We’ve all heard the amazing stats about the growth of online video consumption – the average person spends 16 hours watching videos online and, in fact, video has been identified as one of the top strategic trends for marketers according to Gartner. A few years ago, most video consumption was predominantly on YouTube or entertainment sites. But a scan of today’s websites will reveal that videos are consumed in a wide variety of marketing sites including retail, high tech, financial services and travel to name a few.
Why is video such a compelling medium for communication?
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
A typical second of video contains about 30 frames or images alone! Video has the ability to convey concepts and demonstrate key features more easily than just text or images alone. Nobody wants to read a 3-page document about Nike’s flywire mesh technology, but they sure would love to see a video that illustrates how the flywire functions like a cable on a suspension bridge providing flexibility and support. According to eMarketer, “Those exposed to banners that included online video were about 5.6 times as likely to visit a marketer’s site as those exposed to standard banners.”
Marketers use video very differently than a typical publisher or broadcaster. Unlike video used on media & entertainment sites such as Hulu, which typically monetize their videos with ads; the video is the ad for marketers. Here are some innovative ways that marketers can increase engagement and enhance the value of their videos:
1) Make your videos interactive – add interactive hotspots to your video to provide additional information or even drive a specific call-to-action. For example, a video for a hotel chain can contain clickable annotations that link to more information about the hotel’s banquet packages while the video footage is showing the banquet rooms. Or a video for a retailer can contain clickable links to each garment in the outfit with pricing and color options.
2) Make your videos relevant – instead of delivering the same exact video experience to each user, think about how you can personalize the video experience based on things you may know about each visitor. For example, a video for a courier can have an ending clip that lists carrier rates from San Jose, CA by using IP geo-location. Or a video for a software vendor can conclude with information on how to register for an upcoming webinar and later update it to a promotional discount for the software.
3) Let your audience participate – User Generated Content (UGC) lends credibility and authenticity to an otherwise crowded message. Allow your customers to upload videos about their experiences with your products and services. Or even host contests to crowd source the development of new video content such as what Samsung did when they introduced the new Galaxy Tab.
These are just a few examples to help spark your creative spirit. As marketers, we have unique ways to tell our story with video, and now, we have the ability to also amplify that impact beyond just what was shot during video production. Video truly can be interactive and personalized – do you have any great examples to share?