The essence of video marketing has remained fairly constant. Television ads have been around for decades. But this doesn’t mean that the formats and content haven’t been changing more or less constantly since their inception.
Especially within the last two decades, online video marketing and, in particular, social media sites, has opened up new ways for brands to reach customers, and available tools have made it much easier to deliver this marketing to the right people, but more on that later.
LNGFRM talked with filmmaker and video marketing pro Sharan Gupta about the current state of video marketing and, most importantly, the ways in which it has changed in recent years.
Gupta has a great deal of production experience, both in narrative film and video marketing. He’s worked on dozens of projects as First AD, has directed multiple projects of his own, and is currently the VP of Video Marketing with a lead generation company called Beyond Codes.
“I’m responsible for all activities associated with the creation of marketing videos for our customers. I collaborate with clients to develop content that aligns with their company’s goals and captivates their target audience.”
Gupta manages the entire video production process, all the way from the initial planning stages to the actual shooting of the project to the editing, post-production, and publishing of the finished video.
But now it’s time to move on to the good stuff: let’s see what insights Gupta had to share about the past, present, and future of video marketing.
Changes in video marketing
We’ve already touched on one of the most surface-level changes to video marketing in the recent past: the rise of online and social media marketing.
But for marketers and brands alike, there are more specific changes that need to be considered. Let’s get into it.
Democratization of tools
First, the production of video marketing has been made much more accessible compared to the ‘cost of entry’ from about ten years ago.
Gupta says that tech has led the way in the democratization of hardware and software necessary for creating professional-quality videos.
“The availability of approachable and cost-effective video creation tools is vastly different. Today it costs much less to create a high-quality video than it did in the past, thanks to newer technologies.”
Obviously, this translates to lower production costs for the companies creating these marketing materials, and despite the lower costs, results can still be extremely impressive on a technical level.
This increased access to professional tools also translates to lower fees for companies looking to create video marketing campaigns.
But there has also been progress in the area of making video marketing more effective.
“The emerging trend is that video marketing isn’t just becoming cheaper to produce, but also that it’s becoming more effective thanks to customer targeting features.”
Multiple platforms today, including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, now offer advanced customer targeting.
What does customer targeting actually mean, though? The marketing pros out there will already be familiar with the term ‘target audience.’ This refers to a specific group of people that a brand wants to communicate with via marketing.
In the past, video marketing professionals could only make educated guesses as to who would actually see these videos. This is why television ratings and viewership demographics were so important. These stats gave marketers a better idea of who was watching specific programs.
But customer targeting is far more accurate online, since sites have more specific information on their users, even if that information is as simple as age and gender.
Brands and marketing teams can also use site statistics to find out how many people have actually seen a specific marketing video and how much of it they watched.
But what if the videos themselves could be taken to a whole other level? That’s exactly what our next topic is all about.
Extended reality, or XR, which encompasses both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), has been a topic of interest in both the entertainment and marketing fields for years, and some very impressive work is already being done in this area.
But as Gupta sees it, VR has the potential to become much more common in video marketing in the near future, and as he pointed out, it’s already being used to great effect by customer-facing businesses.
“I feel that an important change we’ll see in video marketing in the near future is the integration of virtual reality. It’s already been introduced in specific B2C areas like clothing, interiors, etc. But it can also be valuable for B2B marketing.”
VR possesses an incomparable ability to transport the user to a setting that can be designed from top to bottom by marketing professionals.
Suddenly, customers can get a much better sense for a product or a space that they might not otherwise have access to.
It’s a unique technology that has many practical applications in marketing, and brands are starting to realize this more and more.
We’d like to move on now to some more general topics related to video marketing, the first of which is the integration of storytelling.
Like video marketing itself, this isn’t a new tactic, and it continues to prove its worth in the modern era of brand marketing. But for the most part, this technique has been used by B2C companies, i.e. companies selling to customers rather than to other businesses.
For Gupta, there’s a major opportunity for B2B companies to follow suit.
“Storytelling via advertisements is something that B2C brands have been doing well for years. B2B marketers also need to connect with their audience, but not just in terms of the company’s products or services. The brand’s vision, strategies, and the people who make it all possible can give clients reasons to feel invested in the company.”
This would represent a major shift in B2B marketing, which, in the past, has been typified by a more straightforward, no-nonsense approach.
Business clients are people, too, and people respond to powerful storytelling, regardless of the context.
Before we finish up, let’s focus on the filmmaking aspect of video marketing and, more specifically, what filmmakers need to know if they’re planning on working in this field.
It goes without saying that video marketing production is significantly different than narrative filmmaking. The budgets are different, the timelines are different, and many of the project goals are different too.
But Gupta’s career certainly proves that narrative filmmakers can thrive in video marketing, bringing crucial creative skills to the table, as well as the ability to execute complex ideas.
In addition to these skills, Gupta emphasized that video marketers, especially those working in B2B marketing, always need to be ready to keep moving forward.
“Technology is never going to be static. Therefore, video marketers need to be agile and adaptive to keep pace with the latest tools, techniques, and trends.”
Another major difference between narrative work and marketing work that filmmakers need to understand is the weight of client expectations.
“A B2B or B2C client is very aware of what they’re paying you for. At the end of the day, you answer to the client, so you need to keep them happy.”
This puts pressure on the filmmaker to communicate well with the client throughout the entire process and explain specific choices, especially when the client disagrees about the direction of the project.
These differences can be significant, but they’re ultimately just hurdles that can be overcome with dedication and practice.
What clients really want to know is whether you can successfully create video marketing campaigns that meet their goals while also staying under budget and meeting deadlines.
Meeting these requirements can lead to a lucrative career in video marketing. The details will change over time, but these basic requirements are at the center of it all.
So the next time you see a video ad on television or online, consider all the work and collaboration that went into its creation, and most importantly, ask yourself whether it’s effective.
Video marketing is an art of its own, and it takes skilled artists to create effective marketing that truly connects with customers, and we’d like to thank Gupta for giving us the inside scoop on how it all happens.