Ever wonder why some companies seem to magically succeed with every video they create, while others crash and burn? How can some brands get a lower return on their investment than the competition, even if they perhaps spent more on their content?
It all boils down to a concept called brand affinity—a way of connecting your brand to your audience. One of the key benefits of building brand affinity with video is that it’s a visual medium. Here’s the thing—people want to know who they’re doing business with, and video allows them to see those faces. Building brand affinity with video can start with something as simple as a “meet the team” video that brings your audience in for a closer look at the people who represent your company brand.
But that’s only the beginning.
Using Video to Build Brand Affinity
Nurturing a personal connection with the audience is what brand affinity is all about—more than that, it’s developing a bond between the company and its customers with the understanding that they share the same values. It’s all about trust—and the way to get there is through providing your community with helpful information. What this means for you is that instead of focusing on convincing your audience that your product or service will help them, you demonstrate how much you know about the industry by providing them with content that gives them usable ideas.
Video is an excellent medium to build brand affinity for a variety of reasons, and the major one is that the medium is all about showing not telling. In other words, video can show your audience who’s behind the curtain, such as in the “meet the team” video. It can also teach them how to do something they want to learn and entertain them, as well.
One of the best ways to build brand affinity through video is by creating a video series that your audience wants to return to time and again. By doing so, you give them an opportunity to get to know your company and its values.
How Does a Company Reach the Point of Creating a Regular, Popular Show?
The short answer is that it doesn’t happen overnight! It takes a lot of trial and error, and consistent tests and measurements for ROI with each new video. Then you can gradually increase the project sizes as you determine what works. Chris Lavigne at Wistia spent nearly ten years creating other brand videos before embarking on the company’s ten-episodes-per-week powerhouse of a talk show, Brandwagon. The talk show format lends itself to a variety of helpful subject matter for marketing and creative audiences.
Wistia’s CEO Chris Savage, interviews business and marketing leaders such as the CEO of a marketing software company like HubSpot and picks their brains about how they built these powerhouse brands. Now, Wistia did more than just create a series of interviews. They made the idea more appealing and illustrated their brand style by setting up the web series in a format like the Tonight Show—a talk show that everyone is familiar with and has also been popular for decades. Now, they put their own twist on it by adding a through-line that followed the company as they customized a pristine ’91 Volvo with video accouterments to be a “Pimp My Ride” version of their company car.
Do you see how this works? Wistia is illustrating their fun company culture, as well as providing excellent information for their audience. All this creates a bond between the company brand and its audience. Transparency is key here, as Chris Lavigne puts it, Wistia always tries to have their outside match their inside. That’s some good advice as it will build trust in your audience, and you can feel great about the content your company provides to its customers.
Why Would a Company Invest so Heavily in Regular, Expensive Video Content?
Your brand is owned and controlled not by you but by your audience—by their perception of you. And that perception affects your relationships with all your viewers, whether or not they will ever be your customers. How do they perceive the brand? If you want to change that perception, how are you going to do it?
Investing in video content can raise brand awareness and change an audience’s perception as they get to know the brand. Creating a series of videos for social media, the front page of your website, and informational pages is an excellent start. Show the audience who your company is and what matters to your brand culture. And most of all, be consistent. Monitor your videos to see what works. Once you see that your audience responds to your videos, then you can move on to longer form and episodic video.
Video has a proven ROI. Considering that 96 percent of marketers use video for online marketing, sales, and communications, it’s apparent that one of the key benefits of building brand affinity with video is the medium’s ability to reach an audience. What’s more, even mentioning a video in the subject line of an email can boost opening rates by 19 percent. One only needs to look at the statistics to understand why a company would choose to invest in regular video content.
How Much of a Budget Is Required to Produce a Successful Video Brand?
Actually—the budget doesn’t matter as much as you might think. The real source of your success comes from the creative minds behind what you make. Chris Lavigne discovered the truth behind this through another Wistia series, One, Ten, One Hundred. The bottom line is that whether you spend $1000, $10,000, or $100,000 on brand video production, it’s not enough to catch your audience’s attention—your video should keep them watching.
Depending on what you’re going for, you may produce your video on an iPhone, or drop some money on professional video production.
Lavigne says that successful video content comes down to the platform the company uses and what the end goal is for the video. For example, you wouldn’t want a 40-minute video on the front page of your website to give your audience a taste of what your company does, an intro video like that should be short and punchy. The same goes for social videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Once you’ve built up your video audience and have a feel for what they enjoy, you can go deeper because you’ve already piqued their interest—now give them something more. Think episodic and longer-form content that will engage those niche audiences—something that makes them think, “I can’t believe this content exists!”
Remember that the key to producing a successful brand video is in the storytelling—a solid brand story will keep your audience engaged. Not only that, but good storytelling illustrates the heart and purpose of a company brand—sharing brand values and culture is one of the key benefits of building brand affinity with video.