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Video Marketing

Why Your Brand Needs Video

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When it comes to being effective at brand marketing, it’s less and less about distributing a ton of ads and more about creating valuable content. (You can read more about that in our Brand Affinity Marketing Playbook.) And when you think about it historically, the majority of brand-building content has always been based on what was successful in television — video ads. But, does that mean businesses have to rely on video in the future? After all, there are a ton of other ways to promote brand awareness.

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Is there a problem with focusing all of your efforts on blog posts, infographics, podcasts, and other media? Or is video really that important to be successful with brand marketing, especially when it can be both hard and expensive to pull off?

“Is video really that important to be successful with brand marketing?”

At Wistia, we’ve tried to lower the barrier to entry for video production through our Learning Center. We believe that with the right resources, good ideas, and some practice, anyone can create great videos. But, not everyone believes this is the case or has the time to devote to making valuable video content. So, if you’re struggling with making this type of content, is it really worth pivoting your marketing toward focusing on video for brand awareness?

Yes. We think it’s absolutely worth it. Here’s why video is the best medium for all of your brand marketing efforts.

You’ve worked hard to develop your brand identity. So why not give your audience a fuller view of who you are as a brand? Video is the best, and most scalable, way of presenting your brand’s complete identity.

“Video is the best, and most scalable, way of presenting your brand’s complete identity.”

When you look at other forms of communication, blog posts are a great way to share your company’s ideas and concepts, showing off your brand’s tone and voice; podcasts allow you to add style and a bit of passion to your words with audio; and photos and imagery allow you to show off the people who make up your business. But, video is the only media that can bring all of these elements together to show off your company’s full identity to help you make more personal connections with your audience.

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With video, your brand design can go far beyond color palettes and logos (which are super important; don’t get us wrong). But, with video, you have the opportunity to inject your brand style into all of your sets, color grading, costumes, animations — and of course, music. Having more elements to play with means more space to cement a unique and distinct brand identity, helping you make a lasting impression on your audience.

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Branding doesn’t work super well when it’s only thought of as a layer on top of your other marketing. Instead, to be effective, it has to come from the very core foundations of the business — the collective ideas, values, and actions of the people within the business.

“When you document your team on video, you capture the full range of their expressions.”

When you document your team on video, you capture the full range of their expressions (even the little mistakes that make us more human). It’s a better opportunity to showcase your character, giving a wider audience a glimpse into who you are and what you’re about.

The concept of brand affinity really relies on the importance of “affinity” (i.e., empathy and bonding). Because video is the most direct human-to-human creative medium on the web, it’s the medium that can help you create the strongest bonds with your audience.

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When you spend a lot of time watching videos from a specific brand, it very much feels like you’ve spent a lot of time with the company behind that brand. Ultimately, you want people to spend more time with your brand, strengthen their connections, and feel closer to your business because of it. Video’s the best way to earn that affinity.

There’s a reason why it’s possible to adapt thousand-page books into 90-minute movies. The combination of imagery, audio, and narrative allows you to say a lot of things all at once. In an impatient world that’s chock-full of short attention spans, you can leave an unforgettable impression with video much faster than you can with blog posts or podcasts. Because of this, an hour of time spent watching your videos is likely to have a bigger impact on your audience than an hour of engaging with your brand via other formats.

If you spend any time on social media at all, you know that video has shaped the way these platforms operate. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and even LinkedIn — all have native video platforms. If you want to be able to stand out and acquire engaged audiences on social media, then you’re going to need to have a lot of video content. But that’s not all. In addition to being native video platforms, video gets much higher engagement rates on every platform than text or image posts, which means that posting video is the best way to get your content seen.

We know shifting your content strategy to focus on video is hard. But, if you can’t make the leap just yet, a great start is to dip your toes into podcasting. Podcasts are a great way to experiment with sharing your personality and ideas in a different, engaging format.

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Plus, these days, they’re pretty simple to create and distribute. To get started, all you need is a decent microphone and a relatively quiet space to record. And once you’ve built a successful content strategy with podcasts, we have all the information you need to level up and move into video creation on the Wistia Video Production Blog.

Are you all-in on creating more video content to grow your brand? Let us know what you’re working on in the comments below, or join us in our Brand Affinity Marketing (BAM) Slack Community for ideas on how to get started.

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Video Marketing

3 Lessons From Marketing’s Top Creatives about Building a Successful Career

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“I’m not seeing very many marketers anymore,” says Cole Schafer, the Founder of Honey Copy, a creative copywriting agency that works with technology startups. “I’m seeing a lot of data scientists and growth hackers obsessing over metrics. And very few marketers who are coming up with big, hairy, audacious, creative marketing ideas and finding the courage to execute on those ideas.”

Schafer is one of the most passionate and outspoken advocates of creativity in marketing today — and for good reason. At just 26 years old, he runs Honey Copy, which has generated over $300,000 in revenue in only two years and boasts a newsletter with over 6,000 subscribers.

Living the professional life of someone who could list “VP of Marketing” on his resume, Schafer can surprisingly only tout numerous freelance copywriting gigs and a 2016 undergraduate marketing degree. So how did he pull it off? According to him, his reliance on creativity and intuition has helped him reach success.

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“I’m using the word art here over ‘content’ because art is something that’s pretty, adds value to someone’s life, and is unconditional. Content isn’t,” Schafer says in his article about running a successful copywriting agency. “Honey Copy has seventy 2,000+ word articles on its blog and countless newsletters to its name. They’re pretty, they’re valuable, and they’re unconditional.”

In other words, crafting a truly original, emotionally resonant piece of art can impact your audience and, in turn, your bottom line much more than churning out cookie-cutter content can. And this prioritization of creativity over optimization can make all the difference between building a fulfilling, creative career and simply coasting through a lackluster one.

“Crafting a truly original, emotionally resonant piece of art can impact your audience much more than churning out cookie-cutter content can.”

“Creative marketers can start building careers they are proud of when they can turn around and point to something they’ve proudly created,” Schafer says. “Keyword: created. Not optimized. But, created.”

To build a successful creative career, though, you need better advice than just “be creative.” That’s why we asked four other marketers who have built thriving creative careers — Jay Acunzo, Eddie Shleyner, Jimmy Daly, and Ben Goldman — how they’ve managed to find success.

People often forget that creativity is a skill. Just like a professional athlete, building a thriving creative career requires constant refinement of your skills. And the only way to get better is through practice.

“Our jobs are NOT to ‘be creative.’ Our jobs are to create,” says Jay Acunzo, the Founder of Marketing Showrunners. “We spend too much time debating, researching, hopping between processes and tools, and coffee meetings to ‘pick your brain.’ As a result, the most important thing goes missing: creating stuff all the time.”

However, if you’re not experiencing the gains or results you expect, sharpening your creativity can take its toll on you. Eddie Shleyner, the Founder of VeryGoodCopy and Senior Copywriting Manager at G2, knows this all too well. “Creative work is incredibly taxing, physically, mentally, emotionally,” he says. “It can drain you, especially if you’re not finding outward success.” His advice? Keep creating. “Just know that this frustration is normal, that all creative professionals feel tired and discouraged from time to time, especially in the beginning,” he says. “The only way to find success is to continuously study your craft and never quit.”

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Honing your creativity might be one of the hardest endeavors you’ll ever embark on. But trust Acunzo and Shleyner — the benefits are definitely worth it. They might just help you launch your own creative agency one day!

One of the most frustrating challenges marketers face is not having total creative freedom at their jobs. How can you truly unleash your creativity if you work in a super-strict industry or if you have a miniscule budget? Fortunately, creativity is often born out of constraints.

Want to explore the relationship between money and creativity? Watch Wistia’s first-ever, four-part original series One, Ten, One Hundred today.

Committing to creativity forces you to use your resources in more inventive and novel ways. In other words, getting creative with limited resources can actually produce a more creative result. On the flip side, having access to a stockpile of resources doesn’t force you to make the best of what you have. As a result, you tend to use your resources in conventional ways, which can lead to cliche work.

Jimmy Daly, the Director of Marketing at Animalz, has learned that embracing his constraints, specifically time constraints, can lead to an explosion of creativity and a fulfilling marketing career.

“A long, happy career in marketing is one where creativity can blossom in a world of constraints,” he says. “All of us face constraints in our work: budgets, deadlines, dependencies, KPIs, etc. I personally find that the creative work — writing in particular — is what keeps me energized and excited about work. Still, it has to be done alongside spreadsheets and in between meetings.”

Constraints might limit your resources, but the very fact that they exist can help us generate better ideas.

Another crucial step to building a fulfilling creative career is developing a network of creative professionals. Not only can they give you honest feedback about your work, but you can also collaborate with them to create something that could only be accomplished together.

“In the world of creativity, nothing is as effective or as important as working with collaborators,” says Ben Goldman, the Director of Films at InVision. “Whether you’re making a movie, writing a book, or doing any serious work of creativity, having people you trust and collaborate deeply with is indispensable. Collaboration strengthens ideas, pushes you through hard times, and allows you to achieve more than you would be able to flying solo.”

As an employee, developing relationships with your creative colleagues is even more crucial. But the main benefit here isn’t to improve your work — it’s to help you make a case for your creative projects.

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“In marketing organizations, working with collaborators is especially important because it’s much more difficult to push major projects through on your own,” Goldman says. “And building alliances and relationships with others is the best way to gain buy-in on a creative project.”

Constantly raising the bar for yourself, innovating on your company’s brand, and truly impacting your audience will lead to a successful and fulfilling career — not sticking to the status quo. So, network with your fellow creatives. You never know how far a simple LinkedIn connection could take you!

We all have the potential to look back on our careers and be truly proud of what we’ve accomplished. As creative marketers, keep these tips in mind from the folks who have forged the path already and remember to practice your creativity regularly, embrace constraints, and keep your relationships with other creatives strong. Happy creating!



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The Differences Between Wistia Channel Subscribers and YouTube Subscribers

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Last month we launched Wistia Subscribers, a new feature that adds a simple subscription form to your Wistia Channel, allowing viewers to subscribe just like they would on…well … YouTube.

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While on the surface these two features may seem a lot alike, there are some critical differences between YouTube Subscribers and Wistia Subscribers. Here’s what you need to know about Wistia Subscribers (and why this data may be more valuable to your business).

When someone subscribes to a Wistia Channel, you, the content creator, receive their email address. When someone subscribes to a YouTube Channel, on the other hand, all you get is an extra number on the subscriber counter.

With YouTube, you have no idea who has subscribed to your Channel and no way to reach them directly other than via paid advertising. YouTube controls the communication with your subscriber and keeps all the details of who they are locked away.

This is a problem, because with both B2C and B2B marketing in the modern world, an email list of engaged subscribers is one of the most valuable assets you can build. Once you have an email address, you can communicate directly with potential customers, build remarketing lists, encourage word of mouth, or use email enrichment to understand more about who your subscribers are.

With Wistia Integrations, it’s a 5-minute job to ensure all of your new subscribers are integrated directly with your email service provider or marketing automation platform. This means that every new Channel subscriber you have automatically gets sent to your database of leads and subscribers, where you can bring them into your wider email marketing and lead nurturing workflows. With YouTube subscribers…you can’t do any of those things.

“With Wistia Integrations, it’s a 5-minute job to ensure all of your new subscribers are integrated directly with your email service provider or marketing automation platform.”

If users subscribe to your YouTube Channel (and have notifications turned on) they’ll occasionally get an email that aggregates recent updates from all the channels they’re subscribed to. If you’re lucky, your video will be front and center in this email.

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If you’re unlucky, your update will be buried next to a review of an unappetizing looking chicken burger…or worse.

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However, with Wistia, you can choose to notify someone the moment a video is published, with your own branding, customized subject line, and copy, stipulated by you.

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The core difference between the two platforms is, ultimately, control. With Wistia, you pay for the product, but you retain all the value from each new subscriber. With YouTube, the product is free, but Google owns your audience and charges you for the privilege of trying to speak to them.

Social media can be a risky place, and YouTube is prone to changing its terms and conditions very quickly. The only way to futureproof your business from the whims of the biggest company in the world is to build the audience yourself.

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Video Marketing

4 Show Title Structures That’ll Help You Name Your Next Video Series

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There’s an old adage in the world of copywriting that states, “The sole purpose of the first sentence in an ad is to get you to read the second sentence.” When crafting binge-worthy content, the same principle applies. In this case, your first sentence is your video series’ title, and your second sentence is your trailer.

Coming up with the right name for your show can be the difference between your audience tuning into your first episode and scrolling right past it. So to help you craft the perfect title that’ll grab your audience’s attention and convince them to hit play, we’ve analyzed seven popular TV show names and shared some key takeaways that you can apply when naming your next binge-worthy show. Let’s get going!

“Coming up with the right name for your show can be the difference between your audience tuning into your first episode and scrolling right past it.”

The showrunners of Black Mirror have created a futuristic (yet all too realistic) universe where society completely depends on technology to lead their lives. Each storyline features a visionary piece of technology that seems strictly utilitarian at first. But by the end of each episode, the tech ends up revealing a profound insight into human nature. And that’s exactly why Black Mirror is such a great TV show title. Your device’s black screen reflects much more than your mirror image.

When naming your video series, consider using a metaphor to shed light on what it’s going to be all about at its core. By doing so, you’ll help viewers quickly make the connection between the name of your show and its overall theme. Your show’s title is a great opportunity to give your potential viewers an idea of what’s to come if they tune in.

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Coined by the advertising men who worked on Madison Avenue in the 1950s, the term “Mad Men” was just a clever play-on-words they used to refer to themselves as. But the brilliance of this show’s title doesn’t lie in its historic roots — it lies in the irony that the ad men of Madison Avenue (or at least the ones that are portrayed on this show) actually live their lives like madmen.

The creators of Mad Men placed a hidden meaning behind the show’s title as it subtly hints at one of its most important themes. If you can do the same, your audience will immediately understand the double-meaning of your title after watching the first episode of your video series, which can play a big role in persuading them to keep coming back for more. Who wouldn’t want to tune in to see how mad these men really get?

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Another example of a show with a pretty explicit double entendre for a series title is the classic medical comedy, Scrubs. The show portrays the lives of young, ambitious doctors who are trying to climb the medical ladder at a bustling hospital. But even though they’re eager to succeed, these rookies’ inexperience leads to countless blunders and antics. They don’t just wear scrubs — they are scrubs.

Using a double entendre to highlight your video series’ external and internal narrative in your title is a clever way to grab people’s attention and retain it after they start watching your video series. For instance, when you see the title Scrubs, you immediately understand that the show is about being a doctor. But after you watch the first episode, you start to realize that the show is more about the struggle of being a young doctor than purely just saving people’s lives.

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Sometimes, straightforward titles are the best titles. For instance, How I Met Your Mother is exactly what it sounds like: A show about the lead character, Ted Mosby, meeting the mother of his children — his wife.

Clarity is one of the most effective ways to get your audience to understand and visualize your video series’ concept. So when naming your next show, consider starting with a working title that clearly describes your video series’ premise. From there, you can spice it up a bit, but, sometimes, the most straightforward title can be your best title.

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Regardless of whether or not your video series can compete with a big-budget Hollywood production, your show title still needs to be compelling enough for an audience to want to give it a shot. So be sure to give your video series’ title some serious thought before slapping it on there and calling it a day. Remember, you only have so many opportunities to grab your audience’s attention, so make sure you step out of the gates with your best foot forward!

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