Tech startup video: what’s the secret sauce?

15th March 2016

The tech startup sector is booming. According the recent Tech Nation report, in our home city of Bristol, along with Bath, the digital tech sector is the most productive in the UK with a very healthy £296,340 sales per worker. In London, where we’ve recently set up an office, the digital turnover is £62.4bn. This report is inspiring reading, and for us as business story-tellers, we are excited by the opportunities to share these often global innovations.

Startups in the technology sector can be under time and resource pressure, but still need to cut through the noise. Although video can seem like an expensive option, if a campaign is strategically planned, it will be well worth it both in terms of helping to secure further investment or funding, and to engage your audience. A video can translate the complexity and science behind your product into a human, emotional story in a more effective way than any other form of content. If a picture paints a thousand words… imagine how video can help.

In terms of the secret sauce, we think that comes down to doing the basics really well and using creativity. So here’s our quick guide to creating video content for your tech startup.

Startup audience

Tech startups (like all brands) need to target their market segment rather than simply the mass market. As a startup, you may have already created a video as part of a crowdfunding campaign and developed an audience following. It is important to start by targeting these early adopters and then widen out as your product develops.

  • Innovators: 2.5%
  • Early adopters: 13.5%
  • Early majority: 34%
  • Late majority: 34%
  • Laggards: 16%

(Diffusion of innovations)

Think about a shooting target, and imagine your video content is aiming for the bullseye. If your message is aimed at one target, it will be easier to meet, but if there are two targets, you may miss both. Your audience will not hang around while you hit one target and then re-aim at the other.

Therefore setting a clear audience aim for your content is the best way to ensure you actually achieve something. What does hitting the target mean for your campaign? Does this audience have the resources to buy your product? Are you targeting a particular region first? Does your value proposition really work for this audience segment? Will this video work for investors and backers, or do you need another film?

It can really help if you create brand personas to bring this to life. What is the person called? What is their gender, age, income, job? What do they like, dislike? Where are they hanging out online? As you build your audience, develop testimonials and case studies which can be used as you target wider market segments as well as different stages of the customer journey.

The story behind the tech startup

You’ve got your ideal buyer persona. How would you describe your product or service to that person over dinner? That’s how you need to communicate it to your audience and video can really help you here.

What differentiates your product or service? Is there a story behind the discovery of your technology? How does your tech help people? What’s the “why” behind your tech?

Explainer videos for tech startups

Enter the startup explainer video. It can be a really useful way to translate the complexity of your technology product into compelling, understandable content. We created this video for cloud computing business Zynstra, which proves that tech explainers do not need to be dull. The film sets up a problem which the target audience faces and then solves it, whilst also showing the ‘secret sauce’ or brand proposition of this company.

Video marketing and seeding

Now, you’ve got your tech startup video, you need a video marketing plan to help you share it with your audience through owned, earned, blogger outreach and paid media. Remember point 1, you don’t need to share with everyone, it’s your target audience that will get you growth.

Firstly, set metrics for your campaigns which should be SMART targets. Then you can track the progress of video and make amendments to your campaign if necessary.

Add the new video to your website homepage so that people can easily find out what you are all about. It’s a whole other blog article, but don’t skip SEO. Share your video via social media networks and go for native social videos so that you are maximising the chances that your audience will engage with your video on the different social media channels. Can you create a social media campaign around the video encouraging user generated content?

Next, you need to think about advertising. Do you have any budget for a ppc campaign such as Google Adwords or social advertising? Can you create a pre-roll YouTube ad?

Your video can also be distributed to tech bloggers and relevant publications. Everyone is looking for quality content, and if your video meets the needs of their readers, they will share it.

We hope that our quick guide has given you inspiration to create your own video. If you’d like to find out more, check out our content marketing guide designed to help tech startups – or any brand for that matter – to cut through the content soup. Get your copy now.

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