Among many other things, live product launch events went straight out the window with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey conducted by PCMA found that 87 percent of business events professionals reported canceling events in 2020 as a result of COVID-19—we wouldn’t be surprised if that number was even higher. In a post from 2021, Google reflected on a year of virtual product launch events (something that seems commonplace now!) and came to the conclusion that “a launch is no longer a single moment; it’s a series of moments that work together, building on one another.” The bad news is that you may have lost a bit of the anticipatory-magic of a captive, live audience grand reveal moment…The great news is that your audience potential has become infinite as long as you’re willing to meet them where they spend time. And, increasingly, the answer to that is: digital video.
The viewership for online video has been steadily increasing for well over a decade, as attention span has simultaneously been decreasing. A cursory search will reveal myriad statistics about video marketing’s value to increase ROI, brand retention, etc. But the numbers are arbitrary, because the true value of video lies in its superior ability to convey the core human element: storytelling.
Have you ever been excited to tell a friend about a new movie and then heard the dreaded response “But have you read the book? The book is so much better.” There’s a simple reason that the “book vs movie” debate exists for every piece of popular fiction and why the book camp can claim moral superiority—because reading requires more time and effort than watching. While the deep nuance and time invested may be ideal for a beloved piece of literature, quick and easy is the way to go when it comes to explaining a digital product.
Here are some reasons why video is a superior form of storytelling and, thus, a critical piece of your go-to-market strategy.
One simple reason that video is critical to a launch strategy is the sheer number of ways it can be used. A single piece of video content can be chopped a million ways to serve different audiences and purposes, and tailored to any platform. Videos make great above-the-fold website headers and special site takeovers. Video can be snipped into little sneak peeks to build anticipation (Apple is famous for this).
The shareability of video also means that it can go further. Video may produce the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to reach. It can be targeted and boosted to highly-relevant audiences, creating MQLs in your funnel. And video can add oomph to some of your more traditional marketing tactics as well. A study of PR Newswire data found that press releases on the site which included photo, video, and text assets garnered 7.4x more views than text-only releases. Notified, a communications cloud platform for events, public relations, and investor relations, describes the added PR value of multimedia storytelling:
“Unlike text-only press releases, the flexibility offered by multimedia-rich news releases helps journalists and newsrooms craft stories with angles that are more engaging for their target audiences. It also gives them the building blocks to tailor their stories for their specific platforms (traditional and social). Since the media are continually striving to attract and keep readers on their platforms or websites, a press release with appealing content has a better chance of gaining the media’s interest, and ultimately, a better chance at exposure. “
Perhaps the most important value of video is its unparalleled ability to move audiences—and we don’t just mean inspiring them to take action, which it does, but to emotionally connect with your brand or understand the power of your product. Wes Theoret, Motion Design Lead at RocketAir, describes the unique impact of video:
No other medium can generate the same type of emotional response—that heart-racing feeling from great music, exciting motion graphics, and attention-grabbing sound effects. The elements of a well-made video combine to engage audiences more than any stagnant photo or written text could ever do alone.
Our experience partnering with software companies at RocketAir has emphasized the special ability of motion graphics to convey even the most complex, abstract product functionality in ways that allow for both technical understanding and emotional connection.
An animation can quickly capture the story of why the product came to be (the pain points), describe what the product can do (the solution), and also show the emotional impact that this solution has for customers—all in a minute or two. Furthermore, motion graphics allow us to replicate UI and demonstrate product interactions, giving viewers a feel for the product in action. And we can introduce highly technical, abstract products in accessible ways.
For our client Metallic, a SaaS product for enterprise-grade backup and recovery from the industry leaders at Commvault, we created an animated video with a clever and distinctly human approach. By pairing a thoughtful script that hinged on the experience of the targeted end users (who wish they could just clone themselves to get all their work done!) with bright animation, smart transitions, and exciting music, we turned a potentially dry topic into something unexpectedly delightful. That power to engage and surprise audiences while educating them, is the difference between medicine with and without the spoonful of sugar.
If you could use some animation inspiration, check out our motion design reel.