"Build your audience over time. Don't do one video... do a series. Building a loyal audience takes time, so treat your video like an ongoing story playing out and build your audience over time.”
There’s a reason why,
- A viewer in Antarctica watched a whole season of Shameless in less than 24 hours.
- Netflix subscribers spend over 140 million hours watching Netflix per day.
- The average viewer binge-watches around 2 hours per day when they are intent on completing one season of a series.
American Vandal. 13 Reasons Why. GOT. Shameless. Big Bang Theory. We’ve been watching a LOT of Netflix. And savvy marketers are taking advantage of this. They’re putting on their TV exec hats and creating emotionally charged video series to connect and entertain with their audience.
Video series can be about anything - FAQs like REI’s Experts Video Library, Interviews like Marie Forleo’s Marie TV, branded shows like Kate Spade’s #Misadventure series, and so on. Anything that follows a common theme and is produced consistently falls under the umbrella of a video series.
There are several reasons why more and more brands are investing in marketing campaigns involving video series.
Implements ‘Commitment And Consistency’ Principle of Influence
By encouraging users to come back for more (next video in the series), you’re utilizing one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 rules of influence - Commitment and Consistency.
In that he states, ‘If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image.’
Once viewers watch the first video and like it, they’re likely to watch the next in the series. Especially, if the brand gets them to make some form of commitment at the end of the video - that is ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel, like their social media pages to find out when the next video coming out, or subscribe to your email list.
Multiplies Traction With Each Video
If viewers like your first video, they’ll watch the second. And the third. And then the fourth. And once they do, they’ll tell their friends to watch it, share it on social media, talk about it. So the views will increase.
It works the other way round, too. If one video in your series gets popular, viewers will rush to take a look at the other videos. This way views and conversions will increase each time you launch a new video in the series.
Uses A Repeatable Process
Creating a video series is hard work, there’s no denying that. But it’s not as hard as it looks from afar. You can easily use a repeatable process for it, depending on the type of video series you’re creating. Several elements can remain similar across all your videos.
- You can conduct your research upfront, before you start shooting the series.
- The background can remain same.
- Your video intro and outro can be uniform across all the videos.
- The editing process will be a little easier, since all videos have to be edited the same way.
Employs Intrigue Marketing
TV shows have ended episodes and even entire seasons with extremely frustrating cliffhangers. Especially TV shows that are losing viewers. It’s an almost sure-fire way to bring back those viewers and tempt them into watching the next episode, or season.
A video series works the same way. It arouses viewer’s curiosity and they find themselves waiting for the next video. Always end your videos with a cliffhanger. It can be something as simple as ‘watch out for our next video where we discuss …’, or a little teaser, bloopers, BTS clip of your next video. It’s an effective way to build intrigue in your audience.
Most brands use video series as an essential part of their conversion process. It works great at luring target audience in and then converting them.
Consider this. You’re watching an amazing video. At the end of it, you find out that more’s to come. They ask for your email address to keep you updated and let you know when the next will launch. Would you think twice about entering your email address? Most people won’t.
Hence, video series if used effectively can be a great conversion rate booster.
Now, let’s discuss some brands and how they’re using video series to reach their marketing goals.
Apple came out with a great UGC video series called ‘Shot on iPhone.’
It was a simple, yet genius idea. iPhone users were asked to shoot videos on their iPhones and submit them to Apple for a chance to feature in their videos. Together, these videos have generated over 24 million views.
The best thing about this videos series is that it cost Apple almost nothing to create these videos, apart from some minor edits. And it brilliantly showcases Apple’s superior video features and tackles the long-going objection that Apple’s cameras are sub-par.
Since it’s a UGC campaign, users themselves play a vital part in sharing these videos across social platforms and acting as unofficial brand ambassadors.
And they can continue this campaign forever. Or at least till they stop creating more models of iPhone. As each new models brings with it new videos as part of this series.
Don’t make video series harder than they have to be. See if you can utilise already available resources - like your employees as presenters, office as your video backdrop, or involve customers.
Marie Forleo’s award-winning, weekly business show, Marie TV, is a quintessential example of a strategic video series. She gives out advice, hosts successful people from different walks of life to talk about their business, and answers her audience’s most pressing questions. It’s quirky, it’s relatable, and it’s super informative.
She’s targeting people who’re new to online world and she builds their trust through this video series. They then go on to purchase her B-school membership and become brand ambassadors for life.
If you’re launching a new product or service, you can use a video series to target potential customers. Find out their most pressing questions and answer those questions in videos as a part of a series. It’s an excellent way to connect with these people and take them one step closer to purchasing your product/service.
MailChimp’s, ‘Did you mean MailChimp?’ is a series of 9 videos where they make fun of their brand name variations. From Veil Hymn and Mail Shrimp, to even Fail Chips, they tried all wacky variations and made hilarious videos based on them. Needless to say, it was a complete hit and even won the Grand Prix award for its ingenuity.
What did it accomplish? It went instantly viral and helped MailChimp reach over 334 million people. Mark DiCristina, MailChimp’s senior director of brand marketing, was particularly happy with how it all worked out.
“Social sentiment has been hugely positive, and the few times people are not loving it, they actively hate it. They think it’s either the best thing or the worst thing. And I’m proud of that. I love that no one was like, meh.”
Connect with your audience through humour.
Kate Spade’s #Missadventure series is my guilty pleasure. It’s addictive, it’s fun, and it also utilizes shoppable links.
"This time around, it is all about entertainment over an advertisement—we really want to create engaging content that people just want to watch like a TV series."
Mary Beech, evp and CMO of Kate Spade & Co.
And while the production costs were high, the results more than made up for it.
This series, currently in its third season, did extremely well and hit over 200 million views total. It appealed to their target audience, they’ve used celebrities who their target audience follow with God-like reverence, and they added shoppable links in the video so that people could directly purchase products they liked the main character wearing.
Branded video series similar to TV shows are gaining momentum. Apple, Kate Spade, and several other biggies have experimented with it with great results. If you have the budget and resources to create a spectacular video series akin to popular Netflix shows, go for it. If the series is a hit, it will instantly give you a huge edge over your competitors.