This article has been contributed by Devin Partida.
Now is the time of year that business leaders and marketing teams start thinking about making the biggest impact possible with their video creation and marketing efforts during the next annum.
Assuming your planning activities are in full swing, be sure to use these eight tips and examples in 2021.
1. Choose Relatable Themes
People want to see part of themselves in today’s videos. If they don’t , your clips could potentially create such a disconnect that audience members conclude both the videos and the products you’re selling are out of touch with the target market.
Consider a new Coca-Cola advertisement directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi. The beverage brand will air the ad in more than 90 countries.
The clip joins Coca-Cola’s other iconic holiday efforts over the years. It chronicles the great lengths to which an offshore worker will go so that Santa gets his daughter’s letter. It touches on how parents will do anything for their kids and speaks to the difficulties caused by distance between loved ones.
The video features plenty of dramatic scenes, but it never loses the realism that makes it relatable. As you plan how to create videos this year, look for similar broad themes you could include to resonate with your audiences.
2. Explore How to Catch Attention With Animation
Analysts think animated videos will be a trend to watch in 2021 for several reasons. First, animation can make videos more memorable and increase people’s chances of noticing them, even while multitasking. Animated segments are also valuable for helping the audience understand a brand’s ideas.
This summer, DIRECTV created several animated videos featuring likenesses of star quarterbacks and their loyal fans. The absence of real people in the ads worked particularly well because many states had shelter-in-place orders at the time.
The spots promoted the brand’s NFL Sunday Ticket programming package. They featured a sports fan and quarterback in rocket-powered recliners, emphasizing that people can get to the heart of the action from anywhere.
In 2021, brands will do well to experiment with ways to bring animation into the picture, especially if social distancing makes it challenging to shoot videos with real people.
If a lack of marketing resources prevents you from doing a fully animated ad like the one above, consider how you might move forward with alternatives. These include having one animated character alongside several live actors or animation that appears only during a relatively small part of the total running time.
3. Use Videos to Describe Competitive Differentiators
Today’s world is more connected than ever. People can now watch their dogs at home while they work in offices across town or check on their homes while they’re thousands of miles away on a trip. Such real-time updates also make good business sense because they give company leaders more visibility, including letting them check the status of shipments.
Some of your marketing plans for 2021 might involve encouraging more customers to use the solutions you sell. If they do, investigate how you could break down the benefits to people who may be interested in using products like these for the first time.
Fleet technologies company Track Your Truck appeals to potential clients with a variety of videos. One page introduces customers to fleet tracking benefits using a video gallery. Users can watch the clip at the top of the page to learn about what makes the company stand out, including that it was established in 1998. The videos underneath walk people through features like geofencing and detailed alert types.
Image source: Track Your Truck
Consider how videos could lead to more profitability by giving people real-life examples of how your product functions. It’s one thing to describe a step-by-step process with words. That can sometimes do the trick, but people often appreciate seeing the product in action. Viewers can then notice things like a user-friendly interface or the various features that could save them time by providing valuable information.
4. Teach People to Get Great Results
You’ve probably looked at someone who spends a lot of time in the public eye and wondered things like, “How do they get their skin to look so flawless?” or “I wonder what their morning routine is like?”
These trends led to the creation of videos featuring the #WithMe hashtag, which have been popular for a while now. A YouTube study showed a 600% increase in such videos due to the self-isolation required by COVID-19. With more people staying home, they decided to learn from influencers ready to share their tips.
Cosmetics brand Glossier regularly releases videos that help people get advice from experts. One published in May 2020 has racked up more than 129,000 views so far. It features singer-songwriter Diana Gordon and follows her from when she wakes up through her makeup regimen.
Notice how Gordon uses a broad assortment of cosmetics in the instructional video rather than just Glossier-branded stuff. This soft-sell approach works well for appealing to everyday people who probably have several brands represented in their makeup bags, too.
Another defining factor of this video — and others of the same type — is the lack of scripted or heavily edited content. Gordon admits that she doesn’t have a steady hand and at times shows uncertainty about which step in her process to showcase next. Take inspiration from that laid-back aspect. It’ll help people agree that the video speaks to them and not those who are perfect all the time.
5. Get to the Point Quickly When Applicable
Some videos — like the Coca-Cola example above — take people on mini-journeys. That creative tactic works well in some cases, like when each shot in the video pushes the storyline forward. However, in other cases, your best bet is to quickly convey what benefits consumers get when they shop with you. Videos can do that in engaging ways.
Target recently published a 15-second video showing the contact-free shopping experiences people can have with the retailer. More specifically, it promotes how people can opt for same-day deliveries after shopping online or drive to the nearest store and use an app to confirm that they are outside waiting for their goods.
Health experts say people will still need to keep their distance and wear masks even after a vaccine becomes available. They point out that uncertainty remains over whether vaccines will stop transmission or just prevent people from getting sick. Thus, consumers will still want assurance that they can shop safely in 2021.
Target’s example shows that you can say a lot through short videos. Even if some of your planned video clips describe something other than contact-free shopping, think about how to maximize the effectiveness during short clips. For example, the on-screen text in Target’s ads could get people interested when they have their phones or TVs muted.
6. Let the Video Convey the Brand’s Authority
Videos can also be memorable ways to remind the audience that your brand can steer them in the right direction. When people need to choose between brands, they often select the ones that they trust the most. Videos can often solidify a company as a person’s top choice.
Diaper brand Pampers used that strategy with a video to promote its childbirth education videos, available as a series from the company’s app. The clip acknowledges that expectant parents have lots of questions and highlights how they can go to one place to get them answered.
The clip features several on-screen queries people often have. This strategy reminds viewers that they are not alone and that there is no shame in not having all the answers right away.
No matter what you need to sell, try something similar by using straightforward techniques to convince people that buying your product means they benefit from increased knowledge. In the Pampers example, people see that employees of the company took the time to build a centralized video database. That realization could cause worried parents-to-be to decide that Pampers can help guide them through a new phase in their lives.
7. Spotlight Gratitude in Your Videos
Your company almost certainly did not get where it is today without loyal customers and hardworking employees. Consider acknowledging those facts in a video that you publish in 2021. This year, in particular, gave everyday people opportunities to shine as they fulfilled essential roles while working despite the threats caused by COVID-19. Moreover, many customers decided to stick with the brands they know and love. Doing that gave them stability when so many other things felt uncertain.
One of Walmart’s recent videos focuses on gratitude in ways that will surely warm your heart and bring a smile to your face as you watch. The clip reminds everyone that 2020 would have been an even tougher year without all the tireless workers who kept doing their jobs.
It features social media comments from customers thanking workers for their positive attitudes and dedicated efforts. Along with the words of appreciation, you’ll see photos of employees wearing masks and diligently serving people throughout their workdays. The clip’s relatively simple concept works exceptionally well during a time when so many of its target audience members likely feel swamped with a flood of bad news and struggles.
Another advantage of this approach is that it shows customers that their praise gets noticed, even to the point of people seeing it around the country. Social media can quickly tarnish a brand’s reputation. Still, as this example shows, it can also provide an excellent way for a satisfied customer to bring attention to an outstanding experience and the people responsible for making it happen.
Consider how you might center on gratitude when creating some of your 2021 videos. By doing that, you show the audience that your company understands the worth of all the people who keep the business operational or the individuals who keep supporting it to maintain profitability. Using this suggestion also helps you inject some much-needed positivity into today’s media landscape.
8. Make Videos That Show How Your Products Solve a Problem
We’ve all known people who’ve shared a little too much about their personal lives. Today’s heavily digitized world and the fact that many companies don’t take consumer data privacy seriously enough mean many individuals may unwittingly share too much. Apple recently looked at that issue in a humorous way for a new iPhone commercial.
It features extreme cases of people saying too much to strangers. A man tells fellow passengers on a crowded bus that he’s searched for divorce attorneys. A woman shouts her credit card number through a megaphone while standing in a crowded outdoor area. A person informs passersby how his heart rate fluctuates while exercising.
The end of the clip takes a different turn by presenting the iPhone as a product that keeps people’s information safer. It doesn’t go into details, but the goal is to let people know that they can use the internet without sacrificing their privacy — as long as they rely on Apple’s smartphone to do it. Apple strikes the right balance by bringing up the necessary topic of data privacy in an accessible and memorable way.
Spend time thinking about how you could use videos to position your product or service as a solution to an often-cited problem in 2021. The option to make life easier, safer or more fun with carefully chosen products certainly appeals to people now, and it will next year, too. Videos could help you showcase your brand in enticing ways that people agree are relevant and needed.
Get on the Right Track With Video Creation and Marketing in 2021
Video marketing is a worthwhile and immensely popular option that will only gain strength in 2021. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a foolproof strategy. Let these eight tips and examples help you avoid pitfalls and embark on a path to impressive successes next year.
About the author: Devin Partida is a business tech and innovation writer. Previously, her work has been featured on The Boss Magazine, Talent Culture and Techopedia, among other publications. To read more from Devin, you can find her at ReHack.com, where she is the Editor-in-Chief.