Professional services firms are increasingly turning to video marketing to raise awareness of their services. They are finding some success. Take accountancy firm Grant Thornton: a five-step guide to the firm’s services which it posted on YouTube has achieved almost 5,000 views. Yet, what more could be done?
When US fashion label WREN commissioned its ‘First Kiss’ viral video it clearly aimed for high impact: the film shows 20 strangers meeting for the first time and kissing. Yet even the company could not have imagined that it would achieve 90 million views, national media coverage in the likes of New York Times, CNN and Bloomberg, and a 13,600 per cent boost to sales.
It is not only cool fashion label firms that are making an impact with video. Look at ‘Unskippable Ad’ from insurance firm Geico. Funny and clever, it gained almost eight million views on YouTube. Are professional services firms taking the same bold, clever and human approach to their video marketing?
Mobile phones have changed the world
There is clear incentive for them to do so. Over the past two years video has increased in popularity and YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. In 2015 there was a 70 per cent increase in "How to videos" according to Google and technology company Cisco reported video would account for 84 per cent of web traffic by 2018.
As a result of the omnipresence of mobile phones people now want compact, bite size content that they can consume 'on-the-go'. They are time poor and more likely to use a mobile or tablet device than ever. People want choice and speed. Video has many benefits – it helps simplify complex information, bridges languages and cultures, engages interest and can be turned around quickly and cost effectively.
What is more, video is ideally suited to professional service marketing. Firms in our sector need to convey complex messages and services, and video allows them to communicate these simply. They can use both audio and visual media to bring their message to life, adding personality. It also gives the business the chance to showcase their brightest individuals. Rather than simply saying they have the best people, they can show it. Today video is playing an increasingly important role in brand development and demonstrating professional services’ strengths.
Getting video right
Companies think video marketing will be expensive, but if it is well planned to optimise production and editing you can achieve good efficiencies. Begin by deciding who your audience is. Be clear about the information it wants. There is no point creating a video no one wants to see. An SEO audit is a good place to start. Find out what terms people are using to search for content and use the findings to inform your video content.
Videos also need to be short and punchy. The rule of thumb is video should be no longer than two minutes. But there are always exceptions so when producing a video always ask yourself whether it is engaging, inspiring and informative. If it ticks all three boxes you are much more likely to have high viewer engagement.
One of our big pet hates is a video with nothing but a talking head. It is worth integrating some graphics and sign posts to keep the viewer interested. However, think carefully about who presents the video. Make sure you pick someone engaging to present the video and that they have some training or a director to bring out the best in them if needs be.
Recent research revealed consumers are more likely to believe information presented by experts, celebrities or members of their own community than brands themselves. Proof of this is we’re seeing more and more companies hiring a vlogger, blogger, or celebrity to present their videos. If you pick a celebrity, choose one with a significant social following and digital profile as they can help extend the reach of your video content. Also make sure the video is tagged with the search terms you know people will use. This will help people find your video in organic searches.
Promote and measure
Once you have created a video you are proud of, the next step is to ensure it gets seen. Online it is simply not the case that if you build it they will come. You need to work hard to get that initial interest. Investing heavily at launch is the key: 25 per cent of total shares take place within the first three days.
If you are posting the video on YouTube use annotations or pop up messages which appear in the video and guide the viewer to other content. To promote it to an external audience, use a mix of paid and organic search methods to boost hits.
Finally, ensure you have defined your goals and know how you will measure success: click throughs to your website, views or YouTube subscribers? Or you could look at how many people the video inspires by tracking shares and comments.
Follow these steps and while you may not get 90 million views or a five figure increase in sales, you will be starting to use this exciting new channel to good effect. You will be adding weight to your digital brand, engaging potential clients, opening up new opportunities and gaining significant competitive advantage.
By Michelle Roberts-Clarke, Head of Strategy & Client Development at Brand Remedy.
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