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Why You Should Use Video to Be More Relatable For Your Audience

So the stats are encouraging, but why? What makes videos better than other mediums?


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Alexander Boswell

4 months ago | 5 min read
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Plus some video marketing tips!

A little while ago, my brother introduced me to a show on Netflix:

“Hey, you do marketing, right?”
“…yeah?”
“Have you heard of the show Madmen? It’s about those slick marketers of the 60s in America.”

I watched a few episodes, it was alright, but I never got stuck in (though I’m thinking of revisiting). But it did get me thinking. While the medium of branding and advertising has changed quite considerably since the 60s, the human elements remain the same.

That is if you want to build an audience (or customers), you need to be relatable. It’s a no brainer, sure, but I wouldn’t be able to count the times I’ve seen brands communicating at their audience instead of with them.

And as it goes one of the best ways for a brand, either personal, small or corporate, to be more relatable is to use video marketing. Marketing charts estimate that in 2021, people will watch 100 minutes of online video a day.

They also found that more than half of US consumers prefer video ads relevant to the video they are watching (I’m looking at you, YouTube).

So the stats are encouraging, but why? What makes videos better than other mediums?

In video we trust

Think about the last time you bought a product or service online that cost more than say, $50. Chances are, you sought some a video to help you make your decision (likely a demonstration or review).

Wyzowl conducted a survey resulting in 69% of their respondents saying a product demo assisted them best when making a purchase decision.

Try to think about why that might have been the case. With a higher investment, the more you need to trust that the product or service is going to fulfil your needs. You also need reassurance that if something were to go wrong, the provider would resolve the issue hassle-free.

Using video helps provide that extra layer of reassurance. It’s also more relatable for your audience in this sense because they can see someone else using the product or service in the same way they would.

It gives your brand a face

Humans are social creatures; we prefer to interact with other people rather than a faceless logo. The people behind ‘personal branding’, such as the wonderful Fab Giovanetti, know this is a crucial part of relating to your audience.

It’s the same reason freelancer platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork strongly suggest using a headshot (or otherwise clear image of yourself) as your profile photo.

Letting your audience see your face (or important faces in corporate cases) builds trust as above, but also lets them know they are dealing with real people. And while presenting yourself in photos is a good part of your overall content strategy, using video is even better.

Photos are easy to fake these days; AI can even generate faces that don’t exist at all. But videos of people are far more difficult to fake. It also shows a certain level of confidence in your product or service when people can put a face to the blame if things go wrong.

It meets your audience where they are

Remember how I mentioned earlier people would spend 100 minutes on average a day in 2021 watching online videos?

Another massive part of relating to your audience is meeting them where they are. You wouldn’t expect to hear an ad on the radio for Instagram Reels tips, would you? By making videos for social media or your website, you’re meeting your audience where they already are.

Even better is if your videos are mobile optimised. Google tells us that people who view videos on their phones are 1.4X as likely to watch ads compared to those who view on desktop or TV. As a bonus, they also said mobile viewers are twice as likely as TV viewers to feel a sense of personal connection with the brand.

As a note, while Facebook is still top of the monthly active users’ charts, take a look at what’s second: YouTube with 1.9 billion MAU (in 2019). What does that tell you about the importance of video in the branding space?

It’s more engaging

In 2020 alone, we’ve seen the power of video on social media and how many conversations they tend to spark. This year, mainly for sad reasons. However, it goes to show how quickly messages can spread via video on social media platforms (and traditional news outlets online).

In a 30-day experiment, Buffer analysed and compared their video posts vs their non-video posts and found that video garnered 1.9X higher engagement than any other type of post on Facebook.

A newer video format on the social media scene, of course, is live video. Live streaming is the pinnacle of digitally interacting with a larger-than-livingroom audience.

It’s an excellent method for building up a personal brand (or entrepreneurial adventure). Still, it might not be a smart option for other types of businesses, so be aware of that and do your research.

Encourages people to share your story

This point ties in with all the previous ones, taking the above into account (as long as the video is done well of course) encourages people to share your story. And if it’s one thing that binds humans together, it’s the power of good storytelling.

As a business or personal brand, telling a compelling story is a surefire way of getting people talking. You only need to watch the hype over the halftime Superbowl ads to get a sense of their power.

Not only that, according to Wyzowl:

“People are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content.”

From a personal experience point of view, think about the last bit of content you shared with your friends or family. Was it a video? If not, think about how often you share videos as opposed to other types of content like text-posts.

A great quote from Harrison Monarth in the Harvard Business Review also sums up this point nicely:

“Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.”

Some tips on video best practices

Hopefully, I’ve conveyed to you the importance of video in your growth strategy, but now what? You’ll need to be mindful of the best practices for putting out video content online.

Different social media platforms have various “rules” (things that make videos perform better), but there are some tips that apply across the board, such as:

  • For social media (except YouTube), 1:1 aspect ratio outperforms landscape by 30–35%.
  • Add captions! Besides being more inclusive of the deaf/hard of hearing community, around 85% of videos on Facebook are viewed without sound.
  • Even though most social videos are viewed silently, don’t half-ass audio quality! Bad audio is far less forgivable than lousy video quality.
  • Don’t forget to optimise your tags and caption.

The length of the better performing videos also changes per platform, thankfully Hubspot put together a neat infographic that tells us the following ideal video lengths:

  • Instagram = 30 seconds
  • Twitter = 45 seconds
  • Facebook = 1 minute
  • YouTube = 2 minutes

Armed with the power of video and some tips for getting your story shared, I hope you can move forward with confidence in the growth of your brand and business.

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Alexander Boswell

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Alexander Boswell is a Business Ph.D candidate specialising in Consumer Behaviour and uses this knowledge as a freelance writer in the Content Marketing and B2B SaaS space. Find him on Twitter @alexbboswell or his website alexanderbboswell.com


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