1. Production Quality Is Not the Key
It's accepted wisdom among video marketers that professional production is not the key to absorbing viewers. Your experience may validate the concept. This article, Surprisingly, Authentic Less-produced Videos Get Better Engagement, from Consensus is found on LinkedIn. Consensus makes demo videos for enterprise customers. The report provides proof that production quality is not the key to engagement and conversions. A breakdown of its test results goes as follows:
Demo #1: Scripted with Professional Voice Over (3 weeks production time)
Demo #2: Non-scripted Narrated by Content Expert (3 days production time)
Results: Non-scripted video demo garnered almost a 300% increase in engagement
2. Audience Engagement Reigns in Insurance Video Marketing
Engagement is the coin of the realm for all marketing, including video. Insurance video marketing fails without involvement. To engage viewers with marketing videos, start with a grabber headline and captivating thumbnail. You must arrest your viewer's attention to get them to watch your video.
YouTube ranks as the second largest search engine worldwide. That makes it the king of the video world. The following stats prove people crave video engagement. On YouTube, users upload 300 hours of video every minute, and viewers watch nearly 5 billion videos daily, according to Merchdope.
Viewer preferences and habits rule the search result rankings on YouTube. YouTube uses analytics to determine ranking and search suggestions. How well the video captures and keeps attention are the driving factors. In other words, the more relevant the video is to the viewer's intent with their search query, the higher it will rank in search results. That’s because those videos are most watched to the end.
Engagement is a byproduct of content. In videos that fully engage viewers' interest, you will find they always contain one or more of these EDIE components:
It's ideal to include all but strive to include two EDIE aspects into your videos. Get that right and your audience will engage fully and disregard production values. Daily, millions pass by full-color modern programming to watch 70-year-old black and white I Love Lucy reruns. That's because the entertainment value is excellent. It's worthy to want high-quality production, but it doesn't pay to make it the top priority.
3. Audio Quality Is More Important than Video Quality
Low resolution, grainy or blurry videos are not ideal. But they will work if the content is engaging with clear audio quality. We already mentioned that production quality is not the key. And that viewers most often engage in relevant information with EDIE components. Still, good visual content with poor sound quality loses viewers. You can improve audio files with free and paid audio editing tools. These include Audacity, Adobe Audition, GarageBand, and more.
Using a quality microphone is critical. Make sure your presenters speak and enunciate clearly. Poor audio is a turn-off. If you are recording in an environment with a noisy background, try the Krisp app. It does a terrific job of removing background noise in any app.
4. Know Your Audience
Have you done the exercise to create an avatar for your business? Insurance video marketing is most effective when the message it delivers identifies a distinct avatar as the ideal viewer.
Your business mix of clientele may have several avatars. This article, How To Make a Customer Avatar in Five Easy Steps, has brilliant advice. It also links to useful resources to help you flesh out your avatar. This quote from the article says it all.
Having a good Customer Avatar will give you a near-superhuman ability to communicate powerfully with the people who are most likely to become your customers.
The more you understand your intended audience, the better you convey your message with a compelling call-to-action. You can make generic "About Us" videos for the agency. But your marketing videos must play to a specific audience to get the results you want.
For example, how helpful is it if you know your audience inside out for a specific coverage? It's so helpful when you know your target is mostly male, over 50, college-educated, married, has grandchildren, votes Republican, and is a business owner. And that's just a start on what your avatar will look like. Imagine the strength of the connection with a prospective buyer when all the elements of your video speak to them directly.
5. Know the Why of It
Human nature generates a magnetic fascination with the "Why" of your business. Telling me your motivation for why you are in business is much more intriguing than merely telling me what you do.
Maybe you've thought about it or even written a "Why" statement. It should answer clearly why you do what you do. If you haven't written a "Why" statement yet, it is a highly recommended task. Done right, it will pay dividends for years to come.
Simon Sinek, the author of the business classic "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" is famous for this quote.
People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. – Simon Sinek
At 50 million views, Sinek’s 18-minute "How Great Leaders Inspire Action," presentation is one of the most-watched Ted Talks. In it, he explains the power of the Golden Circle with the "Why" in the bullseye.
Why are you in business?
While true, it's not enough to say you sell insurance to make a living. Such a rationale will never motivate someone to give you their trust and business. Here's a sample why statement:
We believe in the value of insurance for our clients. That’s because proper coverage minimizes risks as it creates a safety net for consumers and businesses. It is so gratifying to know our work protects and preserves the well-being of our clients' families, businesses, and property. We sell peace of mind.
Don't copy that one. You can do better. Get your whole team to work on it. It will involve and encourage them to use it as a guiding light once you complete your "Why" project.
When creating insurance marketing videos include all or some of your "Why" statement. Whether specific or implied, including it will make a potent impact. Applying your "Why" into your insurance marketing videos and other promo materials bakes it into your brand messages. Buyers who get you on a higher level are the most loyal. Your brand evangelists will come from their ranks.
6. Gear Up Gradually
If you are new to making videos, do yourself a favor. Take your time when deciding on equipment to buy. As your proficiency improves, you'll gain insight into what you need to improve your results. By starting slow, you avoid purchasing expensive equipment ill-suited for your needs.
The camera on your smartphone is more than adequate to start. Did you know in 2020 American Idol sent its contestants iPhones to record themselves singing at home during the pandemic? Knowing a camera phone is good enough for a music contest broadcast seen by millions worldwide is proof you don't need to buy a standalone video camera right away.
Here are the five must-haves to start making insurance marketing videos:
Camera – you can start with your smartphone until you gain experience to make an informed decision about upgrading. Most laptops have a built-in camera with lower quality. For a desktop or a laptop to get higher quality, consider a Logitech C920, or its equivalent. Make sure your choice comes with low-light correction and dual microphones with automatic noise reduction. As of mid-May 2020 Logitech webcams are sold out due to demand caused by work from home orders. Read this Beware of No-name Alternatives on Amazon post before you order off-brand gear.
Microphone – your webcam microphone may be adequate. But a USB condenser mic will give you a much higher quality sound. If you are more than an arm's length away, use a lavaliere mic, also known as a lapel microphone.
Tripod or Gimbal Stabilizer – when you stand in one place, use a tripod to hold your camera. If you are moving, a 3-Axis Handheld Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer is more useful.
Video Editing Software – the top of the line is Adobe Premier Pro. Besides being expensive on a monthly recurring fee, its complex system is challenging to learn. There are easier and more affordable options. Free video editing tools include iMovie for Apple, and Da Vinci Resolve 16 for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. They are more than enough to start. Camtasia is an excellent paid video editing program. It has 14 million users in business and education markets
Lighting – If you shoot outdoors, or indoors in daylight, you can get decent results without a lighting set up. You can use portable traditional indoor lighting to add light to the scene. If your location is dark, it's worth the small investment to buy a lighting kit. As with the camera, work with what you have before you invest in gear. That way, you'll learn what you need instead of guessing. If necessary, you can get a suitable lighting kit on Amazon for under $100.
If you feel the need to learn more, you can use this link to take a deep dive into equipment options.
7. Focus on Stories
Make this Buffer blog post, 7 Secrets of Super-Successful Video Marketing must-reading. It's packed with useful suggestions you'll use in every video. None more important than the first tip, which is to focus on stories and not sales.
Speaking of stories, here is the best advice to learn how to incorporate stories into your marketing and branding. Read Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller. It's a #1 bestseller with more than a million copies sold. The book provides useful insights into the best ways to talk about the work you care about. Make heroes of your customers. Don't have time for the book? Then read this post 5 Ways to Make Your Customer the Hero in Your Marketing Material by Don Miller.
Human interest is at play in your favor when you use stories as the basis for your marketing videos. The story form is the source of human interaction through eons. It remains just as captivating and influential in our modern tech-laden society.
8. Always Include a Call-to-Action (CTA) in Your Insurance Video Marketing
There is no getting around if you don't ask you don't get. It's true in life, sales, and marketing videos for insurance agents. Make your CTA understated and subtle or big and bold to match the tone of the video. But never leave it out. Pay attention so you can learn how the best marketing videos mix subtle requests, and big asks tastefully and expertly. You don't need a CTA on every scene, just don't leave it out altogether.
This post is a great start on learning how to make videos to market insurance. We have more to say about it. Make sure you subscribe to this blog, so you get updates on this topic and more.
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