Producing Compelling Customer Story Videos

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“Good customer success stories focus on storytelling, not selling,” – Lydia Wright Video represents a powerful medium to engage customer attention, emerging as a primary tool to narrate customer stories. Brands and businesses are increasingly investing in customer story videos in an attempt to infuse fresh energies into their marketing campaigns. Video stories place the spotlight squarely on the customer, feature real life problems, and solutions, and move along a curve of logical progression. It is significant that the emergence of videos is closely tied to the ubiquity of broadband Internet access because customer stories recorded on video can be directed to individual customers through their smartphones and connected tablets. Websites, social media handles, blogs, email, and online discussion forums are prime sites for the deployment of customer story videos. We must note that these videos can also be adapted for broadcast television, but the majority of such video messages are engineered for Internet audiences. Prior to creating customer story videos, a brand needs to discover and analyse the problems being faced by its customers. This analysis helps to create a point of intervention wherein, the brand can project itself or its products as a viable solution to said problems. For instance, a firm that manufactures and markets industrial chemicals can speak to its customers about the problems being faced by the latter. Industrial processes are complex situations and any gaps can create untoward consequences for operators. The said firm can analyse these gaps and create solutions that address the problems. The subsequent customer story videos can depict clients, and customers delineating their problems and the intervention that helped to address said situations. Elements of animation and on-screen graphics can enable visual story telling which can be easily deciphered by lay audiences. Further, the customer can be encouraged to narrate the problems in their own words in a bid to boost authenticity. We may state that customer story videos can help brands to connect with a large customer base and demonstrate the efficacy of a calibrated intervention. Brands and businesses can choose to create customer success stories that hinge on the customer’s situation, values, and goals. This approach can form the crux of customer story videos because it enables viewers and audiences to connect to the core marketing message. Care should be taken to frame an authentic customer in the video and he or she should be afforded ample time and opportunity to narrate an experience or insights into a situation. Relevant business premises can be chosen as the backdrop of the video because this helps to create an authentic flavour in the production. An appropriate sound track can be used intermittently to engage the customer’s attention, but the brand or the product should emerge in due time and must be dovetailed into the customer’s narrative. The overall look and feel of customer story videos should be refined by professionals before it is released for public consumption. Commercial organisations can choose to create customer story videos based on their perceptions of a product or a brand. This is important because the videos should enable a brand to reinforce the image of a certain product. For instance, a sports car manufacturer can choose to create videos that feature customers driving a real sports car. Cameras placed in the dashboard can record the customer’s voice and the expressions registering on the customer’s visage. This could help the manufacturer to record an ‘action video’ that depicts the customer in various stages of the drive. Keeping in mind the fact that customer story videos need to be genuine and authentic, the customer’s name can be embedded in the video and his narrative can be recorded in high definition audio and video. Certain automotive features can be included in the visual narrative in a bid to spotlight the finer aspects of the experience. Further, shots of the racing car can be interspersed in the video to create the effects of action. When tightly edited, the end-product can be an impactful marketing tool that transmits the customer’s exuberant experience to wide swathes of potential customers. An interaction between multiple customers and the top management cadre of a certain brand can form the bedrock of customer story videos. This strategy implies that the said brand is open to customer service experiences and has taken a decision to depict the interaction in marketing videos. Different aspects of the customer experience can be recorded from each customer featured in the video and this spotlights the multiple experiences. The opinions and responses from management personnel can be interspersed into the videos to create an exciting and engaging conversation that is documented via the video. The raw video footage can be processed in post-production facilities and the final communication product can be assessed for its impact and efficacy. That said, we must note that the different points of view set forth by individual customers should be accorded the space they deserve. This helps in boosting the authenticity quotient and can help the brand to attract a range of customers. E-commerce operators can use customer story videos on their flagship websites to boost customer conversions. This can be part of their marketing strategy because such videos can be viewed by regular visitors on their smartphones, desktop computers, and connected tablets. Short videos can be commissioned to record customer reactions to recent products, flash sales experiences, the long-term experiences with a certain e-commerce operator, etc. These videos should ideally feature the customer voice and high definition images of corresponding products to create a brief narrative. The said operator can also choose to embed the video in its social media handle in an attempt to boost viewership. The use of video devices is important because it enables said operator to reinforce customer confidence in the brand, rejuvenate the brand image, consistently pursue customer engagement objectives, and infuse an element of novelty in its website. The regular addition of such videos can help create an on-going conversation with customers, thereby adding momentum to marketing campaigns. Customer story videos can be deployed on display screens located inside business premises in a bid to garner more attention from visitors and shoppers. Businesses can use this approach to frame their success stories through the video format and thus provide interesting audio-visual content for shoppers. A series of different customer story videos can be played in loop in a bid to spotlight customer experiences and underline success stories involving the enterprise. Exciting visuals and product images can be included in these videos, as can be footage from customer interviews. An extension of such a strategy comes into play when the said business offers customers free DVDs of the customer story videos for home viewing. We must note that this extension is an inexpensive method that helps to broadcast business success stories for the benefit of lay customers. In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the uses of customer story videos and the techniques that can help create compelling video content. Every brand and business can benefit from these campaigns because the costs are fixed and the returns on investment can be outsized in certain cases. Every video-based narrative is a unique creation in itself and must be acknowledged as such by both online and offline businesses. In light of the above, brands and businesses should invest substantially to refine the techniques that attend such campaigns and thereby fulfil key aspects of their corporate destiny.

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