If content is king, then video is queen…and anyone knows that a queen always trumps a king. So it comes as no surprise to see video content take a giant surge when it comes to successful multimedia marketing that gets results. From small time bloggers’ reviews of hauls that have magnetized a growing cult-like audience, to giant e-commerces, it’s clear that video is where it’s at. Take e-commerce giant Zappos, which was one of the pioneers a few years back in sourcing great original videos that both highlighted their news-worthy company culture and previewed their products with SEO rich keywords. In 2010, the company created over 60K product videos, with numbers expecting to reach 100K by the end of this year. So why does video work? Think of the Home Shopping Network…those late night infomercials that have you hooked. The power of video lies in that you can “see” what you’re being offered. There’s an appeal of not relying on static graphics and descriptions; rather, you’re as good as there. There’s also a sensory appeal. Your eyes and ears are filled with changing visuals and sounds, keeping you hooked, keeping you entertained and curious. But videos aren’t just for e-commerce based businesses. Videos are really the one tool that translates to success across ANY business. Whether you’re doing a product video, showing service results, interviewing customer reviews or offering tips or a personal introduction. You simply cannot go wrong with video…if you do it right. Tips for Best Videos Content – Just like with text content, video content needs to have some sort of scheme. Start off by creating an editorial calendar for your video content just as you should be doing for your text content. Keep in mind that producing an entire video from start to finish is a more consuming process that involves at least a small team, as opposed to just one person writing content. With that in mind, pace your content schedule out accordingly, especially if you’re a smaller team that has other priorities. For this type of team, one video every week is ideal; a video every two weeks is realistic, and a video every month should be the minimum. Each video should start with a script. What are you going to say and how are you going to say it? Do a competitor analysis to see what others are doing. Pick up on their successes and avoid their mistakes as you watch other videos as a consumer would. Technical Style – You can create a video without equipment and you can’t create a good video without good equipment. If you’re serious about videos, you absolutely have to invest in the equipment. You’ll need a good camera, lighting props, reflectors and video editing equipment, including a program and preferably an Apple computer (which includes a wonderful iMac movie editing program). If you’re on a smaller budget but can afford to splurge a little per video, hire a college student to edit the videos. I’ve seen the difference an amateur edit offers versus someone who knows what they’re doing. Trust me when I say it’s worth the investment. Going back to style, a video should never just be a straight shot. Consider angles, background, lighting, voice overs, themes, etc. The more dynamic, the more successful your video will be. All videos should range between 1-3 minutes. Anything more and you’ve likely lost your audience. How to Distribute Your Videos Aside from posting your newest videos up on your homepage (not any subpages), you should be marketing all video content across social media channels and plugging it in your email marketing campaigns and press kits. Tip: Scan the Competition with Redux, a curated content platform for videos. Use Redux to see what’s out there in your field and gauge your competition. See what’s being done right, what’s attracting a crowd and comments, and what turns people away…and then apply the strategy to your own video marketing efforts.
Internet marketers are probably all too familiar with Chicago’s Domino’s Pizza legend Ramon DeLeon, but for those of you out of the loop, here’s a bit of back story. DeLeon has been a true entrepreneur of Internet marketing through his honest and innovative use of social media and Internet video. The result of his strategy has been a huge boost in brand awareness and improved revenue for his Domino’s Pizza stores, which is certainly tough to do in what can arguably be considered the pizza capital of the world. The following article takes a look at some of the effective uses of Internet video pioneered by DeLeon, and how such approaches could benefit your brand, business or blog. 1) Connections Come First Internet video has long been used to promote products and services, but how often do you use Internet video to build a connection? In fact how often do you use Internet video to build a connection with one individual? I don’t mean a collective “one,” I mean a real, singular member of the average general public. I bet the answer is “Seldom to never.” DeLeon made this idea of connecting with that one individual a vital component to his online strategy, in this video to a customer created the morning after an order went awry: http://www.viddler.com/explore/dpzramon/videos/19/. That particular example has been shown around the world and viewed by over fifteen thousand online users. It’s not just small regional businesses either who have gotten wise to this effective video technique. Old Spice took to this idea with gusto: . Building a connection is far more powerful and far more effective than trying to create a quick sale. By taking the time and money to extend thanks, apologies or even just saying hey to online users, you can make a connection with that user for life. These instances not only create a lasting connection between brand and customer, but also spread a huge amount of conversation and word of mouth online promotion. 2) Video Apologies Work DeLeon’s clip shows a great business-to-customer communication between himself, his colleague and a dissatisfied consumer. For a business of any size to take the time out to apologize to one individual customer is exceptional. The level of customer service this provides and the representation of how important any one customer is to the brand is fantastic. This will undoubtedly spark online interaction and increase brand awareness for both DeLeon and Domino’s Pizza. Now this is not just a regional concept, nor is it always a one-to-one exchange. Sony for instance apologized publicly to thousands of event attendees and thousands of online viewers, for the downtime their Playstation Network suffered a while back, and here’s how they did it: . I’d like to draw your attention to some of the comments these uses of apologetic videos received. Domino’s Pizza (DeLeon): Playstation (Sony): Both videos received thousands of views and have been talked about across the world on and off the web. Admitting to a mistake, addressing it in a timely manner and focusing that apology on your audience is a powerful way to restart the conversation about your business. Its power, ultimately, is a reflection of its authenticity. Create real solutions and take genuine care in their presentation. 3) Create an Internet Video Presence Internet video is one of the most popular forms of media on the web, so it’s little surprise that a good one is quickly shared across websites and social platforms. Being a part of this media by making engaging and interactive video content can quickly put you into a position to have your content spread across the web too. Our celebrated Pizza guy DeLeon created engaging content by connecting with his customers whether they were satisfied or dissatisfied, but there are many other ways to make influential video content. Creating tutorials, instructional videos, interactive videos, webinars, streamed live events or just creating entertaining content could help you to build a strong online presence in both the video community and the social community. Generating this sort of presence for your brand, business or blog will certainly put you on the fast track to boosting revenue, increasing website traffic, creating higher levels of website traffic and building up your social networks. These three online video practices can help you build your brand, engage customers and authenticate your business. What are some of the ways that you or your company have used online videos to market your brand? Share in the comments below!