Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re watching a brand’s web video and felt that the makers went a little too far with creative inputs? Chances are that you also felt unsure of what the brand was trying to convey. From the brand’s perspective, the entire purpose behind producing that video is lost with no real impact except for confused audiences.
The unfortunate truth is that with all the competition that brands are facing, the need to stand out is a little too critical to ignore. When that need becomes pressing, they end up going over to the dark side and bulking up on the ‘oomph’ factor in the videos rather than actually communicating effectively.
At what point do brands say enough is enough when it comes to creativity in videos? How can functionality become an intrinsic part of every video without losing out on unique treatments or approaches? Here are some of our thoughts on this.
The ideal way to decide where to draw the line between functionality and creativity would be to base it on the marketing specific outcomes that the video is expected to bring. Let’s consider for a second, the journey that a customer undertakes when making purchase decisions. This is a loop which indicates a repetitive process rather than the traditional sales funnel. Mapping these stages against the types of videos can help one clearly demarcate between where functionality should trump over creativity.
At the consideration stage, the potential buyer is considering his or her options. This is when awareness building is at its peak. Marketers should take the opportunity here to create videos that build awareness about the brand. Teasers or promo films can do wonders. Creativity can be higher at this stage because the point is to break through the existing clutter, stand out and grab attention.
Once the prospective customer has gained an idea of the brands on his consideration list, he begins to evaluate which option is better. At this stage, it is important to ply the individual with details about the product or service. Explainer videos work brilliantly here. Typically explainer videos should have a split of 75% functionality and 25% creative treatment. This is mainly because the individual is seeking information at this point and not fancy attention seeking gimmicks.
At the purchase stage, the prospect has all the information and is almost convinced of his choice. The final prompt decides the purchase. This is where sales videos can shine. Sales videos need to typically be a combination of functionality and creativity. They need to reinforce information as well as provide a compelling call-to action. Unique ways of addressing why audiences should invest in the brand needs to be conveyed.
Once the customer has made a purchase, his positive experience needs to be maximized. At this point, marketers can choose to reach out to their customers and provide them videos such as tutorials and how-to so that they can learn to make best use of their purchase. Here again, the videos should feature maximum information and keep creative treatments to a minimum since the audience seeks information here. Marketers can also choose to advertise through videos for upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Once a positive experience has been reinforced, customers are usually willing to provide testimonials for the brand. Product review videos or testimonial videos are a logical option at this point. Not only is the customer willing to advocate at this stage, they also feel respected when their opinions are heard. Reviews and testimonial videos need to feature maximum information with minimal creative treatment. This is because reviews usually fare higher on credibility levels when other prospects are considering a purchase. Being too promotional and flashy would hurt the brand rather than help it.
When customer move beyond the advocacy stage, they seek to bond deeper with the brand. At this stage, they are receptive to knowing what makes the brand work, who are the people behind it, what does the organization believe in and so on. Organizational videos are exactly what customers want to see at this point. About us videos, interviews with senior management or board members, organizational culture videos and employee testimonials are options that can be explored.
While creativity is important in order to be heard amidst all the noise, random implementation of the same is never a good idea. Getting a good understanding of the intended marketing outcome as well as gaining a feel of industry and audience preferences will go a long way in helping video marketing professionals decide the levels of creative treatment to be incorporated.
The Balancing Act: While creativity is important in order to be heard amidst all the noise, random implementation of the same is never a good idea. Getting a good understanding of the intended marketing outcome and catering to audience preferences will go a long way in helping video marketing professionals decide the levels of creative treatment to be incorporated.