Branding is the most valuable piece of your business. Hands down, it creates longevity for your company. In 2017, the biggest growth area for marketing will be video. Using video to grow your brand isn’t even an option anymore. It’s absolutely essential.
If you’ve paid any attention at all to social media and marketing, you’ve seen the growth of video. Facebook Live, Snapchat Stories and Instagram’s copy-cat of it all point to [some] the coming video revolution. However, some of this growth has been coming for a while.
Youtube has been the second largest search engine for a while. It’s not just superstar vloggers like PewDiePie either. More and more companies are using video to connect with their audience.
Marketing leaders like Hubspot are calling their shots for 2017.
If you want to grow your brand in 2017, and in the years beyond, you will want to consider your video strategy.
Challenges of Video and Branding
A lot of people will understand the necessity for using video in their branding this year. They will also feel that heart-squeezing sensation of hopelessness that accompanies their lack of knowledge. Video production isn’t a common skill right now.
Branding rallies around an intentional process to make your company connect with their target audiences. To do that, we invest in quality graphics, expensive logos, style-guides, and brand personas. It’s a big deal
Video needs the same attention if it’s going to help your brand. It will need to look good. Unless your brand embraces bad imagery, your video will need to look professional and consistent.
Most people will think they need lots of expensive equipment to make quality videos. While that can help, you don’t really have to spend a lot of money. I’m going to predict that a lot of video for branding will be shot on the smartphone in 2017 (more on this later).
Another challenge for branding videos will come through platforms. New platforms are springing up like crazy right now (Persicope, Zype, Vidyard, Ooyala). Some, like Vine, have already come and gone.
So the gauntlet is thrown down for you and your brand. What to do.
Opportunities for Video and Branding
The great thing about new platforms is that you can leverage being first. Jump on that shiny, new place to post videos. Give it a whirl. Dominate it if you can.
For older, more established platforms, be a presence. The great thing about all media is that you can create once and post as much as you want. So post your videos to Facebook and Youtube and any other platform you think worthwhile.
Make sure to post videos appropriate to the medium, though. As someone who is not in the millennial generation, I’ll admit, mot of what I see in Snapchat videos is just noise. You wouldn’t want to post those types of videos on Youtube. So pick a platform for your brand and be appropriate.
What You Can Do for Video and Branding
As with all branding, you will want to be strategic. Decide what you are able and willing to do. Maybe you have access to 4-5 friends who own all the equipment and can invest their time and energy into making great videos for you. If so, count yourself lucky.
Most of us will have to rely on what we can do ourselves with the equipment we have or can easily purchase and use. That’s not a bad thing. Most smartphones can make great videos with just a little know-how.
Most brands have guidelines for their companies. Make a guide for your videos as well.
- Have a similar look
- Display a logo
- Sound the same
- Maintain a consistent tone with your brand
Branding often involves a certain understanding of graphics. For video, you will need to educate yourself about the basics of video production.
You will need to understand the basics of:
- Camera settings (like shutter speed, ISO, exposure)
Branding is all about connection. Video makes this easy, which is one of the reasons it will continue to grow as a platform. To harness the power of video, learn the basics of story-telling.
Using story in video centers around:
- Characters who are relatable to their audience
- A hero, a guide, and a villain
- A final resolution
That’s a very basic guide (I’ll be writing more about that in the future), but it’s a common element in almost all great story-telling.
What You Can Do Now
Don’t rush out and buy a bunch of equipment yet. Before you commit to anything, develop your strategy. Here are some great ways to use video for your company:
- Product story
- Behind the scenes
- Employee story
- History of the company
- Explainer videos 1 – how we do what we do
- Explainer videos 2 – why we do what we do
- Explainer videos 3 (the best) – how you can do awesome stuff with us
- Live Brainstorming
- Live Demos
- Event Coverage
- Product Reviews
If you’re camera shy, you can use videos that:
- Walkthrough your product
- Screencast your site
- Use slides with a voiceover
- Animate characters
- Simple slideshows with pictures
Go ahead and start brainstorming the ways you will want to use video to start branding your company. Maybe you can even start writing scripts and story-boarding.
For all you Game of Thrones fans, think of it like the phrase Winter is Coming. Video is coming. It’s going to be a necessary part of your branding strategy. Help yourself out by embracing it.
If you noticed, I talked a lot about video and smartphones. The saying goes that the best camera is the one you have with you. Most people already have a video studio in their pocket.
I’m developing a course for making professional looking videos using your smartphone. Be sure to sign up below to pre-register for it. It’s going to be a game changer for a lot of people.