Monthly Archives: April 2017

6 Great (And 1 Terrible) Examples of Brand Storytelling in Video

Your brand has a story, whether you know what it is or not.

Related: [Free Guide] How Your Brand Story Makes You Money

Seriously. People are coming to your site, buying your products, interacting with you on social media. All of that tells a story. If you are intentional about consistently sending the same messages and engaging authentically with how people are reacting—chances are you’re on the right path towards telling a story that matters.

If not, then it is only a matter of time before you end up being a tabloid headline because you’ll leave your employees, brand evangelists, and everyone else guessing at what matters to you. And, trust us, guessing does not work out well.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never thought about it. There are some big brands that haven’t put too much effort (or the wrong kind of effort) into creating their image – if you’re willing to learn from them you can avoid many of the pitfalls others have fallen into.

It’s this reason that has prompted us to go cruise the great interwebs and pull out 7 examples of (mostly) good storytelling. Shhh. If you promise not to tell, there is one bad example of a mega brand, too.

Let’s take a look

Number One: Weight Watchers

Our first example illustrates a good point. You can do something in a dry, unemotional way and yield minimum results.

A brand can share testimonials, tips and best practices, and even have a celebrity endorsement—and still fall short of a compelling campaign.

Related: 3 Common Brand Storytelling Myths (and 3 Ways to Correct Them)

If you’re a larger organization, there will be more channels to try. However, you may not want to “be everywhere” and instead know where home is for your clients and hang out there to provide incredible value.

Weight Watchers knows their audience and that this group hangs out on Facebook.

The company pours tons of effort into that social channel. Making recipe videos, sharing testimonials, and advertisements to get people off the fence on into the program.

Just take a look at that engagement.

Why It’s Good: Relevance and brevity. Their most popular videos are in the the red hot recipe video niche and around 30 seconds apiece.

Number Two: Tide

If you’ve given a portion of your life to watching YouTube videos like us, you’ve probably heard of the “Tide Pod Challenge”.

You know that it’s supposed to be an amazing detergent, but it’s also twice as expensive as the other name brands. In order to get a young, broke financially unarrived generation to fork over that kind of dough—it’ll take some endorsement. Tide knew who they wanted to influence, and they knew who already was doing it. So they challenged famous YouTubers.

Get a shirt as dirty as you can and use a Tide Pod to clean it. Then upload it to your audience so we can sell them a ton of detergent.

Take a look at this screenshot of Tide’s “Most Popular” uploads. 8 of 12 are of the challenge for over 200 million views—not bad for a single campaign.

Number Three: Samsung

Samsung has had some trouble – recently to put it mildly.

Phones blowing up, executives getting arrested and even impeached! It just hasn’t been a pretty picture. But this isn’t a bad example. Every brand will have something tarnish their reputation—either legitimate or fake.

It’s how they responded. It told a great story.

Related: 3 Ways to Beat Bad PR with Better Brand Storytelling

The new folks in charge took out full page ads for the sole purpose of apologizing. The debacle cost them billions of dollars and countless amounts of brand equity, but they did the right thing in a very public way.

(Insert image of Samsung apology)

Next, after some time they followed it up by giving us the Galaxy S8 that looks stunning.

Why It’s Good: Trying to hide things that really happened doesn’t hide it at all. You show the world that you may not be worthy of their loyalty.

Number Four: Vizio (Hint: This One’s Not So Great)

Unfortunately, Vizio doesn’t do a great job of showing themselves as the tech giant happen to be.

They make great TVs, and even had an ad in the Super Bowl — with Beyonce!

But their social media is lackluster at best, and one of the top 10 most popular videos they have is a troubleshooting guide for a remote. Not kidding.

Why It’s Bad: There is a huge difference between making a video with needed/wanted content and doing it in a way that both reaches and captures the intended audience.

Number Six: Crossfit

No one ever asks, “Do I know anyone in Crossfit?”

You either do or you don’t, because it’s all they talk about. T-shirts from their gym, showing off their new muscles, or just randomly injected the word “burpee” into a conversation—it’ll be obvious.

It may be annoying, but the actual organization does a good job indoctrinating their audience.

Related: Why You’re Not Educating Your Audience Right (and 4 Ways to Start)

They convey the story and benefits of their brand by showing off the results of the insane workout method. Most notably, they’ve put together the Crossfit games and had a documentary detailing the process.

You can watch the 2014 games right from their YT—it’ll make you want to lift a tire, or at least think about lifting a tire.

Careful: You will tell your friends

Why It’s Good: It’s a huge story funnel that draws people in through the media, the events, and the results.

Number Seven: Clash of Clans

You have to respect the massive growth of some game apps, even if you are in the more serious industries of software and SaaS.

With over 10 million active monthly users, there is something to be learned by anyone who sells something coded. Yes, the game is super well done and insanely addictive. That said, the brand is tailored for the immature person in all of us.

And they rock that story.

If their videos get less than a couple million views, or FB posts get less than 30k likes, it’s akin to failure. Plus, if you don’t have anyone around and want to be goofy—their stuff is hilarious.

Take a look at their recent April Fool’s joke.

Why It’s Good: Speak to your audience on their level and don’t be afraid to have a little fun. The most serious brands can inject humor for a better storytelling experience.

 

Click here to sign up for your own exclusive access to our video + storytelling course!

Mobile Video & Users: A Timely Guide for Not Looking Silly on Phones

Half of your traffic is mobile. Let’s say it again: half of your traffic is mobile. Yes, you heard right.

Maybe more than that depending on your industry and clientele. The way you provide video to mobile visitors is vital to keeping your company profitable as more and more web traffic comes via smartphones.

On the positive side, if you aren’t accounting for this traffic—you could dramatically improve revenue and brand image by dedicating some time to this one fact of life.

Fact: Over 90% of mobile video viewers share content with others.

There’s more to it than implementing a responsive design, though.

Having an experience that is tailored for the small screen will need special design, formatting, and making videos that suit both desktop and mobile users.

Sound tough? We thought so, and it’s why we’ve put together this little guide to help you look better for both types of web traffic. Because while it is tempting to move towards mobile design only, don’t forget that 37% (this is a conservative number) of people often begin shopping via mobile and finish purchasing on a desktop. We’ll get deep in the weeds and go geeky to help you better serve your potential clients by looking better on mobile.

Here we go.

Tip #1: From Long Copy to Short(ish) Videos

To buy an online product in years past, it was all about scrolling.

Scrolling through thousands of words of copy, guarantees, those little red lines and arrows. Just continuing to move down a seemingly endless page until you got to the price. And, you guessed it! The price, naturally, had a red line through it to reveal the “recently” lowered price.

Now, people who were genuinely interested in your product enough to click a link will pretend you never existed if it takes more than 4 seconds to load.

Put simply, people are increasingly demanding instant gratification and decreasingly patient when they do not quickly get the experience they desired.

While we can debate the anthropological and societal travesties of this increasing mindset all day long, but we won’t. To get around all the self-absorption that mobile users have—use shorter videos.

Related: 6 Steps to Creating the Perfect Marketing Video (Infographic)

Using a mix of copy and video or a long video will have the mobile crowd leaving your page even if it looks good. No one wants to hold their phone while you walk through point after point saying something that could have been conveyed in a few short remarks. There are kickstands for phones now. And the average YouTube video length (most videos in the world) is just over 4 minutes. Do the math and just let these facts sink in for a second… people don’t even want to hold a phone statically for minutes. This is the world we currently live in.

Bottom Line: If your video is too long, you’ll lose mobile viewers regardless of how well it’s visually displayed.

Tip #2: Discard Everything Else

Say this to yourself, “Video and Call-to-Action (CTA). Nothing else.”

This tip is good for any screen. When you have a video on the page, it should be doing all of the talking for you. Videos can be used for your homepage, but they are much better served on their own landing page.

Related: How to Use an Amazing Landing Page Video the Right Way!

A clear, concise video is practically ruined by a cluttered, confused site page.

We’re not saying your site is as ugly as the one in the screenshot, or that you have to go minimal. But we are saying that on the page with the video, there are two actors. The video should be the star and the CTA is the best-supporting role.

Even having a pop-up could be a disaster. Most pop-up plugins and software aren’t great for mobile.

Users will get frustrated at not being able to see the video as well as not being able to close the intrusive pop-up. Most plugins will have the ability to stop them from occurring on certain pages and a really good one can determine whether or not it’s a mobile device.

If pop-ups are working for you, just be careful and test the look/function on mobile.

Tip #3: The “R Word” (Responsive)

Wait a minute… Aren’t we at the tail end (of what seemed to be a decade) of the warnings about needing our sites to be responsive?

Yes, but but based on the fact that 71% of people are saying they’ve recently bounced from non-mobile responsive sites, we’re going to guess that there is still work to be done. One thing people still need to do is set up their videos fit to suit the new mobile-optimized pages they’re building. Companies that are committed to video have spent thousands of dollars to make sure that their landing pages work right.

Little pesky code elements called “iframes” have caused a lot of trouble the last few years. The point here is to test the video instead of just putting it on a page. You don’t have to custom code a page, but the page should be built around the video—and tested extensively on mobile.

A good (read: responsive) video player (e.g. Wistia, Vimeo, etc.) should take care of most problems, but don’t bank on it. Check on Apple and Android devices, be diligent.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Host Your Videos On Wistia

Bonus Resource: Here’s a great instructional piece on how to get around this common problem. Great details, but will take someone with a basic knowledge of CSS and HTML.

Tip #4: BIG Text and Images

You can have a message that clearly and beautifully conveys your point and would move people into the frame of mind you intended. But if they can’t see what’s going on—you’ll lose them.

A few words on the screen at the right time can really bring home the point. That said, if you use too much text, it’ll be smaller and harder to keep up with. If you’re viewers are struggling to read the screen, they’ll not hear your audio as clearly.

Balance big viewable text and animation with a great script and you’ll keep their attention for the maximum amount of time (hopefully the whole time).

Fact: Nearly 80% of decision makers will spend more time watching mobile videos over the next three years.

Tip #5: Make Sure It’ll Play

Did you know that one little-bitty pause (e.g. buffering) in a video causes the average person’s stress level to increase 15 points?

You really can test a person’s character with a slow internet connection. Don’t test your customers, if you can help it. Make sure that you have a mobile-friendly host for your videos. There are several good ones nowadays, but we have a few favorites.

This tip may sound rudimentary, but it’s the one that could make or break it. The data shows that if a video takes only a couple of seconds to get going 4 of 5 people will move along without ever looking at your video.

That’s 80%! Nothing more will make you look silly than a video that doesn’t play.

How much of your traffic is mobile? Answer: Enough to make them worth catering to.

 

Click here to sign up for your own exclusive access to our video + storytelling course!

Content Roundup – The Scary Side of Marketing

As marketers and businesspeople, we need to be concerned with what is going on around us. But all too often, we get sucked into our day-to-day routines and just fail to take a step back and see where things are going.

Well, today we’re (hopefully) going to give you a small dose of perspective on some trends that, if you’re not careful, can have some haunting effects on your business going into the future. Don’t worry though – if you’re on top of your game you’ll be ready to dominate like Rick Grimes in the Walking Dead.


21 Spooky Two-Sentence Marketing Stories That Will Make You Scream (Envision)

Let’s start off with something fun to get your weekend rolling! Enjoy these tasty little sentences that will make any marketer scream in terror!

Click here to read the full article!


6 Scary Stats About Marketing + 7 Tips For Survival [INFOGRAPHIC] (Square2Marketing)

Speaking of terror, we pulled out of the Halloween vault one of our favorite infographics! Shoppers going 57% of their journey without speaking to a salesperson? Now. That. Is. Scary.

Click here to read the full article!


The Scariest Video Marketing Trends of 2017 (and Beyond) (Explainify)

Video marketing. Ah, that buzzword you’ve been hearing over and over and over and over again. Well, here’s some stats that, if you’re not ready for them can be scary! Be forewarned, side effects of reading this article include nausea and loss of sleep.

Click here to read the full article!

Collective Bias explainer video helps social influencer agency shorten sales cycle and closes more deals


The Future of Email Marketing (Emailmonday)

Reading 100+ articles about predictions on email marketing is intense! Luckily, there’s this one article to rule them all. It puts a nice summary together so you know what the future of email marketing is moving towards in the next 5 years.

Click here to read the full article!


3 Mini Case Studies Show How Location Data Is Moving Marketing (AdAge)

We loved this article! Not only are case studies amazing to read, but think about the implications of this kind of research with some of the above articles. What if you can trigger a video playing outside your store because someone with a phone is walking by? What if your sales team knows that someone has entered a competitor’s store?

Marketing is always evolving and in this crazy technological world, we’re only scratching the surface of the iceberg.

Click here to read the full article!


Excited to see how your company avoids the avoids the marketing apocalypse and prepares for the future!

Watch the video and click here to get free access to how video + storytelling can lead to business domination!

How to Use an Amazing Landing Page Video the Right Way!

No, there isn’t only one way to use video on a website.

Related: 27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Don’t think we’re trying to tell you that if you don’t XYZ, your video using efforts are all for not. Although, it is imperative that you understand there are wrong ways to use media—especially on landing pages.

Think of it like throwing a party.

You can’t just throw down some lawn chairs and put a bag of chips on the table. These are your potential customers and guests. Let’s try to put together a grand event so that those who come will be compelled to stick around.

This post will mainly be spent telling you how to use video on landing pages. But throughout, we’ll give a few tips that will keep you from common pitfalls.

Three key elements comprise the makings of a great video landing page:

  • The Platform (method of hosting): The venue of your party
  • The Landing Page: The decor
  • The Video: The belle of the ball

We’ll be diving into each of these with all the details you need to raise your conversion metrics on the next page you create.

Related: [Case Study] Explainer Video Increases Conversion Rates 23%

Ready? Let’s do it.

Element One: The Platform

This is your venue to the party you hope to put on. If you’re looking to have (or have already) a professional video to put on the landing page, you’ll want something suitable to host it.

Remember the video is going to be the eye catcher. You wouldn’t get decked out for a fish fry the same way you would the Oscars, right?

Bottom Line: Where you put your video is important.

Luckily, you don’t have to drive around town trying to find the perfect place to host all of the people. You really only have two broad choices.

  1. Landing Page Builder: The gold standards here are LeadPages and Unbounce, but there are many more options around today. Here’s a link to a list of the best seven from the folks over at CrazyEgg.
  2. Self-Hosted/DIY: You could choose a theme via WordPress, or custom build your own landing page for your self-hosted site. There are also builders that integrate with WP. One of the best is Thrive. You can choose from dozens of templates or create one from scratch in a drag-and-drop style.

How About a Don’t: Don’t link ads or send traffic to your home site or homepage. The page can be connected to your site, but it needs to standalone There are rare cases (exceptions to the rule) where this is okay, but people don’t want to hear about your company. They want to hear about the thing that solves their problem that you make or do.

Element Two: The Landing Page

If the platform is your venue, the landing page is the decor.

The primary “bullet point” for a successful landing page is integration.

  • Does the page on which your video rests help tell the story that is found there?
  • Does the page offer the way to respond to the call-to-action mentioned?
  • Is there just enough additional information to get the slow responder to take the leap?
  • Is the design overall appealing and up to the standards modern web traffic will expect?

Let’s take a look at an example.

The entire page is very well done and upon watching the video, it was seemingly done specifically for this landing page.

The two are brought together seamlessly.

The video quickly tells visitors why they’re watching, the purpose of the video (an event), and why watchers would want to attend/learn more about the event.

After watching the video, there is a little blurb with some compelling copy and a call-to-action button—all above the fold of most desktops. However, more copy and social proof are just a scroll away.

The page is just enough to prove legitimacy while staying focused on converting attendees.

How About a Don’t: Again, don’t treat this as a page on your website. Don’t have the menu at the top, don’t distract them with social icons. They are there for one solitary purpose—to tell you “yes” or “no”.

Element Three: The Video

It wouldn’t be a video landing page without some form of moving pictures on the screen. The short video you have will definitely be the Belle of the ball.

As you can imagine that this Belle has to dance with the other elements, but it’s definitely what will be the reason people come and – if done right – stay. We’ll spend the most time here.

Let’s make sure we dress it up nice enough to warrant attention with these pointers.

Cohesive

This one doesn’t just speak for the video, but everything that leads up to the visitor watching. The ad that brings them in should look similar to the page and video. The video should have similar coloring (if necessary) and speak about the exact thing foretold via the ad.

If visitors didn’t know it was a video they were coming to, make sure to start off with exactly why they came in the first few seconds.

Make sure they know what you are getting at right off the bat.

Incredibly Focused

Your video should be created to get them to do something. One thing, not a bunch of stuff. The call to action should be layered into elements on the page (more on that later).

Everything in the video should be compelling and push the viewer to understand the key point. Consider their visit to be an elevator pitch opportunity.

Related: Why Viral Videos Are Ruining Your Video Marketing Strategy

Tell them exactly what you’d like them to hear and how to respond in about 60 seconds.

Focus Tip: Messaging should be specific enough to speak to each visitor like a conversation, but also not too sharp as to push away anyone but your “ideal prospects”.

Tell a Story

The founder of McDonald’s (Ray Kroc) said, “We are in the real estate business, not the hamburger business.”

In a similar way, we consider ourselves storytellers before explainer video creators.

Story is the best way to get people to feel emotion and make a decision in a very short amount of time. Think about it, you can read a blog post about landing pages and get some good tips without being brought to a state of euphoric emotion.

Try watching a Pixar short without feeling anything, though.

Bonus Resources: We’ve written on the subject of storytelling a lot. Try here and here.

Practical Help

The video content has to be good and look good, but so does the video and player. There are tons of sites that just embed a video, but if you want to stand out—try these tips.

  • Create or choose a thumbnail: The picture that everyone sees before they hit play. Even if the video autoplays, it helps to start the story you’re about to tell them.
  • Placement and sizing: Make sure that the video is completely seen when the page is loaded. It needs to be above the fold, front and center. Make sure that it’s proportionate and responsive, too.
  • Video Player: Everyone knows YouTube is the biggest site to host videos, but another player (e.g. Wistia) can give you more options and are overall better for business.

How About a Don’t: Don’t just throw a current marketing video on a page and don’t just put together a quick video that looks like you should be tied to a chair and holding today’s paper. Just because you’ve heard that video landing pages are the future of the sales funnel doesn’t mean you can do it half way.

Time to Party

An effective video landing page is one that is treated as a single organism. It’s something that works together and should be thought of as such. To use our party example, you wouldn’t have the dancing in one building with the dinner several miles away.

It all has to start together, not come together.

Getting this right is the difference between hitting your metrics and conversion goals, or showing visitors that you don’t know how to show them a good time.

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Boring 2017 Video Marketing Statistics AND How to Make Them Awesome

Yeah, we said it. Stats are boring (in and of themselves).

These factoids look great on a slideshare and can be dressed up to make people think you know what you’re talking about, but unless you can harvest the data and gain insights into your business—you’ve got nothing.

Our post is not a (boring) list of dozens of stats that you can regurgitate to your content team.

Everyone does that. We’ve decided to decipher the code.

In reality, stats are like little codes. If you can crack them open, you’ll reap the benefits they speak to. If you can’t translate the data into action, you’ll have a nifty trinket and no treasure.

So, finish your Cracker Jacks and break out your decoder rings.

We’re about to take an adventure that will reveal the secrets that all of those facts and figures are trying to tell you.

Intro “Sample” Stat: In 2017, it’s estimated that video will make up 74% of web traffic.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

Stat Translation: Yes, your story needs to be told with video, but in a way that draws the right traffic in ways that traditional copy no longer does as effectively.

Necessary Standards to Keep You Focused

Before anyone starts out on an adventure to decipher a hidden message you have to be properly motivated.

Think incomplete treasure map or ancient untranslated hieroglyphics.

People have always searched for hidden treasure, even today. And there are still so many texts and pictures that are being researched to understand the past of humanity better.

So, what’s the motivation in using these stats?

Welp, you are trying to translate the trends into insights that help you tell your brand’s story better (e.g. hieroglyphics). Once you do that, you’ll end up with better conversions (e.g. treasure).

See what we did there?

Bottom Line: Understand that every fact, stat, and number should help you better convey the story of your product(s) to your audience—ending up in a higher conversion rate.

Let’s Get to The Stats

Bonus Decoding Tip: While you’re looking through the jungle of endless stats that are bullet-pointed out, it’s important to think about how you advertise. Maybe you’ll find a stat that will help you to that end, or maybe you’ll find new ways to do your marketing.

Stat One: A staggering 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.

This one sounds crazy, but makes sense with a little translation.

First, most videos shared on FB are cute, funny, and/or quick. Add the fact that you have to click on the video in order to hear the sound, it adds a level of commitment that most users aren’t going to do as they’re scrolling through their feed.

Don’t take this as a downer though, you have to take the translation and apply it to your marketing. Why not try to:

  • Make a cute or funny video that tells the story you’re trying to get across.
  • Keep your videos short enough and impactful enough to keep them from scrolling by on their feed.
  • Create a version of your video with subtitles specifically for the person who doesn’t want sound.

Stat Two: Almost half of marketers plan on adding a YouTube content strategy this year.

With a billion users worldwide, YouTube marketing isn’t optional for many businesses, it’s mandatory.

If you’re not uploading and advertising via this platform, the stat could be a simple warning to get it in gear.

However, if you are already implementing these things, it’s time to increase your efforts. Your competitors that aren’t on YT are likely thinking about it. How can you reimagine, or bulk up, your efforts to keep ahead of the game?

Competition is good, especially when you see them coming and can translate the stats better. But alas! Just because you host videos on YouTube doesn’t mean that it’s perfect for every instance where you use a video. When implement a landing page video or embedding an email thumbnail, Wistia is pretty rad and is our go-to at Explainify.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Host Your Videos On Wistia

YouTube, on the other hand, is most appropriate when you want to share something that is fun, engaging, or content you want easily shared. Like this:

Stat Three: 80% of consumers feel that demo videos are helpful.

Marketing used to be all about coming up with a great slogan for “men” or “women” or “teens”. Very general, very vague stuff and it worked.

It’s why we had the show Mad Men.

Now, it’s much harder to gauge what a person wants based on simple demographic data. Luckily, it’s also a time when the consumer is telling you exactly what they want to hear (and how).

People who are at a certain stage of your sales funnel just want to know how your gizmo works, and they want a short video that tells them straight up.

Bonus Decoding Tip: When you find stats that have similar data, you can combine them to make an even more informed marketing decision. For instance, shoppers who view demo videos are much more likely (1.81X more) to purchase than those who don’t view those videos. Not only does your audience want a demo vid, but it helps you find your treasure (conversions).

Stat Four: People watch 10 million videos every day on SnapChat.

This stat is to demonstrate (to some of you) the ease of scrolling past gold on some of these lists of numbers.

A lot of execs don’t have an active Snap profile, if they have one at all.

If we give it a second, the excuses for staying off the platform start rolling in. “That’s not for companies, but for teens and close friends.” Similar things were said about Facebook and Instagram and now you can’t stop big companies from spending millions to advertise.

SnapChat can be helpful in a lot of businesses (not all, obviously) in the cause of humanizing your brand.

People want to feel a connection to whom they buy from and it starts with you speaking their language in places where they are talking.

Stats can help you figure both of those things out.

Stat Five: Over half of all online video watchers consume videos thoroughly.

We do short form explainer video content here at Explainify, but that doesn’t mean that we are opposed to the very idea of longish videos.

Even if we were, the facts point to many users seemingly wishing there was more.

Not that this stat has an average length, but with some serious decoding you can decipher a few points that this could be speaking about.

  1. It’s about 55% of video watchers, not all. This means that these could be people who are researching for school/work, interests/hobbies, or products. Not casual watchers, but those who are bought in to a certain degree.
  2. Length isn’t that important to these people, content is. Whether it’s those “Tasty” recipe videos that are only a minute long (but you can’t stop watching and will never make whatever it is) or an hour tutorial video that really shows how your product works. Either way, leave them with everything they need (including a hunger for more).
  3. Quality plays a huge role. For every video these hardcore watchers play, there is at least one that they can’t back out of fast enough. One is a professionally produced video and another is a blurry Windows ‘98 MovieMaker special.

Ready for Adventure?

Stop looking for stat posts only to forward them to your marketing team. Stop reading them and saying, “Hmm. Interesting.” And then forward it to your colleagues.

It’s time to take your brand’s story and your conversion rate to a higher level, and that can only come when you use the intel you have and translate it to best suit your company’s image and customers. CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!