Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CMOs: 3 Ways to Utilize Online Video to Maximize Your Brand’s Social Strategy

As a CMO, you know that online video possesses tremendous potential to boost a brand’s social presence. According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of one minute of video is equivalent 1.8 million words. As a Northwestern University student in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program, I have come to realize that successful brands today are constantly inventing new ways to improve their video content to better engage with their consumers. Below are two articles that really capture the essence of these brands' efforts. 

One example of a successful video strategy was featured in a Digiday article:’s original digital video strategy by Eric Blattberg. The Today show is setting itself apart from other morning television shows in the digital space with its original video series on their website, They create one or two new videos every weekday and post it on their website as well as on their YouTube channel and Facebook page. The content is informal yet authentic, and offers viewers practical takeaways in a variety of topics. Furthermore, they optimize their video content to best fit each media platform by making Facebook videos text and graphic-heavy (since Facebook autoplays videos on mute while users are scrolling down the newsfeed) and partnering with other celebrity channels on YouTube. In addition, they are starting to see conversations about their content on Twitter, fostering a cross-channel digital presence for the brand. As a result, viewers have come to trust as a safe and attractive venue to engage with content, providing a great opportunity for family-friendly brands to reach their potential consumers.

Just as the Today show is uploading text graphic heavy videos for Facebook, agencies such as Genuine Interactive and RB are also creating soundless videos that can appeal to audiences by tugging at their emotions. The article Are Silent Movies the Future of Advertising? featured on Adage and written by Jack Neff presents the shifting trend of creating online video content. The new strategy based on soundless and emotional content stems from the fact that Facebook and other mobile sites play videos on mute until the user turns on the sound. Mr. Pape, the creative director at Genuine Interactive says videos must create a visceral reaction to the image or movement for people to stop and watch. Such strategy is now being experimented on TV creative, integrating the digital and TV advertising. Brands are also able to use real-time feedback from the engagement of their videos to continuously improve their strategy.

From my studies as a student in the IMC certificate program and with interest in digital and social marketing strategies, I have found these articles to be representative of what brands are doing today to increase the effectiveness of their video content. There are three main insights I have gained from the above articles:
  1.  Focus on visuals. Your video content should provide compelling visuals that capture people’s attentions in a short span of time.
  2.  Optimize by channel. Videos need to be optimized depending on the channel, to seamlessly aid the user experience on whichever app or website people are viewing your content on.
  3.  Listen to your audience. It is important for marketers to constantly measure the engagement levels and activities around their videos and quickly respond to feedback.
By focusing on these three items, you can strengthen your brand’s social strategy and drive greater audience engagement. You should strive to stay relevant with your target audience by offering them the content and experience that they want. With more engagement, you will see your brand appearing through the social chatter by viewers who want to bring you into their conversations.

Kristin Chung is an undergraduate student at Northwestern University, pursuing an Integrated Marketing Communication certificate at the Medill School of Journalism. Please share your feedback and connect with her on Twitter @chung_kristin or on LinkedIn.

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