Video marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy right now, and the question for brands is not “Should we invest in video?”, but rather how can video content play effectively to meet business goals? What kind of content will hit the sweet spot? How can brands integrate video within their wider marketing strategy to progress brand growth?
As part of your video marketing planning, we advise developing a programming strategy. This means creating an integrated viewing experience which fits into your brand vision across each channel and touching on everything from production to types of content, and seeding. There are three types of content to think about here: Hero, Hub and Help (sometimes referred to as Hygiene) content.
This concept may be nothing new for publishers, but it’s a very useful way to integrate video content into a coherent strategy, and thereby increasing ROI. In this blog, I’ll outline each type of content with some examples so that you can kick-start your own video marketing plan.
The hero is big-hitter content, often plugging into those tent-pole events, which will resonate with your audience, designed to increase audience reach and growth. Think viral videos, live-streamed stunts or influencer campaigns using seasonal events like the Superbowl, Wimbledon, Christmas or a branded event.
The hero piece will be the centre of the campaign surrounded by supplementary content from blogs to behind the scenes and social videos. At the outset, it’s important to think which channels will maximise your audience reach and the content needed to connect with them at each touch-point. The key is forward planning here – reaching out to influencers, vloggers and the press in advance, seeding teasers and curating UGC content.
Dove is often in the top of the viral video charts with the long-running Real Beauty campaign, and their Real Beauty Sketches was a real hero with more than 50 million viewed the video within the first 12 days of the campaign.
The film brilliantly captures the difference between how women view themselves and the reality. An FBI forensic artist drew a sketch based on women’s descriptions of themselves and then through the eyes of someone they’d just met. The hero content was reinforced with additional interviews with the women involved and the impact of the campaign.
The brand’s hero content works by researching and understanding the audience, tapping into their emotions and creating content that resonates. The emotional storytelling through this stunt is very recognisable to the audience but also plays with perceptions making it highly shareable creating a viral effect.
Here’s another example from Virgin Holidays, #Seizetheholiday, an ambitious campaign with a live ad at its centre and integrated with social. The advert combined live footage from 18 locations around the world, showing influencers enjoying their long-haul holidays outside Europe. In terms of social media success, it attracted 16.9 million impressions from the promoted trend #Seizetheholiday, and 838 searches per minute when the ad went live.
The campaign was a major undertaking with a production crew of 90, and the complexity of live editing for the 60 second spot.
This kind of hero content is out of reach for most brands, but for product launches and relevant events all brands can pack a punch with hero content with well-targeted creative planned in at key moments throughout the year.
While hero content is shouting out and based around a campaign, hub content is quietly getting on with things behind the scenes, with regularly scheduled videos to encourage viewers to engage with the brand channel. The key here is consistency – a strong editorial voice, personality and visual language in order that viewers can identify it as part of series. Hub content helps your brand build a loyal following, so it is vital to key into consumers’ passion points so that they come back for more.
Fashion brand, Asos, use hub content effectively on their channel with a consistency in tone and style. Here is one series, “Asos Supports Talent”, comprising eight films showcasing young creatives talking about their latest work and backgrounds:
Argos has introduced a series of hub videos based around a “New Year, New You” theme featuring TV personality, Lauren Pope, demonstrating how to exercise using fitness products on sale at the retailer. With the same presenter, people will recognise the series and return to get more fitness tips from this influencer in the next episode.
With help content, marketers examine viewer intent to create content to meet their audience’s needs and answer their questions. Brand managers can use search insights (Google Keyword Tool, YouTube Trends, Answer the Public) to find out what the target audience is searching for and then ask whether you can answer their questions with video content.
On Tesco’s YouTube channel, there are numerous “how to make…” recipe videos which key into viewers’ searches for online recipe guides. The one below keys into the ‘clean food’ trend for courgetti as an alternative to pasta:
This video answers a high-volume search query; when you enter “how to make courgette without a spiraliser”, over 30,000 results appear. This is useful content, not a direct sales pitch, but it should be aligned with your brand values.
As this kind of content is designed to reach new audiences, it is important to add a call to action to make a connection with viewers and begin a relationship. For instance, encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel for a weekly recipe.
Dividing content into hero, hub and help really allows brands to plan marketing activity for the year, and maximise their budgets. To fine-tune further, continually analyse the effectiveness of each type of content and use these insights to assess your content strategy as a whole.
Come back next time where we’ll be asking is hero content dead…?