Brand engagement is one of the most important aspects that any marketing strategy must address in 2019. For most people, it signifies an emotional attachment and loyalty to the brand, which is a level above brand awareness. The rise of social media platforms has resulted in a cultural shift regarding the meaning of brand engagement, as brands seek to build interpersonal relationships with customers.
As it stands, one of the most popular ways of creating a community and keeping its members engaged is by using video. It’s diverse nature – allowing for all forms of creativity and expression – provides companies with an opportunity to visualize their brand with its surrounding community.
Benefits of building a community for brands and SMBs
Increased brand loyalty
Brands built around communities generally have more die-hard loyalists than those looking to make a quick buck. When the community members are connected to your brand, it results in what’s known as a ‘switching barrier’. Being dedicated to your brand often involves significant financial and emotional investment. Once they assume that status, die-hard, loyal fans will not easily move on to a competitor.
The switching barrier is most common in luxury brands like Ferrari and Rolex, or sports brands like Adidas and Nike. Their items may be pricier than their competitors, but that’s not the only reason they have stuck around so long.
Emergence of brand advocates
Word of mouth marketing to friends and family is not surprisingly the most effective marketing strategy out there. A brand advocate is any person that elevates your company through word of mouth, leaves positive reviews, and generally improves your reputation among their peers. If you consider that 92% of people seek social recommendation before buying a product, it’s easier to put the importance of a brand advocate into perspective.
Brand advocates can be business partners, employees or even customers that have been inspired by their engagement with your brand. They usually result from the community created by the business, and help to bring others on board.
Valuable insights into your customers’ experience with your brand
Every business wants their customer satisfaction rates to be as high as conceivably possible. The only way to do this is to collect data pertaining to the experience customers have had with your brand.
Having an online community allows you to have a pool of conveniently-situated customers to study and collect data from. Consider how much easier it would be to get people to fill feedback forms, ask direct questions and even collect reviews, if you were to request this from your customers, instead of random strangers.
How video can help with community building
Video is great for telling stories
A picture is worth a thousand words. If we accept that old adage, then a video is an invaluable tool for storytelling.
“Videos have the ability to draw out as much emotion as you want then to with relatively little effort. Emotion is what helps to hook viewers, especially if they can relate to the kind of problem you are trying to solve.”
Creating a story that centers around your company, rather than making it seem like you’re advertising a product helps create a much-needed disconnect between the product and the company. If done right, it’s no longer about the brand trying to get their product to the customer. Instead, the focus shifts toward addressing, and, more importantly solving the customer’s problem.
Video helps to create an element of trust
Before interacting with your product or brand, customers are going to have uncertainties. Do you really offer what you say you do? Will your product cover even the edge cases of their problems?
Videos help to close off this barrier of distrust; this is achieved via presenting a project demo. Not every business has the budget to be to create a whole separate MVP just for the customer to be able to demo and ensure it’s to their liking. Since videos can be voiced over, they can also feature helpful tips that would otherwise be difficult to come across without guidance.
Additionally, consumers can be brought aboard your community if you offer assistance over video conferencing and screen sharing. This enables the customer or potential client to use a tailored-demo of the product being considered.
Video allows you to show the community how you interact with them
Another excellent way to drive interaction and create a robust online community is to show customers that you’ve been interacting with other customers. This is most often done using video testimonials and interviews.
Testimonials and interviews are often looked at as one and the same. However, they are most definitely not. They serve the same purpose (i.e. positively showcasing your organization). However, videos can really shine through as a testimonial. Unscripted by nature, testimonials allow the video subject to express his or her true emotions regarding their experience with your product. Interviews, on the other hand, often entail pre-approved questions and have more of a limited effect.
Using videos in your emails encourages interaction
Emails are almost as old as the internet itself, and despite being the subject of consistently gloomy over the years, they have proven to be pretty resilient. Even in the face of text messengers, email maintains its status as one of the most effective marketing tools around.
People check their emails every day, at bare minimum; this provides an excellent chance for existing and potential customers to interact with your products and brand.
For email marketing, the most critical element that you need to address to improve opening rates is the subject lines. A quick glance at the title is all it takes for a customer to either deem an email worthy of being opened, or one that should be sent straight to trash.
“According to research by conducted by Switch Video, including the word ‘video’ in the subject line increases open rates by as much as 6%, on average.”
Benefits of video over other forms of communication
Video encourage shares to social media
All major social media networks heavily utilize video in one form or another today. YouTube is famously the second most-visited website in the world, and it’s fully dedicated to hosting video content. Facebook has a bunch of different video features, including 360 Video, Lifestage and Stories. Instagram recently started exploring long-form videos with IGTV; Snapchat and TikTok are almost wholly dedicated to short videos, and Twitter boast the highest video engagement rates than any other form of media.
Clearly, videos play a crucial role in social media, and routinely draws eyeballs. It’s important to remember, however, that social media videos lean toward lighter, more entertaining subject matter. This uniquely positions social media as a medium to draw attention to your brand in a fun, less sales-oriented way.
Videos are the best way to explain difficult concepts
Some business-related problems are too complex, and nearly impossible to break down into simple and easily comprehensible concepts. If your’e having a hard time breaking your product or service down, always think of your customer. Imagine how difficult it’s going to be for her or him to grasp what your trying to say if should you decide to rely on confusing charts and long blog posts.
When launching a new product, a marketing video is arguably the best way to show the market the problem you’re trying to solve and how your product addresses it. If you’re explaining a difficult concept, create an animated video. This will allow you to tackle the subject matter in a more lively and engaging way, and enable the viewer to concentrate on the concept itself.
Think of how much more interesting it would be to see an animated Niels Bohr explaining his atomic model versus a video of ‘some guy’ doing all the explaining. They do an amazing job of balancing work and entertainment.
Video is the most engaging form of content
The final and perhaps most significant area that elevates video over other forms of content is its effect on engagement. Instead of long blog posts that can be abandoned halfway, a product video can deliver the message in just a few short minutes.
We’ve been conditioned to expect things to get easier with time, and the modern customer wants to see things moving. Your product should be presented through action, not words.
This simplicity of consumption has considerably lowered the bar for how people absorb information. Now, even the laziest of your customers doesn’t have an excuse for not engaging with your brand. This is doubly important since video can be incorporated into basically anything – your landing page, press release, company update, marketing email and even used together with your blog posts.