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Getting in Frame: Increasing Video Social Proof Through Context

At its core, marketing is about hitting all the right notes – talking to the right audience with the right message at just the right time. It’s an understatement to say that plenty of work goes into keeping customers engaged and invested throughout the buyer’s journey, especially when all it takes is one misaligned factor to lose a potential customer’s interest forever. So, what can you do to get all those “rights” in a row?

You might remember Video Social Proof as the strategy of capturing and sharing the experiences of existing customers through video solutions as a means to increase potential customer engagement. You may also recall that the effective Video Social Proof framework can be split into six distinct principles. We’ve already discussed the first two principles in our previous posts:

  1. Visual: Have you made it as easy as possible for consumers to feel connected to your products through videos? Are you focusing on presenting your brand’s value through visual experiences?
  2. Personal: Are you presenting your products in an authentic and personable manner? Are you building trust by directly showcasing how your brand has already positively impacted the lives of your customers?

Well, let us introduce you to our third principle of Video Social Proof: Context.

Context and Content: A Love Story

Context refers to the framing of your message and the circumstances in which it’s presented. Not just limited to the content of the video itself, context also extends to the where, when, and how of each marketing channel. Context touches on everything from the timing of your email blasts to the background images in your latest social media campaign.

One of the worst mistakes you can make is thinking of context as a passive part of the marketing process rather than a deliberate, complementary aspect of your content. It’s easy to produce a straightforward masthead ad and drop it wherever your Marketing Team thinks it’ll farm the most impressions, but this hardly makes a compelling case for your product’s value.

For starters, let’s talk through a hypothetical example of poor contextual awareness:

Imagine you’re scrolling through a nearby rock climbing gym’s website. You’re partway through the FAQ page when it hits you: a video ad for shoe insoles that takes up half your screen and shoves aside the page’s text like a rogue JPEG in a crowded Word document. In the video window, a lone sample insole rotates slowly against a plain white background while the company name and product price (shipping not included) float eerily overhead.

Yikes. There’s a few context missteps to unpack here, so let’s split our analysis into two categories.

1. Contextual Relevance

At VideoPeel, we specialize in helping brands leverage product-specific video content to show customers just how much value they stand to gain. 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews and testimonials help them build trust towards a business, so who are we to get in the way of such a beautiful relationship?

Contextual relevance should never be far from anybody’s mind when thinking through the content of your marketing cycle. In this case, we’re talking about how marketing content can demonstrate a product’s value through its environment. Ask yourself which captures your interest more: an unplugged flatscreen television sitting idly on a department store shelf, or one hooked up to a fully furnished home entertainment center with a 4k nature documentary throwing dazzling light onto the walls?

To that end, don’t be afraid to leverage testimonials from your existing user base to really drive home the value you’re offering. The type of integrated, consumer-centric marketing we’re talking about here can’t be a “set it and forget it” type of process; consumers and marketing trends are in a state of constant change, and marketers of all stripes need to understand that contextual relevance means continually and consistently examining customer needs. If you ever expect to meet those needs, you need to evolve alongside your potential customers by putting out fresh video content.

Building off of our insole example above, wouldn’t it make more sense to show how effective the product is through testimonials from satisfied customers? People who are actually using the product can also speak to pain points that may have put potential customers on the path towards a purchase in the first place.

A disembodied insole can only paint so vivid a picture, after all.

2. Contextual Targeting

From the average internet user’s perspective, mis-targeted marketing efforts are often seen as more of an intrusion than an opportunity for engagement. As such, there’s a fine line between offering potential customers an opportunity and shoehorning a distraction into the middle of their afternoon. At VideoPeel, we believe that video marketing should compliment its environment, not conflict with it.

Now that users are able to hop on the web from any manner of computers, phones, tablets, and even some fridges, you’ll need to narrow your efforts when considering ideal marketing channels. Use Account Based Marketing techniques to identify the customer base you’d like to go after and focus your efforts on marketing opportunities that will have the biggest impact with your selected demographics.

Put yourself in the (very comfortable) shoes of the team responsible for our insole ad example. Video windows between news article paragraphs might be seen by innumerable eyes, but that may still be too wide of a net to effectively turn impressions into clicks. If you knew that retired professionals were their most reliable customer base, what sort of sites and platforms would it make sense to place ads in? Where would your targeted customers give themselves time to linger on a page? Where can you develop an ad with the benefit of stating your case to an interested audience primed for engagement?

Once More, With Context

Let’s take that insole ad from earlier back to the drawing board and try again.

Since we know that we’re targeting retired professionals, you can use testimonials to speak in expressive, relatable terms when conveying your product’s value. Your message will resonate more with customers when it’s removed from content that feels curated or staged (think green screens and Hollywood-tier special effects), so don’t underestimate the power of current customers talking to potential customers on your behalf.

With an eye towards context, think about a few ways that we can improve on the insole ad. Allow us to start:

  • Relevance Improvements: Why place an insole in isolation when you can have someone demonstrate its value firsthand? Have a retired professional show how easily they can go about their day or take an afternoon stroll around the neighborhood with their new support, or how quickly they can be installed in a favorite pair of dress shoes.
  • Targeting Improvements: If you know who you’re marketing towards, then you know where your targeted audience would be likely to flock. Found some ad space for sale at a sporting goods store’s website? Plant your video near the footwear or golf accessories. Does your data point towards Facebook as your target audience’s favored social media platform? Run a few campaigns across the Marketplace and News Feed screens.

Incorporating context into your testimonial videos emphasizes what all marketing tries to do: make the product personal. Putting a useful product next to a friendly face in a relatable situation does wonders towards building trust. Allow potential customers to put themselves in the shoes (and insoles) of your satisfied user base.

Through VideoPeel’s video testimonial solutions you can:

  • Let your customers post endorsements of your product without downloading an external program or logging in to a third party app
  • Invite customers to share specific messages by adding instructions to the video testimonial prompts
  • Quickly and painlessly integrate testimonials into your marketing campaigns wherever they can add the most value

Testimonials: A Testimonial

Let’s recap: using context to refine your marketing relevance and targeting practices gives customers the opportunity to see your product as more than a clump of pixels on their phone screen. Specifically, authentic customer videos can effectively usher potential customers along the buyer’s journey by expanding on:

  • Awareness: Email blasts with company-specific testimonials or social media ads with satisfied customers in the foreground make the product relatable and highlight practicality over presentation. 
  • Consideration: Target customer on the fence? Try and help them over by directing them towards testimonials that assuage their hesitation and show them how easily their quality of life can be improved. 
  • Purchase: Help customers break through the “add to cart” barrier by having them imagine how owning the product would benefit them (as expressed by the subject in your testimonial).
  • Retention: The great thing about video testimonials? If you’ve got a good enough product, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding customers willing to testify to that fact. Offer your customers base rewards and community-building opportunities by incentivizing testimonial involvement.
  • Advocacy: Same as above; don’t be afraid to solicit engaged customers for testimonials if you know that they’re satisfied with their recent purchase.

Through the personalizing power of video testimonials, you’ll be able to strengthen your bonds with your existing customers while channeling their enthusiasm and satisfaction into powerful, persuasive messaging that you can turn outwards towards potential customers.

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