Content marketing has been around a long time, but its current popularity stems from its two biggest strengths: it offers customers valuable and relevant content, and it drives interest in the brand.
So when should you turn to video content marketing?
Get a boost of engagement with video content marketing relating to your customers and their interests.
It’s this personalized touch that has allowed Warren Buffet to create fun and engaging content marketing with his annual newsletters, and it works. Buffet writes as if his sister is target audience, ensuring a loose and likeable tone.
How can you create similarly personal video content marketing?
Here are a few ideas:
The Personal Story (that your brand made possible)
Say you own a theater called The Limelight
You could start a video content marketing series called “My Favorite Night At The Limelight”. Each short video could feature a real customer telling a story about the best performance they ever attended at your theater. Actual customers talking about their interests will provide personalized, authentic accounts. They interest viewers and give the speaker their own spotlight.
All of these interesting experiences are fully tied to your theater, too. Without any blatant promotion of the coming play, your theater shows customers that you care about their experiences, you want them to enjoy their time at your business, and you encourage them to tell their own stories.
Showcasing the Product and the Customer Together
Speaking of stories, video content marketing facilitates fantastic visual storytelling.
If your company makes slow-motion cameras, use video content marketing to tell a visual story—from the customer’s perspective. Imagine a monthly video featuring 30 seconds of slow-motion footage and 30 seconds of the filmmaker discussing her experience of filming the scene.
Think of this video, if it were made by the company itself. This content accomplishes three things:
- You’ve shown an interest in the personal lives and abilities of your customers
- You’ve showcased the ability of your product; and
- You’ve made a video that tells a story about people who tell stories with video.
It’s sincere, effective, and inventive at the same time.
Educating and Retaining Customers
Another great time to use video content marketing is education. Think about agriculture, a business that both relies on best practices and sees frequent change. Video content marketing could educate on those changes helpfully, under the aegis of your product line—like a video version of The Furrow. First published in 1895, it’s John Deere’s immensely successful newsletter that discusses the issues customers deal with on a daily basis.
It educates while always reminding consumers of the usefulness of John Deere products. With educational content marketing, the brand’s approach provides personally valuable information and the product that will help customers make use of that information.
Showing Personal Value Instead of Customer Expense
Video content marketing can be a great way to offset an expensive product or service. If your product, for example, is jewelry, then the difficult part of the sale is likely going to be the price point. Luckily, video content marketing allows you to show value long before you have to talk about price. Make a video (or series of videos) that’s similar to the one for our fictitious theater: “What My Gem Means to Me.” Include individual, family, and couples’ stories—“I bought this stone when I was thirty, and at fifty-five, I gave it to my daughter for her wedding.”
You’re showing the value of your product, showing an interest in customers’ personal lives, and ignoring the price (the only part of the conversation you don’t want to have yet). Here’s a close example by Nordstrom. While a little closer to classic marketing than content marketing, the personal touch is solid.
Making a Mundane Produce Engaging
Video content marketing also happens to be perfect for those products that aren’t quite as exciting or cool as slow-motion cameras and diamonds. Think about how you could employ the technique for something like calculators. You don’t want to go the highly personal route. “That Time I Was Glad to Have My Calculator” probably won’t drive a ton of traffic to your site. Neither will the educational route, as most people are clear on what a calculator does.
Take things in a humorous direction instead, like Blendtec’s viral videos. Film multiplication competitions, test mental math vs. calculator math, make a game out of your calculator’s durability. The only limit is your creativity. The point, though, is straightforward: the product is not boring if it’s the central element in hilarious video content marketing.
Giving the Customer Access to the Experts
One of the best ways to create video content marketing aimed at retaining customers is the expert interview video. Combining personal visual storytelling with education, the expert video shows that your brand is in touch with thought leaders and authorities in their field. Depending on the brand, your expert could come from a variety of backgrounds. You could feature an internal company figure who designed a process, a scientist who can explain the logic behind your practices, or anyone with sufficient knowledge to increase trust in your brand.
Synthesis: Video Content Marketing at it’s Best
The short film “French Kiss” by Marriott Hotel’s marketing department is a strong example of driving engagement in a brand by combining several of the above-mentioned techniques.
The first thing you’ll notice is the length: “French Kiss” is nearly 25 minutes long.
This runtime tells viewers immediately that Marriott is providing them with something of value that took time to create. On top of that, the high production value of the short film makes great use of its length. Viewers are treated to on-location shooting in Paris and great special effects.
It’s a personal visual story, dealing with a man’s romantic escapades in Paris. And it’s filled with positive emotion and moments of whimsy. As for the actual marketing, Marriott lets its brand take a back seat to the narrative. It’s a brilliant ‘soft sell’, and judging by its colossal view count alone, a very successful piece of video content marketing.
That’s a Wrap: Final Thoughts on Video Content Marketing
When should you use video content marketing
Really, any time that you want to promote retention of existing customers or drive engagement of prospective customers with your brand. It’s a style of marketing designed to reach people differently than the traditional approach. It focuses on an element of personal or professional value to the customer instead of overt brand promotion.
Think of video content marketing as the difference between traditional video marketing’s “Look at our brand!” approach and an approach of “Look at this interview/fact/joke/experience—it’s linked to our brand!” The distinction is enough to make customers feel valued, not just targeted by an advertisement. It makes marketing more of a two-way street.
The customer isn’t just asked to focus on the brand: they’re given a great video to earn that focus.
If you haven’t, try video marketing when you want to drive interest in your brand from both customers and prospective customers without the heavy approach of traditional marketing.