Put 'Help' at the heart of your video marketing strategy

Jon Mowat
Managing Director | Hurricane Media
10th March 2017

In today’s cluttered digital world, cutting through and getting heard is increasingly tough. Plenty of doomsday stats have recently been predicting the death of content marketing, owing to increased competition, lower engagement and uncertainty over ROI - especially when compared to the hard-and-fast metrics of native advertising and paid search. However, rather than totally abandoning your organic inbound efforts, they probably just need refining with a healthy dose of TLC.

Stating that the days of ‘interruption marketing’ and basic ‘BUY NOW’ messaging are over is hardly news, and most businesses will appreciate the need to earn respect before audiences connect, but I still find many companies struggle to communicate their brand message and how this can translate into a successful video marketing strategy.

Essentially, the type of message that you’ll want to convey probably boils down to whether you’re a service provider (selling yourself), or a trader (selling a product). Sometimes the lines are blurred and you’ll want to straddle both, but let’s consider each approach separately and see if we can help form your future content plan.

If you’re a service provider, it’s likely that you’ll want to showcase your expertise and frame yourself as an authority in your sector. Producing short video content on trending topics is a great way to demonstrate how in touch you are, and the quicker you’re off the mark, the more engagement you’ll see (provided you have something worthwhile and interesting to say, of course).

Please excuse the shameless self-promotion here, but this short video of ours perfectly illustrates my point.

Every year, once we hit December, people frequently ask me what’s going to big in the world of video marketing in the next 12 months, so I decided to practise what I preach and record this piece straight to camera. Doing so has given me a platform to discuss three exciting areas of development - 360-degree video, ecommerce video marketing and brand storytelling - and explain how and why these are going to be so important for video marketers in 2017.

Help! I need somebody

My audience is marketing managers, and I know the type of questions and insights they’re looking for, which is why we went down this route. Thankfully, it’s paid off with a few thousand views and a couple of solid enquiries.

Once you know the questions your clients are likely to be asking, you can get to work on answering them, positioning yourself as the go-to expert for additional advice. It works for all areas of industry, whether you’re a high-flying restaurant chain sharing recipes and cookery tips, or a self-employed plumber sharing some quick-fix advice - the more help you provide free of charge, the more likely people are to enlist your services when the time comes.

I get by with a little help from my friends

Establishing the viewer’s intent is key to catching the eye of potential customers, and this is particularly pertinent for B2C brands with products to sell. Let’s face it, nobody’s going to wake up one morning, think about buying a gas barbeque, for example, and then actively search for an advert.

More likely, they’ll look for product reviews or ask themselves questions like, "I wonder how you connect a gas BBQ…"

Calor have nailed this approach to helpful video marketing, creating a content hub of how-to guides for various products. The immediacy of the Internet Age means we can see how things are done in real-time rather than referring to dusty old manuals, making this type of video content so rewarding, enhancing the brand image and earning consumer trust along the way.

You can find out what type of questions people are asking in relation to your products or services by looking at Google Trends or using a tool like Answer The Public. You can then start creating relevant, informative content that will stand out.

Being better informed about what’s likely to work is the first step to creating a targeted content plan that will help you form a compelling user journey. The more you put ‘help’ at the heart of your marketing efforts, the better you’ll aid your bottom line.

About the author

Jon Mowat is the Managing Director of Hurricane Video Marketing. You can connect with Jon on LinkedIn and follow @HurricaneMedia on Twitter.

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