By John Pucci (Chief Creative Officer, Hawthorne Direct)

leadership_04By its very nature, video explains more than a billboard or static banner. It gives the customer more control over what they want to know, so they can quickly find answers to questions or the product that will fulfill a need. In multi-channel campaigns, video is often a final push that convinces people to complete a purchase. In order to make this push happen, brands need to get more out of their existing video content so it drives online searches and more importantly, engagement.

Video content satisfies the needs of people that are in a “search and find out more” mode. For example, the customer might be physically in a store and view (or are alerted to) related product video content on their phone. The video might detail a main feature of the product or service, or highlight how it makes the user happier/healthier/smarter/cooler, which then encourages the viewer to close on the sale.

Why video? Because it’s the richest content available. It surrounds the customer in a much more effective way that cannot be matched by other mediums, especially online banners. Visitors spend more time on websites that feature videos, and consumers are more likely to complete a purchase after watching video content.

Leveraging a Body of Content
Agencies that have full service engagements with their brands should strive to leverage an entire body of content. This includes customer testimonials, demos, and other online tutorials and content. Brands often have on hand a wide variety of video content, but aren’t necessarily using it effectively. Video content should be utilized across various channels, used for example in pre-roll campaigns, in paid media, and on the site as unpaid media.

Product or service demonstration videos are especially useful in part or whole as they serve to educate and engage the viewer. One key is the length of the videos, as the old days of 30-minute infomercial DRTV campaigns are waning, replaced by shorter and faster content for today’s attention spans. Agencies and internal brand teams get the most out of video by experimenting with the segment lengths. Whether it’s retargeting campaigns or video for a microsite, adjusting the length between 15 and 60 seconds allows the brand to answer different questions and evoke varying customer responses.

Consider a brand with a product demonstration video that highlights 10 different service benefits. Cut into 10 distinct videos, brands and agencies now have specific messaging to use on a variety of channels. This is an especially effective approach for presenting a new product, where marketing has some ideas but can’t be 100 percent sure of the consumer’s motivating factors such as what pushes them to conduct online searches. Through experimentation and testing of different cuts of video, the brand and agency can spot certain buying triggers and confirm their effectiveness within multiple channels.

The Multidirectional Approach
Brands and agencies should examine their video content strategy holistically, both to spot efficiencies and to deeply examine consumers’ buying triggers. A sound agency approach will be to break up content into many different videos, mixing them up by both the content itself and length. They can amplify production dollars as well in the way they slice and dice new approaches and angles out of the same basic content. Doing this well requires crafting content that quickly discusses a problem and provides an elegant remedy.

Big successes in video marketing often come when the content closes the “education loop” in regards to consumers’ understanding of how a product work or how a service can solve problems. These education-focused videos strengthen the conversion response of other channels, encourage searches, and deeper overall engagement with the brand.

The intimacy and connectedness that comes with video content spurs the interest of the viewer, driving searches and other beneficial actions. Video content provides consumers with a multi-directional and interactive brand relationship because they can immediately engage with it through their devices. This relationship will only grow as internet-connected TV usage becomes the norm and video consumption on personal devices continues to expand.

John Pucci is an award-winning creative director with a wealth of talent and experience working on major brands via both the agency and client side. Currently, he leads the creative, digital, business development, and production departments at Hawthorne Direct. His expertise encompasses pitching new business, developing creative and producing work for key clients 3M, American Addiction Centers, Armor All, Black + Decker, Brother, Charter Spectrum, Dyson, Energizer, Equifax, Gerber Life, Hamilton Beach, HomeAdvisor, The Hartford, It’s Just Lunch, JG Wentworth, L’Oreal, Pella, ShopAtHome, Transamerica, United Healthcare and more.

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