Why videos are the ideal tool for branding and how companies can use YouTube to stand out from the crowd – including tips for implementation.
Online marketing has never been more performance-driven than it is today: data is the new gold; tools like Google Analytics are the pickaxes that unearth it. CPC, CTR, CPO, and ROI are the currencies in which success is measured. Understandably, companies rely on performance marketing – after all, measurable success gives security: Marketing managers see their results in black and white, managing directors have confirmation that they have invested the money sensibly.
But what happens when everyone focuses on performance? The e-commerce industry is booming, online shops are springing up like mushrooms, and consumers around the world have a vast selection of goods and services that are just a click away. This makes offers more and more interchangeable. Why does the customer choose a particular company, and why does he stay loyal to him? Probably not because it has the best numbers in online marketing.
The brand as the soul of the company
There’s only one reason people camp outside stores when the new iPhone hits the market instead of just going to the store a week later, or why people swear that one soft drink tastes much better than the other with those same ingredients, just a different logo on the label: the reason is the brand.
What is a brand?
By definition, a brand is an idea that is created by the brand name, the trademark and the marketing measures. A brand is something that goes on in the minds of consumers, highly emotional and not very rational – in contrast to the numbers in performance marketing.
What is a brand suitable for?
A brand gives a product or company a clear profile, makes it distinctive and unique – the best way to stand out from the crowd. The brand is the face of a company, makes it tangible and gives it personality. Once established, the brand is something familiar. It is human to rely on the regular: As a rule, we like what we know – and we buy what we want.
How is a strong brand created?
If you want to create a strong brand, you have to arouse emotions. Emotions ensure that messages remain in the long-term memory (see Figure 2): After all, you remember the touching wedding ceremony of your best friend three years ago in detail, while the appointment with the tax advisor three weeks ago is quickly forgotten. When it comes to conveying emotions in the digital world, videos are unbeatable.
Videos are the best carriers of emotions.
Moving images combined with sound, especially music, have a far more significant emotional impact than other media and are therefore the key to building a strong brand. Videos add personality to an online presence; they give anonymous companies a face.
Here are five reasons why videos are an effective branding and marketing tool:
Videos are the sellers on the net.
In brick-and-mortar retail, appearance, ambience, and staff are essential elements that every business that does not want to be considered a junk shop attaches importance to. In online shops, on the other hand, missing or poorly presented content is still omnipresent. But why is that so? After all, content is the sellers on the Internet: According to a study commissioned by Google 68 per cent of YouTube, users have already watched a video to make a purchase decision. And anyone who thinks that users mainly watch YouTube videos while on the move in short sessions is wrong: In prime time, i.e. between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., YouTube has a greater reach than cable TV – YouTube viewers mainly use their smartphones for the evening video entertainment on the couch. The following applies to mobile use: Compared to television viewers, it is twice as likely that online users will pay full attention to the content when they watch a video on their smartphone.
For companies, this is a huge opportunity to win over the target group – because reach is useless without attention.
Videos put customers mildly.
As perfect as an online marketing strategy may be and as good as the customer service is, in theory, in everyday stress, the customer with his wishes and needs sometimes fades into the background. Those who use videos can charmingly address their customers and make them ignore small mistakes. Here are two examples:
Alpha online shop is struggling with delivery problems: Many products are sold out, and customers have to wait two weeks or more for their delivery. To notify customers, the shop puts a note on the website and sends emails with an explanatory text to customers who have already ordered.
Online shop Beta also has delivery problems. To keep customers informed, the marketing team spontaneously produced a short, funny video showing the empty warehouse and warehouse workers looking for goods under the shelves and in every corner until they finally gave up with a shrug. Finally, the head of purchasing explains directly into the camera why the deliveries are delayed and asks the customers to apologize and be patient.
Who will have more understanding for the delayed delivery: customers of the online shop Alpha or Beta?
Videos are real storytellers.
Storytelling is an excellent means of transporting emotions and an anchor for our memories: Stories have always been told to pass on knowledge to the next generation, to explain contexts and to convey lessons. The great world religions are based on stories from scriptures.
The human brain is designed for stories: They accompany us from early childhood in fairy tales, songs and books. The film industry thrives on storytelling. And last but not least, the advertising industry has discovered storytelling for itself: The most emotional commercials usually get the most attention. The most successful viral spots are mostly stories: for example, whether the great success of EDEKA in which an older man fakes his death to see his family for Christmas or DIY enthusiasts in the men’s room of HORNBACH.
Stories can be told particularly well with videos – and if you have a captivating story, you don’t have to start the big video production. With the right idea and a little creativity, a successful video can be created even on a tight budget: This is the chance even for small companies to develop a strong brand.
Videos inspire newsletters
Newsletters have decisive advantages: They are ideal for reaching customers and leads directly and for communicating the brand message. The company itself decides on the design and the entire presentation – in social media, for example, the system is specified, and the environment in which the message appears cannot be influenced. A well-maintained and extensive newsletter distribution list make the company less dependent on “foreign” communication channels – an essential step in brand building.
Videos make e-mail newsletter successful – according to a study by the East Asian digital marketing agency Syndacast causes the word “video” in the subject:
- a 19% higher opening rate,
- a 65% higher click rate,
- 26% fewer unsubscriptions from the newsletter.
So it is worth sending newsletters with videos. In addition to the subject, a video player graphic in the newsletter can have a positive effect on the click rate. If the user clicks on it, he will be taken to a landing page on which the video will ideally be played automatically.
Videos strengthen customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty is an essential part of a brand. When customers become enthusiastic fans and brand ambassadors, the customer experience, also known as the Customer Experience ( CX ), is right at every point of contact with the brand. In the digital world, there are several so-called touchpoints at which customers come into contact with the brand – from advertisements to the ordering process to the user experience with the product and customer service. Even the package in which the product is shipped is a touchpoint: can it be opened easily? Is there a small present or a lovely saying in the delivery?
Videos can have a positive impact on customer experience at many touchpoints. There are almost no limits when it comes to using: everything is possible, from commercials to product videos and how-to videos that serve as operating instructions.
Addressing the customer directly via video in the online shop can also improve the customer experience – for example, as a simple welcome video in which an employee speaks into the camera:
” Hi! Nice that you’re here. Do you already know our new offers? Here you can save up to 50%! I hope you enjoy browsing – contact us if you have any questions! “
The likelihood that the visitor will be pleasantly surprised and rate this experience as pleasant is high.
Brands that create a great customer experience at every point of contact strengthen customer loyalty. Loyal customers are precious – an often underestimated issue in corporate strategy. Because loyal customers
- buy “their” brand significantly more often than other customers,
- are less price-sensitive – a few euros more will not deter you from buying or luring you to the
- are more receptive to cross-selling and upselling offers,
- they forgive small exceptional errors in the customer experience more quickly if everything else is consistent and
- Recommend their favourite brand to friends, family and colleagues.
Videos enrich your content marketing strategy.
Traditional advertising to shape a brand’s image, promoting products and promising benefits is no longer the predominant form of corporate communication.
Content marketing that delivers benefits instead of just promising them has been booming for years. Videos enrich content marketing – possible elements are, for example:
- Explanatory videos
- Product videos
- Snack content in the form of entertaining short videos
- Testimonials from customers
Tips for videos that make brands strong
When it comes to video production, many think of large film teams with entire trucks full of equipment. Of course, these elaborate productions also exist in the field of advertising. The big brands sometimes produce their TV spots with enormous budgets and the corresponding effort. But there is another way: if you have a reflex camera or a good smartphone, you can try your hand at being a video producer with a little practice and creativity. The following tips will help you succeed in YouTube marketing.
The goal determines the way.
For a successful video marketing strategy, goals should first be defined: Because only those who know their goal can choose the right path. Key performance indicators ( KPI ) show whether you are on the right track.
YouTube is the ideal channel to build brand awareness. The key performance indicators here can be views, but also the number of subscribers likes and comments and the average playback time.
For example, a goal might be something like this: “In six months we want to get 2,000 new subscribers. Each new video should get an average of 2,000 views and an average playback time of 60% of the total length. “
It doesn’t always have to be glossy.
Most of the time, the idea is more important than the implementation. However, the following applies: the more helpful the content, the less the viewer will be bothered by low quality. Here are two examples:
Lena has received a YouTube link from a friend and clicks on it to watch the video. Before that, there is a commercial that Lena can click away after five seconds. At this moment, she wants to see the video from her boyfriend – the spot bothers her. Yet it is so well made that it immediately catches your attention. She doesn’t click away and looks at the advertisement.
The next day, Lena has to drive to a necessary appointment – but the battery is dead, and the car does not start. Lena has a jumper cable, and the neighbour provides his vehicle as a jump starter. However, both of them are unsure how to connect the thread properly. Lena searches for an explanatory video on YouTube – and finds one straight away. It’s a slightly shaky amateur video with low sound. That doesn’t bother Lena, however, because she gets the information she urgently needs.
Therefore, the greater the need, the less critical the shape. Conversely, the video has to stand out to get the attention of the “saturated” user. The video does not always have to score with quality and great effort: If the topic fits the user very well and is particularly interesting for them, a less complicated video is sufficient to get the attention. An example:
Lena is an enthusiastic hobby cook. For example, if the spot starts with the words “The insider tip for the most delicious casserole in the world”, Lena will probably get curious and stay tuned – even if it’s not a glossy video.
The dramaturgy of YouTube advertising
From 2018, YouTube will only offer so-called skippable ads in addition to six-second bumper ads in the extended version. The user then has the power to decide on all spots that are longer than six seconds: does he click away from the advertisement or does he watch it?
Therefore, different rules apply to the conception of online spots than to TV: While classic commercials have their climax towards the end, YouTube spots have to contain the best scene in the first five seconds to keep the viewer hooked and away from clicking further. Hold button.
Accompany the customer on his way
The customer journey is the customer’s path from the initial interest, through product comparison and research, to the purchase decision and, ideally, brand loyalty. The video marketing strategy should be structured in such a way that the brand can be seen and experienced by the user at every point in the customer journey. These are the most important stations:
- Create attention and build interest: Here, the target group gets to know something new and get to know the products at the same time. Suitable video formats for this are, for example, explanatory videos, webinars and entertaining content that is spread on social media.
- Providing trust and security: Here, the company has the opportunity to show the benefits the products bring to the user and why they are the right choice. Communication should not be product- but solution-oriented (see Figure 3) – it helps to ask these questions: What solution do I have for the customer’s problem? What does the customer’s world look like when they use my product? Product videos, customer testimonials, video case studies and videos on the possible uses of the work are suitable for this customer journey phase.
- Invite to buy: Shortly before making a purchase, it is essential to remove the last buying hurdles and concerns and give the customer a little push. For example, videos that answer frequently asked questions and video operating instructions help.
- Loyalty to the customer: After the purchase, the customer should be confirmed in his decision and build an emotional bond with the brand. The product itself is of course, decisive, but entertaining video campaigns or clips from customers who are already brand ambassadors also support this process.
The three main types of content
What do users expect from videos and content in general? There are three main categories:
- Learning and knowledge
Mixed forms are, of course also possible. For example, an educational video can be inspiring, or an entertaining video can be educational.
Measure success and learn from mistakes
Even if the brand development with videos does not seem tangible, success measurement is still possible and necessary. The goals and performance indicators mentioned above serve this purpose. But measuring is not enough – then appropriate measures must follow: If video marketing is going well, it is essential to consider how the success can be expanded to other areas. If the results are bad, improvement measures are needed – it may be useful to rethink the entire strategy.
The best critics are the users. Their behaviour can be easily analyzed, thanks to the data that is available online – this shows how performance marketing and branding are intertwined. The analysis can provide information about when the user is jumping: What is the possible reason? Perhaps a call to action is missing, or is it incorrectly placed? Is the video on the landing page not attractive enough, or does it not meet the user’s expectations? Users who have not converted can be targeted again via retargeting – and this time directed to improved content.
A / B testing can be used to test different versions of content against each other. For example, you can find out whether the product video works better on the landing page or a testimonial.
Checkbox: the five most common mistakes when using videos
- The videos are not tailored to the target group: The question of whether (potential) customers benefit from the content should always be in the foreground.
- There is no clear strategy: aimless publishing of content brings a maximum of chance hits – success comes with a system that should be written down.
- The communication in the videos is product-oriented: the user is not interested in how great the brand or the product is – they want to know what it will bring them and how it will change their world for the better (see Figure 3).
- The videos cannot be found: Great content is of no use if nobody can find it. Sustainable search engine optimization and creative seeding bring reach.
- A call to action is missing: The call-to-action ( CTA ) is still working very well. It can be used both in the video on the audio track and in the so-called end screen on YouTube.
Just do it: if you don’t dare, you won’t win.
Standing out from the crowd is not easy – especially not in the digital competition that is fought around the world. The best way is to convince with personality and emotions. Small and medium-sized businesses often find it challenging to find the resources to incorporate video into the marketing mix. However, this does not have to happen on a large scale: it is enough to start small. Perhaps it is the simple product video in the newsletter or a welcome video on the homepage, to begin with. Often undreamt-of talents are slumbering in employees that need to be discovered: Maybe there is a talented video producer in the company? And if not: Practice makes perfect and creativity makes up for a lot. When routine comes into play, and the first successes appear, video marketing can be expanded step by step. Only those who try it have a chance of success.
Emotions are the key to a strong brand – and videos are the best medium to convey emotions. Videos create everything a brand needs: personality, enthusiasm, willingness to buy and customer loyalty. Branding with video marketing is the perfect complement to performance marketing and an indispensable part of the marketing mix.