How do you engage your customers, convey information, and tell your brand story?
It’s no surprise that video is quickly becoming (if not already) the media of choice in our online worlds. From FaceBook to Instagram, YouTube to your very own websites, video content is everywhere. Humans are visual creatures, and video is a dynamic medium that conveys ideas and emotions like nothing else can.
I work with businesses to produce video content and deploy strategies to tell their story. Often people don't know what kind of video content to put out, how often, or how to get it produced. They also wonder if anyone will watch. Many think it's overly expensive as well. Luckily, technology and the social environment within our phones means it is easier than ever before to create content and place it in front of our potential customers.
I think businesses and brands should be creating content regularly. Here are three kinds of video content that every brand should understand.
1) Story Videos (Instagram Stories / Facebook Stories / Snapchat)
Purpose: These videos exist to engage your customers in the life of your business. Day-to-day, human interactions that show them a little bit of who you are. These don't live online for more than 24 hours typically and don't need to be refined or curated. What they accomplish is an ongoing relationship with your audience.
Production: If you have a phone with a camera, you can produce these videos. I hesitate to even use the word produce because it is really as simple as holding down a button to shoot, then pressing send. It is really that simple and you can have engaging content. For ideas, follow some other brands and watch their stories to see how they are creating this content, then find what works for you.
Frequency: Multiple times a day. These stories are small snippets that can evolve throughout the day. Keep them short and frequent.
2) Informational / Webcast / VLOG Style Videos
Purpose: The goal of these videos is to communicate complex information. These are less about touchy-feely brand stories, and more about the nuts and bolts of what you do. Certainly, there is an opportunity to establish rapport, expertise, and likeability as well You've seen these videos in the form of a product review, a vlog, or informational type of show. Usually shot with a person speaking directly to the camera, these are the video form of a blog or article.
Production: Production value can range quite a bit with these. It can be as simple as setting up a phone on a tripod, to a full-blown production, but I would say it usually falls somewhere in the middle. Often, with a small investment and a little training, a business can be set up to film these on their own, and even edit them. Possibly requiring some professional assistance on more complex projects.
Frequency: Varies from daily to several times per month. Some people and brands put up a video like this every day, but typically a few times a month is good for most businesses.
3) Brand Video / Commercial / Culture Documentary
Purpose: Telling the brand message, showcasing products and services, and telling your company's story requires an engagement of not just our senses, but our emotions. That is where brand videos come into play. When done well, these expertly crafted videos have a longer shelf life and help to convey the personality of your business and represent the professionalism of your offering. If the other videos are the sprints, these are the marathon and are meant to drive long-term awareness, understanding, and loyalty.
Production: Unless you are a professional video producer, you need to hire out for this. Camera, lighting and an understanding of effective brand storytelling is a must for these to succeed and stand up to the expectations of viewers.
Frequency: Depending on your market and product cycle, these videos could be as often as monthly, but typically fall into a quarterly or annual cycle.
I only have one piece of advice: Start creating content. You have value to bring to your customers and the only way to discover what it is is to begin. So start today.