The first post in our Guest Expert Series comes from Ryan Stone, founder of the Retina Burn blog who explains the value of creativity in demonstration videos. Read on to learn more.
Advertising, or “legalized lying” according to H.G Wells, has always attracted a poor reputation because of its dark history of deception. Today, advertising is often venerated as a modern art form, but it seems to me that the truly outstanding adverts, the ones that garner the most attention online tell us something possibly worse than lies, they tell us…nothing.
While this hybridised combination of branded entertainment, or ‘Advertainment‘ has its place in your video marketing strategy, it’s more likely to drive fans than sales. Online video is a gift to a modern business, it’s the window in to your company for the millions of faceless disconnected consumers out there who would like to do business with you, but first, need some reassurance. To do so, video allows businesses to humanise their company, create genuine relationships with customers and accurately promote their product but the latter objective often becomes skewed, shaped by years of exposure to regular advertising.
On the limitless world wide web, videos are not constrained by the traditional 30-second ad spot and so there’s no reason for rhetoric, lofty metaphors, devious elliptical edits or special effects when it comes to promoting your product honestly. Despite the growth of online shopping customers, and especially new customers, need reassurance when buying from you. A simple visual demonstration of your product working as you promise is the ultimate technique to converting those wary purchasers.
However, a simple demonstration video does have the capacity for creativity. By way of example, take a look at the renowned Blendtec marketing strategy, the poster boy for online demonstration videos. Blendtec is the epitome of a consumer product, and when launched by founder Tom Dickson, it boasted that it could “blend anything”. This instantly sounds like the advertising rhetoric we’re used to, and under other circumstances would not convince any mildly sceptical consumer. However, the Blendtec videos embrace one simple concept; demonstrating their USP.
In the resulting campaign, Will it Blend? the USP is tested and demonstrated to the extreme, successfully blending iPhones, DVDs, golf clubs, gaming consoles and more. This approach keeps the content and the brand entertaining, shareable, current but most importantly, authentic. This tactic has built up a brand fan base, video views topping 218 million, and simultaneously elevates its product way above its competitors with these simple, but extreme demonstrations.
It’s a great strategy to follow in order to sell your product or service, and one that as marketers we’ve largely forgotten. Instead, the allure of viral videos, entertaining mass audiences and racking up social statistics has skewed our objectives and we’ve neglected the simple idea that demonstrating the quality of your product is key to converting sales. Furthermore, if you’re creative like Blendtec, why not have it all?
Ryan Stone is an online video producer and marketer for video production company, Lambda Films and founder of online video marketing blog, Retina Burn. If you have any questions then tweet him at @Lambda_Ry.