Monday, January 25, 2010

5 Ways to Make Video a Viable Channel

By Philip Wocken

YouTube became the world's second largest search engine in November 2008 and has increased the number of searches on its website by 31% over last year. Video is becoming an increasingly important marketing chanel in today's digital world. What are you and your company doing about it? There are several ways that companies are successfully using video to increase brand awareness:

1) Video Contests: Video Contests have become a fun and easy way for brands to connect with customers. There are several contests that have been very successful, but my favorite remains the "Best Job in the World" campaign, sponsored by Tourism Queensand. Over 34,000 people from all over the world submitted video "applications" explaining why they would be the best Islands Caretaker. The job was a 6 month contract in which the Caretaker would experience (and promote via a weekly blog) everything that the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef had to offer. With $110,000 salary for the Islands Caretaker, the contest came with a hefty price tag for a struggling Australian tourism industry. However, with recurring press mentions from all major news outlets worldwide, the campaign more than paid for itself with intagible ROI.

2) Viral Videos: If your company is not sharing video, you are missing a whole niche of potential customers that may not know about your company or visit your website. If they have friends that share a video about your product or your company on YouTube or their Facebook pages, that may be their first touch point with your brand. Make your videos entertaining and short (around 2-3 minutes long). Better yet, make them both. Upload it to YouTube and let You Tube host the videos. Then, embed the YouTube videos on your site. This way, when it is viewed on your website, YouTube will add those views toward the total number of views on YouTube, thereby giving it more visibility.

3) Give Your Visitors Video: How many times have you visited a website to learn about a company and all that you get are long paragraphs of feel-good copy that do not tell you anything? Yep, you know the feeling: your eyes glaze over and 10 minutes later you still know nothing about the company. Instead, have your Chief Executive or a couple of staff members give visitors a little video history of the company. It gives the company a little bit of personality, plus it makes your website interesting.

4) Video SEO: Google now incorporates videos into many search results now. Often times, those videos show up towards the top of the page. Inserting keywords in the title and filename of the video will help users easily find your videos. This article from Forrester Research gives some easy step-by-step instructions on how to optimize your video.

5) Video Simplifies the Complex: Do customers find your product difficult to understand or operate? Use a quick instructional video that shows customers how to use your product or how your product works. Does your company sell ideas? Have your thought leader give your customers a few tips. These freebies will prove your company's industry expertise and be useful to your visitors.
Is your company using video? How are your using video to build your brand? I'd love to get your thoughts in the Comment section below.

Philip Wocken is an inventive marketing manager specializing in Online Marketing techniques. e can be reached via Twitter @BuzzBrains or email him at
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Sabera said...

Interesting post Phillip! Using Videos as a branding tool is something certainly overlooked by marketers and your post emphasizes its importance in the overall toolkit, aptly. A lot of online marketers have emphasized how the video does not even need to be good quality, as long as the content is something that your audience truly cares about. Some of the most grainy, amateur videos have gone viral like nobody thought they would.

Philip Wocken said...

You hit it on the head Sabera. What are some of your favorite videos that have gone viral?

Sabera said...

My fave's have been videos by Hubspot. Not always professionally shot, but they have great content and get instantly shared many times after they go online. Check some of them out either on their website or Youtube!

Jackie Kaufenberg said...

Hi Philip,
Thanks for this post. We have been debating about embeding our YouTube videos in our site instead of using a Flash Player. The article on video SEO was very helpful and we are going to go ahead with it. Thanks!

Philip Wocken said...

Thanks for the recommendation Sabera. I have not heard of Hubspot...I will be sure to check that out.

Hi Jackie. I'm glad that this post was able to help. EasyStand is a prime example of how a video can not only explain the benefits of your product, but also increase brand awareness and propel your site to Page #1 in search engine results. Thanks for your feedback!

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