How I use video to surprise and delight my copywriting clients

Louise Shanahan

Health Copywriter | Edinburgh

Everyone is talking about how video marketing is The Thing. Here’s why:

  • by 2021, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (RIP data allowance)
  • 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product, than read about it (#lazy)
  • including video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80% (love doing this)
  • 65% of viewers watch more than ¾ of a video, which is a far higher retention rate than text (sobbing copywriter over here)

If you want to boost engagement in your work and you’re not throwing video into the mix somewhere, you’re probably missing an opportunity. From live streaming on social media to sales and explainer videos on your website, video is an unmissable way to connect with your audience.

And if you’re a business or charity in the health world, the opportunities are even bigger – when we’re talking about the deeply personal and emotive issues surrounding our health, the need to be relatable and build a rapport with prospective clients, customers or supporters is even more important. Video allows you to tell people who you are and what you stand for in your own voice (literally). It’s like eye contact over the internet.

Time to unleash your inner Kathryn Bigelow!

Umm.. I’ve never done video before, where do I start?

If the thought of talking to camera on FB live makes you want to hurl, or if learning to use iMovie so you can make a profesh intro video for your home page is still at the far depths of your to-do list, don’t worry. We’re not talking Hollywood productions here.

You don’t need anything fancier than your (admittedly quite fancy) phone, and there are loads of great online apps to help you create something impressive.

Think about the purpose of using video: ideally, you’ll be considering it because it’s the best medium to communicate a specific comms objective, not because you feel you should.

But I’m all for experimenting, and there could be some fun ways to use video to complement your existing marketing strategy that you hadn’t considered before.

In fact, that’s what I’m doing. I’m actually experimenting with using video as a way to ‘surprise and delight’ my clients with thank you videos!
I was actually on the fence about sharing what I’ve been doing, in case we work together in future (#spoileralert).

But it’s fun and I want you all to have a go! You’ll just have to practice your surprised and delighted face for when the time comes.

Wait – what’s ‘surprise and delight’ all about again?

The ‘surprise and delight’ strategy is kind of what it says on the tin – the idea is that by surprising your customers with something unexpected, you’ll create loyal fans who can’t wait to tell their friends about you. It’s a fun way to build and nurture relationships with your customers.

One of my favourite examples of a company doing the ‘surprise and delight’ thing really well is the story of WestJet, who surprised their customers with a ‘Christmas Miracle’. Passengers were invited to tell Santa their Christmas wishes before boarding, and during the course of the flight, a team of WestJet elves had scurried around to purchase gifts and fulfil the requests.

When passengers arrived at their destination, they discovered the pressies they’d asked for wrapped and labelled, waiting for them on the baggage carousel. Talk about a delightful surprise! Who wouldn’t want to fly WestJet after that?

But for those of us who don’t have airline-level budgets to spend on gifts, video can be an easy and effective way to go the extra mile and create a customer experience that will lodge you firmly in their memory.

Using video to surprise and delight

A good ‘surprise and delight’ strategy has four main ingredients, all of which are pretty easy to achieve using video:

  • it makes a positive emotional connection – the whole point of this exercise is to create a moment that builds love for your brand. If it’s met with ‘meh’ instead of ‘wow!’ then you’ve missed the mark. Video is a great way to prompt an emotional response (hence the existence of the entire film industry).
  • it’s well-timed – you might think that the surprise factor means you can dish out delights at any random time, but this could be a wasted opportunity. Better to coincide with a crucial stage of the buyer’s journey or respond quickly while your customer is experiencing a major pain point.

Video is super quick and easy to produce, meaning you can create something effective without missing the moment.

  • it’s personalised – for your customer, a big part of the thrill comes from being made to feel special beause you’ve taken the time and effort to do something just for them. With video, you can create something that’s tailored to the individual, such as a quick personalised video message to respond to a query or problem they’ve experienced or to check in after they’ve bought your product.
  • it goes beyond what’s expected – clearly no one is going to be surprised or delighted if you just provide the bog-standard service. No one’s going to be rushing to post on social media that your delivery arrived on time or the product works as described. I mean, these are great, but they’re kind of essential. They shouldn’t be a surprise! We’re talking about something that’s exceeds customer expectations. Video is a great way to go the extra mile and communicate with your audience in unexpected ways.

So, let’s get creative! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • when a client emails you with a question, reply with a quick personalised video message instead of the usual customer service email.
  • if you notice a client has mentioned your product or service on social media, respond with a quick thank you video and the promise of a free gift of some sort (or if they were complaining – use the video to apologise and promise to fix it!). An added bonus is that others will see it, getting you even more brand love for your buck.
  • make tailored explainer videos when someone signs up to use your service.
  • reward your best clients by getting their favourite celebrity to record a personal video message.

Here’s how I’m doing thank-you videos:

When I finished client projects in the past, I’d send a ‘project close’ email which thanks them for the opportunity to work with them and gives a polite nudge to send me a glowing testimonial (natch).

Now I’m doing this with cheery little tailored videos, with the help of tiny clay people and a jaunty tune. It’s WAY more fun than email. I’m using Biteable for this.

As you can see, it’s pretty simple, but the combination of a personalised message, humour and the fact that I’ve gone to the effort to make them something they weren’t expecting, seems to put a smile on their face (and some pretty great testimonials in my inbox)!

I’m obsessed! Seriously, I might branch out and start an e-card biz.

So it doesn’t have to be complicated or break the bank: a few well-placed videos along the client’s journey can still be sufficiently impressive to help nurture those relationships with memorable customer service.

But remember, surprise and delight only works if you’re already providing a great service. WestJet customers might not have been quite so excited about their gifts if their flight was delayed and their actual bags were lost.

I’d love to know how you are using video in your biz. What tools are you using? How else can we use video to add some extra sparkle to our marketing efforts? Hit me up on Instagram and let me know.

First published on The Copy Prescription.

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