down to this: music is a form of communication. Just like speech, it has structure inherent to it that sets up expectations of what comes next. Ever read a good poem and the definition of the words doesn’t seem to matter, it just sounds so perfect? Boom. That’s music…and language.
Of course there are so many dynamics to take into consideration. Snoop Dogg wrote and recorded Gin and Juice (parental discretion advised, definitely not safe for work) but The Gourds covered it. The same song? Kind of. But not even close to the same feel, which brings us full circle to the idea that music is a form of communication. There are specific emotions that certain types of music evoke in all humans regardless of cultural norms. Which is a pretty fancy way of saying; even if you were raised by wolves, you would still feel the same emotions when listening to Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony as literally everyone else (with normal brain chemistry).
But wait! It’s not that simple. Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On probably brings back some specific memories (or nightmares). Basically, we all have fundamental emotional associations with certain structural elements of music (types of chords, tempo, and timbre) but music can also trigger memories that are specific to each individual.
Pro Tip: Don’t use tunes that have pop culture significance that don’t align with your brand
The tunes set up a world in which your video is viewed, it’s that inherent structure. Picture the training montage from Rocky while listening to some Justin Beiber track. It’s the kind of thing you might see on SNL.
Check out this classic Apple ad of video and music.
Notice how the voiceover is in perfect time with the music and video shots? It’s the kind of perfection that makes you say, “I don’t care what they’re selling; I’m going to buy it!” And that’s why my laptop cost so much money…
If I Only Had the Words to Tell You
Like I said earlier, music is its own form of communication. Thankfully, we all speak it naturally. It’s really common to claim that you’re tone deaf. But you’re probably not. Can you tell when someone asks a question because their voice goes up at the end? Bam. You can differentiate between pitch and you probably have very critical ears (singing is its own game and well, if you want to be the Karaoke King, you gotta work for it). The hard part is quantifying what you want to hear so you can actually search for it effectively.
There’s a reason why Billy Joel wrote a song about not having the words to explain his feelings. Music is something we can experience in the prefrontal cortex (that part of your brain that deals with abstract thinking and not with language). Ever get tongue tied or not been able to find the words to express what you really mean? That’s your prefrontal cortex going way faster than you’re able to process.
So you’ve learned the amazing effects of music, how do you go about finding the right track? It could take forever to wade through 10,000 plus tracks (and it’s a really nice day out…). Thankfully Tunefruit has a Deep Tagging™ system that will make your life easier and dial down on what you’re looking for. Still want that Coldplay track? Search ‘Coldplay.’ Want a Coldplay love song? Search ‘love Coldplay.’ (Just don’t search ‘love Nickelback,’ unless you’re prepared to scrub your browser history). Want a Lion King-esque track? Search ‘Lion King’. Or if Adelie Studios is producing your super awesome video, you can take a deep breath and relax because they’re likely using Tunefruit anyway.
It’s that simple, folks! There’s no need to try and quantify what you’re feeling and figure out how that could be translated into music. Just relate it to something else. It’s all about the similes and metaphors.
And boom. You’re on your way to having the music help make your videoeven more amazing and awesome.
If you subscribed to this blog by Google Reader we all know that went the way of the dodo bird on July 1st of this year. So maybe you have switched to Feedly or are using Feedburner now? Well who knows what’s next for RSS, so here are a few other ideas if you enjoy what we publish and share:
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
We’ve decided to relaunch our newsletter which has been sitting dormant but ready to pounce for the past 3 years or so. Once a month we’ll be sending out a recap newsletter featuring our best blog posts, important content, tips and ideas around online video marketing. Its the best way to stay up to date on what’s going on with online video marketing, explainer videos and how to best leverage video to help your business. You can sign up for our newsletter here. We promise we won’t spam you or share your name with anyone.
We also share all of our content on social media as well as sharing some other great articles we see posted about online video marketing. So this is another way to make sure you get the latest tips and ideas in video marketing. Here’s where we are:
Hope this is helpful for you and we look forward to keeping in touch with you!
MyVR Explainer Video Summary
MyVR contacted Adelie Studios to produce an explainer video for them in September 0f 2012. They were looking to create a video that told the story of MyVR in a simple and entertaining way while keeping it short and effective. The main objective and call to action of the video was to increase sign ups for a free trial. Through the use of entertaining graphic animation and a well written script, the explainer video was designed to show how effective MyVR is to vacation home rental property owners and managers. After it was launched on their home page, MyVR saw an immediate increase in trial signups and overall the explainer video has led to a 34% increase in trial signups.
You only get one chance to make a first impression – and when it comes to marketing videos, you better make it quick. As Eric and others have pointed out, shorter is almost always better. That means somewhere between 30-60 seconds if you want it viewed from start to finish. You know what else it means? That you’ll have to make some painful cuts to that long-winded video script you’ve been working on.
But what to cut? It all seems so important, doesn’t it? To make the editing process a little bit easier, I wanted to offer a few script writing pointers that have helped me over the years. Let’s take a look:
Tip #1: Don’t repeat anything. I repeat, don’t repeat anything. I’m not referring to the repetition of actual sentences (though please try to avoid that as well), but rather the repetition of key messages. For example, instead of having five lines explaining the benefits of your product or service, narrow it down to one or two. The written script for a one minute video is short, so it’s easy to go through and identify the duplicates. As we’ll cover shortly, you can go into greater detail elsewhere.
Tip #2: Explain why before explaining how. Does a first-time visitor care about how your product works? They might, but only after they know what problem you’re trying to solve. For an introductory video, you have to assume that the visitor knows nothing about your company or maybe even your industry. They are not a prospect yet. Thus, you have to give them a broader view. Start with “why.”
Tip #3: Let the video tell the story. Wherever possible, let the video handle the storytelling. It’s amazing how much written content can be explained (and cut) with a few bits of animation. For example, instead of verbally listing all of your services, say something like “we offer a variety of services” while the animation lists them on the screen. Instead of verbally listing the benefits you provide, have the video show them. This greatly reduces the length of video without omitting any key details.
Tip #4: Leave them wanting more. As a content marketer, it’s your natural instinct to provide your audience with as much information as possible. The explainer video is neither the time nor place; its purpose is to leave them wanting more of your content. How can you do this? Allude to your cost-effective pricing model, don’t explain it in full. Reference your amazing technology, don’t give a full demo. Highlight some of your big-name customers, don’t list them alphabetically.
Again, these are a few pointers that have worked for me. I’d be interested to know what’s worked for you, so please share your own tips in the comments section below.