Startups can’t settle for anything less than massive growth.
Without fast, revenue-generating results, startups risk their funding drying up as investors seek big returns on their money and are now much more cautious about mistakenly backing unicorns.
Of course, the foundation of any company’s success is having a stellar product of service. But startups can’t simply rely on their offerings alone to achieve rapid, major growth.
In today’s era, marketing is a key component behind thriving startups.
And it’ll be hard fought to find any marketing initiative that is as consistently effective and impactful as video marketing.
Why Video Works
What exactly makes video marketing so powerful?
Well, we are actually hardwired to respond to it. Let’s first take a look at the science behind why we are attracted to visuals.
1. We Pay Attention to Faces By Nature
The Fusiform Facial segment of the brain naturally gravitates our attention to faces. We look at faces to gain more information about a speaker, and draw conclusions about what is being said. Faces can reveal clues to the context of what’s being presented and the trustworthiness of a speaker, as well as create relatability.
For instance, listening to a comedian is a much different experience than watching a comedian perform a standup routine. What’s being said can be a lot funnier when you can see a comedian’s facial expression when he or she gets to the punch line of a joke.
For this reason, it’s typically considered best practice to use images of human faces in your marketing materials, particularly videos.
2. We Naturally Notice Movement
Humans respond to movement—it has been the key to our survival as a species for thousands of years. But beyond this, movement provides visual interest and holds our attention better than static images.
3. We Naturally Respond to Voices
From the moment we are born, we respond to voices—babies instinctively recognize the voices of their mothers and can quickly learn the voices of other caregivers as well. When we hear words spoken, we automatically interpret the message we are listening to, and gather contextual clues about what is being said. This is something that is impossible when it comes to the printed word.
4. We Naturally Respond to Emotion
Humans naturally respond to emotions, and visuals can spur emotions much more effectively than the written word.
In your perspective, which would affect you more?
The description of a child working in a cotton mill, or the image of a child working alongside a dangerous machine?
Taken in 1908, the above image of Sadie Pfeifer represents one of the first instances of photography helping to enact social change. In 1914, this image, along with others, played a crucial role in new putting in place major legislations surrounding child labor.
This proves that it’s difficult for us to ignore visual representations, and we instinctively respond to them on a deeper level.
Understanding the science behind why we’re so attracted to visuals brings a realization for why we can’t help but respond to video. It resonates with us on a level that goes well beyond simply getting recognition for your startup, gaining users, and making sales. Video helps you build an authentic connection with your audience by capturing their attention, conveying information in a way that the printed word simply can’t, and spurring strong emotions that can drive people to take action.
Why Tech Startups Should Take Advantage of Video Marketing
Because video marketing is so in-line with the way we learn and process information, it overtakes other forms of marketing in a number of ways.
1. Ease of Teaching
Complex descriptions of your offering presented in text-filled documents or even in PowerPoint can’t compare to a video that has the ability to capture and keep people’s attention.
With humans being such visual learners, one good video can be worth a thousand words. And this is particularly pertinent for tech startups developing innovative, yet complex, products.
It’s a lot easier to demonstrate the mechanics of a user interface, or how users are meant to interact with your product, by making a video of someone at your startup actually using your product, rather than writing up a lengthy how-to text guide. Plus, in a video, you can give a short explanation for what makes your product valuable, how it stands out from that of your competitors, or how it essentially makes their life easier.
2. The Verification of Ideas
Videos allow startups to present the vision of their product or service long before it’s ready to release—even before starting development of it. The ability to gain early-stage feedback makes it possible for startups to verify the overall concept, re-prioritize features, ensure marketability, or even change the focus of the product or service altogether. Ultimately, this can save time and money that would’ve been wasted on pursuing the wrong goals.
3. High-Precision Audience Targeting
Video promotion has the potential to boost your user acquisition, especially if you have good targeting in place.
You can tailor your videos for different audiences and marketing channels to deliver highly relevant messages in the most suitable format, from intro videos about your product for potential clients on your website to super brief entertainment-focused videos on Instagram Stories for your followers.
4. In-Depth User Engagement
In the age of the connected consumer, successfully marketing your startup is all about making a genuine connection and building trust with your audience by giving them the opportunity to get to know who you are as a company. This is where video marketing can truly shine.
Through videos, you can reflect your startup’s life and growth in a series of episodes featuring product demos, interviews with your team, vlogs, fun moments behind the scenes, and so much more.
5. PR and Media Coverage
Gaining widespread recognition for your company and product or service is essential for startups seeking momentum and rapid, high-impact growth. After all, the more people that know about you and what you offer, the more opportunity you’ll have to get sign-ups, win business, and achieve revenue. A launch video that goes viral is ideal content for the media, and if any mainstream, industry, or local news outlet features it, that means major visibility for your brand.
5 Content Ideas for Tech Startup Video Marketing
Now that you have a better understanding of why video marketing can be so effective for startups, it’s time to plan out the types of videos that you want to produce. But coming up with content isn’t always easy. Many startups struggle to come up with ideas for video content that would appeal to their audiences.
To help you with your brainstorming, here are five engaging video content ideas to inspire you.
1. Product Demos
If your startup is just getting into video marketing, product demos are a great place to start. Show your audience what it’s like to use your product by screen capturing and recording a video of you using it yourself. Be sure to also record some audio commentary for your video that explains the steps you’re taking when using your product.
2. Customer Testimonials
Ask some of your existing customers if they would be interested in talking about their experiences using your product or service on camera. Testimonial videos help prospective customers better understand the value of your offering and how it could help them, possibly nudging them closer to making a purchase.
3. Meet the Team
Getting face-to-face with your customers by letting them get to know the team behind your brand is a great way to build genuine, trusting relationships with them. Interview each team member, and ask them to share their story, discuss what their experience is like to work at your startup, or answer some fun questions. You could also film some short clips throughout the day at your office, and then compile them together to showcase the fun culture of your startup.
4. Interviews with Industry Experts
Arrange a meeting with an industry expert or thought leader, and interview them about the biggest issues or latest trends. Not only does this give you the opportunity to record interesting and timely videos, it offers the opportunity for your startup to network with notable people and build brand credibility.
5. Live Streams
Live streams provide an ideal way for you to connect with your customers in real time. And the beauty of live streams is the fact that your options for content are virtually endless. In fact, the content ideas we’ve already mentioned can all be livestreamed. You can also live stream an event you’re attending, a Q&A with your audience, or even just a cool moment at the office. Plus, you can upload your full live streams on a number of platforms, like YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. This saves you from having to spend hours on editing.
3 Tips for Getting Your Videos to Go Viral
Videos that go viral and garner thousands or millions of views can really catapult a startup. But despite what some may say, there’s no magic formula that will absolutely guarantee that your video will go viral. There are, however, some things you can do to make it much more likely. Here’s what they are.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Bring Up Big Issues, But Be Careful Not to Get Controversial
If you want your video to go viral for the right reasons, it’s best to steer clear from controversy.
But that doesn’t mean you should outright avoid important issues.
Heineken, for example, made a powerful statement on prejudice and polarization with their Worlds Apart campaign. In its short film, people from differing backgrounds or with deeply differing views work together to build a bar, and in the process, discover that they have much more in common than they might think. Heinken did well to ensure that the video didn’t come off preachy. Rather, it leaves viewers with positive feelings surrounding the view and Heineken’s brand.
2. Optimize Your Video for Social Sharing
If you’re not optimizing your video for social sharing, you’re making it much more difficult for viewers to share your content with their networks and followers, slowing down your video’s momentum.
Here are a few tips for ensuring your video is optimal for social:
- Make sure it’s the right format — YouTube has a default limit of 15 minutes, though you can extend that up to 12 hours. Instagram videos can be no longer than 60 seconds. Facebook videos can run up to 45 minutes. Twitter videos can be no longer than 2 minutes and 20 seconds. And each platform has a format that works best. For example, horizontal shots are typically the norm, but vertical shots tend to look better on Instagram.
- Add captions — This is especially important for Facebook, where 85 percent of videos are watched without sound, so captions can drastically improve your view numbers.
- Create a branded thumbnail — Your video thumbnails should encapsulate what your videos are about. This way, viewers will know exactly what they’re in for before watching it and will be more likely to click if the thumbnail is enticing enough. That means creating a catch display title, and choosing a clear screen grab from the video.
3. Get Emotional
Videos are on the best vehicles for storytelling and evoking emotion.
This video that we produced for the Navy Exchange, for instance, shows a father and son going through a year of holidays without their wife and mother, who is deployed.
Many people have felt the emotion of missing a loved one. The video offers a relatable, heartstring-tugging story that puts the characters—rather than the brand—front and center.
For tech startups, it’s important to build a marketing strategy focused on growth and gaining customers. And there’s no other form of marketing content that can achieve these goals quite like video.
To truly ensure that your video marketing efforts are successful, investing in a team that has the expertise and experience to produce videos that captivate audiences with impeccable storytelling, while portraying your brand in the best possible light, is absolutely essential.
At Zen Media, we have a track record for implementing video marketing strategies that turn our clients’ moments in momentum for their businesses.
To learn more about how we can help catapult your startup, contact us to schedule a consultation!