Perhaps you have ventured into the online video arena by uploading a little bit of content to your website, YouTube channel, or Facebook page, and now, you’re interested in learning how to make the most of these efforts. I came across some advice from Kelly Wallace (Chief Correspondent and Head of Video for iVillage) while watching an episode of The New Media Minute, hosted by Daisy Whitney. iVillage is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, ranging anywhere from 26-30 million unique visitors per month. Over the past few months they have been increasing the amount of video content they produce for the site. Currently, videos on iVillage generate 4 million views per month. Here’s what Wallace had to say for those interested in adding more video to their site:
Start out small. Video is more expensive to produce than written content so don’t try to bite off more than your advertising budget can chew. If you start out small and invest just enough to get you up and running you can easily see what works and what doesn’t work. Then, as you familiarize yourself with the process and you work out the kinks in your format, you can begin to invest more and more into the production and post-production of your videos.
If you have a variety of video content than spans different themes, think about organizing this content into playlists or channels, to help viewers find what they’re looking for.
Think about creating regularly scheduled programming so your viewers know when to expect newly released content. Much like a TV schedule, you can set up to release videos on theme #1 on Mondays, while Theme #2 is released on Friday. The more familiar your audience becomes with the schedule and with the on-camera talent, the more they will begin to relate to you, your people, your brand, and your topics.
Video is an extension of your brand. It’s another way you can reach your potential customer. But remember that the quality, the format, and the value of the content will ultimately reflect back on your brand and will effect how the public perceives you. Think out your video strategy carefully and be diligent to produce the best possible content you can.
The Wininger Law Firm specializes in personal injury cases and is located in Birmingham, Alabama. For their recent website design project, they were interested in producing a series of brief videos that could be used to introduce potential clients to the firm and to the attorneys. They hired Morris Web Marketing to handle the website design. Morris Web Marketing turned to us to handle production and post-production of each video.
The concept for each video was basic: interview the partners and give them the opportunity to discuss the firm and its philosophy. Then, shoot b-roll throughout the office and use the acquired footage to create three brief videos for use on the web. We spent one half-day on location shooting each interview and capturing b-roll.
The first video centered on the firm as a whole – the history, overall mission, and what makes them unique. The second video deals more with the specifics of how they approach each case, and the third video provides the viewer with advice on what to do if they find themselves injured in a serious accident.
The video below is the Wininger Law Firm overview video.
The New Media Minuteis a podcast I listen to regularly. In each episode, host Daisy Whitney covers the latest online video trends. In the episode dated September 27, 2011, Daisy spoke with the head of AOL Video, Ran Harnevo, to discuss how video creators can increase video views. Content, of course, is a given. We’ve all heard that compelling, interesting content will drive views. But is there anything else that video producers can do to boost the amount of people watching their videos? Here are the take-away points from Ran’s interview:
When it comes to where you will place your video, think geographically. This point is geared more toward advertisers; i.e. those who place their videos in different markets. If you are an advertiser, thinking about how to get the most views for your video, consider the relevance of your subject matter. If it speaks more to an East Coast lifestyle/culture, place your video in those markets.
The placement of the video on the website affects the number of views. This might require some A/B testing, but the research will be worth it. Does the video perform better on the right sidebar? The left sidebar? Front and center? Evaluate the performance of your video as it relates to page placement and then insert your video in the location that will give you the most views.
Select an interesting thumbnail. Sometimes just the thumbnail image can entice a viewer to watch your video.
Work on building up a library of videos. Viewers are more likely to watch additional video content if it’s related to what they are already watching.
If you are an advertiser, your ad formats are important. Personalized pre-rolls and interactive videos will boost the number of views because they encourage engagement.
I was listening to a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, featuring Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media. In this particular discussion, Kerpen made some excellent points about the value of storytelling in a brand’s marketing strategy. I’ve written articles on this blog before, centered on the aspect of storytelling and the power it has over an audience, but I wanted to recap some of Kerpen’s points. The whole of Kerpen’s discussion with host John Jantsch centered on how brands can utilize marketing tools, strategies, etc. to achieve the ultimate goal of “likeability.”
The best way to use social media tools to strengthen relationships is to share stories. Open up and tell people who you are. Be personal.
Stories personalize a brand better than any marketing tactic.
Imagine the social media landscape was a cocktail party. How would you capture the attention of those at the party? You wouldn’t show up with a slick marketing campaign and broadcast it out to everyone you meet. Rather, you would tell interesting stories to engage. You want the other guests to like what you have to say.
Every business has a story to tell; stories about how the company was founded, obstacles that certain employees have overcome, successes and failures, etc.
These stories can be shared with pictures, with web video, with blog posts and tweets.
Stories are what people want to talk about.
One last point that was made that I thought was worth repeating is, “It’s hard NOT to like someone, once you know their story.”
I’ve always been a strong advocate for storytelling, because in every video we at Red Fox Media produce, the goal is to share some kind of story with the audience. It’s natural to want to use video to convey basic facts about a company, product, or service. But it’s more challenging to weave those facts into a story that will engage and entertain. Consider this testimonial video we produced for an oral surgery clinic, or this promotional video for the Hoover City Schools. In each video, the necessary marketing facts were conveyed, but that information was presented using stories as a foundation. We will always welcome the opportunity to tell your story.
This is a reminder that our free seminar is coming up this Monday (March 21, 2011) from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Hyatt Place Hotel on Highway 150 in Hoover (2980 John Hawkins Parkway | Hoover, AL 35244 | (205) 988-8444). The topic is “Impact: Build Brand Awareness and Customer Response With Video.”
People who attend the seminar will…
see examples of successful online video and commercial campaigns from the past few years.
learn about the staggering growth of online video, and the impact it can have on company brands.
gain insights into viral triggers that are a part of any successful video campaign.
learn simple SEO strategies that help increase viewership for their online videos.
learn how to work with a video production company to create professional video campaigns.
have an opportunity to win one door prize at the conclusion of the event.
Seating is limited to the first 30 people who register. Call (205) 988-5672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat. Lunch will be provided.