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Video Still Kills the Radio Star

When it comes to engagement, video is still the best way to reach customers, but what exactly makes great video content?

In an age of data overload, our attention tends to wander. Even as I’m writing this I’m monitoring various social media and email feeds on multiple devices, switching between browser tabs for research and listening to some radio on the background. And everywhere marketers and advertisers are trying to get me to listen, see, or read what they have to tell me.

So it’s little wonder that video – a highly shareable medium that audiences are familiar with and which has the power to quickly and effectively convey messages – is still the cornerstone of content marketing, with 84% of marketers planning to increase their investment in online video advertising over the next 12 months.

In an age of data overload, our attention tends to wander Click To Tweet

Furthermore, 60% of shoppers say they would rather watch a product video than read a description of that same product before making a decision on whether to proceed with a purchase.

Yet make no mistake; not all video content is created equal, and the democratization of the format has also raised the bar for acceptable production standards, meaning that consumers are more demanding than ever when it comes to choosing which video content to watch, believe, and share with others.

84% of marketers plan to increase their investment in online video advertising over the next 12 months Click To Tweet

One of the best ways to make sure that your video has a good chance of being successful – meaning that your customers will actually click on it, watch it through, and hopefully even share it others – is to make it useful.

“Content marketing, or native advertising as it’s sometimes known, is all about information-driven content that captures the audience’s attention and builds a sense of trust and loyalty by providing helpful and valuable information,” StickerYou founder and CEO Andrew Witkin tells Tech Trends. “This is where content marketing resembles traditional news content, in which the aim is to inform.”

That might seem like a no-brainer (which it is) but in practice it takes a lot of thought to ensure that you not only choose the right content, but present it in a clear and digestible format to the audience in the right place, at the right time.

One example of the type of content Witkin refers to is this StickerYou video, which introduces customers visiting their customizable Sticker Editor page to the functionalities of the platform.

Content marketing is all about information-driven content that captures the audience’s attention and builds a sense of trust and loyalty Click To Tweet

it is important to consider one’s target demographic, and localize it from there as much as possible Click To Tweet

Not only is the video concise and well-produced, but the page also clearly states what customers stand to gain from watching the video (in this case how easy it is to add text to a design and create your own customized stickers)

Witkin explains that while providing such content can and does lead to sales, it is important that this does not come through as a “hard sell.” Marketers who approach content marketing in a transactional way tend to turn customers off. The objective is to build a long-term relationship that will translate into a preference for your product that stems from the trust and loyalty your content has helped to build over time.

“Don’t underestimate the media savvy of your audience,” he warns. “We’ve entered an age in which almost everyone who is online experiences direct sales pitches at a constant rate. They have learned to tune out the hard sell.”

And going back to the point about making your content relevant, Witkin concludes that it is important to consider one’s target demographic, and localize it from there as much as possible. There is so much content out there, that what your audience is looking for might be incredibly specific, and it is really worth tailoring it to them as they will feel like that it has been personalized to their own needs and it’s part of a conversation rather than just being broadcast to.

Marketers who approach content marketing in a transactional way tend to turn customers off Click To Tweet

And to drive the point home, I’ve selected three of my all-time favourite marketing videos below that show how it is possible for a well-produced and carefully thought piece to promote a brand, tell a story, make a powerful point, and inspire you, all within a couple of short minutes. Enjoy!

Code.org

Learning to code might have become a more fashionable concept in recent years as we recognize the overwhelming importance of equipping ourselves and our children with the digital skills necessary to thrive in a technology-driven world, yet it is still intimidating for many people. Code.org aims to change that enduring perception by getting famous faces from the tech world to share their stories of how they got into coding in the first place. It’s simple, but comes through as honest and is extremely effective.

Always

This gives me the goosebumps every time, and I actually cried the first time I watched this video. Once again the raw honesty of the message and the way that we can all relate to it is as powerful as it is sad. The objective here is to spur viewers to want to change the status quo, and I for one was moved to continue to do all I can to improve opportunities for girls and women in any way I can.

GoPro

In video content, and in life, everything is better with kittens. So this video could hardly go wrong with the story of a fireman rescuing said kitten. Yet it refuses to take the lazy route and delivers a polished and moving piece of content.

Tech Trends offers a broad range of Digital Consultancy services to guide companies, individuals and brands in effectively leveraging existing and emerging technologies in their business strategy.

Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.