31 Oct 2019

Improve Sales With Excellent Visual Strategies

Product Video

Video Captures Sales

Video, more than other marketing content, needs to prove its worth because usually it costs more to produce.

Why?

Because creating meaningful video is intrinsically a process of several parts. Without this process it can’t exist as a piece of coherent communication.

Sure you can have a rambling stream of footage unedited from the camera but if it is to act as a conveyor of message it needs to be shaped into a narrative. And this is where the cost nexus lies. The skill of the video producer is to create meaningful messages with footage filmed in specific ways to form a dialogue with the viewer.

Most viewers are highly educated from an early age in film vocabulary and understand how to read well-crafted film narratives. More than that they expect strong storylines and will disengage if what they see is jumbled, incoherent and technically weak.

Video Metrics

So much for arguing the benefits of intelligible, well shot, well edited video.

But there are problems with measuring video as a marketing asset. Firstly, what is it that is being measured? Secondly, as a marketing tool, video like other visual media can only perform within the context it is placed.

Let’s deal with what is being measured.

When a video is added to the marketing platforms belonging to a commercial business, unless there is a clear strategy in place, the reason and targets for video very quickly becomes confused. The Managing Director will want to impress stakeholders. The FD will want to see a clear relationship between the cost of producing the video and the sales it brings in. The Marketing Director might want an uplift in brand awareness.

Metrics will only be of use if they measure a clear objective.

A skilful video producer with a good brief will aim to satisfy all or any number of requirements, but actually measuring the success (or otherwise) of the content becomes difficult when there’s more than one goal to hit.

Not least because the video itself is only one part of the equation.

The video might be great but where it is deployed could mean that the target audience, whether stakeholder, potential buyer or general public, might never see it.

Planning Video Content Is Half the Battle

Both good content and good deployment are of equal importance. One without the other equals probable failure in achieving any of a business’ sales objectives, let alone achieving one of them.

Good content in the wrong place will just not work.

So what’s good sales video? It’s a blend of on-trend aesthetic with hard headed messaging. The video has got to reflect the brand, be visually and technically aligned to the channels it’ll appear in, reinforce product USPs subliminally and overtly, make full use of narrative and be timely.

Timeliness means getting on with it.

As much as we applaud minute attention to detail, sometimes sweating the small stuff means missing the moment. Great delays to finalising content, whether video or other visual media, can mean the success or failure of a piece of communication.

Content Strategy and Deployment

What is good deployment?

This is the remit of the digital marketing team and relies heavily on a disciplined strategised approach. It means that the right content in the right format is co-ordinated across social media platforms, advertising, presentation and display.

For example, it means planning to use one piece of video content many times in re-versioned formats for specified outputs like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn,  which all require slightly different versions (lengths, resolution, graphics etc) of an original website video.

Strategy in the engine room of digital deployment means doing the hard planning yards; determining from the outset what video or animation should go where and when it should be outputted in the spreadsheet of social media channels.

These deployments should never be random. They must always be connected across time and social media space to build the links, the impressions and the push towards the sale.

All savvy online retailers like, for example Lakeland, understand product video is at its core a demonstration of the thing they want to sell.

In essence it replaces the feely touchy aspect of in-store shopping so it must sit on the product page as the final push in the sales journey.

Mendip Media Product Video Produced for Lakeland click to see ecommerce page

Better still if the video producer is briefed about the content strategy prior to scripting and scheduling. This will mean that content is truly fit for purpose with great in-built cost efficiencies to allow for multiple output re-versioning.

In this heady vision of sunny production uplands, there will be common purpose between content producer and digital marketer; a much needed synergy in a complex global online environment.

There will be deadlines and accountability, with not a scrap of content getting snared in endless amendment cycles only to disappear unapproved, unremembered and unused into some dusty folder.

Return on Investment

When the visual content producer begins to work in tandem with the digital implementation team good things start to happen.

Viewing figures go up.

And when viewing figures go up, if positioned correctly with links to the point of sale, content engagement will lead to conversion. It goes without saying that the video should be creative, technically stylish and on-message.

The merging of content strategy and production should be seamless.

Too often this breadth of vision is missing or falters mid-project. But planning the content context, working closely with the content production unit and executing the strategy in a disciplined work flow is worth fighting for.

The rewards of this type of marketing behaviour in relation to online video production will start to accelerate product sales and return investment in spades.