Take advantage of video’s remarkable ability to add value to your marketing program. Here’s how to ensure that videos will gain the positive attention that helps set your organization apart from the competition.
Display your brand logo occasionally throughout the video to help build recognition.
Offer both low- and high-resolution options to accommodate different connection speeds.
Select content with a tactical perspective.
Experiment with different media types.
Break longer videos into segments with the ability to move from one section to the next and to jump between sections.
Connect people to more in-depth print and online information.
Include rich media video with direct mail packages for added lift.
Invest more in videos that will serve multiple purposes and have a longer life.
Assume that everyone has the video player you choose—offer a link to a free download.
Forget that relevance rules in keeping peoples’ attention.
Overlook the value of a DVD to support your online strategy.
Use homegrown videos for corporate branding purposes or with sophisticated audiences that expect more.
Hesitate to use homegrown video for a product, service or event that has a short timeline and lower ROI potential.
Neglect to post your videos to YouTube and other video sharing sites in addition to your company’s website.
Fail to take advantage of the many free and low-cost video publishing, editing and post-production services that are available online.
Make excuses for not creating videos—go out and do it.
Video creation is really only limited by your creativity, communications expertise and production ability of your team, whether you’re creating a professional marketing video or a low-end social media style video. Most video software tools allow for the inclusion of graphics, sound tracks, specific brand colors and a myriad of special effects. Even though the tools may allow you to create exploding logos, flames, and wacky transitions, try to restrain yourself and use only techniques that support the brand. Using too much cheese can look rather… “schlocky” and even a little desperate. Talented video teams are able to find brand-appropriate ways of grabbing attention while supporting the brand personality.
Tips for Incorporating Your Brand into Any Video.
Here are some video tips and examples that work whether you’re creating a high-end, $20,000 video or a low-end ad hoc video shot to share a quick-hit message on your company blog.
Graphics: The most obvious method for incorporating your brand into your video is with graphics, starting with your logo. Be cautious how you treat your logo and ensure its integrity is not lessened by any special treatments. Subtle logo treatments can include slight motion of a single element, having the logo enter from outside the frame or change color. Even incorporating a shine could work. Should you do all at once? Of course not. Choose carefully and wisely and don’t overdo it.
Other graphics can be incorporated to ensure your video supports your brand’s style guide. Fonts, color fields, tables, graphs, charts and text like testimonials can be used in the same way as your printed literature. Stick to your corporate fonts and you’re already partway there. The only limitation may be if you’re creating low-end ad-hoc video on your PC or iPhone, you won’t have the same graphic capabilities that a professional video studio will have. That’s when you resort to the Web fonts listed in your brand’s style guide.
Color: Color is incorporated into video in two ways:
Scenes and people that are videoed
Adhere to color values from your style guide when incorporating graphics into your video and ensure they are applied appropriately. In the Ripon Printers video we created, each service area segment utilized the corporate color assigned to that service area: spice for Premedia, green for Printing and Bindery, burgundy for Mailing and Fulfillment, etc. Likewise, use these colors in graphics used in your video.
Color can also be used to provide brand cohesion when filming people, places and things for your video. For instance, all the employees interviewed for the Ripon Printers video were instructed to wear shirts that reflected the four corporate colors. No other colors were allowed. This kept everyone looking like a cohesive team.
Imagery: If you need stock images to convey specific messages, try to use images that are consistent with your brand look and feel. It’s also good to steer clear of clichés like shaking hands and obviously young models conducting important meetings. We always try to use shots of people who look authentic, not so pretty or handsome that they’re unbelievable.
Keep in mind too that you can use still photographs to great affect in a video. There were some instances when shooting the above Gourmetceuticals video where shooting with a still camera was the only option because of the plantation’s terrain. But by incorporating subtle motion with still shots, it still works.
Sound: Just as there are royalty-free and rights-managed stock images, there are many libraries of sounds for video production. There are different types of sounds used in video:
Transitions between segments.
Brand punctuation. (Remember the simple jingle associated with Intel’s “Intel Inside” campaign? Or NBC’s 3-note jingle?)
If you’re creating a series of videos over the long haul, consider incorporating the same sound into the files. This becomes another feature that customers will learn to recognize as your brand.
Script: If your video is professional quality, of course you’ll have a scriptwriter on the team. This is not a standard copywriter, but rather someone who understands flow, audio, and most importantly, the spoken versus printed word.
If your video is just you or you’re shooting at a trade show, you’re less likely to have a formal script. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least draft your points and practice speaking first. Remember, while creating friendly, social-media oriented videos is affected by the tools you use, your comfort in front of the lens and your friendliness are going to affect the video’s success more.
Tools for Ad Hoc Videos.
Even the tools for shooting on-the-fly, low-end videos range in price tag from $100 to hundreds of dollars. But if your goal is to simply capture a quick moment at a trade show or share a quick thought on your blog, your iPhone or camera built into your computer will do the trick without a lot of fuss. Of course, limit the length of these type of low-end personalized videos. Their purpose is different from the polished video you hand out on DVD or post to your website.
iPhone: This is the easiest, while the mic on the phone itself leaves oodles to be desired. When shooting someone else, you can easily use the mic on the ear buds to get much better results. @jonathan360 created a great sample video to show you the difference when shooting with background noise.
You can also purchase several external mics that offer various quality options. Here’s a quick video from @DizzyDougTV comparing three models of mini-mics that ranging in price from $15 to about $100.
Consumer Flip Cameras: Now if you want to do an even better job but still don’t want to spend time scripting and shooting a pro-level video, my pal Heidi recorded her review of the Flip Ultra HD versus the Kodak Zi8. Yes, it means another gadget to haul around, but these models are a step up from your iPhone’s capabilities. Heidi points out the pros and cons of each in her quick video shot from her computer.
Before Hitting Record.
Remember that whether investing in a high-end production or a low-end recording, don’t lose sight of your brand. Even if you’re shooting low-end, remember to incorporate appropriate colors, sound and graphics. Most of the consumer-level tools allow you to at the least add your logo without flames ;-) and control transitions (don’t give your viewers a migraine, eh?)
But primarily, I’d like you to consider both types of video and use them where appropriate for your customers.
By Julia Moran Martz
Check out additional videos from folks referenced in this article:
The Big Fish — video production studio that created our Gourmetceuticals videos
The best thing about a small target of high-potential customers is that you can afford to spend more money on them. In fact, you better, because everyone else is trying to reach them too. If you don’t have something different to say, and a different way of presenting yourself, you’ll get quickly tossed aside.
That’s why elusive, premium prospects are perfect candidates for three-dimensional packages. So put on your creative hat for a few minutes, and let’s look at how you can make dimensional packages pay off for you.
Why Dimensional Packages Work.
One of the big challenges in moving up the prospect food chain is getting your marketing materials past the admin-assistant gatekeepers. The odds of a postcard or self-mailer making the cut are pretty slim. And electronic alternatives such as email are almost unthinkable unless you’ve established a personal relationship.
What you need is a package that looks personal and stands out from everything else that hits an executive’s desk—or tries to. A box, a tube or other dimensional package that comes personally addressed to the executive, along with a really good headline, is very likely going to get opened. Human curiosity gets the best of all of us, no matter what position we hold. And everyone likes something that seems like a present.
So How Can You Miss?
Easily. Dimensional packages might seem like no brainers (How can you fail with a cushy budget, right?) but just the opposite is true. They need lots of thought and solid creativity to work effectively. To avoid a disaster, let’s look at the two main ways that marketers bring dimensional doom upon themselves:
Getting caught up in clever. Your dimensional campaign can go down the tubes (no pun intended) just like the entertaining TV commercials that people like but then don’t buy the product. Remember that there’s a business point to be made, and it can’t get totally lost in the fun.
None the less, a dimensional mailer is a big opportunity to be creative. Just remember that you still need to make a case for people wanting to do business with you.
Coming across as a bribe. This can be a really fine and dangerous line, but error on the side of caution. My personal guideline is $25. As soon as someone perceives the contents to be inappropriately expensive for a promotion, you’re in trouble. Sometimes it’s best to stick with things that relate directly to your business.
For example, I did a dimensional package for a major printer that wanted to reach marketing executives in different sectors. The campaign was multi-stage and went out during the summer with a “grilling” theme. Sales reps got to pick a certain number of prospects that were high potential but contact resistant. Here’s how the program worked:
Prospects received three envelope mailings over a short period of time with each consisting of a personalized letter and a one-page case history appropriate to the market and service being promoted. The mailings also included a favorite grill recipe from an executive at the printing company, including a picture of the person and a little personal history behind the recipe.
The final mailing came in a box set and included the popular How to Grill cookbook by Steven Raichlen, a product the printer also happened to print and distribute for its publisher client. So the campaign offered a little fun, came across as executive-to-executive and included a useful tie-in premium that demonstrated the printer’s capability. It also was dynamite at getting the attention of difficult-to-reach executives without overstepping the gift-value component.
Are Dimensional Mailers Strictly for Business-to-Business?
Most are, but that’s primarily a function of being able to more easily whittle down your target in the business sector. But again, dimensional mailers are all about creativity, so don’t necessarily think they’re out of the question if you’re in the consumer space.
A quick simple example is the Republic of Tea catalog, which always includes (or at least mine does) a sample tea packet attached to the cover. It gives the catalog a third dimension, puts it at the top of the pile and gets people to try teas they might never have bought otherwise.
Companies with high-ticket products are also obvious candidates. Manufacturers of luxury automobiles and other premium products can afford to spend more on customer acquisition and have smaller target audiences.
The Time for Dimensional Packages Has Never Been Better?
Although it might sound contradictory, slow economies are ideal for dimensional packages. They force you to do the all-important database work and follow up, help you stand out even more as companies cut back on marketing expenditures and tend to have much higher ROI than conventional direct mail and other marketing efforts.
So start working on that creative brief today.
By Larry Bauer
Want Expert Advice?
MondoVox Creative Group can help you develop dimensional packages that result in sales more ROI. For more information, email Julia Moran Martz.
You can connect with Julia Moran Martz on LinkedIn. Or follow her on Twitter.