The following article by GlassView’s Amanda Bell explores why a less-is-more video strategy is sometimes the better move.
Among other things, BuzzFeed is known for creating a lot of video. A few years ago, the company was producing around three videos a day. The number now is certainly higher, but that volume comes at a cost. Many vloggers have recently fled the platform because of its low quality standards.
There’s a lesson here for brands. Everyone is under pressure these days to produce more and more content, especially video. Some are brands are adopting the high-volume approach to content. LG, for instance, created more than 150 videos last year for Facebook alone. Other brands, including Marriott, Progressive Insurance, Dell and PepsiCo, are following Red Bull’s strategy and creating in-house production units to become publishers.
While many of these big brands are able to pull this off, as BuzzFeed’s travails illustrate, creating a firehose of video content can sometimes have the effect of undermining brand equity. One poorly conceived and executed video can hurt brand affinity. Sometimes a less-is-more strategy is the better move. Here are three ways to make brand videos more compelling:
1. Experiment with longer videos. Ideally a branded video should make new and existing users look at the brand differently. In that case, one really well-constructed video can do the job of 20 or more. For example, look at Burberry’s star-studded mini film about founder Thomas Burberry. The film looked like the trailer for a potentially great movie and drew viewers in the way a standard ad couldn’t.
We’ve observed that long-form videos build deeper connections with consumers. A 2016 Google study found a 2-minute ad was better at raising brand favorability than a 15-second version of that same ad. That’s why brands like Johnnie Walker, Canada Goose and JetBlue are creating short films as well.
2. Use a series format. Game of Thrones. Serial. This Is Us. The success of such shows illustrates that we all love a story arc. Brands can experiment with this format too with long-running stories replete with cliffhangers and twists. GE met the need for such content with The Message, a sci-fi story that hit No. 1 on iTunes’ podcast chart.
3. Work with content pros. Some of the best new ads these days are coming from Saturday Night Live, which has cut the number of commercials that appear during the show in favor of branded content. Ads for Honda and Burger King have managed to keep the show’s humor without sacrificing the brand’s message. How many unfunny videos is one of these worth?
For proof that the quality-over-quantity argument works, think of yourself as a consumer. Would you rather watch 10 bad videos or watch one good one 10 times? If your video strategy isn’t working, maybe it’s because your videos need to be better.