Video Consultant, 4+ Years of Video Training and Consulting
June 16th, 2019
Holy balloons. It’s been said too many times, but I have to restate it myself, as it’s a service that I’ve been professionally selling long before clients realized how much they needed it: Video for business is finally being created by the masses.
I’m not talking about the surface-level “About Us” videos that everyone has that follow the same templates. I mean that ALL industries, in one way or another, are making educational videos to inform and empower buyers.
Why? Because early adopters are finding that it builds unprecedented trust; because it’s evergreen and cheap to maintain once it’s created; and because video ROI can be proven by tools like Vidyard.
What’s more, educational video is starting to be used in a more intuitive, experiential approach on business websites.
It’s only been six months since Vidyard released its “2018 Video in Business Benchmark Report”, and I’m already noticing businesses of all sizes and industries that use Vidyard making changes to their video strategies based on the report’s findings. It’s time to make sure that you’re updating as well.
Before I get too excited about new strategies inspired by Vidyard’s 2018 Video in Business Benchmark Report, I want to tell a quick story from my early 2000’s childhood. Back when “William” was not my first name — yet.
Welcome to the era of “Billy.”
The Era of “Billy”
My dad often read to his kids before bed. One time, he pulled out an old book from his childhood that blew my 8-year-old mind away. It was a Choose Your Own Adventure book about a journey under the sea. And I got to make every single decision.
Needless to say, I was hooked on the concept. I read every book in the series that my library had to offer. Looking back now, I think the books resonated with me so much more because I felt significantly more ownership of the experience — more control over my own destiny. (Cheesy, but worth it.)
On top of that, I would become so curious about what was down the other paths of decisions, that I typically found myself reading the entire book anyway.
If you’re caught up on your Netflix binging, think about Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch and its “choose your own adventure” approach to content.
Now consider this: how can we take this custom-experience strategy and apply it to website video marketing for business? And how do Vidyard’s trends in the last few years back up the claim that website videos are the most effective approach to consumer education?
The Future of Researching Online Businesses: Choose Your Own Adventure
Fast-forward to today. The current state of the internet allows consumers to research as much about their prospective purchases while sitting alone at home communicating to exactly no one. The real question is: “Who is going to give buyers the pre-purchase educational experience that best empowers them to a decision-making point?”
The answer: The business that can educate with the most tailored, unbiased, and enjoyable experience.
With the help of educational videos and a tool like Vidyard, businesses have the ability to make their entire website one big Choose Your Own Adventure video experience, and I believe that successful marketers, videographers, and UX teams are adopting this exact mindset.
How does Vidyard make a custom video strategy possible?
Vidyard is one of the first video hosting tools to allow for interactive events, which are CTAs baked directly into the videos you create. This allows businesses to propose the next video, or related content. Also, since Vidyard’s average view duration continues to improve — in 2018, more than half of viewers completely watched Vidyard videos less than two minutes long, which up from 33% in 2017 — these CTAs are highly effective at keeping the engaged viewers consuming more video/written content.
Further, Vidyard allows businesses to give their viewers multiple options on what they want to learn more about next. The video host allows for tools like form fills, file downloads, and contact requests to be injected right into the video experience. When done right, this type of interaction allows inbound video marketers to create a Choose Your Own Adventure right on any business website.
How Does My Company Do It This Way?
You might now have a rough idea of what this video strategy could look like for your organization, and it’s time to create your website’s video adventure with your ideal target customer in mind.
In my mind, this statistic suggests that consumers are generally exploring Vidyard business videos while sitting on their office desktop, learning about new products and services while focused and engaged.
These statistics also emphasize the benefit of a high volume of short videos — almost always less than two minutes long. This requires shorter bursts of focus and breaks up the education with many quick, simple decisions from the user as to what to do next.
The average business has 377 Vidyard videos in its library, and most of them fall into the four categories of videos that would be perfect for this type of website experience: Explainers, Product Demos, How-To’s, and Testimonials.
So what’s your first step? Download and read Vidyard’s full report, then begin to map out a simple Decision Tree diagram for how you think you could most effectively use your first ten website videos in a sequential, interactive way.
Then, produce those videos and see what type of feedback you get from the team. Hopefully, after a few tweaks and iterations, this will become your sales team’s best tool to educate customers in a tailored, unbiased, and fun way.
The eight-year-old version of me — which is still alive and well — is excited to see what adventure I choose to take online next. Until then, keep learning and creating!