Why film should be an essential part of your communications arsenal

I recently met with a potential new client; lively chap, who regaled me about his business for well over an hour — from the day he started up 27 years before to the day before yesterday, when his long awaited new IT system was finally installed!

He then sat back in his luxuriously-looking leather chair and asked me what I thought and how, after hearing all of that, could I help him better promote this wonderful business of his. Simple as that!

Well, they do say a picture paints a 1000 words. More to the point, 60-seconds of film is the equivalent to 1.8 million words (that could be one of those urban myths though!); rather than tell me all of this, can you show me instead (and in a lot less time too!)

Intrigued, he asked me what I meant. So, I told him.

If film is not central to your marketing communications, it bloody well should be and what’s more, the more you do, the better for your business it will be.

Why?

Film is much more immediate and visible; it offers greater impact and is quicker to reach a wider audience than more traditional methods of communication. It’s mobile-friendly, encourages interaction between your business and the viewer and is positively made for social media!

It’s also key to increasing understanding of a brand or product (74% increase according to ComScore) and is highly influential on purchasing behaviour (64% more likely to buy from a website containing film, again according to ComScore).

• The average viewer spends 88% more time on sites with film

• As of 2016, 2/3s of all mobile data traffic will be videos, with 100 hrs of film uploaded to YouTube every hour!

80% prefer watching videos to reading articles of the same content

58% remember what they see compared to 10% what they read

• Film is now the ‘glue’ of social marketing:

• 1 in 3 viewers comment

• 1 in 2 regularly share

• More than 1 in 2 watch with others

• Websites with film 53 times more likely to appear on Google’s front page

  • Increases click-thru rates in email marketing by over 96% and thus increases website traffic

OK, you get the picture — sorry, no pun intended! Still, even if the case for film is overwhelming, producing good quality films that have the necessary impact, needs considered thought, planning and execution.

So, what are our ‘top tips’ for great film:

1. Keep it simple by honing your message — you have 10-seconds to make an impact; 20% of viewers often click away before then!

2. Keep it short — 2-mins tops for desktop; 5 minutes for mobile and even that’s pushing it (59% of viewers will watch a film that is less than 60-seconds, according to Wistia)

3. Show something new, different, or exciting early on to build excitement

4. Be creative by mixing up media to engender genuine interest

5. Share a story — because human beings like stories!

6. Make viewers feel involved — by giving clear and creative ‘calls to action’ to encourage interaction

7. Don’t show everything — package it up in short parts to provoke intrigue

8. Most of all — have a plan, a good one! Ask yourself these questions:

• Why are you making this film?

• What is its key message?

• Who is the audience?

• Where will you film and when?

• Who’s going to be in it?

• What do you need?

• How will it be distributed?

9. Finally, broadcast it widely to ensure you maximise its visibility and impact among its key target audiences. From YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, to Vine, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, remember, film was made for social media…

As you can tell, I’m passionate about film and what it can do for a business’ visibility in a crowded marketplace.

If film is of value to your audience and that’s a key question to ask yourself, then there is no better way of telling them all about you and what you can do for them, than through the medium of film — and it should take you a lot less time to do so, than my ‘still potential’ new client!

Think on that; visually of course!

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