Raghavan RS, Co-Founder and CEO, Vmaker (by Animaker Inc.†
It’s 2022 and “videos” is not a foreign word. From a fourth-grade student to an engineer looking for ways to hone his skills, visual content is the go-to for everyone.
A recent study found that: a third of consumers worldwide spent one to five hours watching paid video streaming services. On top of that, the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts has escalated the video craze and also directly impacted the way we learn, consume content, and even our purchasing decisions.
Rewind to 2015. You’re Googling “How do you find the right shoe size?” on your phone. You are bombarded with a list of blogs like WikiHow, etc. You would have read the entire blog along with the images attached to it – sometimes an infographic – before making a decision.
Now let’s fast-forward to 2022. Still scrolling through a 1500 word blog for the same thing? Probably not. We Google our search and it even throws a few YouTube videos before the first scroll.
This is how the search engine, the algorithm and consumer behavior take shape. It is undoubtedly the time when we witness the rise of the use of video content. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be about your product itself.
Some savvy brands are already moving their video marketing strategy to video-first marketing and you should consider it too.
What is video first marketing?
Video-first marketing, or VFM, is the creation and distribution of content tailored to each stage of the buyer journey.
I have a question: do you think it is possible to text or call your audience with different levels of awareness and educate them about your product/service?
Long answer short: no.
But VFM makes it easy for companies to create videos that fit every stage of the buyer journey: awareness, consideration, evaluation, and decision. The awareness phase is when the public gets to know your product/service and the decision phase is when they are ready to buy.
This is where VFM helps with multiple customer touchpoints as you create a video once and reuse it forever.
Video-first marketing and customer touchpoints
Customer touchpoints are the communications you initiate with your audience from the first time they hear about you or land on your website, to create their account, to try your product or swipe their card on the checkout page.
These interactions can be anything, but are not limited to: social media posts, paid ads, website popups, emails, etc.
Video-first marketing plays an important role in these interactions as the customer goes through a journey from consideration to the “sold out” stage before grabbing their card to pay.
So educating and later convincing customers about your product/service through videos can convince them that it is yours precisely what they are looking for.
ClickUp, for example, has clear and interesting introductory video products for customers. Even if you can’t afford to make talking head videos, a simple whiteboard or screen capture video can suffice. Because the goal here is to educate, convince and convert the public into repeat customers.
While we are talking about VFM, you could of course confuse it with the almost similar looking video marketing. But here’s the twist. Video-first marketing is not video marketing.
Why is VFM not video marketing?
Creating videos and using them for all marketing materials doesn’t necessarily mean a VFM strategy. Video-first marketing differs from video marketing because of intent, medium, and metrics.
In VFM, you send a personalized demo video to a user who is not sure about a function of your product. The intent here is to help them better understand your product. If the user likes that feature, there is an opportunity to purchase.
While creating and distributing a series of how-to videos for the same function is video marketing. These are different intentions.
This video by Slack is perfect for people who are on the fence, aka the decision phase. It’s not about the features, it’s about showing how people, like the public, are making the best use of it.
In VFM, you create videos targeting a certain segment of the audience with different forms of videos in your marketing channels and campaigns, while video marketing covers a plethora of audiences.
That’s why video-first marketing encourages you to own your videos that interact with your audience and achieve a specific goal, rather than hosting them on a rented platform like social media.
While engagement rate or watch hours are the metrics for both VFM and video marketing, VFM gauges whether that particular video’s goal is being met for the stage of the buyer journey.
While the videos on social media create brand awareness, these hyper-personalized videos move the needle to purchase.
Benefits of video-first marketing
Of the many, there are a few advantages:
• An edge over your competitors. Imagine your audience landing on your website and your introductory videos taking them through a product walkthrough, like a personal shopper genuinely helping out at your favorite clothing store. If they like your product, they’re unlikely to bounce back. VFM helps you explain why your product is a better choice for your audience than your competitors.
• Shorten the loop. VFM cuts the fluff. Personalized demo videos make it easy for the public to be more aware of the features or updates they want to learn about rather than bombarding them with multiple videos.
• Higher loyalty. People trust people. Send videos with your face in it, which can be a simple webcam and screen capture. This builds a bigger bond with your audience that a series of emails can’t!
Before you start, if you’re starting to think it’s a good thing to include VFM in your strategy, you’ll need a plan and calendar designed specifically for videos.
A content calendar helps you keep track of the types of videos to create and distribute throughout the year. You can reuse these video ideas to interact with your audience and address their pain points.
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