Online Video Advertising And Promotion: Share Your Video Online Is The Only Way To Go
Online Video Advertising And Promotion: Share Your Video Online Is The Only Way To Go
Online video publishing has indeed taken the Internet by storm this year, making the use of video for marketing, promotion, news and PR online a true key strategic component of any new cutting-edge and effective communication campaign.
Video search engines and directories, online video publishing and sharing sites, web-based video editing and post-production services as well as video aggregation, filtering and syndication tools are blooming all around, demonstrating that the power of moving images is finally free to break out from the mass television prison.
But in this fantastic and revolutionary wave of new video, it is for now only the small, unequipped and unknown grassroots producers, who are best making sense of the natural needs that video publishing and online distribution demand, while many of the big names and brands keep seeing and using the Internet as a communication vehicle analogous to television or other traditional mass media, missing out altogether the most powerful and disruptive characteristic of the blooming online video publishing revolution: user-driven targeted, personalized free viral distribution.
On the Internet there is no need or key advantage in keeping your video content (or for that matter any type of content) tight inside your web site borders.
The true advantage is in letting your video content be free so that not only others can watch and talk about it, but they can easily download it, redistribute it, if not even publish it directly on their own sites.
From Google to Apple to DEMO large and small successful companies have realized how valuable video can be to their marketing efforts. But the greatest potential value their videos have is completely wasted when these same companies publish videos that are cemented on their web site.
See, if Apple makes a great video about a new feature in his upcoming operating system or if DEMO publishes the insightful video presentations of cutting edge new technology products at its conference, this is absolutely great, fantastic content for other publishers to take and syndicate elsewhere.
It goes without needing to be a Ph.D. that if that video content is made available for others to pick up, redistribute and republish, it will have orders of magnitude of greater exposure by the very individuals that those videos had been made for. It is just inevitable. If you let content be grabbed and re-used on the Internet you directly facilitate its direct, superefficient capillary distribution to the very targeted audiences it was meant to be served to. All automatically.
If instead, you are doing anything that limits the user in one of the above you are self-inflicting yourself with limited distribution and reach while not really taking advantage of the power of exposure that thousands of bloggers and video content sites may unexpectedly give to your material.
Am I going nuts?
Not really. Just take a minute to reflect about a few simple things.
In the era of mass media like radio and television and wide distribution print magazines, if you were a company that wanted to promote a product, an idea or a new service, you had to go and BUY some pretty expensive advertising space on the most appropriate channels serving your audience. In fact, you had to spend even a little more to pay an "agency" to find out for you who those target customers were and therefore which channels and "ad slots" would have been most appropriate for your video advertising campaign.
Two. Once that all that work was completed your video advertising campaign would be aired at pre-set times on the media channels bought by your agency. Their goal and yours in this game would have been to broadcast as many ad runs as possible in order to hit as large a number of your targeted audience individuals with your video message. To achieve this you and your agency would have needed to intrude and interrupt the enjoyment of anyone person you would have been able to reach by distracting her away from whatever program that person was actually watching. You would have also needed to cross fingers that this same person would have not taken the opportunity of the ad break containing your message to go and do something else before her program of choice would have come comes back on her TV.
So much for efficiency.
Now that traditional television channels are loosing steady ground to Internet content providers, to TiVo-driven time-shifted television and to new alternative sources of entertainment and news, what is the value of wasting all that money to intrude and disrupt individuals most private and personal leisure time?
Think for a moment of an ad as an effort to build a relationship via a visual, video message. Now think if you would ever date or go out with someone who would propose his/her candidacy to your attention by interrupting your dearest relaxing moments, the times when you are learning or studying from a documentary or thrilled by the climax of your favourite film plot. Not only. Think if you would date someone that, unintroduced by anyone you know, talks, talks, talks and listens very little, someone that although looking most beautiful and attractive claims and shouts that sHe is the best and only one that there is out there!
I would not ever date or open a relationship with someone that had that kind of attitude. Would you?
Now fast-forward to today and watch how video / television advertising can have a whole different distribution paradigm.
The first key difference is that online you have a potentially unlimited number of distribution channels awaiting you. Literally thousands of web sites, blogs, search engines, directories and content distribution services and tools are available to take your video content (whether it be an ad or not) and run it for their pre-targeted audience.
The second one is that there is nothing to pay upfront. No agency, no middle man asking for money, no expensive campaign planning and marketing research. No booking of television ad spaces or programming slots. No stressful research and PRs to find those who want to distribute your video content. It is all unnecessary.
Yes, you still need to shoot your ad, or documentary or information message, but outside of making this with more "art" and less "smart", you can now forget about the super-expensive costs of approaching distribution as you have known until now.
Third: The best targeting and market analysis is now at your service. Again for free. What's his name? It is us, the millions of online publishers, large and small, that from Google Video to the nichiest video blog site, aggregate, index, wade, explore, pre-taste, filter and select the best video content that is out there. And since "best" is truly only relative to the audience you are communicating with, the beauty of all this is that we are taking the best and most relevant video content and serving it to those very individuals who are most interested in watching it without you having to worry about any of this.
The people who go to any of the sites, video search engines, video sharing or video blog sites go to them increasingly to find something specific. Whether that be fun clips, grassroots video karaoke or for learning about the latest search engine marketing technique, individuals watching video online are in an active reception mode, seeking specific content to satisfy their interest.
Fourth: It gets personal. When distributed via the thousands of different outlets that the Internet provides your video content becomes more personal. It is like someone presented to you by a friend. Video content distributed via self-selection by the multiplicity of online content outlets is served to final watchers within context, and related material that significantly helps the viewer appreciate, understand and possibly enter into an emotional relationship with the video content proposed.
Fifth: It gets viral. If you allow the sharing, downloading, syndication and republishing of your video, instead of restricting and confining its use, your great video content, whether it promotes a service or not, will find many ways and sites that will host it in a long, self sustaining fashion. If I discover video content that would provide great interest to my audience I would not hesitate one second in republishing it while providing around it my characterizing introduction, commentary and other relevant and related news and information.
Sixth: It's there forever. Video online doesn't disappear when the ad campaign is over or your ad budget runs out. The video ad or whatever your video content is about, is there to stay, accessible for a long time to come. Again, for free.
So if you stop thinking for a moment that video ads need to be time-compressed bullshitting in a Hollywood-style fashion, and you focus more on true entertainment, news or providing insightful information, you will find hundreds of thousands of video destinations taking up your content for redistribution. For free.
It's a win-win situation.
You get distribution to your ideal audiences, pre-filtered and targeted like never before possible, and you don't intrude in the lives of those watching your content anymore: you are now served on a silver plate to your most valuable prospects when they are most ready and "willing" to see and listen what you have got to say. So while you can't bullshit anymore, you CAN have their undivided attention at least for the time they will watch your online video content.
Video publishers, blogs, news sites, video search engines and sharing sites all get free quality video content around which to build and mold their own value-added propositions.
You give them something good and they care of aggregating it, compiling and curating it in many different and overlapping ways reaching effectively much larger numbers of actively interested viewers than you could have ever reached before via television.
If you can grasp this difference, you really can surf this opportunity in ways that are probably yet to be thought of and way beyond our present imagination.
So what am I suggesting?
a) Use free, openly redistributable video online now.
Do not lock your videos in a format / protocol that forces viewers to have to come to your site to see it.
This is THE most effective and powerful way to extend marketing reach and exposure, to increase brand building and to initiate the creation of true one-to-one relationships.
b) Drop the gloss. Make your videos informative, artistic, useful or true fun.
Stop creating fake, propaganda-like video content that smells of corporate marketing departments miles away. Give the cameras to the sons and daughters working in that dept., invite the journalism department of your closest university, launch a grassroots contest... do anything, but stop putting out your fake, overly glossy video content thinking that the more money you spend on production and big names the more audience and attention you will get. That's passé. I can turn on television anytime to watch it.
c) Seed your great, quality video content in as many online distribution places as possible.
Do not just publish your video on your site waiting for everyone to discover it. Seed your video content on YouTube, Google Video, and in the many other video publishing and sharing venues available online or package it inside Brightcove fully re-distributable video players, but make sure there are multiple ways and modes for your audiences and the publishers within them to pick your video content and give it extend exposure.
Even if you don't like the idea, it will be increasingly difficult for anyone to limit or even prohibit others from capturing, re-recording and republishing your valuable video content. So unless you are selling access to a movie (for which sharing distributing outstanding video trailers is proving to be a smashingly effective solution) don't resist the drive to share and republish video content and don't make it more difficult for your content to take flight than it is really needed. You are bound to loose.
Instead, roll down now a red carpet for your video content to be readily shareable and republishable online while finding its best audiences thanks to the existing army of video content sites and blogs ready to take up and do a lot better all of what you have been paying advertising agencies and television channels to do for you.