CREATE STAND OUT VIDEO
Reading time 3 minutes
Written by Mark Anderson
People often talk about ‘the power of video’, but we rarely hear people point out that it’s only powerful if you’ve got something worth saying (or watching).
Yes, video can be powerful. But making a video does not guarantee results. The best way to get results is to a) have a brilliant product and b) help potential customers understand why it is better.
This seems ridiculously apparent when you spell it out. Still, most businesses get it wrong – which presents an opportunity for you.
We are increasingly bombarded with content, adverts and – worst of all – adverts pretending to be content. As a result of all this noise, it’s becoming harder for us to tell businesses apart.
It’s also becoming easier to make good looking video content. Today, an online promo can look like a Hollywood movie, and the cost of achieving that quality is tiny by comparison. So quality (in terms of resolution) isn’t a differentiating factor for your viewers.
For the viewer, things get murkier still. Businesses within the same industry tend to sell themselves based on the same stats and features. Everyone makes similar claims that are hard to tell apart. As a result, your potential customers are more likely to end up making their decisions based on something easy to define, like cost or convenience.
So how do you stand out?
How do you avoid looking and sounding the same as everyone else? Could you redefine people’s expectations of your industry?
The best methodology we’ve found comes from Adam Morgan of challenger agency Eat Big Fish, in his book, The Pirate Inside. It’s a great tool to filter what makes your product different from the things that customers simply expect, it could even help you re-define what it means to do business in your industry.
The three buckets:
// Brilliant Basics
// Compelling Differences
// Changing The Game
‘Brilliant basics’ are the things that we all expect as standard. If we use the example of hotels – brilliant basics would be excellent customers service, cleanliness, comfy beds etc. As a customer, these aren’t differentiating features: they are our base-expectations of a good hotel. Yet they are still used as selling points on most hotel websites and in videos/marketing materials.
‘Compelling Differences’ are things that set you apart in the eyes of your customers. In the hotel example, this could be a beachfront location. But – note that this isn’t a game-changer. Chances are there are other beachfront hotels in your area. There are certainly plenty of other beachfront hotels in the world, so your location (probably) isn’t going to redefine your industry. However, (if it is compelling enough) it could be a reason why someone would book with you, hence being a compelling difference.
‘Changing The Game’ are the things that set you apart from all other businesses in your market. Something that redefines your market. For example Air BnB’s approach to accommodation.
Categorise your features.
You can use these categories like buckets and put in each of the features of your business. You’re going to feel a strong urge to describe anything you’ve spent money, time and resources on as a Compelling Difference, but you need to be cutthroat and view the features from your customers perspective. If in doubt, most things are Brilliant Basics.
Done right you will end up with lots of Brilliant Basics, few Compelling Differences and (if you are a challenger) a Game-Changer.
If you can’t identify a Game-Changer – don’t worry. If it doesn’t already exist; it can inform a broader conversation about the direction you want to take your business / product later.
How can this approach help the videos you make?
When creating video content, ignore the brilliant basics as they will only make you sound like everyone else. Instead, focus on communicating your Compelling Differences and the Game-Changer, as these are what really set you apart.
In the hotel example, if the sea view is the deciding factor for a customer to make a purchase – why make them sit through other information that doesn’t differentiate you?
When people think of creating video content, they often think of a packaged-up ‘promo’… But the world is changing. Attention spans are dwindling, and we all have an adverse reaction to being sold to or emotionally manipulated with cheesy stock music.
So once you’ve identified your compelling differences or game-changer, the most powerful way of communicating it to viewers is often the simplest way – show them.
Take the hotel example. Imagine, you’re booking your holiday, and you’ve spent an hour browsing the web for hotels on the Amalfi coast. You’ve looked at loads of hotels. They are all very similar: they have great reviews, claims of exceptional food and brilliant customer service. They also all have nice looking photos of their sea views. But photos leave you with questions; will that be the view from my room? Is there a main road between the hotel and the sea?
Everyone looks and feels very similar. As a result, you are struggling to make a choice and are about to visit a price comparison site to see where you can get the cheapest deal. But then you try one last hotel website. A video automatically loads, walking you through a beautiful hotel room out to the balcony and the sea view. There is no stock music, you hear natural sounds of the sea, bird song and the clinking of the yacht masts in the harbour. A simple title reads – ‘the view from your room’.
That’s it. The hotel has communicated it’s Compelling Difference in an incontestable way. This simple, short unedited clip is way more powerful than telling you they are based by the sea – or even showing you the view in a photo.
Change the Game
You can use the three bucket exercise to identify and prioritise your compelling differences and stand out. But if you have the opportunity, it is well worth working towards having something to put in the ‘Changing The Game’ bucket.
Having a game-changing approach is like having a turbo booster on your marketing. Being genuinely interesting amplifies any promotional work you do. It will get you more press coverage, greater organic reach on your social posts and increased word of mouth.
Game-Changing features allow small players with modest marketing budgets to overthrow their biggest competitors and large players to stay in business.
For more in-depth inspiration on thinking like a challenger – we highly recommend the books of Eat Big Fish.
We’d love to hear your ideas for how to show what sets your product apart. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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