Things have changed. It doesn’t work that way anymore. These are two phrases that get tossed around a lot when it comes to marketing. Both are true – especially when it comes to video marketing. No marketing medium is more impactful, and that’s because video is the preferred way the world wants to consume information on our computers and mobile devices. Forbes recently reported that 1 million minutes of video will flow through global IP networks every second by 2021.
Statistics like that might make you think that video marketing is a nuclear option. It’s so powerful that you just can’t miss. Especially when you hear that 92 percent of mobile video viewers share what they’ve watched with others.
For all its potential, video marketing can easily fall flat on its face. Sure, you’ve got the video platform gorillas like YouTube, where more than 500 million hours of video are watched daily. Internet video traffic may account for 80 percent of all consumer traffic, but it’s spread out across a growing number of platforms.
As a brand, how do you push a signal through the noise when more video content will be uploaded in the next month than what the major US television networks have created over the past 30 years?
The curse of diversity
Things have changed.
30 years ago there were only three major television networks. You weren’t watching video on your computer. If you had an Internet connection, it used a dial-up modem. You might have gotten speeds of up to 9,600pbs.
That left broadcast television. Video marketing was interruptive. Look how far we’ve come.
The challenge for any brand today is how to communicate a uniform identity across multiple platforms? In the days of broadcast TV you created one commercial. One message worked for everybody. Today, what works on YouTube could very well be inappropriate for Twitter.
And yet, many brands today still apply the broadcast TV approach to video marketing. Distribution is the final stage of their content marketing process. The initial focus on finding an interesting concept.
It doesn’t work that way anymore.
At one time, a single video – or any type of marketing content for that matter – did have the ability to capture attention with just search results. Social media still offered organic reach. Those days are gone. The majority of the Internet’s traffic is concentrated on social networks or search engines who don’t see a business case in sharing the traffic.
Audiences have caught on, too. They’re not who they used to be. Your “audience” is actually a different group of people each day. In email marketing, these groups are called dynamic segments. In video marketing, your “audience” is comprised mostly of people who need help right now.
The ecosystem has changed. If you’re a marketer using video, your distribution process has to change, too.
One video, one channel
Successful brands have discovered that distribution has to jump from being the last step in the process to being the very first. Ideation and creative are not the starting points.
You end up with a 1-2-3 process that looks like this:
- Distribution – identify a specific platform.
- Ideation – develop a concept uniquely tailored to the audience using this platform to consume video.
- Execution – produce the video marketing.
Lather, rinse, repeat. For each platform you’ve identified. It’s how you create video content at scale.
Once you move past the outmoded strategy of using the same video creative for multiple platforms, you quickly discover the challenge that awaits us all today. How do you maintain consistency for brand recognition when you’re creating unique video content for multiple platforms? You have to determine the edges of the box before you can think outside it.
It’s time to take a cue from those good old-fashioned days we thought we left behind. There should be no doubt whatsoever about your brand identity. Anybody responsible for coming up with creative needs to live and breathe it, of course – but everybody who will select your video distribution channels has to connect those platforms with the visual, psychological, and emotional appeal of what your company stands for.
Successful video marketing is a series of conversations where the viewer is able to fit your brand into their worldview. Your brand and your mission – the reason for your company’s existence – are interdependent. This message won’t ever change, which is why it should be at the core of the documentation you prepare to establish your brand identity.
In many ways, it’s like a litmus test. Once you’ve selected your distribution platforms based on their resonance with your brand identity, does the video you’ve produced also successfully communicate the “why” of your company? That “why” must be consistent, and the best way to generate this continuity is with video brand guidelines that hold the course across all platforms. People retain 95 percent of a message when they consume it in a video, as opposed to just 10 percent of what’s retained when reading an article. That means you’re only going to retain a tenth of what you read here – so go back and read the previous sentence again.
Establishing your video brand guidelines allows you to hold true to your mission, which in turn helps you to create a strategy that takes advantage of efficiency. The strategy starts with distribution. You’ll have different requirements for each platform. For example, you’ll have to rethink the way a product is presented going from the vertical aspect of IGTV to the landscape aspect of YouTube.
Knowing these production-related requirements up front will guide your creative direction so you’re able to create assets that can be used to create visual continuity across all platforms, even when those platforms are remarkably different.
We’re not going back to the good old days. Video marketing will continue to be fragmented even more than it is now. That fragmentation and the need to communicate different value propositions to specific audiences makes it easy to lose consistency and lose brand recognition. Avoid these obstacles with a video brand guideline. We can help.