Monday, May 6, 2013

CMOs - Stop Reading This. Watch The Video Instead.

In case you decided to ignore the warning in the title of this post, here is why video is taking over the digital marketing sphere. Consider the Dollar Shave Club, a business which ships razors to customers for a low monthly fee. In the 48 hours after posting a promotional video online shot for less than $5,000, they received over 12,000 orders. As a Northwestern Medill IMC student with a focus on film and video, I know first hand the power of video marketing. In the digital age of countless social media channels, no other medium besides video has the incredible potential for huge gains and audience interaction. You can read more about the Dollar Shave Club's efforts here via the New York Times.

While the Dollar Shave Club is an extreme example, the facts behind the video marketing trend are hard to ignore. All types of social media are visual, increasing the share-ability of video content. Even the recent rise of apps like Vine demonstrate the attraction towards video. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, video can drastically help a business' SEO efforts. Because Google owns YouTube, any videos tagged with a company name help to boost that search term on Google. Searchmetrics found that video appeared most frequently in Google search results, with 70% of all results including video.

With the knowledge that video is a marketing trend that cannot be ignored, it is also important to have a realistic strategy and expectations with the medium. The Dollar Shave Club's video is a text-book example of a 'viral video', where it spreads extremely quickly over social networks and person-to-person. However, the power of video marketing can go well beyond a one-off viral hit. Consider the efforts of Orabrush. This company released its first online marketing video with much viral success, but it was their follow up videos that really increased their ROI over time. After their initial video, they developed a strategy to produce follow up content to build a relationship with their audience and more directly link the product they were selling to their video efforts. Read more about their video strategy here in the New York Times.

The key to all of these video strategies is the incorporation of the 'What's In It For Me' principle. With each video produced for both Dollar Shave Club and Orabrush, they addressed what their potential audience wanted to watch. No one wants to watch another commercial for a monthly shave club, but they do want to be entertained and enjoy hearing about something that makes their lives easier. Based on my analysis of these video marketing strategies, here are some steps you can take right now to examine how you might begin to incorporate video into your marketing mix:

  • Evaluate your own marketing needs and whether you can incorporate video into your marketing strategy and plan.
  • Examine at what potential video content already exists for your product or service. Are consumers already generating content about you?
  • Engage with your consumers through video. If you’re ready to take your company to the next level of the digital marketing mix, get in touch with me!

Matt Ludwig is a Northwestern University student studying Radio/Television/Film and Integrated Marketing & Communications through Medill. His expertise in video production and IMC strategy allow him to bridge the gap between creative and goal-driven ideas. Follow him at @sound_pilot on Twitter.

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