How YouTube Video Builds Trust in Your Company

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Thinking about using video to market your company or organization?  Do you see your competitors on YouTube and wonder: should we be there, too?

There is one good reason to invest in video.  It works.  It works because nothing creates trust online like video.

Trust is key

Let’s talk about trust and marketing.  People buy products or services they need or want, but they buy from companies they trust.  They support causes they believe in, but they donate their time and money to nonprofit organizations they trust.  Trust is key in any relationship, and especially in marketing.

If you are reaching out to a consumer or a supporter who doesn’t know anything about you or your company, what is the first thing you have to do?  You have to gain their trust.  So they’ll believe what you have to say.

So how does video help you achieve trust?

Video is real.  Authenticity builds trust

Let’s imagine a scenario.  What if every potential client or customer were recommended and introduced to you personally by their best friend?  If you could then meet each person, and talk to them when they were relaxed and in a good mood and interested in what you had to say, persuading them would be a lot easier.

But that scenario isn’t practical for most of us.  So how else can we build a relationship built on trust?  With video.  And why is that?

Well, video is “real.”  Honest.  Most people can’t fake who they are, or what their products can do, on video.  Nothing can touch video for authenticity (except connecting in-person).

If you can make your case on YouTube or on a video podcast to a receptive audience, with real people and actual demonstrations, you have achieved a big step in winning the trust of potential customers or supporters.  We have found this to be true with out own clients: their videos position them as subject matter experts, obtaining the attention of prospects.  Another, more well-known example is the Will it Blend? YouTube videos.  Those videos achieve what a magazine ad could never do – they proved that the blender works.  People believed in the brand, and sales increased 700%.

Video is found in search

Another huge advantage of online video is that it reaches people when they are most receptive to what you have to tell them.  When someone watches your YouTube video, chances are they were searching or looking at other search results on the same subject.  They’re actively seeking.

So from the outset, they’re receptive to the content of your message, on their schedule. Whether it’s 1 a.m. and you’re asleep or it’s Saturday afternoon and you’re at your child’s recital, you don’t have to worry about it because your video is speaking for you, and for your brand, 24/7.

The great advantage of YouTube video is its ranking in search.  When you optimize your YouTube videos, you make them more likely to be found in search engine results by people who are actively looking for information on that topic.

Maybe that person is one of the many journalists who say they use YouTube to find background information on organizations and products.  Maybe that person is a legislative assistant or congressional representative who is informing themselves about your product or cause, because it relates to some key policy decision and they want more information, and we know from research that legislators and their staff do refer to YouTube videos for that reason.  Maybe it is someone who is thinking about buying your product, or supporting your cause, and did a search and your video popped up.

You can create the a terrific video, but if it isn’t optimized, chances are it won’t reach its search potential and it won’t be discovered.  But, if you optimize the video, you have not only tapped into all the powerful benefits of the medium – it’s visual appeal and authenticity factor — but also the incredible value associated with search.

Allow the customer to drive

Importantly, when we’re talking about video, the consumer is in control of the interaction.  This minimizes the potential invasive or annoyance factor, such as you may have with television commercials, making them that much more receptive to your message.

On YouTube, they can choose whether to watch a video.  The ball is in their court.  They can stop in mid-stream and go on to another video.  They can watch it again and again.  They can email it to their best friend, or share it on Facebook. They can look at related videos that appear alongside the video, and get more information.

They can do a lot of things with YouTube video that they can’t do with broadcast commercials (unless of course, that commercial appears on YouTube).  But just the fact that they are in control of how they receive the message amplifies the trust factor.

You know, commercials have to be entertaining or surprising because they really are intrusive in nature.  But when a person is looking at a video, the chances are they were looking for content on that topic.  So, as I said, he or she is already receptive to receiving information.  You don’t have to resort to cute or funny techniques.  It doesn’t hurt to be entertaining on YouTube, but it’s not a requirement (unless you are monetizing your YouTube videos).  You can go for informative.

So, take for instance, Geico.  Geico car insurance uses a talking lizard and other gimmicks which are entirely unrelated to cars and safety to sell car insurance.  Since commercials are intrusive, and they’re selling on price, they really have to be as entertaining as possible.  Probably because they are a big name brand already, and they are targeting a price-sensitive audience, they have chosen not to market on trust.  I mean, there is nothing relevant or trust-inducing about a talking lizard, right?  He’s just cute and funny and memorable (e.g., “gecko” sounds a little bit like “Geico”). So that works for their print and broadcast marketing.

But, if they chose, they could take a different strategy with their YouTube Channel than they do with their commercials.  They could, for example, upload customer testimonials, case studies, consumer information about selecting car insurance, seasonal safety demonstrations, interviews with the top executives and regular employees, and other relevant content.

They don’t happen to do that, but if building trust was a marketing goal for the company, and they were interested in reaching the kinds of consumers who were less concerned with price value than with quality or reliability, they might choose to put those kinds of videos on their YouTube channel.  And because of the way consumers interact with this medium, that would work.  It would work in the way that those trust-building marketing messages would reach their target consumers who were ready to buy car insurance, not in the way that the videos would achieve millions of views.

Sharing = Endorsement

Another way video builds trust is the way it can be shared.  Remember how I said wouldn’t it be great if every client or customer we wanted to get came to us personally on the recommendation of a friend?  In a way, that can happen with video.

When a friend shares a video, that action carries their personal endorsement.  They’re saying: what I’m about to show you is worthwhile and deserves your attention.  Nothing is more powerful in marketing than the referral and recommendation of a friend.

If my sister sends me a YoutTube video to watch, there is a 100% likelihood that I will watch it, and then talk to her about it.   That good relationship can be extended to your brand with a successful YouTube video.

How Fletcher Prince can help

We are huge proponents of the power of YouTube.  It can work for many kinds of businesses and nonprofit organizations.  We can work with you to create a YouTube video strategy that integrates with your ongoing efforts to attract customers or supporters.  We can help you plan and schedule content, design a YouTube Channel, and produce your videos.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on September 12, 2012, in YouTube Video Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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