Hot Spots are featurette articles that provide a brief introduction to a contemporary topic in life science marketing along with a rich collection of references to quickly get the reader up to speed.
This is a three-part series. In the first part, I’m going to look at why you should build a video program and some key points in planning it out. In the second part, we’ll deal with video marketing strategies — the factors you should care about and deal with to make your program successful. And finally, we’ll turn to the logistics — how to get it done; fast, cheap and under control.
Why You Should Have a Video Marketing Program
- As multimedia, videos communicate better. They deliver more information, faster. They create a more personal experience, and they dramatically support your branding.
- Cognitive studies have shown that not only do people enjoy videos more than text, videos stimulate different areas of the brain; viewers learn and remember more than readers do.
- It’s a growing trend. Last year, HubSpot produced this infographic documenting the extent of video marketing use and its high success rate. Basically, the message is that you should be on board.
The Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Marketing
- You don’t plan your program adequately. Think about your video marketing as you do your other long-term marketing programs – who it's for, what’s the right content, how should it be styled, why would your customers want to watch it. The default is to get a cool idea, plunge ahead to produce one video and then abandon the program. Do you think this happens a lot? Oh, yeah. Be more strategic in your planning. Make sure that your video plans integrate and work synergistically with the other elements of your marketing plan.
- You try to make your video into a sales pitch. Ouch! Big and most common mistake. People don’t want to be sold: by a person, or by a video. You have your choice of two objectives for your successful video: entertain or inform (or both). Don’t try to sell.
- You cram too many messages into your video. It’s sooooo tempting to take advantage of the effort you put into making a video by stuffing it full of great content. Resist the temptation! Your video should have a specific audience, a specific goal and be supported by focused, specific content.
- Your videos are too long. Brevity is definitely the soul of wit, and it's also hard to achieve. If you don’t trim your amazing content to just a few minutes — or less — you will lower your impact, your watch time and your Google page ranking. Set yourself a rock-solid limit. For example, not one second over 3 minutes (or a limit of your choice) and adhere to it.
- You don’t include CTAs. Video is digital. Digital means interaction. Interaction means that the viewer gets to do something. Don’t forget the call to action or email link. It extends the viewers interaction and gives you valuable data on what people care about. [And this, by the way, is where your selling can legitimately kick in.]
- You forget to measure. Like all digital media, video performance is trackable. You can measure an immense number of variables. For those of you stymied by ROI, this post gives you some guidance on how to set up measurement of your video for lead generation, revenue generation and engagement. There are lots of tools and services available (free and paid), which we’ll discuss in later posts.
Video Is Still Content, So Treat It Like Any Content Marketing
Be as specific as possible. Specificity translates to longer views and higher rankings.
- What type of person are you targeting?
Again — specific. How experienced or knowledgeable are they? What is their job title? What are their goals or frustrations? You know the drill.
Why are they going to spend time watching your video? What are they going to get out of it? How are you going to help them?
- How do they want to consume the information?
Reality check! Is video the right format for your information, and why? Would an FAQ be easier and more useful for the customer? Not everything has to be in video format, or benefits from it. Be sure your media matches your message.
Follow These Steps To Make Your Video Program Successful
- Accomplish or Entertain: pick one. Your viewer either wants to learn something to solve a problem, or they want to be entertained. You need to make sure that your video accomplishes at least one of these, if not both.
- Quality comes first. It’s tempting to assume that casual is cool, but for business videos, that isn't entirely true. Casual dialogue, yes. Casual production, no. Sloppy production undermines your credibility, even if your viewers aren't conscious of it. You can achieve adequate to excellent quality without paying huge fees to an agency or online service if you do the research. Again, we’ll discuss this more in later posts.
- Build a video "brand." You want to increase your video ranking and thereby reach more viewers with your message. One shot and out is not the way to go. It’s far better to think in terms of a video "program." Try to commit to at least a year of regular production (e.g., monthly, bi-weekly or weekly). Define a style and stick with it: are you highly technical, clever, elegant, high energy, heavily informative? Do you do use white screen, animation, or PowerPoint? Invest in a professionally developed intro and outro (yes, "outro" is a real term) and keep your style consistent.
There’s more to video marketing than just making videos and posting them. In the next post, we’re going to dig into video strategies in more detail — what you have to take into account and how you plan it out.
Guy Page has a long history in the science and the business of Life Sciences. After an extensive research career, including post-doctoral appointments at UCSF, Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT, he entered the Life Science business world. Beginning his career at Promega, he has created and led Marketing and Sales programs at diverse companies, including Gelman Sciences (now part of Pall Corporation), Genisphere, BD Biosciences, Amnis Corporation, AMG, Adaptive Biotechnologies and IntegenX.
Most recently, Guy created the Pacific Biomarketing Group to serve the Life Science marketing and sales community with a suite of strategic and tactical marketing and sales support services. Pacific Biomarketing has helped numerous clients with strategic marketing planning, messaging and branding, web site design and implementation, communications planning, content management, marketing automation, tactical marketing marketing/sales integration and more.