In business show, don’t tell: Using video marketing to build your brand

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Among novelists, screenwriters, and many others, there is one great rule of good storytelling that is often repeated: “show, don’t tell.”

Essentially, this rule is meant to suggest that a writer should never tell the reader what to think, or try to overexpose their characters’ motivations, but should instead “show” what they talking about, through the action of the narrative.

While this was originally a literary rule, the principle of “show, don’t tell” has spread far and wide, and has become popular in many different areas. In particular, there’s a lot to be said for the value of this rule in the context of a business.

Among entrepreneurs, marketing and effective communication are of the utmost importance. But there is a world of difference between demonstrating something to a prospective customer visually, such as via Corporate Video Production, and trying to over-explain using highly wordy text blocks.

Here are a few reasons why, in business, you should show rather than tell.

Visual imagery and direct examples make a much more visceral impact on prospective clients

First things first: all effective marketing needs to have some emotional impact on the prospective customers it’s direct towards.

A big part of what you want to achieve with your marketing if it is to appeal to your would-be customers on as many different levels as possible at once, and in the most positively impactful way.

Simply put, visual imagery and direct examples tend to make a much more powerful and visceral impact on prospective customers than long-form marketing writing, or an immense list of FAQs.

Of course, this effect does depend to a significant degree on the specific kind of visual motifs you employ in your marketing, and how effectively you can structure your communications overall.

Rest assured, though, that if your audience sees a compelling case study or video testimonial from someone in their position, who has been greatly helped by your service or product, this will tend to make a substantial impression on them.

As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

More information can be condensed into visual media

One of the greatest benefits of visual media, when all is said and done, is the fact that it’s typically the case that far more information can be condensed into visual media than into the equivalent amount of text or speech.

In just a few seconds of a video clip, you could have multiple different images displayed on screen, and could have interactions acted out between two different individuals, which serve to evoke a particular atmosphere.

For that matter, you could also show a visual demonstration of a product in no more than a handful of seconds, that would give viewers a pretty good sense of just what the product is, and how it works.

By contrast, effective and informative writing tense to be significantly more tricky to get right, and in many cases people end up relying on overly wordy descriptions in order to get their point across.

Among other things, you should always assume that anyone who is coming across your marketing materials will only be willing to give a brief moment of their attention to those marketing materials.

Fundamentally, it’s always a good idea to pick a communication and marketing style that allows you to get the “most bang for your buck,” and to communicate as many different significant bits of information as possible to your prospective customers, at the same time.

People have quite short attention spans for reading online

Whenever research has been done on the subject, it appears to be the case that people’s reading habits online are generally very different from their reading habits offline.

In particular, when people are reading content online, they will tend to skim-read the title and first paragraph, and will then skip most of the rest of the content before scanning the final paragraph.

For the same individuals to read an entire article, or a page of dense marketing copy, the writer creating the text will have to be very good at grabbing their attention, and the audience will likely have to be positively predisposed to the business in the first place.

Visual media and forms of communication operate quite differently, and manage to bypass this potential stumbling block that many entrepreneurs end up having trouble with.

As already described, visual modes of communication tend to allow for significantly more information to be conveyed at once. Visual forms of communication also tend to be significantly more attention grabbing than blocks of text.

If you have a compelling banner on your landing page, and a snappy and informative video prominently displayed on your website, there’s a good chance that more people will feel immediately “engaged” as a result.

It’s easier to showcase your unique brand identity, through visual formats

One of the most important things for every business – and particularly for new entrepreneurs – is establishing a unique and effective brand identity.

One of the noteworthy things about brand identity is that it is very often most effectively captured and conveyed via visual motifs. Consider how iconic some brand logos have become, or how famous the color palettes and presentation style of various companies is.

By contrast, aiming to effectively showcase your unique brand identity without “showing” it through visual elements, is likely to be very difficult – if not outright impossible.

Advanced visual marketing is increasingly becoming the norm

Every business that wants to be successful has to properly contend with market norms, customer expectations, and the behaviors of their direct competitors.

Increasingly, advanced forms of visual marketing will become the norm across virtually every industry, and so customers are increasingly looking for these forms of visual presentation as a sign of professionalism and authenticity.

To remain properly competitive, it’s likely to become more and more the case going forward that the visual elements of communication need to be taken increasingly seriously. Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t get started today.

From well-constructed corporate videos, to potent professional photography and online graphic design, the visual elements of your business can be very powerful indeed.

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Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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