By Chris Gorell Barnes, CEO of Adjust Your Set.
From the iPlayer to YouTube, online video is taking the world by storm and not just on the PC, but smart phones and tablets are playing their part, meaning this is a proper multi-channel phenomenon.
Not only is consumption rising exponentially, but consumers are increasingly expecting video to be at the heart of their online experience.
However, although projected growth of online video consumption in the UK is set to be 148% this year, brands have so far been cautious in their response.
Most have merely opted to put their TV ads into YouTube while investing small amounts in online video campaigns in the form of pre-roll advertising.
This is all well and good, but hardly making the most of the clear benefits of online video, or v-commerce. I have pulled together a few top tips to help you navigate this medium:
Tip 1: Consider all your marketing activities when creating your video
Online video is not just something you stick on YouTube and hope for the best - it should touch every marketing activity around your brand. At the end of last year Ogilvy Interactive reported that adding video to email can boost customer interactions by anything from 200% - 300%.
In addition, research shows that combining video with social media further increases engagement because video acts as a “conversation starter” that can both kick-start a social campaign and extend it, through the introduction of regular video updates that either expand an existing conversation, counteract a perception or change a topic altogether.
Finally it can be embedded directly into your e-commerce pages, to turbo boost sales conversions by anything up to 90%, while at the same time reducing costly returns by up to 25%.
Tip 2: It’s not just video on the PC it’s a multi-platform world
With the web ever more integrated into multiple platforms and devices, marketers are continually looking for ways to project a consistent brand message across anything, from a PC to connected TV’s.
Because video is a self-contained piece of communication it can be inserted into a range of digital spaces, from ad networks to micro-sites, homepages to mobile and even outdoor and point-of-sale in-store.
The same piece of content can exist in multiple places simultaneously, meaning the consumer is presented by a consistent message no matter where they come into contact with your brand.
You can also automatically send variations of the same content automatically to the consumer, depending on where they are, what device they are using, time of day, etc.
This means you can not only boost engagement through video, but also relevance and consistency, through superior targeting and distribution to the consumer.
Tip 3: Make sure your video has a clear purpose and if required, a call to action.
You should never produce a video for online that doesn’t have a clear function and call-to-action built in to the editorial.
If you want the video to sell shoes, make sure that the video is clear about that, and crucially you must make sure the consumer can easily click on a buy button next to the content, in order to capture their response.
Online is not a broadcast medium, it is interactive, so to maximize the value of your content make sure that the calls-to-action are clear, and crucially that the methods to capture that response are in place.
We have seen increased conversions to e-commerce through the use of online video by anything up to 90% through our work with M&S (www.adjustyourset.tv/case-studies/marks-and-spencer) but if the correct calls-to-action and corresponding clickable elements are not in place, then your opportunity will be missed.
Tip 4: Video need not be expensive
Marketers are often put off the thought of using online video as there is a mistaken expectation that it is too expensive.
The trick is to make content of a sufficiently high quality, but still cost-effective enough to be used as a sustained element of your marketing campaign. In order to solve this problem, Adjust Your Set has developed a format led approach to content production that is structured enough to produce a number of films of extremely highly quality in a very short space of time, but with the creative scope to allow for a highly customized brand experience.
In addition, by creating content that works across a range of platforms we can achieve fantastic economies of scale, giving further ROI benefits. We call this Intelligent Content, and it is one of the fundamental building blocks of what we do.
Rule 5: Always measure your results
A major benefit of v-commerce is the ability to measure usage in a range of ways. Not only can we tell how many viewers each piece of content has had, but we can also minutely track how long a particular user has watched a piece of content.
We can then integrate this information into the overall analytics package of a site, so we can extract detailed customer journeys around the content we create. What this means for brands is that not only can we tell how many people have engaged with the content, but also for how long and what related actions they took.
If we see a significant drop off in views after a short viewing time we can re-examine the content and re-shoot to improve the results. When reading a text article it is almost impossible to know when a viewer’s interest is lost, but through video we can tell exactly when they stop viewing, and alter our creative output accordingly.
This deep analysis of the customer journey, coupled with our creative, technical and production techniques allow us to create effective formats and content strategies for our customers.
To summarise, users are increasingly looking for engaging experiences online, and the more personal, the better. Customer engagement needs to be effective and consistent across all channels in which a brand is operating and consequently, organisations are trying to understand the extent to which video plays a part in the marketing mix.
Video can be an extension of engagement, but crucially, this goes much further than simply posting to YouTube or having static homepage plays. Marketing in 2010 is reaching beyond simply pushing messages at people, content needs to be innovative, relevant and compelling. It also has the ability to drive conversations within social media.
So it comes as no surprise that those who are taking the time and effort to ensure this are seeing outstanding performance results, which more often than not have a direct correlation to increased revenues.
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