1,400 blog post are published every minute — that’s over 2,000,000 blog posts a day!
Content marketers tell you to publish great content, but how in the world can you stand out when people are swimming in an ocean of articles?
Content marketing has become the go-to strategy for marketing teams around the world. With endless international customers just a click away, strategists and content creators are producing high amounts of written content with the objective of attracting and engaging new potential customers. The end goal? The almighty conversion.
Written content will always be the backbone of a great marketing strategy, but now a lot of marketers are looking for additional platforms to deliver their message.
Telling Stories with Video
As the Internet becomes over-saturated with written content, companies are testing other methods to win over their audience’s limited attention span. Marketers and growth teams are starting to focus more on video marketing as their calling card to tell beautiful stories. That’s what marketing is all about, isn’t it? Storytelling.
By using videos to help tell a story, companies are able to make a stronger and more emotional connection with their audience. These emotions can help transform the relationship between business and client to something stronger, something much more meaningful.
Video is expanding at an incredible rate and has found a home in the arsenal of many content marketers. Now that high-quality cameras are more accessible than ever and editing no longer requires thousands of dollars worth of equipment, producing a stunning video has become a reality for companies that don’t necessarily have the means to hire a production company or employ in-house videographers and editors.
Introducing Video into Your Content Marketing Strategy
If you are thinking of introducing video into your marketing strategy, think first before you act. The most important thing you can do – like with producing written content – is getting in the mind of the audience to truly understand the needs they are seeking to fulfill.
According to Kissmetrics, your potential viewer will be anywhere between 64-85% more likely to buy a product or use a service after watching a video. That is a staggering number but shouldn’t be thought of as a guarantee of your future video’s success.
In fact, the production quality and overall message of your video will determine whether or not your video is shared and loved or buried under the ever-growing mountain of online content. This all comes down to impactful storytelling that will hook your audience and make a real connection that lasts beyond momentary engagement or entertainment.
The Strong Bond between Humanity and Storytelling
Before understanding why humanity loves a good story, you need to understand the science behind it.
Oxytocin is a hormone found in mammals that is also a neurotransmitter in the brain. Oxytocin is released naturally in the brain during physical contact like hugging and cuddling and plays a major role in building relationships based on trust of the partner – or in the case of marketing, the storyteller.
Paul Zak is a neuroeconomist who has extensively studied the connection between oxytocin and the human brain’s desire to hear a great story. Zak and his team spent years studying what it was – scientifically speaking – about stories that could affect people on deep, emotional levels.
According to Zak, because human beings are “social creatures who regularly affiliate with strangers, stories are an effective way to transmit important information and values from one individual or community to the next. Stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of the brain, and thus are better remembered than simply stating a set of facts.”
Their team discovered that there are two main factors when it comes to telling an impactful story that will tug at the heartstrings of the audience.
The first is the most difficult, especially nowadays with an endless flow of content fighting for the world’s diminishing attention span: The story must hold the audience captive.
This didn’t use to be as hard to do when people only read books, listened to the radio, or chose from a few channels on the television. Now, there is a constant barrage of stories coming from all angles and creating something that stands out is no easy task.
The second factor is finding a way to “transport” the viewer into the mind and situation of the character in the story. This takes time, research, trial and error, and a keen eye as to what triggers emotions in people.
Becoming the Character: Why Storytelling Can Transport the Viewer
Research at Ohio State University concluded that people immersed in a story go through a process they coined “experience-taking.” This means that if the situation is right, a bond can be formed that is strong and emotional that the person having the experience can actually change their beliefs or attitudes, even if it is only temporary.
The findings of this study demonstrate why more and more companies are starting to focus on telling stories as opposed to just churning out content that fails to engage the reader or viewer.
In the article The Power of Storytelling: How We Got 300% More People to Read Our Content, Alex Turnbull mentions a fascinating study that was conducted at the University of Washington in St. Louis. Participants in the study read about a boy named Raymond while hooked up to brain monitoring equipment. When Raymond would take some kind of action – be it looking around his surroundings or picking something up – the brain of the reader would fire off neurons in the area of the brain responsible for said movement. The reader’s brain was active in the story as if the readers themselves were in the story.
This phenomenon explains the major surge in video app programs like Periscope.
Periscope lets its users experience life through the eyes of other people. This is the ultimate form of becoming the character and seeing the world from a difference perspective. “Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.” Periscope is looking to transform how people see the world in their quest to build “the closest thing to teleportation.”
By teleporting users into the minds and eyes of others, companies are able to strategically deliver messages that impact the viewer.
Producing High-Quality Video on a Budget Requires Great Planning and Execution
Improved technologies have made it so you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars on equipment to make a great video. In fact, an iPhone can produce high-quality videos that can work perfectly for content marketers on a tight budget.
The main rules when it comes to shooting video on an iPhone include always shooting horizontally, stabilize your iPhone, make sure your lighting and audio are top-notch, and never mess around with the zoom feature.
While these are great pointers covering the basics of shooting with an iPhone, there are still many steps you should never skip over when preparing to create an amazing marketing video.
Smartphones are able to produce a quality video on non-existent budgets. This has helped countless individuals and small businesses grow followings.
Vine is a short-form video service whose users can record 6-second videos on a loop. It was acquired by Twitter and has exploded in popularity with companies looking to attract new, younger users. There are more than 200 million users that share videos across social media platforms with their friends and families. But it isn’t just the average Joes and Janes that are obsessed with Vine’s short and sweet delivery (with a well-thought out idea of course).
Companies big and small are riding the Vine train. Mashable has done an excellent job producing visually stimulating and interesting vines. They have garnered more than 70 million loops since joining Vine.
Snapchat, on the other hand, is responsible for the creation and exchange of approximately 7 billion videos per day. That equates to about one video for every single person on the planet – every single day.
According to a post on VentureBeat by Anish Patel, the founder of Revolution Productions, “Creative companies that find ways to push their content onto Snapchat are reaping the benefits and building some serious followings.”
Numbers like these should act as a major wake-up call to content marketing strategists. Sure, a Snapchat video is not your typical high-quality, polished video you would see airing during the Super Bowl.
But the landscape has changed, and the masses are quickly adapting to new technologies and services. These adaptations are turning the average consumer into a new kind of audience, one with less patience and a smaller chance of making it to the end of a company’s sales funnel through traditional means of advertising.
Before, consumers were more influenced by a television commercial because that’s what they knew. Now, consumers are used to seeing content coming from a wide variety of different platforms.
Why You Should Consider Animation
Animation brings out the kid in you. Whether you realize it or not, watching a marketing animation video will transport you back to the Saturday mornings of your childhood, joyously perched just inches from the television with your bowl full of rainbow-colored sugar.
Animation videos dominate marketing because the sky’s the limit when it comes to imagination and execution. You can’t add monsters to a video with humans if you don’t have a CGI rockstar on your team or if you don’t want to ruin your video’s credibility with Godzilla-esque special effects.
When you think of a marketing video, you probably don’t think of public service announcements. But in 2012, the city of Melbourne, Australia released one of the greatest animation videos of all time as a PSA for people to stay safe while using their train system.
The video Dumb Ways to Die took the Internet by storm and has been viewed over 120,000,000 times. The video features basic – but very well executed – animation starring a bunch of little monsters dying in “dumb ways.”
While it might be sad if you have an affinity for cuddly, fruit-shaped monsters, the combination of the catchy jingle, the colorful experience, and the desire to see how the next monster loses its battle to life’s challenges keeps viewers watching, smiling, and most importantly, sharing.
This video would have emptied shelves had it been made for an actual product. McCann Melbourne, the advertising agency that created the video, estimated that within just two weeks of releasing Dumb Ways to Die, it had generated at least $50 million worth of global media value on top of being featured in well more than 700 media stories. All of this for just “a fraction of the cost of one TV ad”.
Outsource Your Animated Videos
Not only are content marketing strategists aware of this growing trend, entrepreneurs and animators are already out there creating fantastic animated content.
Beyond the folks that are creating animated videos for companies with larger budgets, there are companies that have created platforms that make the animation process fun and very simple to use.
GoAnimate, for example, allows their clients the ability to create unlimited, high-definition videos on a simple, easy to learn platform. They offer three price points that are all affordable. Even their top-tier plan is more affordable for the entire year than the cost of hiring a professional animator to create a basic animated promo video.
PowToon is another great example of an easy-to-use animation platform that has exploded in popularity. Even the likes of Starbucks and Coca-Cola have used their platform for creating fun, high-quality animation videos. Like GoAnimate, they have multiple price plans – one of which is free! – that is easy on the wallet and a game-changer for marketing teams.
Outsource Your Video Marketing
Just because video is hot right now – and will only get hotter – doesn’t mean you have to hire in-house videographers or demand that your content team learn how to edit.
There are plenty of great companies out there that will produce high-quality videos for you at the fraction of what they used to cost.
Veed.me lets you choose your videographer based on your specific needs. You can choose based on industry, budget, or video type. Once you find the right person to work with you will be able to connect with them directly to plan everything. Their platform is easy to use and offers a great selection of professional videographers that will help turn your ideas into beautiful videos.
Videopixie is another great option if you are interested in outsourcing video for your content marketing strategy. Instead of browsing through their database, their videographers will bid on your project. This way, you can choose based on the qualifications and cost of each interested videographer.
By letting the professionals handle producing videos that convert, you can worry about other important things like growing your business and connecting with you customers.
The Future of Content Marketing
Syndacast predicts that video will account for 74% of all Internet traffic by 2017.
More and more marketers are adding video to their strategies. They realize that competitors are succeeded with video campaigns and that the future of content marketing is video.
Content marketing expert Gerry Moran stated that “brands who understand the potential impact of video can build solutions for the big content equations – finding a way to connect with their customers and differentiate from their competitors!”
This all comes back to the idea that telling stories is the best way to engage your customers.
Imagine Company A and Company B are trying to sell the same product. Company A paints a beautiful picture in their video, telling a story about a character that relates to their audience. Company B updates their blog with a poorly researched article that doesn’t focus on the right keywords and lacks a story. Where do you think the customer will purchase?
The average person is looking to feel more from their experience with a company. The world is a lot different than it was just a couple of generations ago. People have more choices than they know what to do with, and making the right decision can be complicated.
Not too long ago, people who needed to buy a new television would simply go to the nearest electronics store. Now, there are countless websites with discounts and promotions all vying for your business.
For the average consumer, weighing all of the different options out there can be a tedious effort. Companies now need to figure out better ways to win over their customers and attract new clients, and this is done with telling the best story.
While producing fantastic written content is a vital part of your content marketing strategy and should always be used, adding well-produced videos that focus on telling engaging stories should be added to your repertoire.
Nobody knows what the future will actually bring to content marketing, but the experts are all pointing to video. And with more platforms becoming available and improved technology becoming more affordable, small businesses and startups will be able to include video in their content marketing strategies without having to abuse their wallets in the process.
To add the finishing touch to your animation or marketing video, check out VoiceBunny’s vast selection of professional voice over artists from around the world.