Whether you’re trying to drive B2B sales, interact with consumers, or create visibility for your non-profit, there is no denying the utility of web video marketing. But many executives are faced with a litany of questions and concerns about the process of using web video to reach their clients: How do I go about implementing web video into my marketing efforts? What kind of expertise do I need to create web video content? Isn’t web video marketing expensive? Is it effective? How do I track ROI for video marketing campaigns? To get you started on the path to video marketing greatness, the Web Video Marketing Council offers answers to these questions and many more.
Is Web Video Marketing Effective?
In short, yes. Web video marketing is one of the most effective methods of generating authentic interaction between your company and your clients, prospective customers, and/or potential donors. Research done by DoubleClick reveals that web users are four to seven times more likely to respond to online video content than to static images and text. Biologically speaking, the human brain is able to compile and interpret video data faster than it can interpret text, which means less effort on the part of your audience to absorb your message. According to the most recent Neilsen A2/M2 three-screen report, Americans are watching more video on the Internet and on mobile devices than ever before. “The American fascination with television and other video content is not easing up,” said Susan Whiting, Nielsen’s Vice Chair. “Online and mobile platforms are an increasingly important complement to live home-based television.”
Web video marketing taps into exactly this burgeoning trend in contemporary media consumption. Using web-based video, your company can inject itself directly into the mainline of online advertising, reaching an almost unlimited set of potential buyers who will experience your company’s message in alluring rich media. With such upside, it would be imprudent for any company to ignore web video marketing as a solution to their marketing needs.
Do I Need to Have a Special Set of Skills to Create and Distribute Web Video Content?
It used to be the case that creating and distributing web video required a lot of expensive equipment and fancy programming. Today that is hardly the case.
While it is tempting to spend gobs of money on the highest-tech video and audio recording equipment available, this is by no means necessary. Some of the most compelling video content is created with webcams, small handheld cameras, or even cell phones. The same goes for audio: while a boom mic may look cool, you can grab a great quality microphone and stand for around $30. The software needed to edit video and audio can be found on the cheap, too. Don’t get too fancy; your goal is to make quality video content, not the next blockbuster movie. Above all else, make sure your equipment is user-friendly. The last thing you want is to throw up your hands and hire an expensive video producer after you’ve bought all the hardware and software to do it yourself.
Publishing your video is as easy as heading over to YouTube, Vimeo, or any of the myriad video hosting sites on the Web. But as for incorporating video onto a website or into an email, you’ve probably heard horror stories of the amount of money some other company had to pay a programmer to put a two-minute video clip on their site. Paying a programmer to edit your web code can be costly, but there are always other alternatives. For example, Flimp Media of Hopkinton, MA, has created a platform which uses drag-and-drop technology to allow anyone to create a video landing page, embed video into an existing page, distribute video via email, and gather user analytics by email address. This service can be had for pennies on the dollar compared to what you would pay a programmer to perform the same tasks. And if you can create and publish high-quality video, distribute that video, and track user interaction for short money, why on earth wouldn’t you do so?
How Can I Implement Web Video into my Marketing Strategy?
There are many ways that companies like yours are implementing web video into their marketing processes.
Rich-media advertising got its start as an interactive banner when Hewlett-Packard released a Pong banner ad in the mid-nineties. Today, effective rich media advertising in the form of expanding ads, overlays and rollovers, represents a significant percentage of all online advertising. While it is true that many ads use Flash as merely an attention-grabber, the most effective examples of interactive advertising to date, such as the popular Esurance banner ads, incorporate video.
Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll, and Post-Roll Advertising
If you’ve done your research, you know exactly which videos and video sites your prospective customer, client, or donor visits on a regular basis. Imagine one of your potential buyers being exposed to a fifteen second video ad for your company before he watches a related video. That’s the power of pre-roll advertising. Mid-roll works similar to a TV commercial, interrupting an online video to show your ad. Post-Rolls show up at the end of a video, and are particularly effective if the ad and the video match closely in content, tone or theme.
Direct Email Marketing
The most targeted approach to web video marketing is through direct email campaigns. Emails are sent to existing or prospective buyers, who are asked to take a moment to view the video that you have published. Now, most email clients don’t support viewing videos, so the safe bet is to include a video still in the email which links to the video itself. That actually works to your advantage: if you have to link to an outside site, you can customize that site with links to product descriptions, pricing guides, white papers, or any other portal into the sales cycle. These pages are relatively easy to create, especially if you’re using an application like Flimp.
What are the Advantages of Web Video Marketing?
What can you do better with web video marketing than with more traditional static media? Lots of stuff!
Engage Your Customer
As we’ve discussed, and as you’ve probably observed yourself, video is more engaging than static images or texts could ever be. Web video is sleek and stylish, and if done right it can resonate deeply with your audience. So how do you do it right? As with all marketing messages, keep the audience in mind. Use you-centric language; discuss how your company’s product is a solution to their problem. And if you can do that in a creative and meaningful way, you’ve just created the most influential kind of marketing tool there is: inspired web video.
Increase Lead Generation
The trick to using video to create leads is to leave the message incomplete in some way, and then to include a call to action for the audience to find out more. Yellowbook effectively drove traffic to its website this way, using TV ads that only told part of a story and directed users to visit the website to see the conclusion. For a more subtle approach, try suggesting how your product might help a customer, and then asking the customer to visit your website for more information.
Tell a Story
Sometimes nothing sells a product better than an intriguing story. It could be the story of how your company was founded, or the passion with which your product is made, or the money your company has raised over the years for a particular charity. Whatever it is, if you have a story to tell, web video can help you put real people front-and-center in a way that text just can’t.
Rally the Troops
Maybe your goal isn’t to try and sell something to a customer, but to gain support for a cause or business initiative. What better rallying cry is there than an inspired bit of video distributed via email to remind partners, investors and employees exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it? Few things are more inspiring that someone speaking passionately about a goal they want to achieve. This sentiment is best conveyed through video.
How Do I Track ROI for my Web Video Marketing Campaign?
If you use an all-in-one service like Flimp, then tracking ROI is easy: simply look at the built-in analytics feature and determine your conversion rate. These analytics can then be exported directly to your CRM or marketing database for inclusion in your quarterly or yearly reports.
If, however, you decide to go it alone, there are still a handful of resources out there to help you track data. Visible Measures, for example, will help you monitor viewership stats the same way that Flimp does, only without the interactive marketing platform. Google Analytics, too, will help monitor traffic to your video, but does not provide the same kind of actionable stats as Flimp.
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!