Why CMOs can’t afford to avoid video

Kevin Lim

Tropfest finalist and advertising creative, Kevin Lim, heads up Edge’s film division, The Department of Moving Image. Kevin has extensive experience in film development and production, and his short films have played in numerous international film festivals and advertising. He has also directed and produced TVCs and branded content for brands such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Sony and Unilever on projects with a total of more than 5 million views.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have your video content viewed more than 13.6 million times on YouTube, shared in 12,000 Facebook posts, and published in more than 31,000 tweets from over 26,000 unique users? Think of the traction you’d have with customers and the flow through effect it would have on sales...

Yeah, it would be cool as a cucumber. This is exactly what happened to Mexican restaurant chain, Chipotle, with its ‘The Scarecrow’ branded content video last year. Despite never paying for advertorial and never converting the video into a television commercial or banner, the social media video campaign went viral.

This emotionally driven video was released to launch Chipotle’s new app-based game, disassociate the company with former major shareholder, McDonalds, and improve awareness of the company’s commitment to ethically raised livestock and family farms.

The impact of this branded video demonstrates that consumers have grown tired of brands just repurposing TVCs for online. Marketers need to build stories of personal triumph and emotional engagement into branded content in order to resonate with consumers. The Scarecrow also demonstrates the power of online video and the importance of being subversive with your messages.

The power of online video

I first came into contact with the Chipotle brand at a film festival in Colorado in 2013 and the company’s previous video, ‘Back to the Start’, which ran before film screenings and was met with standing ovations. At a film festival. Such is the power of an emotionally driven content piece.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words then, according to Dr James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. As society becomes increasingly time poor, we need to look for ways to convey messages more efficiently and effectively.

Video is the most effective form of marketing for engaging with consumers. Not only does it present marketers with a unique opportunity to step into the lives of consumers through branded storytelling, it also stimulates areas of the brain that assist with long term-brand recognition. With the potential to be more powerful than commercials, branded content is a medium which deserves more attention from businesses and brands who want to reach out to consumers.

There is a catch though. You can’t use video as a dumping ground for all your key messages and then upload it to YouTube. The most effective videos are those which are fundamentally out to tell an entertaining story with a sharp script to tell an entertaining, more emotional story to consumers and leave a lasting impression. It's an intrinsic desire in us that goes as far back to the Palaeolithic era of humans to be seeking entertainment around a campfire.

Why video works

First and foremost, video isn’t a trend – it is essential for competing in today’s content-rich market. Many Australian brands are still opting for the traditional styles of branded content such as TVCs, direct mail and advertising, because they are unwilling to step beyond their comfort zone and take the risks.

This is surprising as the research and evidence shows branded video content boosts sales and increases brand name recognition. In fact, as marketers we are continually being bombarded with new statistics proving its effectiveness:

  • 75 per cent of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week (Forbes)
  • 59 per cent of executives would rather watch a video than read text (Forbes)
  • Video has a 41 per cent better click through rate than text (Econsultancy)
  • 64 per cent of consumers are more likely to make an online purchase after watching a video (Comscore)
  • Video content can increase the chances of front page Google ranking by 53 times (Cisco)
  • Video that instil emotions in their audience equals more shares (Contently)

    Video works because people want to be entertained. Those videos which have positive feelings, a human element and show sentimentality will also have the greatest impact on consumers and are more likely to be shared.

    The Internet and media have become so saturated with content that brands need material which cuts through the noise. As marketers we must deliver content consumers want, by the means they prefer and via the media channels they visit or watch.

Tags: content marketing, video marketing

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