In many ways, most of us would strangely qualify as video marketing experts; simply because companies spend billions of dollars per year trying to determine what types of advertising entices us.  Believe it or not, analysts examine almost every aspect of our daily lives to determine how we interpret the world around us and they’re desperate to learn things like:

  • What time of day are we most likely to make an impulse decision?
  • When are people the most relaxed, hungry, frustrated or motivated?
  • How does product placement in commercials influence buying patterns?
  • Which colors most accurately display a brand’s message?
  • What aspects of video marketing lead to the highest conversion rates?

The list goes on and on, to the point where humans are studied by marketing experts more than global warming, cancer research and all professional sports combined.   In other words, knowing who your producing a video for can actually be more important than the marketing itself.  We see it every day at Next Day Flyers and it never ceases to amaze us how far some corporations go to gain even the slightest of edges within the marketplace.

So how do you really get to know your customers?  Here are three quick tips to get you started:

1. Target your Key Demographics

Many of you may be thinking, “Why would a major life insurance brand use 1970’s Peanuts characters to try and sell a product in 2013?”  If you can figure out the answer to that question, then you’ll be one step closer to really understanding your key demographics.  It’s no accident when a commercial that makes us fall out of our chair laughing or reminds us of a great childhood memory…because it was designed specifically for us.

The entire reason for creating an advertising campaign is to give viewers that split-second “Aha!” moment where they completely connect with your brand, and you have to know your ideal consumer to achieve that.  Think about specifics:

  • What would your ideal customer eat on their birthday?
  • Where would they hang out on a Friday night?
  • How long have they been married (or dating)?
  • What’s their annual income?
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The more questions that you can think to answer, the better your marketing will target your ideal client specifically.

2. Never Be Afraid of Variety

Likewise, do not be afraid to test the market with several different video marketing approaches to see which ones generate the largest buzz among consumers.  One good example of diverse advertising would be GEICO; from “A Caveman Can Do It” to the lovable gecko lizard to their biker made of money, this company has never feared making specialized marketing ads that were focused only on a small portion of their demographics.

The bigger lesson to be learned here is that it’s never too late to change a company’s image.  If a video marketing campaign doesn’t seem to be working, then it’s better to start over now than to continue to feed an unpopular approach.  Major corporations are forced to do this every day so don’t let your ego get in the way of the bigger picture.

3. A True Call to Action

Finally, all this research and learning about your customers is worthless if you don’t use it to bring consumers to your front door.  There have been countless companies out there that have produced incredible commercials that we all loved, yet it didn’t do a thing to inspire an actual purchase.  No matter how funny, cute, shocking or educational your video marketing campaigns are, never forget that they have to give consumers a reason to try out your products or services.  Without a true call to action, it’s just another YouTube clip that makes us smile.

  • Keith Yaskin

    Hi Keith: I would like to get more of your thoughts on the concept of a call to action. While watching the NBA Finals, two companies delivered commercials that caught my attention. Apple showed its commercial demonstrating how its products change people's lives. Samsung showed commercials demonstrating cool features of its smartphones. The video and its key messages are enough for someone such as myself to want to learn more about these products. It was not important for me for the commercials to end with "Buy this now" or "Visit our website now" or "Learn more now at ..." I associate phrases such as those often with late-night infomercials. When video is compelling. emotional, interesting and complete with key messages, do you believe a call to action in the traditional sense is still necessary?

    • Keith Koons

      Hey Keith-

      Honestly, you answered your own question here because you wanted to find out more...which qualifies as a call to action. Think about it; how often do you think consumers whip out their credit cards to purchase a big screen TV or a new smartphone on impulse? While there may be a few in that elite category, tech savvy folks like you and I will research every aspect of our favorite gizmo before finally making that purchase.

      Both of these companies delivered their "call to action" perfectly because you were left wanting to know more. Since they are major brands, they know that you can find their website just fine...that's why the actual pitch wasn't delivered in these cases.

      Thanks for the question though and hopefully I helped a little bit!

      • Keith Yaskin

        Thank you Keith. I believe your answer helps reaffirm one of my beliefs: The video itself, when thought out and produced properly, can serve as the call to action without necessarily ending with a one-liner. If viewers don't know how to find you or if, for example, you need to direct people where they can donate funds, a call to action seems more necessary. I'm afraid some organizations take the call-to-action concept too literally or, better put, in only its conventional form. I also believe some marketers recommend a call to action without giving the overall project much thought. Again, thank you for your response. Have a nice day.

        • Keith Koons

          No problem Keith! I appreciate your viewpoints as well since that's how we see new concepts/solutions in this industry.

        • Keith Yaskin

          Keith, I should also point out I notice the image by your name appears to be honoring the Heat. I was born and raised in Miami and, as you might expect, am not surrounded by too many Heat fans in Arizona. Most recently, a Bulls fans continued to text me his criticisms of LeBron despite everything LeBron displayed in the Finals. So I must recognize another Heat fan when possible. For the Bulls fan, I should have delivered a call to action: "Go Away!"

  • Brett Slater

    Great post, Keith... Every time I hear a brand use a particular song in their ads, I think, "Now who are they goin' after?" And I freakin' LOVE point #3... What good is your ad if a) it doesn't compel someone to buy and/or act, and b) if it doesn't at least make the viewer remember you in the first place? How many times do you hear around the water cooler, "I saw a great commercial yesterday, but I don't remember who it was for..."?

    • Keith Koons

      Thanks Brett! I absolutely agree with you as well...there have been so many commercials that cracked us up over the years but we have no idea what they were for. Thanks for the reply!