Ultimately, way down the line, video marketing is about selling your product or service. It’s as simple as that. However, the process itself is difficult. Very difficult actually. Selling through video marketing is a one sided sales conversation. It’s often very difficult to engage in a dialogue when the audience is plainly consuming the content you created. Yes, there are platforms now that allow you to go live with your content and by doing so you can interact with your audience. But the majority of the online commercial video content is a one way street.
Don’t you tell me what to do!
The trick with video marketing, and other commercial video content, is to present information about your product or service in a way that it persuades your audience to ‘make the purchase’. The way you do this influences the success rate of the persuasion itself. Think of it like having a sales conversation with a prospect in person. Do you think an imperative like ‘BUY THIS FROM ME’ or ‘SIGN UP HERE’ really works? I personally get quite annoyed when someone tries to sell to me like that. I don’t like it when people tell me what to do.
Instead, on occasions where people have successfully sold to me, they guided me through a process where I arrived at the positive purchase decision by myself. And on various occasions, I acted as a brand ambassador when talking to friends and family.
It’s a dream inside a dream inside a dream inside a dream
The last paragraph is perfectly summed up in a bit of dialogue between Cobb, Saito and Arthur in the brilliant film Inception by Christopher Nolan. A film that coincidentally partly has been shot on Phantom Slow Motion cameras, the same style of cameras we have on our shelves here at FDHQ. But back to the dialogue:
Cobb: What do you want?
Saito: Inception. Is it possible?
Arthur: Of course not.
Saito: If you can steal an idea, why can’t you plant one there instead?
Arthur: Okay, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don’t think about elephants. What are you thinking about?
Arthur: Right, but it’s not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake.
This bit of dialogue, although it’s a work of fiction, illustrates how an audience can grow adversity to your message if it is not delivered in the right way. This scene continues after Arthur states the impossibility of implanting true inspiration by Cobb saying: No, it’s not.
Inception in online commercial video content
That brings me back to video marketing and selling your product. In real life, it is impossible to guarantee a 100% success rate with video content. However, through a carefully designed video, you can increase the likelihood of successfully persuading the audience towards a positive purchase decision. In online video content, this one sided sales conversation, you can present information about your product in such a way that it is likely for your audience to draw their own conclusion leading to a purchase decision.
A while ago, we posted a blog about selling tomatoes. Here is a little excerpt:
“Let’s say that you grow and sell tomatoes. What would your customers value most in a video. Do they want to hear you talk about how you have been growing tomatoes for the last 10 years or do they want amazing footage of tasty tomatoes and people enjoying eating them. Context is everything if you’re aiming to create targeted video content. So show your audience what they could be having and leave them wanting more.“
In this example, through the power of vibrant imagery, you’re providing context to your product that allows your audience to arrive at their own conclusion. In this instance, the conclusion should be: ‘yeah, I’d love a tomato salad right now, I’ll add them to the shopping list’. And that is online commercial video content done well.
Understand your audience
The key to deliver commercial video content that persuades is a thorough understanding of your audience. So our pro-tip for the start of every video production process is to really dive deep into the minds of your target audience to explore how you can plant your seed of inception. And if we follow the script and dialogue of the film a bit further, we see the important role creativity plays in all of this:
Eames: If you’re going to perform Inception, you need imagination!