Online Video Marketing: Success Factors

Online Video Marketing SuccessWhen it comes to Internet video marketing, there’s more involved than opening a YouTube account and posting the occasional promotional video. In order for your online video marketing efforts to pay off, you need a strategy that incorporates the following success factors:

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #1: Know Your Audience

It’s tempting to create a promotional video that appeals to you. However, will it appeal to your target audience? Before you begin any Internet video marketing campaign, you absolutely need to know who your audience is. It helps to imagine a single individual and then craft the promotional video to engage this individual. For example, an auto insurance company targeting older drivers might imagine an audience member named “Harold.” Once you know who will be watching your promotional video, you can write an engaging script.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #2: Creativity

Many business professionals want their online video marketing campaigns to “go viral” and produce creative videos they hope others will share. Going viral may or may not be your ultimate goal. However, creativity is a definite success factor. This doesn’t mean producing a wacky video or going overboard with special effects. It means developing an interesting Internet video marketing campaign that your audience members will want to watch. People online don’t have long attention spans, nor do they have time to spare to watch irrelevant or boring videos. Use your creativity to create an online video marketing campaign that presents your information in a fresh, but appropriate for your company, manner.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor#3: Benefits

Remember Harold, the older driver mentioned earlier? As you write your script, think about what’s in it for Harold. How will your offer make Harold’s life easier or better? Will your offer save him money on his car insurance? Will his driving skills improve? Will he experience peace of mind knowing that roadside assistance is available? These are all benefits. Focus on benefits and you’ll make a positive impression on viewers like Harold.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #4: Length

Because your audience has little time to spare, it’s crucial that your online video marketing efforts respect that. It’s tough enough to prompt viewers to watch a promotional video and few will watch a lengthy one. Keep your videos short and make every second count. In general, each promotional video should be between 30 and 90 seconds in length. If you have more to say, consider creating an Internet video marketing series with each video focusing on one key topic.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #5: Video Distribution

How will you use your promotional video once it’s produced? Will you post it on your website and optimize it for the search engines or will you upload the video to various video-sharing sites like YouTube – or both? Make sure you understand how you will use the video before you produce it.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #6: Call to Action

No matter how creative, benefits-focused, concise, or properly distributed your Internet video marketing campaign may be, if you forget the call to action, it won’t reach its full potential. Ideally, you’ll know exactly what action you want your viewers to take before you write the script. Identify this action in advance and use your script to guide your promotional video viewers into taking that action at the end. A call to action doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but it does need to be in place.

As you plan your next online video marketing campaign, incorporate these success factors into each promotional video you produce. By doing so, your video will be more likely to: resonate with your target audience, communicate the benefits of your offer, and compel viewers to take the next step.

What do you think about these online video marketing success factors? Did we miss any? Share your experiences in the comments section below:

Website Video Production Checklist

Video ProductionWebsite video production requires video production, marketing, and technical expertise, and there’s a lot to do. After all, you have to write a script, hire actors, scout locations, shoot the video, edit it, upload it, and optimize it – just to name a few of the many tasks involved. Use this Web video production checklist to ensure that you don’t overlook anything.

  • Hire the right video production company. Video production companies specialize in a variety of areas including: television, corporate video, infomercials, documentaries, news gathering, music videos, and website video production. Since you’re making a video destined for the Web, it’s smart to choose a video production company that has the expertise required to shoot, edit, and publish Web videos. If your video has a marketing message, it’s also not a bad idea to find a Web video production team with Internet marketing expertise.
  • Break the Web video production down into phases. Traditional video has three phases (pre-production, production, and post-production); website video production has the same three plus a few more Web-centric requirements such as SEO, website integration, video-sharing site distribution, social media, and marketing. From scripting, shooting, and editing to keyword research, video player overlays, and analytics, website video production can seem overwhelming with a never-ending list of tasks. By breaking your Web video production to-do list into phases, it becomes much more manageable.
  • Create a plan. Use project management software or some other tool to create a solid action plan for your Web video production. Since you’ve already broken it into phases, you are off to a great start. Identify each task that must be accomplished in each phase and estimate when the task must start, how much time it requires, and when it must be completed. For example, one of the most important pre-production tasks is writing the script. How long will it take? When must the final script be complete? When should you start writing to ensure that deadline is met?
  • Build a team. You’ve hired the right video production company, broken the project down into phases and have a general idea about the tasks involved. While your video production company will handle a great deal of the tasks, you may need to provide additional support and resources. Build a small team from your office to help as needed. For example, who will write the script or supply the video production company’s script writer with necessary details about your company? Who will coordinate access for filming your facility? Use your project management plan to match tasks with team members and make sure that each task has a responsible team member overseeing it.
  • Be flexible. No matter how well you plan and how great your support team is, you may run into glitches and delays. For example, your existing Web hosting plan may not be suitable for storing the files related to the Web video production. You may need to upgrade or store your files on a different server than expected. Whether it’s a technical glitch or a delay due to unforeseen circumstances, flexibility will make it easier to recover.

This website video production checklist isn’t overly complicated. If you follow these key steps, you’ll be well on your way toward producing a compelling online video, on-time and within your budget. Remember to choose the right video production company, break the project down into phases, plan your Web video production, build a support team and assign tasks, and prepare for the unexpected.

Did we miss any important points in our website video production checklist? Let us know by sharing your tips in the comments section below:

B2B Video Marketing Myths

Video marketing mythsIf you think that B2B video marketing is too expensive and for large companies with big budgets or that in order to be effective a business video must go viral, you may be falling for common myths surrounding corporate video. Learn the reality behind the myths and take a confident stance as you plan your B2B marketing efforts for 2012.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #1: B2B Marketing Videos Must Go Viral

If you’re producing a video destined for the Web, you may feel the pressure to make sure that your business video gets lots of hits. While it would be nice to have millions of viewers watching and sharing your corporate video, it’s more important that the video reach a targeted audience. For example, if your target audience consists of high level executives but your video goes viral among low level workers, your B2B video marketing efforts will be ineffective despite millions of views.

Focus your B2B marketing and video production efforts on your target audience and never lose sight of who your corporate video is intended to reach.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #2: Corporate Video Production Is Expensive

While you certainly could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a business video, you don’t have to. As with most industries, there are numerous B2B marketing and video production companies that offer affordable business video production services. You can also slash your B2B video marketing costs by being proactive and prepared. For example, if you’ll be appearing in the corporate video, rehearse your lines at home or the office and arrive at the studio fully prepared. This will reduce the number of takes, reduce the amount of studio and crew time required, and make editing the final business video much easier.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #3: Video and B2B Marketing is for Big Companies

Whether you run a two-person shop or a large corporation, B2B video marketing is an effective way to communicate your offer to other businesses. Business video is ideal for a number of situations including:

  • Selling products and services
  • Attracting investors
  • Demonstrating capabilities
  • Sharing customer testimonials
  • Building credibility, trust, and relationships

If you’re part of a small company, a corporate video could help you compete with larger ones while larger companies can use B2B video marketing to appear more personable.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #4: Each Business Video Must Be 90 Seconds or Less

In general, online B2B marketing messages should be short and 90 seconds or less is a good rule of thumb. However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Depending where your prospects are in the video-to-lead funnel, you may have earned the opportunity to present longer corporate video messages.

For example, if your B2B marketing efforts have previously engaged and converted prospects, these leads now trust you and are hungry for more information about your products, services, or philosophy. If you plan on presenting a longer corporate video to viewers later in the sales funnel, make sure to tell them in advance what to expect. For example, if you want leads to watch a 10-minute business video, let them know that the video will only take ten minutes of their time and will solve their concerns about X, Y, and Z.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #5: It’s Impossible to Embed Business Video into Email Campaigns

Hesitant to use B2B video marketing in your current email campaigns because there’s no universal video player for email clients? While the technology may not be where you’d like it to be, creative B2B marketing techniques exist. Simply include a screenshot of your corporate video and link it to your website where subscribers can instantly watch the business video. As an added bonus, your B2B marketing prospects will be back on your website where you have additional opportunities to get your message across and make the sale.

Which B2B video marketing myths have stopped you from producing a business video? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Video Email Marketing Trends for 2012

Video Email MarketingVideo email marketing continues to evolve, yet few marketers are doing much with the medium in their email campaigns. Part of the problem (the fact that embedding video into actual email messages is impractical and rarely an option) is also video email marketing’s biggest advantage. In most cases, your email marketing message will link to a website video. Isn’t driving your subscribers back to your website one of your primary goals? Below are a few video email marketing trends to keep an eye on for 2012.

  • Creating animated GIFs of a given website video gives subscribers the illusion of motion, and can be an effective teaser that prompts the user to click through and view the video in full screen. If you link the animated GIF to your website video, your video email marketing technique worked like a charm. This technique has its downsides, however. For example, some email clients such as Outlook 2007 display only the first frame.
  • Another option is to grab a screenshot of your website video, insert it into your email marketing newsletter, and then link it to your website video. This is one of the more common video email marketing techniques – and it works. Many marketers have reported remarkable click-through rates using this simple email marketing technique.
  • Using embed codes will also result in a static image complete with the recognizable “play” button superimposed over a screenshot of your website video. Using the embed code is a simple technique, and the resulting image is readily understood by users. They know that when they click the play button, they will activate a website video. While this action doesn’t necessarily take place within the video email marketing message, most users won’t mind be directed to a website to view the video.
  • Another video email marketing trend has less to do with where the user views your video and more to do with how the user interacts with it. Many video players are becoming more sophisticated, offering added features such as player customization, social sharing, interactive transcripts, and calls to action.
  • The more you include video in your email marketing messages, the more important video email marketing analytics become. Depending on which email service provider, video player, and analytics services you use, you can analyze the performance of your video email marketing campaign as well as the video itself.
  • Video heat maps are often included with video players as well as offered as standalone services. These analytical tools can show you where viewership dropped off, which parts of the video were referred to most often, and give you a general idea of the audience’s engagement with your video.
  • HTML 5 makes video, and email in general, a better choice for tablet computers. Expect to see an increased emphasis on HTML 5 in the year ahead.
  • Another trend is to use YouTube’s Post Bulletin feature to update subscribers to your YouTube channel subscribers or uploading your video to Facebook and Twitter. Though technically not official email marketing techniques, these video sharing options can be part of your overall video marketing strategy.

Perhaps one of the biggest video email marketing trends to expect in 2012: more marketers will be experimenting with website video and email marketing. After all, embedding website video in email marketing messages adds value and drives traffic.

Do you have any video email marketing success stories to share? We’d love to hear how your click-through rates have improved or how you’ve solved tricky issues with embedding videos in email messages. Share your thoughts in the comments section below: