All posts by George Hughes

Every now and then something explodes onto the scene and captures everyone’s attention, instantly inserting itself into the cultural lexicon. That’s certainly the case with TikTok, a social media platform that’s taken the world by storm. 

You might know it as “those short videos of people doing entertaining things”. But in reality, it’s so much more. 2019 saw TikTok become the second-most downloaded app globally behind Whatsapp, and it currently has one billion users. 

TikTok’s rise to prominence hasn’t gone unnoticed in the marketing world. A growing number of brands are looking at it to see how they can reach new audiences. And it should definitely be part of your marketing strategy, especially as there are so many active users on the platform.

Another bonus is that, unlike Instagram, TikTok is a platform where it’s possible to achieve organic reach. However, you’ll need to get involved in the TikTok revolution soon because it’s highly likely the algorithms will soon change and make it harder for people to go viral organically. 

In order to help you better understand the world of TikTok from a marketing perspective, we’ve put together this ultimate guide for brands. So, read on and find out everything you need to know about TikTok. 

How did it start?

What started as an app called Musical.ly became TikTok when Chinese company Bytedance acquired it. The video-sharing app’s primary audience consisted of Generation Z, younger demographics who were instantly drawn to its short and snappy video clips. 

These initially came in the form of people lip-syncing to music artists. Much like any trend on the internet, however, creativity took over, and users started experimenting with the app to create everything from viral challenges to comedic clips. TikTok (or Douyin as it’s known in China) has more than a billion users in China, with a further 800 million in the rest of the world. While the audience currently sits on the younger side of the spectrum, like any platform that gains huge popularity, the age will increase as it appeals to older generations and goes more mainstream.  

How does TikTok work?

After signing up for an account, you’ll be able to change your generated username, add a profile picture and a short bio. This part may seem somewhat mundane, but all top brands know the importance of making profile information snappy for people who come across their profile. Don’t worry, you can also change your username later if you aren’t sure what to choose.  

The app is divided into two primary feeds: For You, which is an algorithmically generated stream of videos; and Following, which is the accounts you follow. You can like videos much in the same way as you do on other social media networks. Sharing a video is pretty straightforward too. Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen and start recording.  The brilliance of TikTok lies in its short video bursts that last for 15 seconds, though users can blend those clips together to create 60-second content. 

How TikTok works for brands

The success of TikTok with younger audiences is no surprise: Gen Z is a video-first generation. By 2022, online videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic. TikTok is part of that revolution.

Brands quickly saw TikTok’s reach and wanted in on the action. After all, Generation Z is set to command 40% of all consumer shopping by the end of 2020. Major players like Google, Nike and Coca-Cola have all embraced TikTok and created content for the platform.

Here’s how to make it work for you…

Advertising

Advanced targeting and unique creation features make TikTok Ads particularly appealing to brands who want to create compelling campaigns. If you’re struggling to build an audience, TikTok Ads can provide a boost to get you up and running on the platform.  

Sponsoring influencers

Much of TikTok’s beauty lies in the creatives who continuously churn out content. Tapping into their fanbase can be a great way of getting your brand in front of thousands (perhaps even millions) of followers. Of course, it’s necessary to have synergy with any influencer, but it’s certainly a route worth exploring to gain exposure. 

Starting hashtags

Like any other social media platform, creating hashtags can increase your visibility and reach. They’re also beneficial for recognising competitors and collaborators (see above). You might even get great content ideas from similar hashtags to yours and notice important trends that can propel your brand forwards. Oreo hit the mark with #cookiechallenge, Guess found success with #InMyDenim and Samsung successfully promoted their Galaxy A smartphone with #GalaxyA. 

Take the #CookieWithACause challenge on Tik Tok. Post with the hashtag and OREO will donate to Save The Children for the…

Posted by OREO on Sunday, 5 April 2020

 

Brands who have cracked TikTok

If you’re after proof of TikTok’s appeal, then look no further than these brands who have successfully marketed to new audiences on the most addictive social media app. 

NFL

America’s favourite sport, the National Football League appeals to a variety of different demographics. And it tapped into TikTok to tell a multitude of stories, from heartfelt player profiles to fan-player engagement.

Chipotle

Chipotle has always been a trendsetter when it comes to marketing, and it carried that success over to TikTok. The Mexican food brand placed emphasis on engagement, creating fun challenges like #ChipotleLidFlip. The video currently has over 300 million views.

Fortnite

Video Game Fortnite has always had its finger on the pulse when it comes to interacting with audiences. Its most recent venture into TikTok asked fans to create a bespoke dance move, with the best ones ending up in the game.

Sony Music

Sony went down the route of influencer marketing for its TikTok campaign. Working with Nicky Jam x Sch to promote the song Atrévete, Sony contacted 12 influencers on the platform to create TikTok videos set to the backdrop of the track. The result was eight-million engagements, 1.2 million likes 10,300 user-generated videos.

@poki

i can’t believe i’m saying this but i have my own @Fortnite Emote! 🤯🥳 you can get one too by entering a dance with #EmoteRoyalecontest #EpicPartner

♬ original sound – poki

Top Tips
  • Don’t make your videos too polished; it’s better for them to be shot in the same style as user generated content, using a smartphone. 
  • Break your videos in half with the first video teasing the next in the series. 
  • Look for what’s trending and jump on the bandwagon.
  • Use hashtags effectively. Putting hashtags in the comments of your videos will help with visibility. 
  • Like other people’s content who are in the same space as you
  • Interact with other accounts where possible and leave comments

Tik, tik, tock

There’s no doubting TikTok’s power. The app is proving to be popular with all ages, and will only become more embedded into the cultural zeitgeist. As a brand, you have the potential to master the platform and create engaging and fun content for your audiences. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

The future is already here, and it comes in the form of artificial intelligence. While Replicants might not yet be wandering the streets, the world is being shaped by AI – and 80% of emerging technologies will use the tech by 2021.

From image recognition to instant access to analytical data, many facets of the marketing process have felt AI’s impact in some capacity. Take video, for example: the art form that very much requires the human touch is now also benefiting from AI.

We might not be at the stage where artificial intelligence is creating feature-length films (though it’s certainly had a go at writing them). Still, its presence is being keenly felt – as noted by movie studio Warner Bros. recent foray into the world of artificial intelligence.

Away from the Box Office, the efforts of AI are proving to be decidedly more influential in the video marketing landscape, where the real-time impact is starting to take shape.  

Read on, and find out how AI is helping both marketers and production teams achieve better results with their video output. 

It’s all in the data

Artificial intelligence’s rise to the mainstream has come about through its ability to make sense of large amounts of data in seconds. Video marketing is already proving to be one of the key methods for brands to connect with their audiences. But AI is adding another layer when it comes to understanding audience needs.

Businesses can now make improved data-driven decisions, which leads to more personalised services and an increase in relatable content. The implementation of AI analytics means that brands have a better profile of their customers than ever before and can turn the information into actionable insights.

Drones

The introduction of drones is one of the most significant advancements for creating video, with the latest models having the capability to follow their subject while keeping them centred in the frame. Using facial recognition, which is powered by AI, they can react to gestures and actively track film subjects without any issues. 

Drones won’t outright replace the need for a director. But they can help achieve shots that were previously difficult or expensive for humans to film – such as aerial views that, in the past, might have required aerial transport. 

Video indexing

It’s common knowledge that Google indexes the written word, which has a profound impact SEO (search engine optimisation) for websites. Now, smarter algorithms mean video will also start to be indexed. People browsing online will be able to enter a search term and Google will identify specific parts within videos (as well as writing) that relate to the keyword. 

For example, someone might search for a celebrity, and Google’s algorithm will find exact points where a celebrity appears in a video. The result could be video content with specific keywords mentioned in the script, as companies start to leverage the spoken word – as well as the written one – to try and build their SEO rankings. 

Self-generating video

The improvement of AI means it can go as far as generating moving images solely from a phrase typed into a computer. This is known as Video prediction, which involves AI predicting the actions that come next in a video

So far, research has used specifically defined actions that focused on elements like sports, such as playing hockey and biking to create self-generated videos. Video Prediction won’t replace humans for creating video, but it can aid and help streamline the process. 

AI and video in the future

There is no doubt that the future looks promising for video and its relationship with AI. Access to high-quality data will lead to improved video content that is more personalised. In the future, we may even see the robots creating full-length videos. 

In the meantime, however, it might be a safer bet to rely on strategic video creation from video marketing specialists that know how to bring their brands into the spotlight. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

 

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

If you are worried about how to communicate with your customers and the wider world during this crisis, then you are not alone. It’s a hot topic right now for many brand marketers. A recent survey by Advertising Perceptions found that nearly half of advertisers have stopped campaigns already in progress. So should you continue your brand’s marketing during the Coronavirus crisis and if so, then how should you do it? 

 

A recent Endelman survey of 12,000 people in the world’s leading economies found that consumers are demanding that brands act and communicate differently during the Covid-19 crisis, with nearly two-thirds (65%) saying how brands respond to the pandemic will have a “huge impact” on their likelihood to buy their products. So it’s clear that the next few months will be an important time for brand trust. Yes, your actions are under extreme scrutiny right now but that doesn’t mean you should stop your marketing. Ask yourself the question, could inaction actually be worse than taking action?

My background is as a storyteller, a marketer and a content creator. Through 14 years in the TV industry and then building a content agency, I’ve learnt that the most important element of my craft is understanding the audience and putting myself in their shoes. This is what you must do now, as the way you communicate with your audience is critical. Remember that everything you do right now from a marketing perspective should be in the context of the fact we are going through a global crisis. And here are some of the most important things you should consider.

Be Sensitive

It seems obvious but this is one of the most fundamental elements to consider when communicating during this time. Remember that some people are going through hell. They are stuck at home with their kids driving them up the wall, they may have taken a hit to their income, are worried about losing their jobs or have already been made redundant. They’re worried about mortgage payments, rent or how they will pay their bills. They are scared for their loved ones, may have been extremely ill or had a friend or family member who has lost their life as a result of this pandemic.

You must put yourself in the shoes of your audience and be sensitive to the struggles that they are going through. Many brands have made the decision to pull advertising campaigns due to the current crisis including Cadbury’s Easter Egg campaign that showed a grandfather hugging his grandchildren and KFC’s “Finger Licking Good” campaign that had people licking their fingers. It makes sense that you should not be advertising using insensitive or inappropriate messaging that might upset people or send out the wrong message. 

Be Helpful

In this time, the best thing you can do is provide help, assistance and value in any form you can. When the dust settles on this crisis, we will look back and see how brands handled themselves. The Sports Directs and Wetherspoons of the world will be under fire for their response to the crisis where other brands will emerge with their hands clean.

What can you do to help your customers, peers and wider world? Some have formed partnerships with other brands to offer help, they are creating useful or entertaining content and shifting their focus or production onto altruistic activities.

For example, BrewDog turned to manufacturing hand sanitiser during the shortage. As a result they’ve jumped 4.6 points in consumer perception according to Yougov BrandIndex and are now top of the rankings for beer and cider brands for “buzz”. But it’s also worth mentioning that the “buzz” is a balance of negative and positive things being said as some people question their “agenda”. Which brings me on to my next point…

Brewdog Hand Sanitiser

Don’t be Disingenuous

Consumers are cynical. We’ve become mistrustful of brands “agendas” as we’ve been let down so many times in the past by marketers looking to capitalise on current events. Look no further than the Pepsi campaign with Kendall Jenner that trivialised the Black Lives matter movement and had to be pulled due to consumer backlash. We’ve become experts at spotting altruistic vs disingenuous behaviour.

If you are planning to offer help and assistance during this time, the best thing you can do is to take any type of hidden agenda off the table. Just put it out of your mind. If you start to think more altruistically then it will be easier to provide value to people without there being a backlash. Whatever you do, don’t try to exploit the situation by “jumping on the band-waggon” to your own benefit. I’d argue that Burger King are treading a fine line with this ad campaign in France that is advertising how to make your own Whopper under quarantine.

As Owen Lee, chief creative officer of FCB Inferno told the Drum “Brands are nervous about appearing to profit from this crisis. The conversation is being had in many client and agency organisations, but they have to be absolutely sure they are helping people [and] not just making money from it, or being seen to make money from it.

There’s some discussion going on right now in marketing circles about how many brands including McDonalds, Coke and Audi have created “social distancing logos”. Many argue that this belittles the severity of the situation. For more about how brands can build trust during the Coronavirus crisis, take a look at this interview from Ad Age with PR guru Richard Endelman.

Social distancing logos

Be Positive

The world is currently full of negativity and sadness. Flick on the news and it’s mostly doom and gloom. People are suffering from serious mental health issues as a result of this crisis and anxiety levels are through the roof.

Try to be as positive as possible (with the caveat of observing rule #1 of being sensitive). Give people hope. Give people inspiration. Show us all that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that in this period of desperation there is so much to be thankful for like community, family, relationships, endurance and human spirit. JC Decaux in Australia have just launched an out of home campaign to provide messages to frontline workers offering their support. How could you spread positivity with your brand? 

Don’t Brag

When I say don’t brag, I mean specifically in regards to the Coronavirus crisis. If you have a new product that was due to be released or a milestone in your company that has nothing to do with the pandemic then of course you should shout about it. A Kantar survey of 35,000 global consumers found that only 8% thought brands should stop advertising and 50% think brands should continue to talk in the same way they always have. 

What you shouldn’t do is tell everyone how well your company is doing despite the crisis, that you don’t know what everyone is complaining about and that business has never been so great. Some industries have not been as affected as badly as others but some, like the travel or hospitality industries are in utter turmoil. It’s insensitive to belittle the issues facing other people by talking about your success. Remember to strike that balance of being sensitive, but positive.

Certainly don’t follow in Kim Kardashian’s footsteps by offering a $1 Million donation to families affected by Covid-19 whilst also announcing the restocking of her shapewear line SKIMS. This unsurprisingly caused a backlash. 

Don’t Offer Medical Advice

Leave the advice and best practice to scientists, government bodies and the health service. Be extremely careful about sharing any videos, articles or other information related to the crisis which directly relates to people’s wellbeing. There is a lot of fake news doing the rounds and if you repost something that is inaccurate, you will become part of the misinformation problem that is costing lives. Check the source is solid before sharing any advice. And whatever you do, don’t share hearsay. Gossip spreads like wildfire on social media which is how everyone went into panic a little over a week ago when the “Army were moving into London to lock us down” which proved to have no substance. You can support government advice such as social distancing and other rules but don’t start offering your own.

Don’t Stop Marketing

It’s really important that life goes on in spite of the crisis. People expect to hear from your brand or business and an absence of comms could damage your image. With so many people at home right now and spending so much time online, you have their full attention like never before.

A recent Endelman study found that “In terms of communications, about 90% of customers expect brands to keep the public fully informed of changes to how they are now behaving and operating” and that “Eighty-four per cent of respondents now expect businesses to focus advertising on how products and services can help people cope with pandemic-related life challenges, while the vast majority expect brands to show they are aware of the crisis and its impact.”

Follow the steps above and think harder about what you are putting out there, but don’t stop marketing. Remember, people are scared. They are worried. They don’t know what the future holds. And you can help them. As time passes, we are getting used to this “new normal” and life will continue the same but different. So how will you adapt to the change? 

 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

 

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

Youtube Marketing is a great tool for driving your business forward. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about why it works so well and how to use it…

Did you know that after Google, YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine in the world? With an average of 5 billions videos being watched on the platform every day.  

Its an impressive statistic and reinforces the idea that people love to acquire knowledge and entertain themselves through the medium of video.  Whether we are learning to cook, checking out movie reviews or laughing at funny cat videos, video offers an engaging and easy way to digest content.

With so many people using YouTube in their day-to-day lives, it offers businesses a fantastic opportunity to reach their customers and grow their audience.

 Why YouTube Marketing?

Many businesses turn to social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn before they embrace YouTube marketing. They underestimate the potential that YouTube can offer.

 So how effective is YouTube Marketing and why should businesses be making more from this platform? Let’s look at the facts:

Put simply, YouTube offers you a way to reach your target audience in a way that other channels cannot.

Marketing on YouTube

 YouTube marketing is a deep subject which spans from the tiny details of profile optimisation to reaching vast audiences through running YouTube ads. In this section, we look at the fundamentals of how and why you should be marketing your business on YouTube. 

Develop Authority

Representing your business on YouTube offers an opportunity to build trust and grow authority by creating content that educates and resonates with your target audience.

The medium of video allows you to add a level of personality to your business that is otherwise very difficult to achieve outside of face-to-face meetings with clients. It provides a platform where your business can communicate their position and views in a concise and engaging way.

Remember that YouTube is a social media platform. Your content should provoke conversation and generate interest in your business offering.

Increase Reach                  

Given the stats we gave at the beginning of this article, it should be fairly obvious that your target audience is very likely to be using YouTube in some way. The potential reach is huge, but this doesn’t mean that you can simply demand attention.

By working on creating an entertaining, authoritative and engaging presence on the platform, you put yourself in the best position to earn your audience’s attention.

YouTube enables you to reach new demographics that you might otherwise struggle to reach.

Boost SEO

Producing high performing YouTube videos is a great way to get your business found on search engines. The first and most obvious reason for this is the fact that YouTube IS the second biggest search engine, therefore if you are ranking high on their search results you are going to see high levels of traffic.

In addition to this, search engines like Google know that video is the most engaging type of content and in most cases serves YouTube videos near the top or first in their search results (after paid ads obviously). Just look at the results for “How to make YouTube marketing video” below…

So, if you are ranking high on YouTube, you will likely rank high on Google as well.

YouTube Marketing: Top Tips

  1. Know your audience. Understand who you are trying to target and create engaging, compelling content that they would want to watch. Just using YouTube videos to highlight the benefits and features of your products and services will get you nowhere.
  2. Target keywords. Just like on other search engines, YouTube returns results based on user search terms and matches them with the most relevant content. Make sure you are using the best keywords possible in your title and descriptions.
  3. Keep it fresh. Just like on all other social media, posting regular, quality content is the best way to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. It is also likely that the search algorithms on YouTube place importance on up-to-date content, so don’t shy away from updating older content when new information is available.
  4. Use explanative, engaging cover images. Imagine your video is like a mini advert in the YouTube search results. Your video preview should be highly engaging and help people understand what they are going to get. Check out the covers below to see how this is done.

Smart YouTube marketing can offer businesses a great way to reach their target audience in an authentic and powerful way. Getting started is as simple as creating a branded account, developing a strategy that aligns video marketing to your business goals and creating your first few videos.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative content which can be used on YouTube? Get in touch today.

 

Interactive video is a digital or linear video that supports user interaction through clicks, touches, taps and movement and goes beyond the ordinary play and pause technology.

Viewers become the creator and navigate themselves through the video choosing the narrative, selecting the storyline and making decisions based on their interests.

Interactive video for online advertising can be extremely rewarding. You can achieve a much more detailed and personal account of your viewers personality and it has the potential to be worth a lot more than linear video or targeted marketing combined.

 

Interactive Video first started as a simple click on a video advert that would play before an online TV show or on a pre-roll ad on YouTube. The ad would ask the viewer to click on the product or image that they would like to learn more about and this information was then captured by the brand.

Brands like Maybelline, Burger King, Mcdonalds and Volkswagen are already using interactive video in advertising to better understand and engage their customers. But there should be a lot more brands using it, especially in 2020.

Interactive video offers a lot of opportunity and creativity. And it’s not just online but also out of home devices where interactive video can be used. For example, McDonalds are constantly doing outdoor interactive advertising like this Poster Puzzle display that encouraged the public to solve the puzzle in order to “sort their heads out” which promoted their €1 large coffee.

 

Interactive video online is still new territory for many brands and with just a few early adopters.  However, this does not mean that interactive video doesn’t work – it just means that it is not a well trodden path. And because the internet isn’t saturated with interactive videos this means that there is a lot of space and opportunity to harness this medium and gain some great engagement.

Here are some examples of interactive videos from brands that have worked well.

This is an interactive video Deloitte made for their recruitment scheme. The viewer is taken on an interactive experience of someone’s first day at Deloitte and they need to make important decisions throughout the day that will reflect whether you will fit in at Deloitte.

This is another example of an interactive video made by Maybelline New York. It’s a tutorial video to help people use and apply makeup in the right way and allows the viewer to choose which type of makeup style they are interested in learning about.

As well as allowing the viewer to choose the video’s narrative based on their personality you can also create interactive videos that allow viewers to select products to purchase or learn more about.

You can also use interactive video to understand your viewers touch points, interests and needs. A video made for GSK by Wirewax where the viewer can choose what part of the body they are having athletic difficulties with. From the choice made the video will show the viewer a workout routine to help that area of hindrance.

Do these videos work? They definitely help to engage viewers and get them to pay more attention to the video, the brand, the products that are on display and the message of the video. But, do they work at capturing information and converting a viewer into a customer?

We know that 82 percent of all web traffic is predicted to come from video this by 2022 (Cisco) so, the need for video content that stands out from the crowd has never been more poignant. We also know from research that Interactive video content generates 2x more conversions than passive content (Kapost), 4-5x more page views than static content (LinkedIn) and, 93% of marketers say interactive content is somewhat or very effective at educating the buyer, versus just 70% for static content (Demand Genreport). A study by Wyzowl found that 23% of video marketers have used Interactive video as a channel (up from 20% in 2018) and out of those, 83% say it’s been successful for them (up from 78% in 2018).

Interactive videos work great as internal videos for recruitment, induction and training, B2B explainer videos and B2B marketing videos, and they work well as B2C online advertising and social media marketing. The best thing about interactive video is the amount of data you can capture and how precise that data can be. Because you are leading the audience into a set of options and based on their decision you are able to understand them on a more personal scale. With every click you learn more about your audience. You can then group them more effectively into categories based on interest and values and then better market to them at a later stage (Kaltura). Because your audience is in control of their video experience and their experience with your brand, they are a lot more receptive, open and ready to engage, making them more willing to give up their time and information. 

If you are thinking about interactive video then have a play around with the ones that are out there already and see whether you can imagine your brand using this form of marketing. If you don’t want to go straight into interactive video then do something similar to Buzzfeed on Youtube and try some interactive quiz adverts that ask the audience a few simple questions about the market. Buzzfeed gets over 75% of it’s Quizz traffic from social media and a lot of quizzes used in marketing work exceptionally well at engaging and capturing customers (Mashable).

To find out more about using interactive video contact us.

7 Vital Stats That Show Why Video is the Medium of Our Time:

 

Video killed the radio star, and then obliterated everything else in its path to become the de facto method of engagement for consumers, businesses and marketing outreach. 

The evolution of video has seen it become a prominent player in every industry, from the entertainment business to pharmaceutical companies and everything in between. It’s now the most effective way for businesses to share content. 

81% of brands now use video as a marketing tool, which is up from 63% from previous years. The digitisation of, well, pretty much everything, has only increased video’s influence. Simply using the word “video” in an email subject lines boosts open rates by 19%, while 83% of businesses say it brings them a high return on investment (ROI).

But just in case you’re not sold yet, here are seven more vital stats that show why video is the medium of our time. 

1) 10x the engagement levels

Video is essentially immersive marketing, as it has the power to increase engagement levels beyond other methods. Audiences are 10 times more likely to engage with video content than they are any other medium. Whether you’re turning video into snippets for social media or filming customer testimonials, it offers an array of methods for telling stories. It’s a versatile tool that captures a range of imaginations, which helps to increase engagement levels.  

2) 92% believe sharing is caring

A whopping 92% of people share a video after watching it. Going viral is all the rage, but getting people to share content is one of the hardest things to do online. Fortunately, video increases your chances of creating popular content that gets routinely shared online and off. 

3) 65% watch video on your website

The power of words have their place in the realm of content, but when it comes to keeping people engaged with your website, video is the primary driver. 65% of web users watch more than half of a video on a website. If you’ve got a story to tell, you’re better off doing it with moving image. 

4) 49% of business grow faster with video

Brands that use video are growing faster than those that aren’t, with 49% of businesses seeing an uptick in fortunes when they implement video marketing into their strategies. Deciding against using video marketing can be a costly error, leaving brands to play catch up in a [digital] world where everyone is already competing to put their brands in the spotlight. 

5) More than 50% of consumers want to see branded video content

The age-old saying “the customer is always right” will always ring true, and video allows you to give the people what they want. More than half of all customers wish to see branded video content, which they demand more than any other content type.

6) Conversions increase by 71%

Put simply: video is easier to monetise. Conveying your message through video converts more customers, with conversions increasing by an impressive 71%. People like to see things in action, whether you’re showcasing an event demo, providing educational “how-to” guides, or creating personalised messages. The easily digestible nature of video makes storing information that much easier.

7) 95% information retention rate

Getting your message across is one thing, but convincing people to store that information is another. We retain around 10% of all text (unless you’re reading this post, of course), but remembering video information increases to a staggering 95% retention rate. With such staggering numbers, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see brands using it as a primary method for relaying messages. 

Long live video 

Video has become part of the cultural lexicon across so many different platforms. The options to express yourself through video are vast, and brands are embracing it in their marketing strategies. By the end of 2020, 84% of all internet traffic will be video-based. The business of video is booming, and there’s no doubt that it’s the medium of our time. 

Follow us on Linkedin for tips and tricks on creating the best branded video content. Or get in touch at info@smallfilms.com

 

 

 

Why are video testimonials so great for business?

Ever been on the receiving end of a sales call or meeting, with the salesperson going on and on about how incredible their business/product/service is? Did you find yourself thinking:

“Not another one! Of course, you think your business is great. So do all salespeople. ”

You aren’t alone. In fact, in more recent years there has been a growing mistrust in businesses hyping themselves up. That is why we’ve seen such a rapid rise in marketing methods such as influencer marketing, with third party reviewers providing a more trusted opinion on a business’s offering.

When we think ‘influencer’ we may think of online gamers with thousands of YouTube/Twitch followers or the young, rich in-crowd on Instagram. But fundamentally, an influencer is someone with a degree of influence over others and when it comes to business this can be anyone from a customer, to a supplier, to a partner.

Authenticity

There is something to be said about the level of influence that can be leveraged through video testimonials for your business. This is especially true when they include clients who are respected in their field.

These respected individuals can be more powerful than the big, social media influencers. In these cases, potential customers will often be aware of their expertise and respect their opinion – creating an environment of real trust.

Clients rarely have a reason to give a testimonial beyond a genuine delight with your service or product. Therefore, video testimonials offer a level of authenticity that is otherwise difficult to find elsewhere in marketing.

Using key clients in testimonials will also often offer points of view that you may not have otherwise considered. For example, most businesses have their ‘go-to benefits’ of why customers should choose them. These often don’t cover the softer elements that many customers find so valuable such as good communication, flexibility or compassion. Video testimonials help businesses highlight their personality as well as their capabilities.

Video Testimonials: Highly Engaging Content

Let’s put the benefits of having your customers sing your praises aside for a moment and focus on the vehicle – video. After all, there are a few ways a customer could provide a testimonial…so why is video so powerful?

“Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.” WordStream

The keyword here is ‘engagement’. In a world where there is such a vast amount of content online, keeping anyone’s attention for more than a moment can be easier said than done. However, video provokes and captures the senses in a way that no other form of media does. Video testimonials allow your customers to expressively and concisely tell the story of why they chose to work with your business.

Video also allows businesses to distribute valuable testimonials across various platforms. including websites, social media feeds, social media stories, emails, direct messages and can even be included in sales decks to add authenticity to presentations.

 

Video testimonials are a fantastic way to grab your current and potential customers attention. This powerful type of marketing offers a level of authenticity and engagement which is otherwise hard to portray to new and potential clients.

If you want to see how powerful this tool could be for your business, have a browse through our video testimonials services and get in touch today.

Summer is a really important time for many FMCG brands – it’s a happy time filled with a lot of fun and excitement, good weather, holidays and late night sunsets, and is therefore a massive selling point for both businesses and consumers. Some brands depend solely on their summer campaigns and will spend the whole year working towards the months of July, August and September, where they release new products, run promotions and do big advertising online and out of home. For food and drink brands especially summer is a massive highlight of the year, it’s when all of the big food shows roll around like Taste and Lunch, and when consumers are more eager to be out and about, which unsurprisingly means they eat on-the-go a lot more. In fact, consumers are prepared to spend more on things like food in the summer because they spend more time outside and last year we saw a 5% rise in consumer spending during the summer holidays (Barclays). Because of that, the months of “summer”  are some of the best times to be making video content and getting your brand as much attention and exposure as you possibly can, so that when your customers are out and about, they will spend their extra cash on your products. 

 

Digital marketing during the summer can be very loud, fun and exciting, and your content can be as colourful and summery as you like. Using a season to help promote your brand is an easy and effective way at engaging customers and reaching new audiences And making video is an even better strategy as it can be cheaper, more versatile and a lot more engaging. Consumers already prefer watching video to static imagery and text and during seasons of fun like the summer holidays they are even more receptive to adverts that reflect the positive and happy vibes they are trying to achieve during the summer months. Here are some examples of videos your food or drink brand can make this summer…

 

Social Media Videos

You can go really basic with Instagram video ads like this one from Costa Coffee – Iced Coffee Range. 

Really simple but yet very engaging; they’ve made the coffee and the foam look like the ocean and placed it in front of a blue “sky” background. It’s eye catching because it looks like the beach and reminds you of summer holidays, vacations and calming times spent looking at blue skies  It instantly gives you a positive feeling.

These Instagram videos from Holland and Barrett work well at promoting products using a happy and summery vibe.

 

Summer Campaign Video

The great thing about a summer campaign is that they can be as extravagant or as simple as you like. They can range from a massive stunt in Waterloo Station, to a pop up shop on Oxford Street, to a simple out of home billboard or online advertisement. Either way if your food or drink brand has anything planned this summer you’d be a fool not to film it. If you’re attending an event then you should film it, if you’re handing out samples then you should film it. Even if you’re going on a work outing to the Zoo, you should film it! We did a summer campaign video last month for UpBeat Drinks for the launch of their new juicy protein water products and to promote their new re-brand. The video was a 22 second social media advert and a 6 second cut down version for YouTube pre-roll as well as a 15 second version for out of home digital display.

 

 

Filming your street sampling is one of the quickest, easiest and most effective ways at getting great customer feedback, market research and providing audiences with a first hand, genuine account of what people think of your product! We created this video for Emily Crisps last year to promote their Whole Foods front window display on Kensington High Street! 

 

 

Promotional videos

Promotional videos are a really effective way at targeting and engaging consumers and work really well across all forms of social media and online advertising. These can be as short as 6 seconds and can advertise your products online to target audiences that you really want to market to. They can be short and snappy and therefore really eye catching, like this promotional advert by McDonalds which is promoting their iced coffee range.

 

 

It’s striking and definitely takes you into a summer hypnotism. Really cheaply, you could film your cold drink bottles close up with water slipping down the side – its eye catching and reminds you of summer – great for an instagram video.

 

Video adverts

So, Boot’s isn’t exactly a food and drink brand but they do stock and promote a lot of food and drink products. This advert they’ve recently released called “Summer” created by marketing agency Ogilvy is a great example of the types of promotional video adverts you could make online. Whilst this had significant budget behind it, you can still take aspects of this video advert and utilise in your own video marketing on a much smaller budget. This is a montage of a child’s summer experience, from the school summer dresses to watering the plants in the garden. A food and drink brand could make short video content for online advertising that shows a child in the garden playing with water and mum calls them in for a snack. Or, people in a park playing frisbee and reaching for your product.

 

 

Event videos

If you are exhibiting at an event this summer then 100% make sure to film it and make sure to create some promotional content around it. Exhibitions are the perfect place to get video content for your social media pages, online advertising and even for your brand film, because you have first hand footage of consumers sampling and trying your products. Event videos make great case studies and customer testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask the visitors what they think of your product and film their reactions. It’s great to show your audience that you are out there, attending events, making the most of your summer and keeping them in the loop. Event videos work well at developing your brand identity and personality. You can live stream these events, take videos for your instagram and facebook story or you can get a professional to film it and get interviews.

 

Be creative this summer with video and get your brand out there, show off your fun personality and engage with as many audiences and customers as you can. Summer is a huge promotional attraction to any brand, influencer and consumer, so regardless of the budget just make sure you’ve got a lot of summer related posts and videos going up onto socials, through your stories and feeds. This way you can effectively stay at the front of people’s minds and slot into their news feeds with relevant content.

 

 

A brand that is dominating the world of  content marketing right now is the notorious Nike Inc; the world’s largest athletic footwear and clothing brand. Over 55 years, Nike is risen to become a shining example of a brand that has it all; market share, $34 billion yearly revenue, contracts with world renowned sportsmen, factories in over 40 countries and selling worldwide in over 170. Nike is doing phenomenally well and shows no sign of slowing down.  Competition is fierce in this space, with brands like Adidas, Puma and New Balance all taking their slice of the market however, something about Nike and its strategy has placed them at the top of the playing field and has kept them from being overtaken or outshined. So what is it that makes Nike different?

 

Founded in Oregon in 1964 by young entrepreneur Phil Knight, Nike started off as a reseller of Japanese running shoes selling to well known sports brands across the US. Knight wrote a paper before the inception of Nike called “Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras?” After that Knight went on to create the company Blue Ribbon Sports, which we now know today as Nike Inc. Hard work, luck and determination were not the only forces that turned Nike into a world leading manufacturer of sportswear but also a superb and unique marketing strategy, one that encouraged people to think differently about athletic footwear and oozed the “Just Do It” mentality.

 

Nike has been a brand that always challenges the boundaries of sport, sportswear and athletic principles. So much so that today Nike is worn and bought by billions of people around the world who aren’t even interested in sports. They decided early on that their products would be constantly redesigned and reimagined with their customers in mind, pushing the traditional running shoes as far as they could using crazy inventions like waffle machines to design the soles. Very soon Nike became less about the shoes and more about fitness. They didn’t want to sell you a shoe but instead a mantra of being fit, active and staying healthy. Their shoes were sold as a way to stay in shape but the fact that they were comfy to run in and more stylish to look at was a bonus. Nike very quickly became the fitness brand selling a way of life, an image, a feeling and a lifestyle – their customers and audience then became the most important thing to the business.

 

So, in the 21st century what is it that Nike offers us that makes them so irresistible? To reach their new, digitally savvy audience, Nike put a lot of attention into their content creation, focusing on their social media channels and video production. Through their brilliant use of advertising Nike offers all generations, gender and races across the world this feeling of empowerment and energy. Their marketing strategy is to empower people through uplifting videos, advertisements that ooze culture, social freedom and restraints, fashion trends, lifestyle trends, opinions, messages and love. They test the limits of our personality by being so in tune with the world and providing their customers with a release, a safe place and the feeling that they are not alone. They now produce regular video content that speaks effortlessly to their customers through strong, moving and engaging storytelling. 

“Walk With Love” – Represent Love

 

Nike BETRUE – Nobody Wins Alone

 

“MILES” Joan Benoit Samuelson

 

For a long time now Nike has slowly started to reduce the production of TV adverts and instead focus on video content for their YouTube channel. Understanding that marketing in the digital age is changing, Nike decided that the quickest and most effective way to reach their audiences and customers with detailed, meaningful and relevant content was through online video. They dropped their TV and print advertising spend by 40% between 2010 and 2012 – but increased their overall marketing budget to $2.4 billion in 2012 (Fortune). This marketing strategy in itself shows that Nike as a brand that follows the people, listens to trends and adapts instantly to the changes in culture. TV advertising spend dropped substantially in the last few years because traditional TV viewing has also massively declined. Instead, video streaming and viewing has become a lot more selective, personal and intimate, and because of online streaming it has become hugely accessible and people prefer to binge watch shows at their leisure. YouTube is the second most used site after google (Alexa) and users view more than 1 billion hours of videos each day (YouTube).

 

Nike speak to their audiences on their terms. They provide customers with personalisation, the ability to design their own shoes, content to watch that reflects their attitudes, opinions and lifestyles, not to mention the endless creation of new styles, clothes and shoes that constantly hit our high streets and allow its customers to always feel original and stay excited and passionate about Nike. What is their marketing strategy? It’s to give the people what they want with the utmost time, attention to detail and uncompromising quality whether that’s clothes, experiences or content. 

As recently as 5 years ago, the vast majority of us would have tuned into our favourite show via our TV sets… at home… probably on the sofa. Today, the picture is very different. Almost half of adults aged 22 to 45 are not watching content on traditional TV platforms (AdAge) and 64.8 million people born between 1981 and 1996 will watch streaming videos or downloaded videos on a device at least once a month (Forbes). TV as we know is dead. Long live online streaming! Of course, TV isn’t actually dead. But the way we consume it has changed forever. Many people will still flick the TV on to catch their favourite series as it is released whether that’s X Factor or Silent Witness, but for most of us, on-demand has replaced live viewing as our preferred method of consuming any type of television content. And for Millennials and Generation Z who have come of age in a digital world,  BBC and ITV are increasingly shunned in favour of subscription based services like Netflix or Amazon or user generated content sites like Youtube. 

 

The writing has been on the wall for analogue TV for at least 2 decades and when the analogue signal was switched off in 2017 forcing every individual to access television via a digital box, it wasn’t a great surprise to the industry. The emergence of super-fast broadband that removed the need to have a sky dish or cable TV to access more than 5 channels of television was one of the biggest driving factors behind the shift in the television landscape. That… and the arrival of 3G and cheap mobile data which has allowed video streaming in the palm of your hand.

 

It’s surprising to find that Netflix has actually been around since 1997. It started life as a DVD rental business but began streaming online video in 2007, just 2 years after Youtube was founded. Today Netflix has 139 million paid subscribers worldwide and on Youtube, one billion hours of content are watched every single day. YouTube is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world after Google (Alexa Internet). And, whilst Netflix and Youtube may have paved the way for online video, there are now dozens of different streaming platforms from Disney+ to Apple TV, Now TV to Facebook Watch, TikTok, Instagram TV and Amazon Prime.

 

There’s huge money behind these platforms. Facebook will spend a “measly” $1 billion on video content this year compared to Amazon’s $4 billion spend last year and Netflix’s projected $8 billion spend for 2019 (Media Post). Also this year, Amazon and Netflix have said they will be investing in UK TV production, and will help to promote these shows on both platforms (Video News). However, the question is, will this bring traction to TV broadcasters or, will audiences be tuning into their SVOD (Streaming Video On Demand) services to watch the shows? An Ofcom report released in the summer found that huge investment in original content by digital players has seen subscriptions to SVOD services in the UK overtake subscription to pay-TV services. Ofcom also found that last year that after a period of sustained growth, pay-TV subscription revenues fell in the UK for the first time, falling by 2.7 percent to £6.4 billion. Unsurprisingly as UK consumers turn their back on conventional television viewing in favour of subscription based streaming platforms, they also turn their back on advertising. TV advertising income fell significantly last year, declining seven percent year-on-year in real terms to £3.9 billion (Video News).

 

So what does this mean for brands who have, in the past relied on TV advertising to reach their customers? You guessed it, they’ve started to pump more and more of their budget into online advertising. Last year, digital advertising increased by 9.5% in the UK (emarketer) with video being the fastest growing medium. The exciting thing is that marketers looking to get an edge over their competitors are putting budget behind incredible branded content that is shining a spotlight on their products and services. Volvo, Heineken and Dove are not only running heavy hitting multi-channel campaigns with a hero piece of video content at it’s heart, but many like Patagonia, Red Bull and Nike are becoming publishers in their own right with Youtube channels that include regular, engaging video content that is enjoyed by millions of people.

 

As we, the consumer, become accustomed to subscription TV viewing, the days of sitting through 5 minutes of TV adverts seem like a distant memory. No surprise then, that we actively avoid spending time online in places where we are being hit with constant adverts. With Youtube releasing its own subscription service, it begs the question how long we will have to wait before Facebook, Instagram and other platforms follow suit? Moving forward, brands will have to work harder and harder to get their message seen by their audience and commissioning branded content will be one of the best ways to do that.