video marketing

Marketing in 2018: What’s Next?

p-247-ae-0040-lIt’s hard to believe that 2017 has come and gone, but if I’m being honest with myself I tend to have that same thought every year. As business owners, our time and attention are focused on year-end financial statements this time of year, analyzing what went right and wrong for our businesses.

You may find that certain things worked well when it came to marketing your business, and others, not so much. Don’t fret! As in year’s past, this is an exciting time for marketing, and with the right strategic approach, you’re bound to find something that works for you.

If you’re looking to change things up in 2018, you’ll definitely want to consider some of these trends as part of your marketing mix:

  1. Live Video and Augmented Reality
    The past couple of years have seen the explosion and experimentation of live video on social platforms, and Augmented Reality on mobile apps, with wild success. In the next few years, expect to see even more of it, and in different applications, so users can really become a part of the brand experience. When consumers are engulfed in these experiences, not only do they enjoy them and come to associate positive emotions with your brand, but they also come to trust it more – which in turn could lead to more sales.
  2. Content Marketing
    Content marketing is becoming an increasingly powerful way of connecting with your audience. Not only does the content provide relevant information for your customers, but it can also position you as thought leaders in your industry and excite the Google gods by improving your online presence. What are you waiting for? Start up a blog and tell your clients what you’re up to! Your blog is both a creative and inspiring way of reminding your clients as to why they are working with you.
  1. Video Marketing
    Voice recognition software and chatbots are becoming all the rage with many companies. While this is certainly a good goal to have, start off with creating some quality videos that will let your clients know everything about your unique business. The benefits of video are simply undeniable.

BONUS: AI Technology

The day has finally arrived, and robots are now fully integrating into all aspects of our lives; marketing included. This innovative technology can streamline marketing processes by way of extreme personalization; according to VRTY CEO Kingston Lee-Young, “Marketers will be better able to understand the likes and dislikes of a customer and determine what specific branded content should be served to them. Because customers are more loyal when they see marketing specifically targeting them based on their behaviors, these advances will allow marketers to more effectively engage with their prospects and customers”. The technology of course isn’t cheap, but it’s proven to be very effective in its early applications.

As a marketing leader and business owner with nearly 20 years of experience, I’ve seen several trends come and go, but one thing is for sure: Having a strategic approach to all that you do, especially with marketing, will result in a better ROI for your business. Are you as excited for these trends as I am? Contact CreativeWorks Marketing today for help putting together a marketing mix that’ll make sense for your business in 2018!

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What Does It Really Mean Series: Video Marketing

video-1606945_1280.pngIn the last of our “What Does It Really Mean?” series, I’d like to explore the term Video Marketing. Although you may not be familiar with the term Video Marketing, you’ve no doubt come across video while interacting on social media platforms, using mobile apps or watching television. Video is everywhere and becoming more popular by the day! A Cisco study predicts that by 2019 video will represent 80% of all Internet traffic.

What is video marketing and what can it be used for?

Of all the terms we’ve delved into in this series, Video Marketing is the simplest to explain. It means using video to promote or market your brand, product or service. Video Marketing is incredibly versatile and it can be used very effectively on your website, social media channels and YouTube for many things including:

  • Promoting your brand
  • Product demonstrations/information
  • Testimonials
  • How- to videos
  • Corporate training
  • Live stream events
  • Entertainment
  • And more

What are the benefits of Video Marketing?

There is an abundance of data proving that Video Marketing can raise awareness of your brand/products/services, promote your company, drive sales and/or engage your customers.

  • Video is an SEO gold mine, helping build backlinks to your site, boosting likes and shares (which can affect search rankings), and driving traffic to your site (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front page Google result by 53 times (Comscore)
  • Almost 75% of marketers agreed that video is key to driving conversions (Demand Metric survey)
  • After watching a video, customers are 64%-85% more likely to make a purchase
  • Some statistics indicate that on Facebook, a video post offers a whopping 135% greater reach than a post with a photo (Demand Metric survey)
  • Email subject lines that include the word “video” see a 19% increase in openrates, and a 65% boost in click-throughs (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Marketers who are using video are seeing 49% faster growth in revenue (Aberdeen Research)

Are major brands using Video Marketing?

Absolutely! Major brands worldwide have jumped on the video bandwagon. A well-planned, well-executed Video Marketing campaign is a great way to showcase your brand, differentiate you from your competition and help you build an emotional connection with your audience in 60 seconds or less.

Brands including Nike, Hotels.com, Airbnb, Under Armour, Coca Cola and Toyota are just a few that have embraced Video Marketing with a passion. In fact, major brands are not only creating their own YouTube channels but 61 of the top 100 brands now embed YouTube videos on their websites (Content Marketing Institute). Some brands are combining professionally produced content with user-generated content like candid reaction videos. The results both engage and entertain, and that’s the goal.

Should you be using Video Marketing?

Video marketing is so effective that I recommend that every marketing campaign incorporates video into the mix. However, this is not as simple as point and shoot. A badly done video is worse than no video at all. Although user-generated video can be used with professional video in a campaign, it should not be used on its own. Producing a video requires a professional expertise that’s not typically found in-house.

Our production arm, CreativeWorks Productions, is a full-service video production company with well-seasoned producers, and a highly skilled crew with decades of experience working on video productions for private companies to public ones such as the CBC, CTV, Rogers, and Alliance Atlantis. Contact the professionals at CreativeWorks Marketing today to discuss how we can integrate Video Marketing into your marketing and deliver professional results.

Why You Need Video in your Strategy…Now!

Consumers have become wary of traditional marketing in terms of direct promotional materials and content. We know that companies want our money and will try to convince us we should spend it with them. This is why peer marketing has boomed in the past few years, where social media platforms have become a venue for consumers to recommend (or criticize) brand products and services to their social networks.

When it comes to B2B marketing, companies will find many ways to convince you they are the brand for you and, in the past, those with the most money to spend on marketing and advertising had greater influence on their audience. YouTube and social media equalize this playing field because there is a cost-effective opportunity to reach your target market if video marketing and social media are used the right way.

Successful marketing relies on trust – consumers trust their peers and trust what they can see and hear, which puts video marketing in an important position. Entertainment has become vital to successful video marketing, where one could argue that companies are looking to entertain first and promote second. Take, for example, a video that went viral a few weeks ago, “First Kiss” where strangers were asked to kiss each other after only meeting a moment before. The awkwardness and hesitancy in the encounters appealed to such a widespread audience with over 69-million views on YouTube, and countless parodies. Only later did the world find out this was an extremely clever marketing ploy by a ladies clothing brand in L.A.

With almost double the number of visitors converted into leads when a video is embedded in a web page, we know that video marketing is effective…but why? Let this infographic shed some light on why videos, a visual, audial and potentially emotional experience, make a difference in marketing.

DCustom_Content-Marketing_Video_Infographic

 

How often click on a YouTube thumbnail when visiting a website? Does this help you make your decision about a company? I look forward to your thoughts below.

Online Video: Costs to Consider

(A follow-up to It’s Not Only Video Production – It’s Marketing)

In last week’s blog, I discussed the advantages of using video in your marketing efforts, including outlining the video process, and how long a production may take to create.  As a follow up to that blog, I have dedicated this week’s blog to answering questions regarding budget-related costs associated with video production.

As the owner of a marketing agency with a full service video production company, and over 13 international video awards, my clients often ask me how much producing video costs, and how these costs are determined. I’ve shared my answers to those questions below.

How much does it cost to make a video?

Costs are very much dependent on your needs. Every video is customized and unique, and as such, production costs vary widely according to the video style, and the time spent writing, shooting, and editing the final product.

If you plan to buy TV airtime, or buy online advertising to showcase your video, this will also add to your costs.

Have a budget in mind, and then discuss it with your agency to see what type of video can be produced based on this budget.  You should be able to reduce your budget if you can share some of the responsibilities, like writing the scripts, or providing images.

Be realistic about your expectations.  Do not expect to pay a semi-pro rate and get a professional product. Cheaper is usually not better.

What Drives the Cost of Video?

Understandably, I get this question all the time. There are three basic factors that drive productions costs.  These factors eventually get reflected in dozens of budget decisions that impact the quality of the final product.

  • Time.  Time spent increases costs. The more time that is spent in pre-production, scripting, location scouting, camera and equipment used, number of locations, days shooting, size of crew required, special effects, and editing, the better the final product will be.   Reduce the number of locations, for example, and this is reflected in the cost.
  • Talent.  The greater the talent of the people working on the project (crew, director, producer, editor and on screen talent), the better it will be.  In online video production, as with most things in life, talented and experienced people tend to cost more. Use in-house talent, for example, and this will be reflected in the cost.
  • Tools.  Understand what type of camera is best for your shoot requirements. Small DSLR cameras make beautiful footage, but they fall short in many areas, and therefore may not be right for your shoot.  High-end cameras with professional lighting kits, sophisticated post-production motion graphics, and animation will also add to your cost.

If I only want a 30 second video, is that cheaper?

The truth is that the final length of the video is not directly proportionate to the cost of the production.  Consider TV commercials, which are usually created in 30 second time blocks: the production cost alone may be well over $25,000, even though it is only 30 seconds long. Why? Because the project still required planning, scripting, a talented team, professional tools, etc.  So even if you reduce the final video time to 30 seconds, it does not mean the costs will be lower. That being said, you would be able to save costs in the “time” side of things as outlined above.

What is included in the production costs?

Production costs will be itemized in any video proposal sent to you, but they can include everything from initial research and concept development to scriptwriting, shooting, editing, graphics, music and narration. Duplication of CDs, DVDs or USBs is usually not included. Again, discuss what items you will be responsible for and what you need your agency for and then they can send you the itemized costs and responsibilities in their proposal.

I have outlined for you what you can expect from a professional and experienced video production company. Although you can produce videos from an iPhone, or use free editing software on your computer, please be aware that you do get what you pay for.

As a business professional, consider video to be yet another professional service, as you would your accountant.  Video is a powerful medium, as I have said many times: it has the power to influence clients by going viral and driving your brand and ROI. However, if done unprofessionally, it also has the power to leave a negative impression in the minds of your potential clients.

Do you have any questions about using video in your marketing? Do you have any other costing questions for me?  Please share your questions and stories about producing video in the comments below.

Online Video: It’s Not Only Video Production – It’s Marketing

As our plugged-in business world is becoming far more receptive to video messages, and online video is entering marketing’s mainstream, it’s natural to feel a little daunted about using video for the first time.

As the owner of a marketing agency with a full service video production company, and over 13 international video awards, I receive a daily deluge of questions from my clients who are thinking about using video in their marketing, but have concerns about jumping into this medium.

From low-cost do-it-yourself video blogs, to polished corporate overviews, there are certainly more options available today, but beware: The notion “you get what you pay for” still applies. Businesses today would benefit from understanding more about what they are paying for, and the value it brings to their business.

Below, I’ve provided you with answers to the questions that many of my clients are asking, in the hopes that they will allay your trepidations about using video in your marketing plans.

How can a video help my company?

Video is a powerful tool for reaching your audience, whether you’re selling a product, a service or a new concept. With a combined visual and verbal message, your message is 70% more memorable on video than it is in print alone.

Can I produce the video myself, or do I need professional help?

You could certainly apply the do-it-yourself approach, using basic consumer video equipment and self-taught talent.  (Think YouTube.) The benefits are speed and low costs, but the risks could be huge, as the results often look amateurish. This may erode credibility and brand messaging.

When it comes to video, particularly online video, I strongly recommend hiring a video production company, ideally one attached to a marketing agency. No, this is not shameless self-promotion; it is the truth.  Video is a marketing tool and so you’ll need to consult with a marketing agency.  Most video production companies are focused on producing videos, but not on helping you set the video’s objectives, position its message, and ultimately achieve your marketing ROI.

If your video production company simply shoots video without understanding the broader context, your video message may miss the point, and your video will not give meet your marketing objectives and ROI.  See next question for more details on the process.

When hiring a professional marketing agency with a video production arm, look at their past work to make sure it is compatible with what you want.  Ask them to give you details of their involvement in the video.  Make sure they know your industry, and understand marketing.  Ask them to share with you how your video will help you accomplish your specific marketing goals and objectives. Note: You are looking for a concrete answer here, not a broad stroke “it will increase brand awareness” type of answer.

What is the process for creating a video?

First, be sure you know what you are trying to accomplish.  One of the biggest reasons a project falls short of expectations is that the client can’t decide what they want, and keeps moving the target during production.  This adds cost, and erodes quality.

Before you can produce the video, you’ll need to clarify what you want to accomplish, and determine what resources you have available to you. You’ll also need to know your unique selling proposition, your target audience, your marketing goals and objectives, how and where your audience will view this video, and how you will measure the ROI.

Some questions to consider might include: do you want to increase credibility, build your brand, attract new clients or recruit new staff?  What marker decides success? Who should be profiled in the video? Do they need media training?

Once the marketing purpose has been established, and you have a general direction, there are three basic stages to completing your video:

  1. Pre-production: Deciding on the locations and on camera talent, writing scripts, creating a shot list, arranging for the appropriate equipment, camera, and site logistics and clearances
  2. Production: This is actually shooting the video.
  3. Post-production: This involves the editing of the video, including motion graphics, special FX, onscreen text, adding in other visuals images or footage and a soundtrack.

How long does it take to produce a video?

In general, the process can take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the complexity of your production.

Should you use video as a method to support your marketing? Absolutely, but make sure you consult with a marketing professional who actually produces video. You only have one chance to make a lasting, first impression. This has never been as true as it is today, with online video.

So… how much will a video cost? And how are these costs determined? I have dedicated next week’s blog to answering those questions regarding budget-related costs associated with video production.

Do you have any questions about using video in your marketing?  Have you used, or are you considering using video in your online marketing campaigns?  Please share your questions and stories about producing video in the comments below.