In the last few years I’ve been exploring in detail the importance of viewing your content goals in the context of the emotional connection and outcome you are trying to achieve from the person or people or group you are trying to influence with your content.
Understanding this for both Preface Films and our clients, has enabled me to develop a much deeper understanding that I use with with clients wishing to achieve greater results with their video content.
Start at the Beginning
Understanding the buyer journey is at the heart of the approach I take with clients who wish to maximise their investment in their video content and video strategy. In a previous article titled ‘How to Maximise Your Investment in Video Content in 2017’, I shared my thoughts about a 3-step journey that a buyer travels as they engage with your brand.
Building an emotional connection is the most important stage and the first step in the buyer journey and so I’ve got some examples below for you to help understand this better and consider how you may apply it to your own business.
Purposeful Video Content Must See the Forest From The Trees
As a business owner, it’s quite easy to get absorbed by yourself, what you do, how you do it and why you believe it’s important. I understand this focus because, ultimately, the reason you started your company is out of passion and, for all those reasons. However, what I have realised in content creation is that sometimes we forget about our audience, and that whilst we may be considering how what we offer will benefit our clients, we don’t consider beyond that.
What I mean by this is that, often, your client’s why is not your why. Simon Sinek, a leading global marketing consultant and the author of Start with Why, talks about this concept and it makes so much sense.
Consider the ‘Why’ of Your Audience
As a Business to Business (B2B) service provider the content I create for the organisations I work with is specific to their target market. In my briefings with my clients, talking about their audience and what type of action they are trying to achieve, is critical to the outcomes and direction of the video. The content becomes a voice and positioning this to achieve specific outcomes, whether it be actions, a change of perception or belief in the company is the outcome they want. And as we are humans, we are engaged emotionally and therefore react through that connection.
To help explain how this works in real life and business video marketing, let’s take a look at how we have achieved this with some of my clients.
3 Essential Ingredients
As you watch these case studies and read my insights about these clients, consider these 3 questions. I believe they are the most important ingredients to ensure you are tapping into your audience’s ‘why’, and, if achieved in our video content, will ensure you are creating an emotional connection.
1. Does your content give your audience the opportunity to experience real feelings?
2. Does your content allow your viewer to connect with your brand?
3. Does your content enable people to visualise your brand experience?
What’s important to note as you enjoy these two cases studies is that they are not for clients who ‘sell’ to the consumer but to an internal and valuable group – staff and membership. Awareness is all about creating that emotional experience through engaging, seeing and increasing brand awareness.
Case Study One: Connecting Staff on an Emotional Level
Australian Clinical Labs is a national pathology company. One of their key approaches is to engage and inform their staff and stakeholders.
In creating content for this client, we have several people we need to be mindful of, including key decision makers investing in this project and the staff we are trying to influence. Ensuring that the quality and content of the videos are reflective of their brand, is a must do on our list and essential to company stakeholders.
Being a national organisation invariably means that you just don’t get an opportunity to know your colleagues in the same way you would in a smaller office or local branch. In choosing a film approach, it’s important to take the dynamics of the area and the people we are filming into account. For this video, we agreed on a very casual and fun style which worked perfectly for Adelaide.
How we edit and represent the vernacular, or common language, spoken by the staff is always something we analyse carefully and take great care with. When representing a company, the interpretation of the words used by the community determines the authenticity of the video and impacts on the brand, and therefore the business.
Now let’s talk about the emotional engagement, the first and most important step in the buyer journey. Who is the audience? In this case it’s all about the staff. What better way to approach a large lab locality than doing a ‘vox pop’ interview style? Of course we had some key thoughts of the type of content the public relations and state manager were keen to explore, but the candidness of approach meant that real life and spontaneous responses were given. The look and feel of this video elicits the emotion we wanted it to illustrate. A tour of a company is twofold, to first share a glimpse of the people and place, and, more importantly, then share why they are working there. The power (and hence emotional connection created) in this message is that they recognise the brand values that are a part of their organisation and openly share their thoughts about it.
Case Study Two: Connecting Membership on an Emotional Level
Working with another national organisation, this time our challenge is to communicate to a membership. If you’ve been involved in membership organisations, then you’ll know how challenging it is to truly engage members.
I feel qualified to say that member organisations are ‘in their own league’ due to my experience as a Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Board Advisor. The AIPP board often creates content to support the organisation, which has enabled me to better understand both sides of the communication table. This also means I am very proud to say that this gives Preface Film’s the edge, and is one of the strengths our clients love about us! Having been a volunteer, member and affiliated in a more official capacity, my clients enjoy being able to draw from our experiences with developing not-for-profit and membership organisation video content.
What are the implications for emotional engagement in this production that we created? The intent was to raise awareness of the photography awards. As we have been filming for the association for a few years, we have a stock library of old content at our hands. This made the task of recycling old footage one of the most valuable assets ever. Combining this with an interview, we told Mandarine’s story.
One of the subtle messages and targeted membership groups in this film is a category called seeded members. As you watch this video, you will notice that the choice of words, the supporting imagery and the music pulls you into that experience of Mandarine. It’s an almost, ‘oh my gosh I want to be her’ moment that makes you think, consider and potentially push you to take that risk and enter. It puts all the values of APPA and AIPP in the lap of the viewer.
People relate to people – we all know that, so who better to speak than a member.
Does Your Video Content Consider Your Audience’s Why?
I’ve included these two case studies to provide you with an opportunity to look beyond your why and to consider your audience and their why. I believe it’s fundamental in creating video content that will move your people from an emotional engagement to a conversion. It also enables you to maximise your investment and get better results with your video content.
As mentioned when I began this article, these examples are not for clients who ‘sell’ to the consumer but to an internal and valuable group – staff and membership. Awareness is all about creating that emotional experience through engaging, seeing and increasing brand awareness.
Do these examples demonstrate that? I believe so and would love your feedback.
As a business owner, EO, marketing, PR or communications manager, I encourage you to give your audience that opportunity to experience real feelings. Create content that allows your viewer to connect, visualise and feel the emotions that people relate to.
Conversion becomes so much easier this way!