One rapidly expanding medium among both large corporations and small privately owned companies is the video market. When utilized properly, a strong video campaign can provide visuals that will stay in the mind of the average consumer long after seeing it. The trick is deciding what type of video campaign to pursue. Here are four popular methods of going about it:
1. Online Video Ads
Commercials are not a new concept, but anyone familiar with watching videos through online streaming sites (e.g. Hulu) knows that online video advertisements are a way to reach an audience. When online video ads first started to appear in 2007, few ad agencies were investing in them; rather, they were buying text or image-based ads instead. Now, the average consumer can’t stream anything online without the obligatory video ad.
Pro: You are effectively reaching a captive audience.
Con: You have only 15 to 30 seconds to make your pitch.
2. Web Series
Create a web series where your business or product makes a cameo. Back in 1989, Taster's Choice came out with a series of commercials for their coffee Nescafe Gold Blend.
What was unique about these commercials was that they were the first to tell a linear story: an unfolding romance between two neighbors who happened to share a love for the same coffee. A new commercial (containing a new piece of the plot line) was released every six months, and as a result of this ad campaign, the sales for Nescafe Gold increased dramatically. (See commercials here.)
This is the same idea behind what is now called a web series: a series of “webisodes” that are usually less then 10 minutes long and tell a story. Recently, major TV production companies have started using the web series idea as a means to promote their television shows, as well as developing specific shows for the Internet (see popular examples here).
Pro: A consumer is more likely to commit to short, 10-minute clips than a longer video of 20 to 30 minutes.
Con: It can be expensive to enlist writers, actors, film crew, etc.
3. Vlog (Video Blog)
A surprising development in online marketing was the appearance of the video blog. This technique isn't rocket science; a vlog is exactly what it sounds like: a blog that has been video-recorded rather than written. This market has been utilized by both paid professional vloggers and your everyday civilian blogger, as well as (inevitably) the paid professional vloggers posing as your everyday civilian. The average consumer will spend hours keeping up with vlogs they like, as evidenced by the vlog that went viral advertising for Blendtec. “Will It Blend” simply asked the question and filmed the answer, blending everything from footballs to baseball bats and super glue (and taking suggestions for each vlog from viewers).
Pro: It's inexpensive to put out a vlog, and can be updated often.
Con: Finding the right niche to capture interest can be a challenge.
4. Product Reviews
Whether you choose to hire someone to review your product and film it for an online audience, or whether you encourage consumers to post their filmed reviews of your product or business themselves, video reviews can be effective ways to boost sales for a quality product. With the often-turbulent economy in recent years, consumers have become more cautious and are spending more time doing research before they invest their resources, therefore product review videos have become increasingly popular.
Pro: A consumer is able to actually see a product at work.
Con: Bad reviews on video are significantly more damaging to a business because the product failure can be seen.
Whether or not the online video marketing campaign is here to stay remains to be seen. Capitalizing on the different video marketing techniques available, however, is a smart strategy for promoting your product or business and a unique way to leave an impression on the average consumer.
Today is a guest post by Melissa Woodson is the community manager for @WashULaw, one of the premier LLM programs offered through Washington University in St. Louis that allows foreign attorneys to earn their llm degree online. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking, and making half-baked attempts at training her dog.