We live in a post-truth world. And when it comes to products and services, only 59% of us actually trust the brands we buy from in 2019. For marketers, this means shifting focus from short-term performance metrics to long-term relationship building for sustained growth in the digital economy. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” [Source: ZAG – Marty Neumeier] But how do you build genuine trust and affinity with a brand? The answer lies in a content marketing approach that uses a key medium of marketing communication – video.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines content marketing as “valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.” This tactic is all about creating a value exchange that treats brand communication more like a conversation than a sales pitch to help win, keep and grow customers over the long term. 81% of people believe trust is an important part of purchase behaviour and increasingly businesses are using video to humanise themselves through stories, interests and personalities. If content was once king, it is trust that now sits on the throne.
Whether a start-up or an established brand, video content marketing provides ideas, inspiration and education that act as gateways into the lower funnels of the buying journey. It also complements SEO, since websites without video have 59% less traffic than those with it. Besides, 78% of all mobile data traffic is predicted to be video by 2021 [Source: Facebook IQ source: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2016-2021 White Paper, 28 Mar 2017], so brands need to prioritise producing and distributing the medium as it becomes an expectation rather than a nice-to-have.
So, what types of video are good for building trust?
Nothing beats peer-to-peer recommendation. If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me, right? In fact, David Ogilvy thought testimonials extremely powerful as they made marketing communications more believable (and trustworthy) [Source: Ogilvy on Advertising, P.82]. Known as ‘social proofing’, this behavioural bias is described by Richard Shotton as “the best tactic [to] state your brand’s popularity in a relevant way to your audience” [Source: The choice factory Richard Shotton. Bias 2 – Social Proofing. Bias 18 – The Pratfalls Effect]. Get real people to give real reviews to camera. Nice.
Behind the scenes video
In an era of fake news and manicured Instagram feeds, a yearning for transparency has come to the fore. Use video to show off your brand world in an open, honest and self-aware way. Besides, who doesn’t feel special with an Access All Areas pass? Interestingly, by admitting a weakness or flaw, a brand’s credibility increases – known as the pratfall effect [Source: The choice factory Richard Shotton. Bias 2 – Social Proofing. Bias 18 – The Pratfalls Effect]. This communication technique works particularly well if your competition are braggards.
About us / Brand story video
John Hegarty described a brand as “the most valuable piece of real estate in the world; a corner of someone’s mind” [Source: Hey Whipple, squeeze this! The classic guide to creating great ads 4th Edition]. We live in an attention deficit, so marketers need human stories to cut through the clutter of me-too rivals. Video is proven to be the most memorable form of content, so get storyboarding.
Product / service demo video
These are the most popular type of videos businesses invest in and it’s easy to see why. 64% of people state that seeing a video makes them more likely to buy [Source: 2018 Video in business benchmark report – Vidyard], whilst 72% prefer a video over text when learning about a product or service. From retail to financial services, industries are investing in more visual communication to showcase themselves. Don’t tell me, show me.
How-to / explainer video
Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so video is great at packaging information into a short narrative that is easy to understand. Think the explosion of branded tutorial videos on YouTube. In fact, users of the platform are three times more likely to watch a tutorial video than read a product’s instruction manual. These types of video can also position a brand as a thought leader in its industry.
We need to stop focusing on short-term marketing strategy. Yes, immediate uplift metrics, such as clicks and sales conversions, are seductive but devoting time to brand health over the long term will keep the marketing funnel in perpetual cycle. Like any good relationship, brand loyalty is built on trust. Find your tribe and offer them something of value. Only then can you expect anything back in return.