In just the last year, Twitter has introduced Periscope, a mobile live video app. Weeks ago Facebook introduced a similar tool called Facebook Live, and Instagram has recently extended its video functionality from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. Why are all the cool kids turning to video? Because it’s incredibly captivating, and is becoming the content of choice for many of us. On Instagram, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40% in just six months into March 2016. Snapchat’s users watch 10 billion videos each day.
Video is awesome because, like a great Prince song, it helps tell a story. Whether you’re showing people how to do something, sharing insights about your products or services, or introducing your audience to your company culture or introducing them to your team, people connect in richer ways with tone of voice, mannerisms, and appearance. Even my 8-year-old daughter loves watching YouTube videos to learn how to make things out of a rubber-band loom, partly because the videos she’s watching were made by kids her age. Video is a fun, interesting way to tell your story – and the data tells us your audience loves it and wishes you’d make more of it. If you’re not using video on your website yet, or not using it strategically, it’s time to get serious or risk finding yourself playing catch-up with your content. Hey, if an 8 year old can do it, why can’t you?
Let’s look at a few ways you can be using video as a strategic part of your content plan as it lines up with our trusty CARE Funnel.
Video for the Clueless but Curious
We call the people at the top of your modern funnel Clueless but Curious. They’re people who are anonymous to you who like to lurk around the edges of your website, social satellites, and business. They love finding content when they need it as they’re researching a product or a problem, like in a blog post.
How-to or explainer videos are fantastic for the C’s in your audience. Videos don’t need crazy production value and to go on for 4 minutes – short, snappy, and to-the-point is what this audience craves. Subject matter can be almost anything relevant to your business and audience – even the seemingly simple aspects of wwhat you do can be really enlightening to many of your Curious but Clueless audience. In fact, the video I created just above is an example of this kind of explainer video.
Here’s an example from Amazon on how to choose a longboard skateboard. This video is perfect for helping people develop immediate understanding about the different types of skateboards.
Video for the Attentive
Your Attentive audience has moved on from being Clueless but Curious and is ready to know more about you, your products, or your services. While this is an audience we love to make a trade with – download this valuable resource of ours in exchange for your email address – we can encourage them with more specific video content too.
This audience is looking to begin a relationship with you and get more immersed in what you do. They love behind-the-scenes videos, videos showing the art and craft of what you do, or what makes you or your products different or unique.
To demonstrate this, here’s a video from Tom Bihn, a manufacturer of awesome bags and luggage, showcasing one of their bags. This video is fantastic for the Clueless but Curious – note how uncomplicated the video is. A single shot for an overhead perspective while somebody explores the product.
That’s cool, but we don’t learn much about the materials used or philosophies of the company or the build construction – which is what their Attentive users are really interested in. See how much more detailed this next video is about a particular kind of fabric they use. Now they’re not just introducing products or showing us how they work, they’re demonstrating leadership and instilling confidence.
Video for the Responsive & Ready
Your Responsive & Ready audience is looking for video content that helps confirm their ideas about you, or get to know you better. They’ve been through the how-to videos and enjoyed the behind-the-scenes stuff – now they’re interested in who’s behind the curtain. They want videos about you, your company culture, your people, your philosophies.
This video from Apple is all about striking an emotional chord and achieving philosophical alignment. There’s not a single Apple product in this video, no executives or product designers talking. Instead it uses interesting angles and perspectives to make a metaphor that reinforces the messaging of the video.
BambooHR has a great video about its company culture that talks about its values and work-life perspective. Again – no mention of its products or services. This kind of video helps tell the larger story about who they are rather than what they do. What they believe in rather than what they sell. Videos like this are very powerful, but present unique challenges. Everything from the colors used to the voices and faces shown to the (very important) soundtrack (or music bed) communicates something about the company. Get any of that wrong, and things can feel stiff, wooden, artificial, or otherwise not compelling.
Video for the Engaged
When people are Engaged, they’re doing business with us and have reached the end of the Funnel, so it’s time to use their experiences as case studies and testimonials to loop back into the top of our funnels for our newbie Clueless and Curious audience.
This is a great place for testimonial videos from your satisfied customers that can, in one fell swoop, demonstrate industry leadership, provide some product details, introduce your people and/or customer service philosophies, and your positive impact on happy customers. That’s a lot of awesome in just three minutes or so.
Slack does a great job of this in a testimonial video with Sandwich Video. It’s fun, funny, and snappy, but also demonstrates the problems their products solve and if we watch closely, even demonstrates how Slack works.
This video from Help Scout shows how it helped another company (incidentally, a pretty great video hosting company called Wistia) do more efficient business with its product. Again, note the tone, music bed, and ways the contributors to the video are able to showcase the problems they solved while also sharing about their product and their people.
Video Production value
If you were paying close attention, you’ll have noticed that the production value (complexity) of the videos generally goes up as you get further down the funnel. A how-to video for the top of your Funnel can be a single camera with a voice showing a product, while the case study videos had multiple camera angles, people, music, graphics, etc. That means things can get potentially more expensive as you go. This is a natural reflection on the videos’ places in the CARE Funnel too – the further down the Funnel and more likely the casual web user is going to become a prospect and then customer, the more resources we’re willing to spend on them.
Practically, for how-to or other video content for the Clueless but Curious audience at the top of your conversion funnel you can churn out fun, easy videos (like Vine or Instagram videos) using your phone and some easy editing tools as often as it makes sense to you. Sky’s the limit – put a video on every blog post every day if you want to. After a bit of learning curve, your only real limitation might be time available.
When you get down into company culture showcase videos or testimonials, you might consider spending more time and money, coordinating more people to get involved, and generally introducting a more complex situation. If this is the case, try to build these videos to have a longer shelf life, like a year or two (or even longer if your business or business environment isn’t in constant flux.) Note the Apple video above – the content of that video won’t become outdated for them anytime soon.
You can create awesome videos yourself!
With that in mind, it is possible to build pretty awesome videos of any kind with your phone, a basic understanding of videography, and some simple tools. I’ll dive into how you can create high quality video for your website with little more than your smartphone in Part 2 of this series, so subscribe to the blog and stay tuned. In the meantime, start looking at your site and asking what kinds of content – especially video – you’re creating to meet each of the different personas that are visiting your site and social channels, especially as they relate to the CARE Funnel. If your response is eek! None! We have none videos! What should we do? then start with creating easy videos that can help explain what you do, how you do it, or correspond to new blog entries, and hang tight for the rest of this series, which will help you immensely. If you are using video on your website, awesome! What’s been working best for you? What are easiest to create, or get the best traction with your users? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!