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Engaging Customers With Video

Engaging Customers With Video Using Video Effectively

As companies who have turned to content-based marketing strategies have learned, good storytelling is the key difference between successful campaigns and those that fail to find an audience.

Several elements go into creating a good story: an intriguing topic, the right details, and an engaging voice are all necessary for success. When planning a marketing strategy, the method in which a story is told is also crucially important. For instance, if an ingredient supplier wants to promote its high-quality products, there are several ways to communicate the details. A simple paragraph on the company’s website or a photo slideshow would technically convey the information, but not necessarily create the emotional connection so important to building trust. Video is the most powerful way to fully engage the viewer in the specifics of producing quality products.

Video possesses the rare ability to combine emotions with facts to build customer trust in a highly engaging, visual way. Apart from standing in the supplier’s field full of raw materials, a short video clip interviewing growers on location, along with a commentary about quality-focused practices is the best way to demonstrate the process of producing quality ingredients. Video provides the ability to quickly showcase the most important details of your business while providing viewers a vantage point for inspecting the details for themselves.

The ability to drive audience engagement and bring them closer to an experience is one reason video has emerged as the must-have medium for social channels and corporate sites alike. Both Facebook and Instagram recently worked to incorporate video directly into their users’ news feeds, recognizing that video leads to higher levels of audience engagement. Understanding what users respond to has been central to those companies success, and we can learn from them.

Video Content Ideas for the Nutrition Industry

For B2B marketers in the nutrition industry, video is especially useful to demonstrate product quality and ideal for demonstrating the transparency that must be built into sourcing and producing products in today’s marketplace environment. Unless you are strictly selling a commoditized product and price is the only differentiating factor, building genuine, loyalty-based customer relationships pay dividends in the long run. Videos can play a role by highlighting aspects of your company, leadership and products that are more difficult to convey with other mediums. A few options for using video within an organization include:

Company Mission

Especially for organizations in the nutrition industry, a company’s mission often begins with a very personal desire to improve peoples’ lives. Conveying the company’s “reason for being” in an emotional, engaging way demonstrates the company’s commitment and passion for what they produce. Placing a mission-focused video on your website’s homepage communicates what sets the company apart much more effectively than a mission statement buried somewhere in the “About Us” section.

Quality & Production

Transparency is instrumental in demonstrating product quality. Short, informative video tours showing the quality assurance process and the production standards an organization adheres to gives potential customers piece of mind with regard to product quality. This is particularly effective when they “meet” the people responsible for quality, which video is ideally suited for.

Meet the Founder/CEO

One tried-and-true marketing tactic used to establish company trust is the “Letter from the CEO.” Often found in longer print pieces and sometimes in the “About Us” section of a corporate website, the piece seeks to showcase the thought leadership driving the company and the products it produces. While most site visitors won’t take the time to read anything that remotely approaches letter-length, video offers the chance to deliver the same content while making the experience more personal for the viewer.

Product Expertise

Not every potential customer has the chance to meet directly with a lead scientist or product specialist to hear the technical details of what sets your brand apart. A quick feature covering the more highly specialized aspects of a product aimed at knowledgeable buyers has the ability to answer questions and intrigue potential customers as they conduct product research long before making the move to contact your sales department.

Social Content

If your brand is using social media, and there are many social media strategies that work for B2B brands, this is the place to show the company’s personality just a bit more. Creating customer loyalty is partially about them getting to know the team and their dedication. Quick videos intended for social media can capture spontaneous moments in the office, small “wins” with customers, and even highlights of company initiatives that help make the organization a good social citizen.

Sharing Events

Anyone who has planned a presentation, tradeshow event or customer education session knows the enormous amount of planning involved. Capturing great content at these events allows the effort to live on through web content, as well as featured stories intended for a company newsletter or blog.

Customer Features/Testimonials

Possibly the “Holy Grail” of marketing, an appeal on your behalf by a customer is always better than a company representative touting the company’s accolades. Video testimonials work best when they portray a case study or tell a story from the customer’s perspective by highlighting real business situations and challenges. Have your customer tell the story of how you worked with them to resolve formulation challenges, for example, rather than your website just saying “we’ll help you with formulation challenges.” Genuine details go much further in telling your story and building trust.

Getting Started With Video

The “cost of entry” with video can be a lot more affordable than it used to be with today’s technology, but emphasis on production quality is paramount. While large-scale video production can be expensive, video content to support your brand can also be an accessible marketing tactic that most brands can employ. Not all video work has to be outsourced. Whether video is outsourced to a professional or handled in-house depends largely on the intended audience and the topic. Creating a feature piece like a company brand story or product-focused promotional video will probably be best left to the experts. Short videos that require less editing, like the content you’ll film for your social sites are perfect for an internal team to produce. Quick highlights from a company tradeshow or office event are often more spontaneous and best captured on a smart phone with a decent video camera built in. A basic rule of thumb to follow is if the video will have a long-life on a company website, professionally shot is the way to go. If the video will become part of an ever-evolving stream of social media content, start shooting on your own.

When it comes to those marquee pieces that you leave to a professional, it’s extremely important to interview potential agencies and review past work. Especially in the nutrition industry, genuinely telling an authentic story should be the goal. No one likes to watch a “cheesy” corporate video full of over-the-top graphics and elaborate transitions between scenes. Instead, look for a videographer that tells your story in a more documentary-style format. It’s also a good idea to work with someone who has an understanding of the industry’s regulatory structure to weave your quality message into the story within legal guidelines.

The filming environment also plays an important role. Beyond the basics, like limiting background noise and providing adequate light, the setting can make a big difference in a video’s effectiveness. For instance, videos featuring company experts often work best when they’re shot on location in the individual’s work environment. Chefs look best in the kitchen and scientists are most authoritative in the lab. Almost no one looks convincing sitting at a conference room table, and the setting triggers an immediate impulse to snore in the viewer.

One additional consideration when filming a brand video is length. Digital audiences have short attention spans and, generally speaking, videos approaching the three-minute mark are usually in danger of being abandoned. Keep it short and concise, or most viewers won’t stick around.

Putting Video to Work

Once you’ve produced a video, either internally or using an agency, the next step is to publish it. Video services like YouTube and Vimeo are popular platforms allowing businesses to host videos and embed them directly into their sites. YouTube offers detailed metrics to keep track of audience views, shares and even line graphs showing at what point in a video the audience tunes out. Tracking these metrics will help refine future videos and grow your audience.

In addition to embedding a new video in your company website, you will want to promote it to your entire brand audience. Knowing that video is one of the most engaging types of marketing content, linking to a new video from an email newsletter and social media sites will boost audience participation in those channels. Links to brand story videos are also the perfect follow-up for tradeshow leads, because they will reconnect the viewer with your company, while providing a more detailed overview.

Also, a well-produced brand video doesn’t just have to live on your own website. With the recent industry focus on transparency in the supply chain and clean label initiatives, there is a tremendous opportunity for sharing marketing content through the supply chain to transparently display the benefits and quality of the products you are marketing.

With supplement manufacturers constantly looking for good content to keep their consumer-focused social media channels active, ingredient suppliers have an opportunity to share video content with manufacturers to help illustrate ingredient purity. Particularly in today’s challenging media environment, speaking directly to customers via video can be a powerful tool in building and maintaining customer trust and loyalty. NIE