Improve Your Marketing with Videos That “Don’t Scale”
Just because a video doesn’t have a long shelf life doesn’t mean you can’t still get value from it.
August 9, 2018
When marketers think about video, they’re often first drawn to the numbers — play rate, views, engagement, clicks, shares — the list goes on. After all, we have so much information to draw from when it comes to understanding our audience and their behaviors, it makes sense to optimize for those factors. But sometimes, one-off, ephemeral videos can actually be even more powerful than ones with broad, long-term appeal.
Disappearing stories, personalized video messages, and just-for-fun company culture videos are all examples of effective marketing videos that are somewhat difficult to repeat and scale. So, should marketers still invest their time and energy into creating this type of content? You bet your bottom dollar!
Create stories that disappear
Instagram Stories may not last more than 24 hours, but they will make your most loyal fans happy and engaged, and will create more opportunities for growing your social following. Plus, Instagram story highlights give you the opportunity to keep that content around for a longer if you’d like!
And while you can easily create professional-looking Stories with nothing more than an iPhone and some good lighting, not all Stories have to be super polished in order to be effective. Interact and engage with people who follow your brand by using disappearing stories that showcase your company’s true colors.
Ideas for short-form, disppearing content:
- Unveil a product update
- Announce a limited-time sale or promotion
- Answer common questions
- Say hello from your office HQ
- Put your spin on a seasonal trend
Social media is all about instant gratification, so if you can keep up with a regular posting schedule, your audience will always come back for more.
Posting a story is not only a great way to establish a deeper connection with your followers — it’s also a way to reach potential customers in your extended network. The more often you post, the greater the chance that someone new will see your videos on the Discover page. Experiment with your video concepts, formats, and design, and find out what works!
“Posting a story is not only a great way to establish a deeper connection with your followers — it’s also a way to reach potential customers in your extended network.”
Want an actionable tactic you can actually try today? Use the poll feature on Instagram to check the pulse of your following and ask for feedback.
Shoe brand Rothy’s often makes use of the poll feature to get customer opinions on new designs:
This quick and easy post makes customers feel more included in the production process, opens up a feedback loop, and builds excitement around new releases.
At the end of the day, Stories aren’t completely unscalable. If you find a video concept or format that really resonates with your audience, don’t be afraid to expand on that concept and use it elsewhere in your marketing!
Send video messages
Here at Wistia, we like to think video messages evoke the same feeling that sending a nice hand-written letter to a friend does. That bit of extra effort goes a long way in making the person on the other end of the line smile! That’s why using video in place of emails and calls will make your company not only stand out, but also win customer trust and drive higher engagement.
You can use personalized video to:
- Warm up sales leads
- Onboard someone who’s asked for extra help
- Respond to a DM on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
- Help with a tricky support request
- Check in on an inactive account
A video message featuring a friendly face will more likely form a positive first impression and make your message more memorable. When a customer watches a video that addresses their specific needs, it makes them feel valued and important.
“A video message featuring a friendly face will more likely form a positive first impression and make your message more memorable.”
Video voicemails also come in handy for sales teams who often have to contact leads several times before ever getting a response. Videos, unlike cold calls, are more likely to elicit a response. With video, the potential customer can see the salesperson they’d be working with, which makes the interaction more human. This small personal touch is what sets the stage for the rest of the relationship!
The example above from Faris was created with Soapbox, our free webcam and screen recording tool. Faris connects with the viewer in this 1–1 interaction in a way that provides value and builds trust.
Video is a natural fit for sales teams, because it can also help cut down on the time it takes to convert leads. Plus, if you’re sending a message to drive a specific action (which marketers and salespeople often are!), video can help you achieve that goal. When we A/B tested emails with a video thumbnail vs. ones without, the video emails received over 21% more clicks overall.
And while you can’t use the same personalized video twice, you can develop a format to follow so that the process becomes second nature. Just like you do with sales emails and calls, try creating a sales video script so that you can stay on target while still injecting personality and spontaneity into your interactions!
Video messages help you grow because they’re a no-brainer for engagement. Your main competitors may not be using video in their emails yet, so gain an advantage by getting started with video today!
Make just-for-fun videos
It’s nearly impossible to predict whether or not a video will be a hit, but creating videos for fun can still help your business grow! Videos help illustrate the fact that even serious businesses don’t always have to be so buttoned up.
Videos that explore subjects outside of your products will also help shape your brand personality and let viewers get to know your company culture. These videos can also become valuable recruiting tools, so don’t underestimate them.
Just for fun videos can include:
- A “day in the life” of your company
- A riff on pop culture
- An experiment you’ve been wanting to try
- A blooper reel
- Behind-the-scenes of an event
- An inspirational story about a good deed or transformation
- The year in review
These types of videos might end up being the earliest type of content you create. By investing in just-for-fun videos, you’ll learn about the fundamentals of video-making while exploring new topics and ideas that are relevant to your business. Pick a goal for the video, but don’t set the bar too high. The focus should be on flexing your creative muscles so you can uncover storytelling techniques that are effective for your brand.
“The focus should be on flexing your creative muscles so you can uncover storytelling techniques that are effective for your brand.”
Last year, our Creative team thought it would be fun to capitalize on the Snapchat filter trend that was just emerging (what did we do before filters?!) by creating this video for kicks and giggles — check it out!
The “hot dog man” clip really had nothing to do with Wistia or our products, but it was a fun way to experiment with short-form, topical social content. The video worked well because it was fun, engaging, and capitalized on a specific moment in time. As a result, it generated 107k views on Facebook alone!
Striking the right balance between content that informs and educates, and content that simply entertains, is key to an effective marketing strategy. When both are done well, you’ll become a company that gets the job done and has fun while doing it!
The value of unique video
Just because a video doesn’t have a long shelf life doesn’t mean you can’t still get value from it. A unique video can create a lifelong fan of your brand, help you close a huge deal, or even just simply make someone’s day (who doesn’t love a dancing hot dog!?). Even if revenue impact isn’t measurable, chance are you’ll get some qualitative feedback on social media that could help inform your marketing elsewhere.
Trying out different video styles and formats will also help your business with shifts in the industry. As people watch more and more video online and on their phones, there will be more opportunities to reach new audiences. So, get out there and start growing your business with these types of videos that don’t scale!