By Jim Walton, CEO, Brand Acceleration, Inc.
Nearly every day, I see another economic development video. Among all marketing tools, it is undoubtedly the fastest growing. This is true for all industries, not just economic development. More than 80% of marketers say that they will use video as part of their 2018 marketing effort.
Why is this happening? First, video is more easily processed by viewers. We live in a visual world, and consumers are much more likely to get their information from videos than from other sources. Then, with numerous delivery tools, video is very easy and inexpensive to distribute. There are numerous platforms. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, emails, blogs, and of course, websites, are commonly used to distribute visual content.
Marketers, including economic developers, are realizing that using these tools in combination can increase engagement. For example, using Facebook or a blog to drive readers to a video on your website can significantly boost measurable pageviews and web traffic. This is an outstanding strategy for increasing community awareness.
What’s the ideal video length? Some will say that videos should be very short; no more than one minute. I get it. Videos watched on handheld devices should sometimes be shorter. But don’t assume that this means all videos should be short. There’s a place for longer videos and they should be part of any community’s stable of tools. Longer videos are better at delivering crucial details. They can beautifully tell a story, supported by endorsement interviews and a masterfully-written voiceover script. Will people watch longer videos? Of course they will! At Brand Acceleration, we’ve developed a structural formula that results in videos that grab a viewer’s attention and keeps them engaged. A site selector friend, after watching a video that we produced for a client community, told me that he was immediately hooked and stayed engaged the entire time.
Videos are also great for reaching audiences in other parts of the world. They can be used in presentations and distributed globally at no cost. Be sure to use professional translation services, as well as very carefully selected voice talent. Many foreign language projects have backfired because the marketer cut corners on translation, talent, and cultural background research.
In recent years, aerial video has become a very popular trend. For a few hundred dollars, anyone can hang a camera on a drone and fly it over cities, buildings, and other assets, creating dramatic visuals. Enthralled with this new-found toy, drone owners have started video production companies by the thousands. Unfortunately, many have no professional video production or marketing experience, resulting in videos that are sorely lacking. I’ve even seen videos that include illegal use of licensed video and music, putting communities at risk. Already, the use of aerial drone video is beginning to wane. Viewers are beginning to ask, “Is that all you have?” Aerial video isn’t worth that much because there’s just so much of it. The wow factor is over. It’s time to get back to storytelling.
Think about this. You want to tell your entire community story. Right? That’s where video comes in. A great video uses all the tools available to do this. These tools include, but are not limited to, powerful scripts, voiceovers, interviews, graphics, aerial video, steady cam video, and many others. Through the professional use of all these tools, a community can engage viewers and drive home a positive message.
Videos are incredibly powerful tools that can be used to grow community awareness, drive website traffic, boost social media pageviews, and effectively increase your chances of being short-listed.
Isn’t that what we’re trying to accomplish?