We here at the Web Video Marketing Council don’t need to tell you that the world is changing rapidly. Business is being conducted in every sector in a fraction of the time it once was. Technology allows us to do more with less time. Every new product that comes out seems to be almost instantly obsolete, and those with true staying power require frequent updates. Gadgets and gizmos and so-called “best practices” seem to appear and disappear with such frequency that you may have stopped noticing their arrivals and departures altogether. And when someone tells you that something is “the best,” you understand this as a testament to the fact that it’s not a scam – and nothing else.
We also don’t need to tell you that web video is the most effective way to reach your audience. You already know it. Whether you’re an established B2B veteran looking to ramp up your online presence or a newcomer to B2C marketing looking to grab some market share, you’ve seen the way people react to video marketing campaigns. You know that video marketing isn’t some fly-by-night fad, and that it has the power to generate some serious business opportunities. But what you know and what you hear don’t always jive. So we at the WVMC have decided to allay some of your fears and address head-on the myths associated with web video marketing.
Myth 1: My Product or Service Doesn’t Lend Itself to Web Video
Utter nonsense. Every product can benefit from web video. To prove it, I’ll use the most contradictory example I can think of: a print publication. Here is a player in an industry whose very existence depends upon the production and consumption of static content (both text and images), as it has been since Gutenberg. And regardless of the content of the publication, one thing remains unfailing: it is comprised of static text and images. There is no place in a newspaper or a magazine for video. The media just don’t jive.
In this web-centric age, we are hard-pressed as consumers to find a company – including that static publishing company – which lacks an online presence whatsoever. So imagine that this publication has a website. Now imagine that there is, say, an article about a local politician breaking ground on a new children’s museum. The article includes an interview with the politician, as well as a few snapshots taken at the event. But wait – how did that article come into being? There was a journalist there to experience the event. There was perhaps even a photographer, assuming the writer didn’t snap the photos himself. What if that photographer had brought a small video camera and had recorded the interview? Couldn’t that video then be posted on the website along with the article? And if so, wouldn’t that make for a more compelling piece? Wouldn’t it drive traffic to the website, which would in turn boost ad revenues? Couldn’t the company, via email newsletter or social networking, drum up traffic to the video with relative ease? Wouldn’t the company make more money this way, all because they took the effort to upload a photographer’s candid two-minute video to the website? I would venture a guess that it would.
This is all well and good for B2C, you may be thinking, but what about B2B? It’s one thing to use video to sell the news, or sports cars, or snowboards… What about software? Sure, product demonstrations aren’t nearly as interesting to the average Joe as videos of, say, race cars flying through an obstacle course. But your customers don’t want a Porsche. They want software that does exactly what your product can do. (Although a Porsche would be nice, too.) If you can find a creative way to tell a potential buyer how your product can solve his problems, he may or may not pay attention. If you can show him how your product can solve his problems, he will pay attention. And here’s the kicker: this is true of every product made by every company in every industry that conducts business anywhere in the world.
Myth 2: Web Video Marketing is Expensive
Depending on your budget, this is either untrue or completely untrue. This myth stems from the idea that web video is nothing more or less than a television ad repurposed for the Internet. This notion is sadly misguided – and that’s a good thing. It means that your web videos don’t have to have the production values of a Superbowl ad. It also means that you don’t have to pay a premium for untargeted ad placement (which, because television advertising is outgoing advertising, will always be untargeted, even if it bills itself as targeted).
Furthermore, while television ads are produced in studios with expensive cameras, sound equipment and famous actors, effective web video can be made with an inexpensive handheld camera, the microphone built into your laptop, and a fresh-faced intern. Seriously. While the production qualities might not win you any awards, quality web video content will certainly win you customers. Even better, if you’re only doing product demos for your software, there are free screen capture programs available online. Plug the result into a free video editing program (and maybe run the audio clip through a free audio editor), and you’ve just recorded a first-rate webinar without first-rate production costs.
Low-cost production is all well and good, but it costs money and resources to host and distribute those low-cost videos, right? Well, it could. If you’re hosting the videos yourself, and if you’re using a programmer to insert the code into your site, and if you hire a designer to design a landing page for the video, then it can get costly. Or you could use services like those offered by Flimp Media, who do all of that for you for a fraction of the cost you would pay a programmer or designer. Of course, you could just put the video on YouTube and send out a mass email telling people to go visit it, but YouTube doesn’t really allow for entry into the sales cycle.
Myth 3: You Can’t Measure ROI for a Video Marketing Campaign
I like this myth because it’s so patently false, and yet so many people believe it. The myth stems from the fact that there is, as of yet, no standard statistic or set of data that accurately measures real traffic. As it stands now, ROI reports seem to be generated using whatever statistics are most favorable. Not only are there great free applications out there (Google Analytics being one of them), but Flimp Media has also started to offer their incredible analytics program as a stand-alone application. (As an aside, these analytics don’t just track video. They can track anything created with Flash, including applications, games, and widgets the same way they track Flimps.) This software tracks just about any metric you can think of, so no matter how you want to calculate ROI, you can rest assured that your figures will be accurate.
Myth 4: It Will Take Months to Create and Distribute a Web Video
It could take a while to create and distribute a high-quality web video, sure. Here’s my question, though: there are tens of thousands of video bloggers out there, the majority of whom create and post their content on the web in a single day. As I laid out at the beginning of this post, an effective web video doesn’t have to be any more complex than a simple, well-scripted product overview. Distributing this content by email is similarly time-friendly: just select the group of people you want to distribute your video to (which you should have set up in your CRM software – if you don’t, do it) and click the “Send” button. And if you’re strapped for time, and tell me if you saw this one coming, Flimp Media can supply the tools to design, process, and code your video landing site in the same time it takes to brew a pot of coffee.
Myth 5: Web Video Only Targets a Younger Demographic
Not true. Those silly Jackass-style videos on YouTube certainly target a younger demographic, and that’s a big part of that website’s content, but your web video can target whoever you want it to target. And if you’re worried that your video won’t be taken seriously when it shares server space with really, really dumb stuff, then don’t host your video on YouTube. There are lots of other sites out there that will host your video for free, but they too seem to attract user-generated video foolishness. A better alternative is to host your own video, and to embed it in a landing page or directly into your website. This way you can distribute your content to whomever you want without the stigma of it being another YouTube video. (Or, if you’re a Flimp client, your video can be broadcast on a brand-neutral domain, viewit.cc, without the headaches of stigmas or servers.)
We hope that this article answered any question you might have about starting up your own web video marketing campaign. If there’s anything else you’d like to have us here at WVMC discuss, or if you have any further questions, please let us know. As always, we’re proud to be the online source for all of your web video marketing needs. Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more great articles!