Web video is transforming the communications landscape, allowing business owners to drive branding, awareness, customer acquisition and loyalty in completely new ways that value-add overall marketing initiatives and increase returns from their broader marketing investments.
Web video offers a kind of engagement not available in the linear context of text and still-image communications. From customer testimonials, product demos, company branding and viral campaigns, video-based advertising gives marketers the ability to tell richer, more engaging stories about their businesses. And you can do it quicker.
We all know a picture speaks a thousand words, but did you know a video speaks twenty-five pictures per second? So that's, like, twenty-five thousand words per second! While that mightn't be a completely verifiable figure, it is kinda true.
Web video can communicate what you want to say with unmatched speed and efficiency. The style of video you make (serious, funny, creative, etc) instantly speaks volumes about your company ethos. Your choice of actor tells the viewer something about your business even before they utter a word. And when they do speak (or not) you can create entertaining, visceral experiences for viewers. As a result, rich media and web video advertising routinely outperforms static online advertising.
Like all online marketing, the pointy-end of web video marketing is getting found among the swamp of content. So when you make a video, be sure to optimise it for search engines. Tag it, name it appropriately, describe it, add links and compelling copy optimised with the appropriate keywords.
To maximise your ROI and take advantage of any traction your web video gets among online audiences, you should embed it into the landing page for your product or service. That way your offer is right there and the prospect doesn't need to navigate away to take action. Also be sure to optimize the landing page surrounding the video with keyword-rich text content.
The next step is to distribute your video through as many video sharing sites as you can to increase both the quantity and quality of inbound links to your website. Don't forget about the emerging specialist video search sites like Truveo and Blinkx.
And don't limit your promotion to video sites. If your web video is truly worth watching then post it to sites like Digg and let the internet community do your marketing for you.
Once your web video is out in the world your job is to analyse your website's referral traffic to find which video sharing sites provide the greatest contribution to your traffic.
The humorous "Will it Blend?" web video series promoting BlendTec blenders is a classic example of a company finding success with a creative approach to web video marketing.
Will It Blend is a viral marketing campaign in which BlendTec founder and CEO Tom Dickson grinds items like glow sticks, mobile phones and marbles in order to demonstrate the power of his product. The campaign was (and still is) a runaway success, resulting in 500% sales growth for the company and over 3 million subscribers to their Youtube channel. All that for a $50 lab coat, some random objects to blend and a couple of hours shoot time.
The technology company, Cisco, recently released a router product with a viral web videocampaign that managed to receive 50,000 views in 5 days, resulting in a fantastic product launch. But the Cisco marketers didn't just send the video out and hope. They were meticulous about optimizing the video properly as well as monitoring blogs and social networking sites for feedback. They were able to learn what was working on-the-fly, enabling them to respond to what they were hearing.
Web video offers massive opportunities to market your goods and services. It's a fun and effective way to market, but don't forget the fundamentals. Before planning web video ideas, set clear objectives for what you want out of it. Ask yourself who you want to communicate with. Who is your audience? What is it you want to say? Identify your key messages. What is the purpose of your communication? Do you want your web video to provide information? Entertainment? Customer relationship management?
By considering these fundamentals and applying the online marketing techniques specific to web video, you can enjoy fantastic results.