Have you 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. When it comes to business, this can be anyone from a customer, supplier, or partner. At Small Films, we regularly deliver customer testimonial videos for our clients, helping them engage with new clients.
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 genuine trust.
Clients rarely have a reason to give a video testimonial beyond a genuine delight with your service or product. Therefore, customer testimonial videos 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. Testimonial video productionhelps businesses highlight their personality as well as their capabilities.
Customer testimonials videos are 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’. Keeping anyone’s attention for more than a moment can be easier said than done in a world where there is such a vast amount of content online. 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.
Customer testimonial videos 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.
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.
Over the last few years, the rise of new technologies has dramatically transformed the way audiences consume and perceive video advertising – and change continues at a staggering pace. Millennials and Generation Z aren’t interested in watching live television. Instead they turn to Netflix to binge-watch their favourite drama series or surf Youtube and other platforms for content relating to their particular interests or passions. As traditional broadcast audiences grow older and conventional TV viewing figures decline, focus for advertisers has shifted to the online space. In 2017 brands and advertisers spent twice as much on online advertising as they did on TV (Magisto), and this is set to grow.
Adapting to rapidly changing online technologies has had a massive impact on the nature of the advertising format itself. Without the luxury of a captive static TV audience, and with an increasing consumer distrust of disruptive and overt advertising, advertisers are having to get both creative and technical in the way they approach marketing to their ever fragmenting and mobile audiences. Today’s tech savvy consumer demands a choice of uninterrupted entertaining online experiences – and they are ready to skip, switch channels or switch devices if they don’t like what they see. Audiences have always had the opportunity to ‘go and put the kettle on’ during traditional broadcast ad breaks if the content was unengaging of course – but the potential of an ‘ad rejection’ moment is now multiplied 100 fold online.
The ongoing challenge for brands and advertisers then, is ‘how do we stop consumers reaching for that virtual kettle?’
These are the questions brands need to consider:
WHAT types of content will engage consumers?
The internet has changed the way people can and choose to view content. It’s no longer simply a case of marketing to a static audience who are sitting down for a few dedicated hours of TV watching. There are now many more ways for people to consume content via multiple devices (TV, desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and wearable tech – often simultaneously), and many more opportunities for consuming content away from the traditional home leisure space and time. Marketers now have the opportunity to reach people as they move around during the day, travel from place to place, at work, at school – and as they’re spending their leisure time. This poses a challenge for the types of content brands should be producing:
On-The-Go – Snackable, scrollable content
There’s no point putting out 30 second videos for people to view when they’re on-the-go, waiting in a queue, checking messages or walking down the road. This audience is using mobile phones and needs bitesize, 6 second chunks of mobile optimised content that will briefly grab their attention as they scroll through their feeds, moving from task to task. The average adult scrolls through 70+ feet of social media feed every single day, so content has have an instant hook for the viewer to notice. A recent report revealed a 26% increase in brand awareness through brands using scroller ad formats. (IAB)
This ad by jobs website Reed has it all incuding kittens, humour and a 6 second in-your-face spot at the beginning.
Lean forward content
People with a bit more time on their hands, will spend a little longer choosing to view and more importantly, engage with, content in a bit more depth. They might be travelling to work on the bus, waiting in a doctor’s office or be on a break. They are still using mobile devices, though can also be at their desks viewing on desktop computers and laptops. This content should encourage ‘lean-forward’ user interaction in the content experience in the form of prompting users to like, comment on, share, or embed videos. It should resonate with the desired audience in a way that encourages them to engage with it.
These Volvo Trucks short brand videos are highly entertaining action adventure stunts designed to pull the viewer in and elicit engagement.
Lean back content
The traditional type of leisure-time content consumption. Audiences who are static and relaxing will consume long-form, long-term content formats. For marketing content to compete with other content in this space it needs to be highly creative and emotionally engaging, employ great storytelling and in fact integrate with the surrounding content so as not to disrupt the consumer experience. Interesting branded content like documentaries or brand-made programmes can work well in this space. Although they may be static – the majority of people will still be browsing on mobile devices so content needs to be mobile optimised. This is the optimal time for simultaneous platform usage. 87% of consumers now watch TV together with a second screen (Deloitte Digital Consumer Survey.)
Stella Artois partnered with National Geographic to commission an award wining film director to make a documentary highlighting the impact of the global water crisis on communities around the world – a compelling piece of quality long-form ‘lean back’ branded content.
HOW will brands engage consumers with content?
The increasing rejection of overt advertising means brands are having to be more creative and consumer-focused in their marketing content strategies. Along with producing different types of video content for different devices and types of consumers as we have seen, brands now need to think about HOW best to reach these fragmented audiences.
With the increase in digital marketing noise and content choices available to them, consumers are becoming less responsive to content they perceive as less relevant to them. Brands will have to produce tailored content accurately targeted to specific audience member interests and browsing habits. They will also need to harness technology to make use of location-based marketing so that they can target consumers according to where they are at any given moment.
Tesco Clubcard produced a personalised awareness and retention campaign.
Rather than placing expensive paid advertising with the big, general reach global publishers and broadcasters, brands will have to find different ways of marketing to their targeted audience segments. As consumers watch more self-selected video content and less broadcast TV, brands are creating their own video content channels and collaborating on ‘audience first’ content shared via video influencers. Macro influencers with more than 100,000 subscribers or followers on their social channels have been in the ascendancy up to now but with growing audience segmentation and targeting, brands are increasingly partnering with micro-influencers on content production.
Social media algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, and as has already happened on Facebook, overt hard-sell advertising will be penalised and brands will have to work much harder to get their messages in front of their audiences. Brands will need to create more thoughtful, entertaining, and value-adding videos that consumers will actively choose to watch and share in order to beat the algorithms. Quality over quantity will be key in the video content of the future.
Coors Light revamped its frivolous image with a series of high-quality, value-adding short docufilms, presenting their products in real-life situations and places, while telling compelling real-life stories.
With audiences using multiple devices and consuming content via multiple channels, sometimes simultaneously, brands will have to adopt a user-centric integrated approach to content in order to get a better ROI.
Heineken’s Departure Roulette is a great example of a cross-channel integrated, interactive video campaign.
So the future of video marketing content is full of opportunity and the potential for brands to accurately reach their target audiences will be better than ever before. The biggest challenge for brands will be getting noticed online and cutting through the increasing digital marketing noise. Only the brands that think creatively, embrace technology and adopt a user-centred approach to their content will get results. Surely this can only be a good thing for the digital advertising industry – and consumers in general?
If your business would like help creating quality video content for multiple platforms, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Films are video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.
Frustrating perhaps, but true. Promotional video costs can vary enormously. Like any product – there are low budget options, top-quality professional options with all the bells and whistles, and lots of levels in between. There are so many factors affecting the cost of corporate videothat it would be disingenuous (and probably inaccurate) to pluck a figure out of the air to answer the question. It’s not a cost-hiding conspiracy created by the video production industry – it’s just a very complex issue.
The good news is that video recording technology has become a lot more accessible over the last few years and video production costs have decreased. That means that quality video content is no longer the preserve of big brands with a huge budget. It’s now a reality for any small business or SME looking to grow.
Video for your business can be as simple as filming it yourself on a smartphone, downloading an app to use a ready-made template, adding effects, editing it, and publishing it to a video-sharing channel. And that’s great if a lo-fi, personal feel is what you’re trying to achieve. For most businesses, however, the amateur approach doesn’t really work. 62% of consumers who watch a poor quality video say they are left with a negative perception of the brand, but embedding a high-quality video on a business website landing page has been shown to increase conversions by up to 80%.
It’s clear then, that video content can have a massive impact. It’s important for businesses thinking about video to ensure that this impact is always a positive one. One way of doing that is to use an established video production company that will have a team of experienced professionals, high-quality equipment and pre-production, production and post-production capabilities. When choosing a company, get recommendations, look at their past work and speak to previous clients about their experiences.
The best way to approach commissioning video content from a production company is to have a clear idea of what you want to spend. As with building a house where your architect wants to know the house you envisage from the size, style and building materials, to the features, fixtures and fittings, a professional video production company needs to have an idea of your budget in order to accurately advise what services they can offer you. A corporate video could cost anything from £1,500 to £30,000 depending on a large number of variables from the complexity of the script to the cameras being used. Any reputable video production company will offer you the best creative options for your budget – it’s in their interests that the video looks as good as possible after all. And beware, there’s no such thing as a steal in video production – if something is cheap there’s usually a good reason for it. For example, a camera operator can cost anything from £150 to well over £1000 a day – but the quality of work and level of experience will be reflected in the price. Of course, you can still get a good deal on your corporate video – but the best way to get high quality and value for money is to establish a good relationship and trust with your video production company.
So what are the variables that affect video production costs? This will give you an idea of the processes that can be involved in corporate video production. Not all the elements will be necessary in any one video – it obviously depends on the type, scope and length of your video – as well as the budget. The costs will differ for an animated explainer video and a talking head corporate video shot in the workplace for example.
So there you have it. A corporate video can involve many different processes and be many different things, but one thing it should always be is good quality. The best way to cut through the confusion is to speak to a reputable video production company and be clear about what you want and roughly how much you want to spend. Show them examples of videos you like for comparison – be open to new ideas, and most of all, enjoy the creative process!
Small Filmsis a leading video production company in London. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.