How to make your brand video break through the clutter

Stage 1 of the mighty video sales funnel: awareness

In our introduction to the video sales funnel, we spoke about why your awareness stage video is so critical – it’s your one big chance to capture your potential customers’ attention, and if you don’t nail it, there’s little point in going on to make any other videos. Today we go deeper into making an awareness stage video, specifically a brand video, that will get people talking and be good for business.

A recap of where your customer is at:

Your audience is on a research mission. They may have been recommended your company by a friend, and are visiting your site to check you out, or they may have a problem they’re trying to solve and have stumbled across you.

The job of a brand video is to:

  • Attract. This video could be the first encounter a potential customer has with your brand, and first impressions mean everything – you need to do something big and bold that cuts through the noise and sets your company apart from the rest.
  • Draw potential customers in and keep their attention. This doesn’t mean telling the whole story, it’s more about reeling them in slowly, piquing their interest, and getting them ready to know more – and if your sales funnel is set up well, the next nugget of information will be right there, ready for them to find in their own good time.
  • Convey your company’s manifesto. Videos at this stage are about introducing your company and the reason for your existence.
  • Make the customer feel an affinity with your brand – you want this to be the start of a long and fruitful relationship, so they need to like and – crucially – trust you. It’s no longer enough to be an adequate service provider – whether they’re choosing a neighborhood cafe or a credit card company, customers want to be dealing with ‘their kind of people’.

Set your goals

Every video you make should have its own defined and measurable goals, and it’s critical that these are not just your company-wide objectives (‘get more customers’ is not going to cut it), but the goals for that specific video. Nailing your goals will also help you ascertain what your call to action should be, and where the next videos in your sales funnel (the consideration stage) are going to be placed. For example, if your brand video will be broadcast quite widely and the aim is to boost traffic to your website (SMART goal: increase monthly traffic to website by 25% by 30 November), your call to action is clearly your url, and you want your consideration stage videos to be easily located on your website, ready for your potential customer to hear the next chapter of the story. Other goals for brand videos might refer to the number of likes or shares of a video on social media, being featured in an industry publication, or a measurable increase in brand recall and awareness.

Who is your target audience?

Every single one of your potential customers may see this video, but that certainly doesn’t mean you’re targeting all of them. That all-too-tempting approach is a false economy: it often means a video is so broad in its scope that it doesn't feel relevant to anyone. A tactic we like is to hone in on a defined group of customers who you can picture very precisely, and make a video that talks directly to them. You’ll then have a video that really resonates with those people (meaning increased engagement and a higher chance of conversion), and you’ll also pick up the halo of customers who aspire to be part of that group.

Tip: Go beyond the standard targeting (age, location, industry, etc) and create a detailed profile of your ideal viewer: do they shop online? what does a typical day look like? what are their biggest challenges?...

Where will your video go?

Once you know exactly who your target audience is, you’ll be better placed to work out where to find them: do they read mainstream news websites, or niche industry blogs? Are they big TV watchers? Do they hang out on Facebook? Twitter? There are a number of social media options but it is unlikely you have the bandwidth to be across them all, which ones do your target audience prefer?

Remember that to get to your potential customers, you want fairly broad reach: screening your brand video on your own website or social channels is fine, but consider how you’re going to get it in front of new people, not just the folks who already know and like you.

With all your videos, you’ll need to consider details such as where to host the video. YouTube is generally everyone’s answer, but consider wisely! While having a YouTube channel can be beneficial for brand awareness and SEO, other secure, paid hosting platforms like VimeoWistiaBrightcove, and Vidyard are proving to be very fruitful when it comes to pushing customers through to your website, and videos on their platforms are easily embedded into social channels.

Budget

Before you think about how you’ll cost up individual clips, you need to work out how to divvy your annual budget up among all the videos you want to create. While you may only have one or a couple of videos for this stage, we recommend that around 70% of your total budget is allocated to them. It might seem extravagant, but remember that this is your one chance to make a bang, and probably the time that you’ll have the most competition for your audience’s attention: an investment upfront will pay dividends later. Practically speaking, there are a couple of reasons for putting cash into this stage: firstly, in your quest to stand out from the crowd, you may enlist an advertising agency to come up with a killer concept, and a production company to work on the clip, which will probably be more complex and have higher production values than those in other stages of the funnel. Media costs also tend to be higher, as you need to amplify your video on a number of channels (and may even be paying for TV or cinema spots). Remember that your customer may not even know your name yet, so you’ll likely need to cough up in order to get your video in front of them.

Awareness stage videos we love

We linked to a few of our favourite brand videos in the last post; here are some more that stand out from the crowd.

Westjet’s Christmas Miracle: Real-time Giving

Westjet’s real-time giving campaign was a huge success, and certainly enhanced people’s affinity with the brand. They did not talk about flying, their routes, their prices, or their planes. What they did was encapsulate their manifesto: providing guests with a friendly, caring and personal experience that will change the way you think about air travel. They were able to communicate their manifesto in a unique and creative way (one that has been mimicked a few times since!) and the result? It went viral. Viewed by over 36 million people, this is the ultimate feel-good video.

Intel’s Look Inside: Jack Andraka

If a video is meant to capture a viewer in the first five seconds, Intel delivers. You feel the pressure of anticipation and then joyfully celebrate with with Jack. How can you not? Shot in a reverse style, it tells Jack’s story, a scientific breakthrough, in an intriguing and emotive way. Through it, Intel communicates that they are passionate about young minds and breakthrough ideas. Intel may produce microprocessors, but that isn’t why they exist. They exist to inspire and change the world.

State.com. You Are What You Share

This new social media platform used a tongue-in-cheek approach to differentiate their platform, and captured our attention. We identified with each and every scenario – good riddance baby photos and random food shots! State.com promises that they are more than just ‘likes’ and popularity contests; their manifesto is to connect the world with things that matter, opinions. Their use of casual humour is effective and their tagline ‘you are what you share’ certainly gives one pause.

Get creating and remember to….

  • Be brave
  • Be emotional
  • Be creative
  • Get people talking