• Warren Leppik

Three essential "E's" for online video

With video production resources more abundant than ever, it’s astounding that small to mid-size businesses are losing out on a major opportunity by not using the power of story on video to showcase their products and services online.

In a world suffering from poverty of attention, plain text doesn’t cut it anymore. People don’t like to read. Video has become the preferred consumable on the Internet. Given the majority of web traffic is now video-based, this should be a wake-up call to those who haven’t embraced video as a key marketing tool, to jump on the bandwagon or be left behind.

So, where do you start? Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, there are three essential qualities that every video should have: emotion, education and entertainment value. If used properly, these attributes will engage a prospect, creating the desire for a similar experience through the purchase of your product or service.

Education Rather than shouting BUY, BUY, BUY, a video should be designed to provide helpful, valuable information. It could be a product demonstration or a how-to guide that responds to a specific need. A video is an unparalleled opportunity to show your product or service in action, allowing prospects to visualize how they could apply such benefits to their own situation.

Emotion A laundry list of product features and benefits is a waste of video. The power of video lies in its ability to capture and share emotion. People buy from people they like. And until you establish likability and trust, that list will fall on deaf ears. Testimonials that share the authentic, enthusiastic experiences of previous customers are where likability and engagement are generated.

Today, with so many choices in the marketplace, the chance of making a wrong one is high. This is why so many prospects sit on the fence when it comes to making a buying decision. While people are price conscious, they’re more concerned with the experience they can expect as your customer. Establish enough experiential value and it will trump price. Seeing the success stories of previous customers is the single best way to engage a prospect and create the desire to get the feature and benefit details, moving you closer to a sale.

Entertainment Value An age-old truth rings true: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Today’s Internet travellers have expensive tastes when it comes to content. Just consider the money invested in movies, computer games and even television! TV series that push the creative envelope like The Walking Dead. Effects and cinematography on TV that used to be the domain of only movies. The struggle to keep eyeballs glued has never been greater. So is it any wonder that a text-based web site has little or no attraction? Or why slapstick or amateurish do-it-yourself video actually has a detrimental effect on a brand? Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice. Sure, you might save money, but at the expense of your brand. People invest heavily in identity, branding and signage, and then undermine those efforts with poorly executed video. How a video is shot, how it is edited, how people are interviewed, how concepts are illustrated and how these elements are woven together with imagination, voice-over and music are what make the difference between average and exceptional video.

Video is where your customers and prospects spend their time online, especially when they’re looking for product or service information. To keep them engaged, your video should have qualities that spark the imagination and encourage visitors to explore details in more depth. Whether it’s a creative animation, a clever application of a product or a heartfelt endorsement from a customer, give viewers a reason to watch your production and it will bring them that much closer to the buying stage.

Video now shows up in over 70% of the top search results. But most revealing is the fact that viewers are on average 60% to 80% more likely to buy after watching a product or service video. That’s all the more reason why the use of video is imperative, not optional.

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