13 Unique Ways A Business Can Use Video To Engage Its Audience

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Ever since innovations on the web made the embedded video a viable strategy, marketers have realized how vital this visual medium is to get consumers’ attention. As companies started to utilize this new technology, and it became more democratized, the popularity of video as a communication medium exploded.

However, there are several techniques that a business can utilize when their chosen medium is video. To make an impact, a company must stand out with their content. Thirteen professionals from Forbes Agency Council explore how companies can be unique about their use of video in marketing, and how they can stand out from the crowd by leveraging these tactics.

13 Unique ways to engage with video

1. Engage Category Influencers

Consumers love video, as long as it is informative or entertaining or ideally both. Inform — don’t hard-sell. Engage YouTube influencers in your category and hire them to create branded videos with simple production values. And develop your own YouTube influencers through your SMEs or even enthusiastic customers. – Robert Finlayson, Zeno Group

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Personal

Grab the audience’s attention with a highlighted image or offer that catches their eye right off the bat. Once you have their attention, make the following seconds worth their time by letting the consumer or audience know how the brand can positively impact their life in the most concise and emotional way possible. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

3. Jump On A Hot Topic

When Peloton’s latest ad showed a woman getting an exercise bike from her husband for Christmas, social media outrage ensued. Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, however, identified an opportunity to engage in a trending cultural moment, creating a spot with the same actress and telling the story of what happened next. The lesson for brands is to keep it simple, relevant and most of all, timely. – Ryan Cassin, Asset Agency

4. Target A Search Query

Making videos that answer a specific question — especially a how-to question — can be very effective. People ask Google questions, and if your company has a good answer which can be made into a short, engaging video, you may have found an excellent way to rank first in search for a specific query. It’s important to ensure that the title of your video exactly matches the query you are targeting. – Samuel Michelson, Five Blocks

5. Create Snackable Videos

When people think of video formats, it is natural to associate them with high production costs. There is an incredible amount of tools out there today that allow you to create high-quality, made-for-social videos that are engaging with only a few clicks. Some videos — although short and sweet — can have a big impact when done the right way. Be consistent and results will come. – Alex Sandoval, MOI Global

6. Stand Out With Personalized Videos

Creating personalized videos for your audience is a smart way to stand out in a cluttered marketing landscape. When a customer sees their name or brand in the video thumbnail, they are much more likely to click through to view your content. The great news is that solutions such as Vidyard now make it possible to personalize videos at scale. – Jenni Smith, EGR International

7. Do A Weekly Live-Streamed Podcast

Setting up an in-house podcast and live-video streaming studio is relatively inexpensive and allows brands to amplify the way they engage their audience. Podcasts (and video streaming) can cover a range of topics, from reflecting on industry insights and news to interviews with industry thought leaders (or happy clients). Video is by far the most effective tool to maximize audience engagement. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Animation

It seems counter-intuitive, but using animation as a video can often communicate a message better than a talking head. The reasons are: the ability to create the scene to suit the message, the flexibility to add captions and transition slides, and the creative freedom to make a point directly, rather than subtly. Animation also enables you to feature brand attributes to support your message. – Francine Carb, Markitects, Inc.

9. Convert Website Case Studies To Video

Case studies are critically important to building trust and gaining the interest of business-to-business clients. But the traditional written case study, with its “problem, solution, result” format, doesn’t have the impact it used to. It’s been overused. Turning your case studies into video testimonials — with client interviews and compelling storytelling — will get them a broader and more engaged audience. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

10. Make Sure You Offer Value

Video should be just like any other content offer and give the viewer real value. Don’t push videos out about your great products or services. Do create authentic videos where you offer insights, takeaways, and action items that viewers can gain by watching your video. Next, make sure the offer is clear in the first five seconds and your engagement rate will soar. – David Ward, Meticulosity

11. Focus On The Story, Not The Sell

To help your videos stand out and connect with viewers, use them to tell stories, not rehash sales pitches. The power of video is the emotions it engages. Sales pitches aren’t emotionally engaging. Stories are. Make people fall in love with your brand through video. Hook first. Sell later. Practice inbound marketing fundamentals and you’ll see success. – Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI Creative

12. Speak With Your Brand’s Voice

Videos are another element contributing to our brand image and should be treated as such. Understanding the audience and the brand inside and out will help the creatives produce video content that carries the same voice. This is important because we can’t expect a single video to make much of an impact, but a series of consistent videos that follow a strategy will be memorable and impactful. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

13. Stop Trying So Hard

The very word “video” stirs this notion that we need to be creating Oscar-winning footage to win at the game. Some of the most viral, clever videos are shot on an iPhone and feature signature choppy editing with grainy images. Source user-generated content over trying to hire the next Quentin Tarantino to shoot your video. Think raw, think real, think radically simple with your video efforts. – Danica Kombol, Everywhere Agency

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