Marketing: How to make your video stand out in the crowd

23rd Sep 2013

Whilst ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ may sound like a tired cliché to some, in the case of marketing, the concept is still very true. For any business reliant on selling software programmes and applications, the need to effectively demonstrate a product’s features to new and existing customers is fundamental. An image of a software application can replace a lengthy text description. Yet a video takes this concept to the next level as a marketing tool. In fact, James McQuivey from Forrester Research, believes that one minute of video is worth up to 1.8 million words.

Developing video and visual content that showcases the leading features of a product, in short and easy-to-digest sections, is a useful sales and marketing tool for any organisation. According to an eMarketer report in 2013, 64 per cent of survey respondents said that they plan to use more video content in marketing. However, with increasing numbers of organisations using video, ensuring your content stands out is now more important than ever. One way to make your video a cut above the rest is to create content that is interactive, targeted to its audience and shareable.

A recent global TechSmith survey of 1,900 consumers, exploring video viewing habits, supports this point. The research found that the key to a good marketing video is to keep it short, engaging, searchable and shareable. Some of the key findings are outlined below, but to view the research findings visually, you can click on our info graphic here.

Assessing your audience

The first thing you need to consider when planning a video marketing initiative is the audience; who are they, what do they need to learn about the product, and how should this be delivered? An engaging video to one person can be a turn off to another. The better you as the creator understand what will be of interest to your viewers, the more effective you’ll be at keeping their attention and creating preference for your products and services.

Assessing how long any video should be is a significant factor in the planning stage. Whilst a lengthy video will be more acceptable for those who are watching it for educational or training purposes, potential customers visiting your website are likely to have less time. Marketing videos should try to reflect this by providing short and snappy information, given that the average attention span of an adult is just 2.8 seconds. In fact, respondents to the TechSmith video viewership survey stated that marketers have less than 50 seconds in which to capture and intrigue them when watching a video on a platform such as YouTube or they will skip the content altogether.

For a new product with a number of new features that you want to demonstrate using video, it is worth creating a series of shorter videos that each cover a specific feature. This kind of ‘snackable’ content enables potential customers to go straight to the new product feature that is important to them without having to fast-forward through a 10 minute video.

Bringing video to life

Current video editing tools include a large range of sophisticated features that can help bring videos to life and make them more engaging for the viewer. Examples include hotspots, which embed links to additional content in videos, interactive quizzes and annotations. These features can help increase engagement and, ultimately, the likelihood of generating a sales lead, if used in the right way. The trick is not to over-use them. Overloading a video with special effects can be off-putting as the viewer might not have enough time to interact with the video, visit an accompanying website or read annotations. Knowing where and when it is appropriate to include these features is key to creating an engaging video.

Tracking the success of your video

Once you have polished your marketing video and published it on your company’s website or even externally on YouTube, you can use a number of web analytic tools to assess how successful your video is at engaging with potential customers. Tools such as Google Analytics, Salesforce and Optimizely can dig deeper to understand how your viewers are interacting with your content. These tools can highlight where in the video people stop watching, which sections are most effective at eliciting a response and when people choose to share a video on social networks. This can be a great way to find out what is working well and what isn’t, which is useful if you are planning a series of marketing videos.

With audiences becoming more selective about what they watch online, it is vital to ensure your marketing video stands out from the crowd. One way to do this is to create content that is personable, to the point, and measurable. Making video doesn’t have to be hard and there are many instructional tools available to ensure success.

Matt Pierce is the Customer Engagement Manager at TechSmith. In addition to his day job, he hosts a monthly webshow, TechSmith’s The Forge, interviewing video makers, visual communicators, educators, and more. Teach him something at @piercemr.


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