Businesses everywhere are quickly realizing that video is the most effective medium for communicating their brand message. Does that mean that you can just turn on the camera, talk about your business and expect increased sales? Nope.
Just like any other marketing, videos take careful planning and well-thought-out execution. We’ve seen quite a few brands like Zoom, Dollar Shave Club, Purple, and Poopourri launch themselves into the stratosphere with highly educational, yet highly entertaining product videos.
What’s the secret to their success? Audience relation. Pure and simple. These brands created content that resonated with their audience in a personal way. When you strip away all the bright colors, funny pop culture references and character animations, there are four key elements that successful videos have in common. We’re not talking about really clever jokes or funny characters. We’re talking about successful product video DNA. Consider the formula below.
Step 1: Identify Pain Points
Pain points are problems that consumers have in their daily lives. Virtually every product on the market was designed as an antidote to a pain point. Take headphones, for example. One day, someone must’ve said something like, “I wish there was a way to listen to my music without annoying the people around me.” Voila! Someone invents headphones. The pain point in this scenario is the consumer wanting to listen to music but at the same time not be disruptive to others.
Ask yourself the following: What drove me to get into this industry in the first place? What problem do consumers have that my product solves? Why is my product better than the alternatives?
Step 2: Present the Paint Points – make them real…and hopeless
Once you’ve identified the consumer pain points that your product solves, it’s time to put them into relatable real-life situations. If you don’t do this, your message won’t resonate with your audience. Let’s revisit the headphones example:
Pain Point: “Don’t you wish there was a way to listen to your music without annoying other people around you?”
Paint Point in Real Life: “If you’re at your work desk and like to jam out to 80s hair metal while Gary at the desk across from you prefers Mozart, that’s likely a recipe for some serious break room spats.”
These details communicate to your audience that you understand them and their struggles. Note: An empathetic business is a trustworthy business. To take that trust to the next level, consider framing this deeply relatable experience as hopeless. Observe:
Paint Point in Real Life: “If you’re at your work desk and like to jam out to big hair 80s metal while Gary at the desk across from you prefers Mozart, that’s likely a recipe for some serious break room spats.”
Hopeless Pain Point: “Eventually you’ll be forced into one of two scenarios: 1) find some middle ground by listening to whale songs of the deep, or 2) turn your tunes off altogether. Both scenarios stink for everyone.”
As you present pain points, remember they must not only be relatable but also deeply felt. Like, painful. The success of your messaging depends on the consumer seeing you as a solution to the “pain” of a given situation. Which brings us to the next step.
Step 3: Present Your Product as THE Solution
You finally get to talk about how awesome your product is. However, you can’t just go crazy with listing features, specs or prices. You must continue to connect your product to the story you wove about the pain points. Let’s go back to our headphones example:
Solution: “Now you don’t have to worry about Gary being bothered by that wicked-awesome Slash guitar solo. Introducing the latest in wearable sonic technology: headphones.”
If you want to make it extra clear that your product is the obvious solution, you might also explain how alternative products just don’t compare.
Step 4: Choose the Messenger Wisely
This is the part that most brands usually get wrong. All their hard work on pain points and solutions can fall flat with poor character choice and an un-entertaining or impersonal video. The person or figure telling this story is just as important as the story itself. Think about your product. Who/what makes the most sense to deliver the message about your product? Think about your audience. Who are their authority figures? What kind of influencers impact their lives? What kind of situations do they find themselves in on a daily basis?
For a mattress company like Purple, it meant Goldilocks was telling the story. For Poopourri, it was a classy sounding, ultra-feminine woman. For our headphones example, it could be an office boss who is frustrated with having to end these workplace music disputes. The point is that it needs to be something or someone that is familiar to your audience.
Let’s summarize the ingredients for a successful product video of virtually any length:
1. Identify consumer pain points
2. Present the pain points, making them real and hopeless situations
3. Present your product as the solution to those specific pain points
4. Communicate your message through familiar characters
From there, let your creative teams come up with the jokes, wording, animations and other strategy details. But the story starts with you. Get your thinking caps on and get creating!
Patrick Ross is a digital marketing manager at UMG Agency.