Developing character

Use a Brand Story for Video Marketing

When creating content it is so important that you have a simple and clear brand narrative that makes it easy for customers to understand what you do, how and why to engage with you. Thinking and communicating this as a story has the immediate advantage of making it simple, coupled with the fact that our brains already intrinsically understand the structures of stories and start to fill in the gaps for themselves.

Having a clear brand story will set you apart among this expanding sea of competing videos. By establishing a clear brand story, you’ll have a clear and consistent messaging with all your marketing material. It will pique your target market’s attention, help them associate positive emotions to your brand, and ultimately, be loyal to you.

Who Are Your Competitors?

Life's a race

Conducting proper competitor research will allow you to understand what the other brands are doing right and wrong. This key information is vital in helping you gain insights as to the tactical and creative approaches you can take, which your competitors may be missing.

1. Identify your top competitors

Start with knowing who you are competing against. Around 5 to 10 competitors would be sufficient, depending on how big or small your niche is. Make sure that these competitors are targeting the same market as you are.

Apart from googling them, you can use paid and free tools like SpyFu, Google Trends, Google Alerts, Alexa, Keyword Spy, Hoovers and Ahrefs

2. Compare and contrast

Look at your competitors’ video content and answer the following questions:

  • What are the topics/stories they’re covering?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is their brand story/voice?
  • How often do they publish videos? Do they also publish other content (e.g. images, infographics, articles, ebooks)?
  • What is their market positioning (e.g. The highest/lowest price point in the industry, friendly service, etc.)?
  • Can you tell what their funnel is (e.g. video content leads to email signups)?

Afterwards, conduct a SWOT analysis of your competitors, so you can figure out where you stand and how you can differentiate your brand.

At Aspect we have a scorecard we use to measure the likely success of content that you might find helpful to score both your own and competitor content:

3. Find gaps

Finding gaps is a good way to know how else you can position yourself or which videos you can produce that aren’t in the market yet. 

Is there anything you can improve on? Are there any content topics or stories that your competitors haven’t covered yet? Can you take a different approach to style / tone than your competitors?

4. Look at their social media

Which social platforms are your competitors actively using? While it would be impossible to tell how far their reach goes or their exact engagement rate, you can still get a pretty good picture by checking out followers, comments, views, and shares. 

How often do they post? Which videos are people responding to more? Are they focusing on videos or other content medium? Do they respond to comments? 

Take a look at what people are saying about them. Who are their most dedicated brand advocates? If there are any negative comments, figure out if these can be a possible gap that you can fill with your own content. 

What Makes You Unique?

Be unique

Think of DeBeers: “A diamond is forever.” 

Or M&Ms: “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

To establish your own value proposition, you need to establish how your product/service is better than your competitors by answering these questions:

1. What do you stand for?

What does your brand stand for? What do you care about? Pinpoint the problems that you’re trying to solve for your target market. 

2. What can you offer your target audience?

We’ve talked in earlier chapters about having a deeper understanding of your target audience is, now you really need to start thinking in terms of what is the problem they are trying to solve. What is standing in their way? Who is the villian if you like?

Once you’ve done this think about what you can do to help, to guide them to achieving their goals and overcoming the obstacles.

Focus on the points of change, the benefits, rather than the features of your brand. Look at how you can improve your target market’s lives, instead of simply highlighting what your service/product can do.

Brand Archetypes

One of the ways to differentiate your brand is to figure out your character—the personality which you use to introduce yourself to your audience/clients. To do this, brands often pick narratives that revolve around certain characters or archetypes that their market will find relatable.

Among the common brand archetypes are: 

  • The Hero (or Warrior, Superhero) — The Hero archetype strives to achieve goals by overcoming challenges, and are often not subtle about their achievements (Nike, Airbus)
  • The Mentor (or Sage, Scholar, Teacher) — Mentors are driven by curiosity and uncovering truth, which allows them to share their knowledge to their market (BBC, NatGeo)
  • The Everyman (or the Good Guy, Regular Guy) — The Everyman is a trustworthy and reliable archetype who wants to connect with people by creating an environment where everyone feels accepted (McDonald’s, IKEA)
  • The Innocent (or the Dreamer) — Brands who follow the Innocent archetype veer away from gimmicks, as they want to put forward a more simple, honest, and non-fussy messaging (Original Source, Innocent Smoothies)
  • The Caregiver (or Nurturer, Parent, Saint) — This archetype is driven by compassion, as they strive to make their market feel special by meeting their needs (Johnson’s Baby, Pampers)

Knowing how you’d represent your brand will guide how you behave, your tone of voice, your brand stories, and how you develop your narratives.

Aspect’s very own proposition is: “Changing behaviour through film.”

We are an insight-led video content agency. Every film we create is intended to leave the viewer different to how we found them, to change their behaviour as a consequence of what they’ve just seen.

We help our clients discover and realise the impact and power of film and how it can change what people do and how they think about brands. Films should change how people behave in relation to a brand. They can fix past mistakes, create conversations, and get people picking up your product rather than walking past or putting it down.

We are curious about people and the world and care deeply about what people do after they view our films. That’s why our brand archetype is the Exploring Sage — a curious, informed, and adventurous leader who discovers new opportunities for clients to stand out from the crowd of video content. We create video content that sets new standards for our clients.

QUICK CHAPTER SUMMARY

  • Videos are poised to dominate internet traffic, which means you need to get creative with setting yourself apart by establishing your USP
  • Start with finding out who your competitors are, so you’ll know how to position your brand better
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis with each of your competitors and identify any gaps that you can fill
  • Check out their social media to get an idea of market feedback, which videos work, and if there are any negative comments that you can use to your advantage
  • When creating your USP, find out what it is that your brand stands for and how you can better improve your target market’s lives
  • Also look at which archetype best represents your brand’s character (hero, mentor, everyman, dreamer, caregiver)