The times ... they are a-changin'. Remember the days of dial-up? Slow downloads? Those days seem in the distant past. Viewing videos online is no longer cumbersome. Online video has moved into the mainstream, and that's good news for your positioning advertising mix. Consider these facts about YouTube (owned by Google) alone:
- It's the #2 search engine in the world (behind Google.com)
- More than 2 billion videos are viewed EVERY DAY
- The average user spends 15 minutes per day viewing YouTube videos
- The average viewer is -- drumroll, please -- the average American
The quick rise of other video sharing sites is further testimony to this format's adoption (e.g., Vimeo, BrightCove, PhotoBucket, DailyMotion). Some companies we've talked with are concerned about the quality of video reflecting poorly on their brand identity, but it's safe to assume we have all come to accept a YouTube-quality player without a negative reflection on a brand. In fact, many top marketers are using YouTube with no problems.
As for format, there is little argument that video is one of the best ways to advertise your story in your positioning advertising mix. The ability to grab attention and influence/sell the prospect in a very short period of time using positioning advertising is undebatable.
All this is to say there are very few excuses left to keep your organization from including online video as part of your positioning advertising. Large television production and media budgets aren't needed. Only well-concepted, position-aligned videos that tell your positioning story in whole or in part.
Where you host them doesn't matter either, although using a video-sharing site certainly reduces the bandwidth you have to buy. Just remember that these videos need to coordinate with your other marketing efforts and tie back to your web assets. Some tips when you decide to use video on your website and in other virtual spaces:
- Don't forget the positioning advertising basics. Advertising is not entertainment. While advertising can be entertaining (in order to dramatize the position), remember to call attention to your company, product or service, NOT the spot itself. Remember our 2010 Super Bowl spot reviews? Not all highly rated spots are good positioning advertising! Some advertisers will tell you that if it's entertaining enough, it will go viral, but don't buy into the lie that this will further your brand recognition or increase sales.
- Be careful about over-producing. There's more authenticity inherent in the home-video quality of online video. Exceptions to this rule exist, but this isn't TV!
- Pure video is less interactive than some other online formats. Remember to clearly identify your brand, provide a call to action (use text), and point users to a web address or other media for learning more about your company, product or service. Again, use on-screen text for these elements.
- Remember that other advertising may appear prior to, over (as text), or next to your video (e.g., YouTube). Take this into account when crafting your script, text, and other elements of your video. This is usually random, but doing a search for the keyword you are targeting within the sharing site will give you a good gauge for what may appear.
- Don't forget to search engine optimize (SEO) it! Even the name of the file will help bring attention to your video. Instead of "video_1234_Aug2010.wmv," name your file using a keyword or keyphrase most relevant to your topic and within your company's target set. For example, "positioning-advertising-agency-Innis-Maggiore.wmv" is a much better name for a file, adding the incremental bump to search engine optimization. Always take advantage of the SEO features of the video sharing site. YouTube allows you to tag your file with keyphrases. Also, make sure the title and description include your keywords. Google isn't far off from being able to transcribe audio, so include the keywords in the audio of your video.
- Edit your videos into short, "digestible" chunks. A good range to keep in mind is 30 seconds to 2 minutes, especially if you have something longer that naturally breaks into segments. This allows for further targeting of keyphrases and, of course, is a better practice given the short attention span of most online consumers.
- Finally, remember that it is your asset. Even though you are hosting it on another site (e.g., YouTube), use that site's application programming interface (API) to show it on your website as well. You get the benefit of the sharing site's bandwidth, while showing the video on your site. Or, simply host it on your site. The more places you can post the video, the greater the reach of your positioning advertising.
These are just a few tips and tricks if you're new to online video. Positioning advertising mix basics don't change, but the execution does. With the bandwidth available to most of our prospects, the time might be right for you to consider this medium.