Friday, May 11, 2012

Get Creative, Get Personal: Online Video

It was my high school freshman who introduced me to Blendtec when he came home laughing about the YouTube videos he saw of a guy in a lab coat putting things in a blender that should never be near a blender, and standing by to see the resulting mayhem.  Blendtec’s "Will it Blend?" marketing campaign -- pulverizing marbles, iPhones, golf balls and soda cans, to name a few – experienced a 500% increase in sales since the company began putting their videos on YouTube.

Much has changed in the video world and companies of all sizes should consider this mode of social media as a great way to increase exposure to audiences. Certainly it takes creativity. But it also has a low cost of entry with very respectable videos being produced with as little as an iPhone! I watched a clip on the Social Media Examiner website where they were interviewing Steve Garfield who is a social media video guru. Steve offered the tip that his iPhone 4, which now has HD video, and a new handheld microphone (iRig Mic), could be your baseline equipment for producing a business-quality video. Now we can produce, create and share videos all on the same little piece of technology that fits in our pocket.

YouTube, in its early days, was a quick place to load any-quality, shaky videos. It has advanced to offer HD-quality viewing with annotation options used by businesses posting to YouTube: add a title to your video, provide a description for it, and be sure to include the URL for your website so people can find you from your video. Business websites now link to their YouTube pages where they store libraries of videos to promote their brands and solicit subscribers – building their communities. Bottled water company, Evian, successfully embraced this approach with their “Baby Inside” marketing campaign, which is worth a chuckle or two.

Where to put it? Embed your video in your website. Put it on your Facebook Page or Google+. Put it where ever your audience is found.

Businesses are adding video to their social media bag of tricks because it is an inexpensive way to get personal with their audience. A website with a video giving insight into a company’s personality is more engaging than one filled with text. Creativity can be showcased but video is also a way for consumers to identify core business principles as they seek brands or services. Reliability, professionalism, confidence and stability can be conveyed, even in an entertaining and personable way.
The Bark Side

While some of the most memorable videos involve big budgets and outrageous feats – check out Volkswagen’s barking Star Wars Dogs or Chevy’s video with the band OK Go – the small budget can still produce effective delivery that can bring a brand or service to life. Put some effort into the planning and you may be surprised at the results. Good promotional videos don’t happen by accident. Plan the script and venue, work with decent lighting and sound, and practice, practice, practice. Put some fun in it and humanize your brand. Updating your video periodically on your website helps it stay fresh and can keep your audience engaged.

Have you seen any fun promotional videos? What made them rock?

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