Want people to watch your videos? Start by listening.

Churning out tons of video content won’t help your cause, unless you know your audience. Tune your output to what works with your audience, or don’t bother publishing at all.

Churning out tons of video content won’t help your cause, unless you know your audience. Tune your output to what works with your audience, or don’t bother publishing at all.

There’s no denying it. Video is one of the most powerful ways for brands to speak to their audience.

It sparks emotion and can tap into the senses in a way that no other marketing medium can.

That said, producing a video that delivers on your marketing objectives is far easier said than done. In fact, Ascend2’s State of Content Marketing Report revealed that 64% of marketers see video as the most difficult content to create.

They’re not wrong.

A good quality video takes time and resources, whether that’s investing money or time into the  production process.

What sets your content apart from the rest is a solid creative strategy that’s built on insights. That’s true whether you’re working with blockbuster budgets or guerrilla-style filming on iPhones.

Use your video content to connect

Today, it’s not about the brand that shouts loudest. It’s about the brand that listens hardest; the brand that spends less time talking about itself, and more time talking about the things that matter to its audiences.

This is where audience insights come in. Your audience wants to feel connected to your video content, but that won’t happen unless you spend time understanding them. You need to understand what’s important to them, and what makes them tick.

Once you’ve taken everything you know about your audience, distil that data down into that one, killer insight. A simple human truth will show your audience that you understand their needs. More than that, it’ll make them believe in what your brand has to offer.

Think of Spike Jonze’s commercial for Apple’s HomePod. It started with the insight that music is a happy form of escape from the slog of everyday life.

Play the long game

When it comes to video marketing, always go for quality over quantity.

Brands looking to create the next “viral” video need to know that ‘virality’ is based on short-term results that don’t necessarily connect with audiences in a meaningful way.

Today’s audiences like to be well-informed before they commit to any particular brand. They go through several pieces of content before deciding to buy a product or service. It doesn’t make sense then for marketers to cut corners when it comes to storytelling.

People respect brands that entertain, educate, or inspire them. They choose brands that stand for something. Think about Red Bull or GE.

They produce content all the time that doesn’t sell anything.

Red Bull has its own video content hub dedicated entirely to the active and extreme lifestyle of its target audience.

GE’s Unimpossible Missions campaign subtly showcases the incredibly talented experts who work for the company.

Brands today have a unique opportunity to speak directly to their audiences and build lasting relationships with them.

That’s why it’s important to tell stories that sustain, not sell. All creative content, not just video, should focus on strengthening those relationships by speaking to the audience’s needs.

Understanding exactly what those needs are and identifying how your brand can speak to them is the first and most important step in producing videos that win hearts and minds.

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