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Marketing videos are everywhere today, but what really sets apart effective ones from lackluster ones? What components do you need in advance to create the strongest possible video that becomes an effective content marketing tool for your organization? With so many marketing videos produced daily, what are some ways you can break through the noise to reach your audience?

Below are three fundamental elements of making strong marketing video content for your business. With a little care and attention to these elements, you’ll be on the path to producing better videos more quickly and with greater skill.

Story

What’s the most important step to creating quality content? Having an interesting story. All videos involve storytelling and follow a similar structure—they all have a beginning, middle, and end.

  1. Beginning: The marketing space before the story takes place.
  2. Middle: The marketing space as the story takes place.
  3. End: The new marketing space, after the story takes place.

You may be thinking how does that apply to marketing videos? Consider marketing for a product—the story, regardless of how it’s told, will follow this structure. The video will in some way show what the marketing space is like without a product (the beginning), how the product came to be or how it can be acquired (the middle), and how the market will be different with the product (end).

Bonus Tip: To enhance the story further, focus it on the emotion and not the product. Demonstrate how the customer will feel different when using it (efficient, productive, empowered, etc.). Focusing only on the product ignores the most important part of any video—the user.

Customer statements

It’s important to give an outside perspective on your product or service. Bringing a customer in to share their thoughts with your audience gives your brand legitimacy in a space, especially if the endorsement comes from larger players. Here at Microsoft, we focus on creating customer-centric content marketing assets that highlight how our customers have been empowered. Check out our Real Stories of Digital Transformation to see how the focus of these videos is not on Microsoft, but on how the customer has transformed using Microsoft technology. Watch any of the videos and you’ll see that Microsoft takes a backseat to the journey of the featured company.

Also, less discussed is the relationship that can be cultivated between you and the customer you’re asking to film. When you ask to film a video on how they use your product or service, by implication you’re endorsing the value of their opinion. Once the video is done, both companies can use the video to spread their message and viewers of the videos experience outside validation of your product or service. Everybody wins!

Don’t be intimidated. Keep creating.

With video, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees. You might be tempted to spend so much time creating “the perfect video” for an audience that it never takes flight. The recommendation? Take risks and stay light on your feet. Create videos more often by documenting what’s happening in your company or organization—don’t wait for the big budget commercials. Use your phone if you have to! The following stats reinforce our need as marketers to create content rapidly, without delay:[1]

  • 90% of consumers indicate product videos directly inform purchase decisions.
  • 92% of videos viewed via mobile are shared compared to other modes of access.
  • 95% of consumers retain communicated information through video, while only 10% retain information from reading.
  • 41% of companies utilizing video content experience increase in traffic through web searches.

Customers enjoy seeing (and will see more of) the “behind the scenes” videos than the polished commercial stuff. Not only that, but with most viewers using their phones, what better way to reach them than by creating content that fits in the phone ecosystem—personalized, behind the scenes, nitty-gritty content to let the audience into your operations? Once viewers are in the proverbial door, it’s easy to share the more polished “how to use our product,” “customer testimonials,” and “how we can help you” type videos. These stats remind us that web-based video attracts and retains audiences, so keep creating and don’t wait!

Explore more ways to transform your marketing team with a webinar hosted by the Microsoft US, Chief Marketing Officer.