The video marketing world is growing to be very competitive and sometimes we may only see it as that, a competition. But what if we took the posture of a student? What if we actually learned and gleaned solutions from our competitors? If we would view the landscape of video marketing as a classroom instead of a battlefield, it would prove to be much more beneficial for our given company or product. This results in the ability to have a long-term voice and influence as opposed to the momentary flash-in-the-pan effect that most marketing videos suffer from.

Having this student posture is most crucial. Every good marketer has original ideas and strategy for any given product or branding problem and you will continuously see unique solutions that you would have never thought of. Here are 5 major things that we can all learn when observing other video marketing strategies:

1. Popular Style Trends that Work

There are things that used to work stylistically that simply aren’t successful anymore. The desires of the audience have now become more refined and so the commercial or product video needs to communicate in a more precise way. Keeping on top of the current trends is key. Right now you will notice flat, blatant comedy leads the charge. Many large brands have taken this approach over the years. If it gets laughs, it gets more attention. Also what works right now in video is taking a very cinematic approach to tell a story. The approach of story is a very personal and intimate way to relate to the customer. Now, you can’t just go straight out comedy or intense cinematic sequence for your product or platform if it doesn’t make sense. Remember that your own identity has to take precedence over popular style choice. Keep your eye out for styles and themes that are working for the general public, and capitalize on a style which works for your product.

2. How to Get to the Point

Timing really is everything, especially to your audience. Attention spans are getting shorter every year and so the video needs to either communicate clearly and quickly or the story of the video must succeed at keeping your attention. Watch other videos to see how some are drawn out and lag too long before getting to the point. With videos that take the approach of storytelling, notice how and why the story kept you engaged. Take notes on when the story fell flat or how it did not stay true to the brand.

3. Production Techniques to Use

So much can be communicated using only light, color, sound, camera movement etc. It is important to have purpose with every technique chosen. Learn by watching the use of lighting techniques in other videos and ask questions to yourself. Why did they go so dramatic with the lighting there? How did those colors make me feel? Why was the camera in that position? Many of these production techniques are often overlooked and when overlooked, the content of the video is lost in the wake of distracting visuals.

4. The Importance of Good Content

On the flip side, sometimes the visuals take precedence over the content. The result of this is that you get a really nice looking video but it leaves the audience with a big question mark. Ok, what were they trying to tell me again? Totally pointless in marketing. As you come across a commercial or explainer video that really grabs you, take note of the content. Was it clear? Was it as engaging as the visuals? The content of the video needs to be interesting, but it should also clearly speak to the solution and the problem that the product solves.

5. Production Value

This is a big one of course. While watching many of the successful product videos you’re probably thinking, “That’s great, but I am sure that one cost an arm and a leg. Way out of my budget.” Now ok, some of the larger brands have a production level that is very high and costly, but there are techniques and ways to tell a story that is just as engaging as those high budget videos. Do a little research into some of your favorite videos to see what the production as a whole cost. Find out what they cut back on and where they sacrificed. Remember not to sell yourself short, but know what aspects of the production need more attention and resources.

The face of video marketing is in constant flux so keep up! And keep an eye on the videos that people are connecting with. Always be ready to learn from the successful videos, but you can also learn from the ones that don’t work so well. Watch with a questioning mind, not just an accepting or dismissing one.