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?