As consumers spend more and more time online, it’s critical for marketers to reach our consumers at the right time, with the right message, communicated in the right way. Tools that help drive those insights help us stay on the cutting edge.
~ Gayle Fuguitt Vice President, Consumer Insights, General Mills
Most of my career I have worked as a traditional producer, and have had the privilege of working on commercials, TV programs, documentaries, long and short form film projects, corporate videos and pretty much any form of moving image communication – but in the last 3 years I have gone from producing traditional video communications, to producing video content specifically for online dissemination across proprietary and for pay platforms.
I have to say, it is a very exciting time, as we witness the evolution of the internet, going from a static environment to that of moving images. Marketers are creating online video for everything from replacing boring static online catalogs, to fully branded webisodes.
This evolution has created a new medium in itself, completely different from the antiquated platform of TV, so it’s no surprise that this new medium presents a challenge to advertisers and marketers on HOW to message the audience. The online environment has infinitely more channels, and there is lots more content ….. this represents a great challenge and an opportunity for marketers to truly engage their audiences. What I like is that there are no hard and fast rules regarding this new medium, so it’s exciting to come up with ideas as you go along.
Instead of “adapting” a :30 or :60 ad made for TV, and recognizing that this is a new medium – my clients have created video communications specifically designed to engage online audiences. In the past 24 months alone, I have worked on 5 different online video projects, for 5 very different clients, with very different communication goals. All of them chose to include online video as a cornerstone to their overall marketing strategy – and all have achieved great results by doing so.
Research shows that creating quality original content represents a huge opportunity for brands, because original content has the best effect on consumers’ recollection of brands, as well as fostering positive sentiment.
Below are some of the projects that I mentioned.
- A non-profit start-up, used a short film to illustrate their work and their mission. The video was used for fundraising purposes, and the results have been great.
- For General Mills, we created 20 “How to videos” in English and Spanish. The videos where then deployed on their proprietary microsite as well as on several independent channels including youtube.
Bisquets de Queso y Bizcochos de Fresa
- To increase attendance at an annual national conference, one of my corporate client in the software development space, we created several “invitation” and “welcome” videos that not only were deployed on their website but also as part of an email campaign. As a result, they increased their attendance by 30%.
- A film for the NROTC for the US Marines, geared to the parents of prospective NROTC candidates.
NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps) Marine Option
- While at Graduate School at Thunderbird, I directed and produced for the Marketing Department 4 candid student interviews, that are used on their YouTube Channel and for recruiting.
Executive MBA Student Perspective – Choosing Thunderbird
All of these projects involved telling a story, an entertaining story that connected with their audience and compelled them to listen and watch.
The growth of online video has been exponential
- According to a recent study by emarketer, US online video ad spending will grow by 43.1% in 2012 making it the fastest-rising category of online spending.
- In 2015, online video ad spending will reach $7.11 billion.
- The total US internet audience viewed an all-time high of 42.6 billion videos in October.
- 184 million US internet users watched online video content in October for an average of 21.1 hours per viewer, according to comScore.
- A study by Philips (electronics) found that 80% of people who watch video content online do so on laptops
It’s still going to be about the people who can tell a story, you can own the TV network or outlet but you need to hire the people who can tell the story or you won’t own it for long. Michael Eisner, former CEO of Walt Disney and founder of The Tornante Company
One of the reasons that marketers are moving towards online video content could be the growing migration towards watching content online, the 2010 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, indicates that 69% of adult internet users, or roughly half of all U.S. adults (52%) have used the internet to watch or download video.
It’s not only important to produce a good quality video that engages with your audience, but it’s equally important to deploy the content on all relevant platforms, including social media and proprietary websites. Your video can be as simple as the ones I featured or as complex as creating webisodes.
Still, there are some challenges, including clients understanding how to properly measure ROI. However, there are better technologies to do so, and changing monitization models – this is all very fluid stuff because constant refinements are happening everyday.
If your company is not using video communication as part of your marketing strategy, you are missing an amazing opportunity to really connect with your audience with a message that is relevant. You can start small by experimenting with simple videos and move on to more complex ideas – but don’t wait!