Raghavan RS, Co-Founder & CEO, Vmaker (by Animaker Inc.)
It’s 2022 and “videos” is not an alien word. From a student studying in the fourth grade to an engineer looking for ways to upskill, visual content is everyone’s go-to.
A recent survey found that one-third of the consumers worldwide spent one to five hours watching paid video streaming services. Adding to that, the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts have escalated the craze over videos and has also directly impacted the way we learn, consume content and even our purchase decisions.
Rewind to 2015. You’re Googling “How to find the right shoe size?” on your phone. You will be bombarded with a list of blogs like WikiHow, etc. You would’ve read through the whole blog along with the images added to it—sometimes, an infographic—before making a decision.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2022. Do you still scroll through a 1,500-word blog for the same? Probably not. We Google our query and it throws a few YouTube videos even before the first scroll.
The search engine, its algorithm and consumer behavior are shaping up this way. Undoubtedly, it’s the time when we witness the rise of video content consumption. Sometimes, it doesn’t even need to be about your product itself.
Some smart brands are already moving their video marketing strategy toward video-first marketing and you should consider it, too.
What Is Video-First Marketing?
Video-first marketing, or VFM, is creating and distributing content tailored for each stage of the buyer journey.
I have a question: Do you think it’s possible to text or call your audiences with different levels of awareness and educate them about your product/service?
Long answer short: No.
But VFM makes it easy for businesses to create videos that suit each stage of the buyer journey: awareness, consideration, evaluation and decision. The awareness stage is when the audience gets to know about your product/service and the decision stage is when they’re ready to buy.
Here, VFM helps with multiple customer touchpoints as you create a video once and repurpose it forever.
Video-First Marketing And Customer Touchpoints
Customer “touchpoints” are the communication you initiate with your audience from the first time they hear about you or land on your website to creating their account to trying your product or swiping their card on the checkout page.
These interactions could be anything but not limited to: social media posts, paid ads, website pop-ups, emails, etc.
Video-first marketing plays a major role in these interactions as the customer goes through a journey from the consideration to the “sold out” stage before they take out their cards to pay.
So, educating and later persuading customers about your product/service through videos can convince them that yours is exactly what they are looking for.
For example, ClickUp has crisp and interesting customer onboarding video product walkthroughs. Even if you can’t afford to make talking head videos, a simple whiteboard or screen recording video can do the trick. Because the aim here is to educate and convince the audience and convert them into repeat customers.
While we’re talking about VFM, you might naturally be confusing it with its almost look-alike—video marketing. But here’s the twist. Video-first marketing is not video marketing.
Why Is VFM Not Video Marketing?
If you create videos and use them across all the marketing collaterals, it does not necessarily mean a VFM strategy. Video-first marketing differs from video marketing because of intention, medium and metrics.
In VFM, you send a personalized demo video to a user unsure about a feature of your product. The intention here is to help them understand your product better. If the user loves that feature, there’s a possibility for purchase.
Whereas, creating and distributing a series of tutorial videos for the same feature is video marketing. These are different intentions.
This video by Slack is perfect for people who are on the fence, AKA the decision stage. It’s not about the features but showcases how people like its audience make the best use of it.
In VFM, you create videos targeted at a particular segment of the audience with different forms of videos across 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 communicate to your audience and complete a specific objective, rather than hosting them on a rented platform like social media.
Although engagement rate or watch hours are the metrics for both VFM and video marketing, VFM banks on whether the objective of that particular video for the stage of the buyer journey is achieved.
While the videos on social media create brand awareness, these hyper-personalized videos move the needle toward purchase.
Benefits Of Video-First Marketing
Out of the many, a few benefits include:
• An edge over your competitors. Imagine your audience lands on your website and your onboarding videos take them through a product walkthrough like a personal shopper genuinely helping at your favorite clothing store. If they like seeing your product, they’re unlikely to bounce off. VFM helps you explain why your product is a better choice for your audience than your competitors’.
• Shortening the loop. VFM cuts the fluff. Personalized demo videos make it easy for the audience to be more aware of the features or updates they want to know about rather than bombarding them with multiple videos.
• Higher loyalty. People trust people. Send videos with your face in it, which could be a simple webcam and screen recording. This builds a greater connection with your audience that a series of emails cannot!
Before you go, if you start thinking that corporating VFM into your strategy is a good thing, you need a plan and calendar specifically designed for videos.
A content calendar helps you keep track of the types of videos you need to create and distribute over the year. You can repurpose these video ideas to communicate to your audience and address their pain points.
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