Video Can Work. Really Work!

New visual languages, graphic interfaces, and rich media content are changing how businesses communicate. Here are some examples that can help any business benefit from the revolution that is 2012 style video.

Customer Reference Videos

1. Video Customer Testimonials
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer (ideally in their own environment) extol the virtues of your products and services or explaining how you helped them achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from fifteen-second snippets to a minute and are typically combined with or used to support other marketing material.

2. Video Success Stories Similar to a customer testimonial these videos run between one and two minutes and follow an interview format where the person on screen answers questions posed by an interviewer just off-camera. These videos are usually delivered as stand-alone marketing support materials and are often grouped with other customer success stories.

3. Video Case Study
A video case study combines customer testimonials with more a more in-depth explanation of how your company’s products and services helped your customer be successful. These case studies usually incorporate two voices—a narrator and the voice of your customer—and can run anywhere from two to five minutes. The video structure follows the same “Problem, Solution, Benefit” format found in a printed case study.

4. Man-on-the-street Interviews
These videos are typically done to promote events and to build buzz around coming events but can also be employed to capture “spontaneous” responses to targeted questions that help promote your product or service or to help differentiate the benefits of your brand compared to the real or imagined problems associated with your competitors. Soft drink companies, phone companies, fast food companies often use this format in advertising. Sometimes they are genuine. Sometimes they are completely staged. “Authenticity” is becoming a style.

5. Customer Presentations.
If one of your customers is presenting at a conference, trade show, event, or even in your offices and is talking about your products or services either directly with you or indirectly as part of a larger discussion this may be a perfect opportunity to capture the presentation of video (with permission, of course) to repurpose on your website and intranet.

Product and Service Promotion

6. Product Presentations
Product (or service) presentation videos are typically employed early in the buying cycle. Product or service presentations focus on benefits and talk from more from your customer’s perspective. They should speak clearly to how your product solves a specific business, personal or economic problem that your prospect is experiencing. They are used to help your customers and prospects differentiate between the benefits of your products and services to those of your competitors.

7. Product Demonstrations Product demos show how your product works and highlight the features that differentiate it from that of your competitors. Software screen captures, a 3D cut-away, or a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works. These videos are typically used to influence a prospect who is relatively far along in the sales cycle. In technology marketing these videos would be targeted at the technical approvers who need to understand how something works. In consumer marketing these would be targeted at buyers of larger ticket items who are further along the sales cycle.

8. Product Reviews
The best product reviews are trusted third party reviews. Video reviews can be found anywhere from YouTube to various business portals. To the extent they help you, they should be referenced. You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your own products.

9. Visual Stories
Quickly rising in popularity, visual stories employ illustrations, animations and motion graphics with a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner.

There is a lot that can be done and there is a lot that is being done to make video an even more effective tool. Consider these ideas carefully and improve your business.