By Rachel Feddema

Video is one of the most impactful communication tools available to engage audiences and the importance of adopting video in your communication strategy is growing. “Video is becoming a more integral part of our lives, and these trends have only accelerated over the past year and a half with more video streaming than ever happening at home,” explains Haley Fairclough, digital marketing manager at NextHome. I connected with Fairclough to get her thoughts on how to effectively tell stories using video and tips from her experience running video ad campaigns across Canada.

Haley Fairclough is the digital marketing manager at NextHome; she runs digital marketing campaigns across Canada and consults on video best practices.

What benefit is there to using video in marketing and communications as opposed to static images?

Video is eye-catching. Social media feeds are mostly dominated by static images, a video truly stands out, and this is especially true on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. 

Video also offers increased storytelling opportunities, and when done correctly can result in huge boosts to brand lift. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.

What steps should people take when planning a video campaign?

Plan one main message per video to avoid confusing users. You don’t need to tell your entire brand story in one 15 second slot, you just want to get people thinking about your brand.

Highlight a certain key benefit; what solution does your product or service provide? Users favour ads that provide a solution to a problem in their lives. Focus on that one key message to really supercharge recall.

What should be considered when filming videos for effective storytelling?

The majority of your audience is using mobile phones, so shoot for mobile first. This means using tight framing on faces and products so they take up the majority of the frame. Video that is shot natively for the specific platform performs better than one video that is readapted to fit platform specs. 

Use people! Videos that use on-screen talent are associated with higher brand lift. You don’t need to have a big budget for celebrities; use influencers and creators to connect and engage with your audience. To add even more to this, use diverse talent. Users really connect with videos that reflect the diversity in their lives.

How can video editing be used to ensure the message is effectively communicated?

Ensure the main message and branding is shared within the first 3-5 seconds. If your brand is not instantly recognizable, introduce your product or service in those first few seconds. Cut any long intros that don’t provide any information; people have short attention spans so you want to get to the point and make sure you grab their attention right away.

Tight framing, fast pacing and bright high contrast colours in videos are most effective. Using these techniques to edit for quick clips and shots can increase both ad recall and favourability. 

Close with a clear call to action. Clearly stating what action you want your users to take at the end of your video drives brand lift even if no action is taken.

Use captions and large type supers to ensure your message is accessible to everyone with hearing disabilities, and this will help increase viewership on social media as well as most users browse with their sound off.

Any tips for low budget productions?

YouTube video builder is a great resource; it allows you to create effective video ads from static images and text. There are multiple templates and it’s free to use, you only need a YouTube channel!

Film using a smartphone, expensive equipment isn’t necessary because low budget authentic style videos are effective. TikTok has given rise to an era of short form organic video. Videos no longer need to be high production value to drive results. Consumers now prefer an authentic brand experience, and organic smartphone videos are seeing higher performance on social media.

Resources recommended by Fairclough:

Think with Google – Guidelines for Great Creative:

YouTube Video Builder:

Think with Google Ad Sequences:

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