Marketers have several options when it comes to which medium to choose for their marketing. You basically have three main choices: Words, Pictures and Videos. Let’s analyze these options, so we can understand the marketing power that lies in video communication. I think small businesses don’t use nearly enough video on their websites and social media outlets. It’s understandable considering making a great video is a little more involved than the other forms, but the marketing benefits far outweigh the effort it takes to put one together.
1. Communicating with words (advertising copy)
Advertising copy is the most common medium through which companies choose to communicate. They send out letters. They write descriptions on their Web sites for their products and services. The power of words is immense. That’s why it’s so popular. You can spell out exactly how your company’s mortgage services benefit your prospects. You can carefully choose words that grab prospects’ attention, and show them why your services are a “must-have.” However, there is one drawback when using advertising copy. People are not as educated as they once were and won’t read all that copy. Plus, you have to rely on the prospects’ imagination. You can only describe something so well. You can only explain benefits to a certain level of thoroughness. When it comes down to it, you still need the prospect to take those descriptions and translate them to a visual in their head to see its full benefit to their lives.
For example, you can describe the benefits of choosing you as their mortgage broker. You can explain how you will get them a mortgage that puts them in the best financial position allowing them to accomplish their real estate goals while setting themselves up wisely for their financial future. You can describe all of this with words, but the prospects still need to visualize how that plays out in their own mind. They have to picture how happy they will be in the future because the loan allowed them more financial freedom. Although good copy is absolutely essential for any business, it does have limitations.
2. Communicating with pictures and visuals
Pictures, on the other hand, they’re worth 1,000 words. I mean, even now, reading this—aren’t you kind of craving a little visual stimulation? Pictures take the “burden” of visualization off the prospect, and put it right in front of them. You want the prospect to make the conclusion that your company is the best choice with as little effort on their part as possible. People are busy. If you are marketing to them, you need to do all the legwork yourself. They need to take one look at your postcard, or one skim through your Web site, and think, “This company is better than my other options.” In marketing, pictures help you show in addition to tell–an important distinction.
For mortgage professionals, this could be a graph showing prospects how much they would pay in interest over the course of the loan another broker would get them. Then, another one showing how much they will pay with the better loan that you can get them. This type of image sticks in prospects minds and convinces them to take action–the very definitions of marketing success.
To truly understand this difference, look at the political campaigns we see every few years. A candidate can say he’s “a man of the people” and “looking out for the little guy,” but it doesn’t mean all that much until you start seeing pictures of him visiting the downtrodden and impoverished in your community, doing real-life work. It adds some reality to those slogans. Building trust is pivotal in marketing, so by using pictures you’re giving your company a head start in the process of converting your prospects into customers.
3. Communicating with video
Video allows you to make connections that static mediums simply cannot make. You can talk directly to the viewer. You can set your video to music and create an ambience behind your video that evokes certain feelings from prospects. Background music alone can go a long way toward presenting your company as exciting, safe, progressive, refined, etc. It has a lot of marketing utility and shouldn’t be neglected when putting your videos together.
So if pictures are worth 1,000 words, the worth of video looks like this: Video = 1000 Words x 1,000 Pictures X infinity. Okay, that may be an exaggeration; but in reality, video is exponentially better than words and pictures, because video brings images and words to life in a way that graphic design just cannot. Think about those funny pictures that get passed around the Internet. They combine words and pictures, and a lot of them are hilarious! But, have you ever laughed as hard or as long at one as you have at a viral video (a video passed around and seen millions of times from person to person–like a virus)? Have you ever spent as much time engaging a funny picture as you have with a video? This is the difference between static imagery and video.
Video allows you to communicate every aspect of your marketing message in one effort. Prospects can hear about your services, and the benefits they offer, from your own mouth. All the while, you can show them graphs of your track record of getting great mortgage rates. You can do profile videos of your employees, so prospects can get to know who they would be working with. You can have video testimonials from your most loyal customers, which is an incredible way to build trust with prospects. Using videos for marketing takes all the effort away from the prospects. You tell them everything they need to know. You show it to them with visuals. They make a human connection from seeing you and hearing you speak yourself. And it gives you the ability to use extras like music to give prospects an emotional response to your marketing.
Of the main three marketing mediums (Words, Pictures and Video), video is king when it comes to engaging your prospects and giving your company the best chance of turning them into a customer. It uses both words and visuals to engage the prospect’s interest, inform them of the benefits of your services and connect with them on a personal level. But don’t my word for it. The proof is in the numbers:
►The average user spends 88 percent more time on a Web site with video (Source: Mist Media)
►Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53 percent more likely to show up on page one of Google (Source: Mist Media)
►Approximately 46 percent of people say they would be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video (Source: Eloqua)
►Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines (Source: MarketingSherpa)
►Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90 percent (Source: Mist Media)
►Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video (Source: SEOmoz)
►Nearly 60 percent of customers said viewing a product video made them more confident in their purchase and less likely to return it (Source: Vocus)
Now that you know how valuable videos are for marketing purposes, it’s time to get to work. Use some of the ideas I listed, and put together your own. Use the best equipment you can, because you don’t want to create a shoddy video that talks about how great and professional your company is! It won’t resonate with prospects, because the video quality isn’t consistent with its message. Trust me when I tell you the results will be worth the effort!
Joy Gendusa is chief executive officer and founder of PostcardMania. She began PostcardMania in 1998 with nothing but a phone and a computer and zero investment capital. By 2008, revenues reached nearly $19 million and the company now employs more than 150 people, prints four million and mails two million postcards each week representing more than 40,000 customers in over 350 industries. For more information, call (800) 628-1804, ext. 342.