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The Science of Social Media

How to Use Video Content to Raise Brand Awareness and Sell Your Product

Video content is one of the most popular mediums for businesses today, and for good reason. Video is more engaging, more memorable, and more popular among consumers than any other type of content.

And there’s data to back that up, too!

For example, did you know that 76% of businesses say video has helped them increase sales? Or that 80% of marketers say video has increased time spent on their website?

This week we’re looking to help you increase brand awareness and product sales using the highly-engaging format of video. No matter what industry or vertical you’re in, video can help you promote your business in fresh and effective ways.

Let’s dive in!

How to use video content to increase brand awareness and sell your product

What follows is a lightly-edited transcript of the Buffer Podcast episode #125 for your reading pleasure.

Table of Contents

Hailley: As marketers and business owners, one of the most common roadblocks we face is trying to drive engagement and traffic around our key products. It’s common across B2B and B2C! We think that video is one of the best way to solve that challenge.

A warm welcome to the show – Let’s kick it off.

Brian: The stats supporting the effectiveness of video marketing go on and on.

  • 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
  • 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.

And get this, when both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.

Video Content and Video Marketing Guide

Hailley: Of course, the number one question we get about video (and one we struggled with in the past) is: where do I start?

Where to start with video content

We’ve talked about using video on social media in episodes 90 and 110, but we’ve never really gotten into the specifics of using video to do one of the most important things for your business – actually selling your product.

Brian: It’s what pays the bills after-all.

Everything we’re about to share applies to selling your products with video. These videos can then be shares on social media, of course, as well as your website, landing pages, blog posts, etc, etc.

So with that being said, let’s get started with the very first video principal and that’s showing your product in action.

Showing your product in action

Hailley: One of the best things you can do to increase the success of your videos is to help people visualize what their lives would be like with your product.

Giving viewers a sneak peek of your product can be a nice visual companion to a landing page or product description.

Showing your product in action will make your video more interesting for users to watch. It also makes the video valuable because it shows us how the product works and what we can expect in real life.

Brian: First thing that comes to mind here is a product tutorial.

Utilizing product tutorials

Believe it or not, people LOVE product tutorials just about anywhere they can find them. Social media, your website, YouTube, you name it.

Just think about BuzzFeed tasty and their recipes. That’s essentially a tutorial sped up to make it fun. Speeding things up does seem to make them more fun!

Hailley: The best part of tutorials or explainer videos, is that it helps to move people quickly down the funnel into buyer consideration.

Again another argument for the power of video. Instead of reading 1,000 words on why your product works or why people should buy it, they can watch a 15 second video and get the exact same amount of information.

Brian: The last two things I’ll say about tutorial videos are one, they help to sell your product without sounding like it’s a sales pitch. You’re simply showing them how the product works, not saying “hey buy my product.”

A great example from company MuleSoft:

The second thing is that they work for both physical products and services. With services, it’s a bit tougher to show in action, but you can get creative with things like Q&As, ask the experts, an educational series, and more.

It just takes a little bit of brainstorming to open up the possibilities.

Featuring customer testimonials

Hailley: Next up, if you’re looking to sell your products or services with video content, is to create customer testimonials.

If you have raving fans who are always singing your praises, or even other industry experts who would be happy to give your business a testimonial, then these are an awesome addition to your overall video content strategy.

What customer testimonials help to do is show proof of demand, which is a valuable type of social proof showing others that you have lots of happy, satisfied customers.

Brian: As many of you know, social proof is absolutely critical in selling your product.

Studies show nearly 70 percent of online consumers look at a product review prior to making a purchase.

Even more telling is the fact that product reviews are 12-times more trusted than product descriptions and sales copy from manufacturers.

Hailley: Customer testimonials don’t have to be anything too fancy.

Even something simple like shooting a video content with your customers in-store and asking them their favorite products or opinions, and then mashing up the results into one video can work great for this purpose.

Or you could incentivize people to send you a video review with coupons and prizes. Or host a contest on social media.

Brian: At the end of the day, all your potential customers want to know is that your product can (and will) solve their specific problem.

One of the best ways prove this is by creating case study videos that feature your satisfied, loyal customers. These people are your best advocates.

Developing entertaining and unique product video ideas

Hailley: Moving on in our video journey, let’s talk about using entertainment and creativity in product videos that help to sell your product.

As we talk about all the time, online audiences love short, snackable content.

With this shorter format, you can create entertaining videos that make your audience laugh or get inspired or take an action.

It’s important to remember with entertaining videos, that they should be created as a part of a larger campaign, showcasing your business’s high-level vision, mission, or products and services.

Brian: Right. And that’s the key part. We’re not saying to go out and create the next viral animal video content, but we do believe there is a way to get creative with video with the goal of attracting an audience that will be interested in purchasing your products.

Naturally, that starts with an understanding of your core audience. Research where they hang out online. Where they shop. What they watch and listen to. What they purchase and what keeps them up at night.

I know that sounds creepy, but there is so much information online today that it’s possible to know your audience on a granular level.

Hailley: Once you know that, you can create videos that your audience will enjoy watching – videos that will imprint your brand in their mind and keep them coming back for more.

So I know that all sounds hypothetical at the moment, which is why we’ve gathered a few examples of what that might look like.

A great one is Starbucks that created an adorable animated video series called 1st and Main. The video series entertains the audience and showcases Starbucks as a ‘the third place’ between home and work.

Brian: There’s another example I saw recently from a company called LucidChart. LucidChart is a software system that allows businesses to visualize charts. And they created this hilarious video content about different kind of snakes (or what they call “sneks”) and named them all sorts of funny things:

And it’s not until the very end of the video where they finally say, “visualize your sneks and anything else with LucidChart.”

It’s just brilliant and goes to show how entertaining videos can capture your audience’s attention and make them want to find out more.

Hailley: The key point here is that videos like these work because they make your brand non-intrusive, and they let you have fun with your target audience. No matter what type of business you are, this kind of content is a perfect way to strengthen brand rapport.

And the last point here is to remember that while entertainment videos aren’t necessarily the strongest content for the bottom part of your funnel, they are great for the attention stage of the buyer’s journey. And equally important part!

Brian: I think many of us try to skip that attention/awareness stage and it becomes tough to make the sale down the road.

But anyways, quick summary. We’ve talked about tutorials, testimonials, and entertainment, but we haven’t covered one that I think is crucial for brands when it comes to advertising, and that’s your “commercial” for lack of a better word.

Creating your brand’s video “commercial”

Think Dollar Shave Club or Chatbooks – videos that went viral, but still focus on the company’s core product.

Hailley: Your branded company video or commercial like you said, Brian, can be whatever you want it to be. And these can be used to sell your product just about anywhere.

They can be funny, emotional, or inspirational and are a great way to portray your product in an artistic way or link it to a particular lifestyle.

Similar to what we were talking about with showing your product in action, this combines all of that.

Brian: In order to create a compelling brand video you’ll want to make sure it tells some sort of story with a beginning middle and end.

You should be able to communicate a coherent narrative through images, footage, and simple editing.

What is your business all about? Who are the people that use your product? What about your product makes their lives better? Why would they choose your product over another?

Hailley: Exactly but it’s important to not simply provide people with a bullet point list of reasons of why your product is great.

You have to convey your brand message in a way that is creative and doesn’t come across as sales-y.

That Chatbooks example you mentioned is a great one. Instead of saying “hey, you can create beautiful photo albums in minutes because our product makes it easier than our competitors.”

They feature a Mom in a house full of children and why SHE would use it.

Brian: Videos bring the product to life in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be achievable.

It’s also super relatable for parents!

Alright so a few quick tips on the video content creation process before you go:

First is that shorter is usually better. Unless you’re diving into a complicated tutorial, shorter is better when it comes to most things on social media, and that’s true for most video as well.

Hailley: Depending on what the video is, you’ll have different maximum time lengths you can get away with. A purely promotional product video? Twenty seconds or less is best. If you’re creating a video tutorial, a minute is a good point, but if it’s really appropriate you can go up to around a minute and thirty seconds.

Another thing to keep in mind, and I know we sound like broken records here, but a majority of videos are watched on mobile devices.

Create your videos in square or vertical format to make sure it looks and feels native to the platform you are posting to.

Brian: Finally, we recommend staying nimble and trying a bunch of different types of video content.

Chances are you probably won’t strike gold with your first product video.

Keep experimenting with formats, style, content, themes, and stories until you find one that resonates with your audience. You can quickly test the performance on social media organically or with ads, which is exactly what we do here at Buffer.

Hailley: We hope that 2019 is the year where video content marketing becomes a staple part of your overall marketing strategy.

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About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 18,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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