Youtube is now the world’s third most visited site, it has profoundly changed the way that people communicate with one another through video and the way that audiences interact with videos. They have more than 1 billion visitors each month and According to Nielsen, they reach more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network.
This all goes to show that utilising this or other online video platforms is something that companies should be targeting. But what is it about online videos that is making them so attractive to those within digital marketing?
Communicating Company Values
Video allows businesses to truly communicate their company values. It is more instant than just writing an ‘about us’ section on their website and it can become apparent within a few seconds about the ways in which companies are wishing to portray themselves. Music choice alone can help to define a company, from Bach to Backstreet boys, each will evoke a different perspective to the viewer. The same is true of the kind of colours used and the way that people talk in the video.
It is obviously possible to do this through more traditional media, but in reality this can be more challenging and is not as instant. Videos allow companies to quickly and easily establish their brand principles, without even needing to write them down and say them.
A Picture Tells A Thousand Words
If a picture tells a thousand words then a video can tell 10,000. You can say the same thing in a two minute video or 600 word email. The majority of people would much rather take the two minutes to sit and watch a video rather than read two pages of writing. Simply put, messages can be conveyed in a quick and simple way. It also puts a face or image to a message, often making it more memorable to those using it. Visual stimulus has been shown to improve memory through association, therefore, it is likely that a well made video will be remembered more clearly than a few paragraphs of writing.
One of the key reasons that sites like Youtube and Vimeo have been so successful is because they offer the ability to upload a video that could be seen by millions, for free. Given that all these videos are free and fully searchable, companies can now upload as many videos as they want to people who want to see them. They are not constrained to sending out a video on a DVD that only a small number of people would actually watch or place it in an expensive ad slot on TV. Now they can put a video online for free that can be seen exactly by the people who want to see it for next to no money.
That it is free is also allowing for increased budgets in other areas, meaning that companies are not only seeing an increased ROI, but that the value created by the videos means that budgets are created to enable better video creation. More talented people are therefore brought in, improving the quality of videos and therefore getting more views. This is creating a perfect storm of success that is seeing increasing views of videos online and increasing budgets to make them even better.
‘Going viral’ is any digital marketers dream. Watching a video being spread throughout social media sites by advocates of your company is something that only a few have really experienced, but one that everybody wants. It is proof that a well made video from almost any brand can hit a note in a social consciousness and suddenly a single video could increase company profits considerably.
The prime example of this being the Old Spice commercial - The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. After losing market share and having a relatively stale brand, they released this video and increased sales by 107% within the first month and have since recorded significant growth. A single video reinvented their brand and saw their sales double within one month.
It Beats Traditional TV Advertising
Traditional TV advertising allows for broadcast to a wide but relatively un-targeted audience. The demographics for TV are hard to know as they are based on an isolated and limited sample compared to the analytics available on the internet. Through effective tagging systems on sites like Youtube, the video will be pushed towards people who are most likely to find it interesting. The analytics also allow for videos to be created to adapt to the audience, rather than just trying to stick to blindly create something for an audience about whom, little is known.
The most expensive ad slots sold are during the Super Bowl and cost upwards of $4 million per 30 seconds. The audience for this is around 111 million people. A previously unknown South Korean singer, Psy, has now clocked up over 2 billion views on one video, which was uploaded for free on the internet. The chances of him being able to play in the Super Bowl ad slot before this video went viral would have been close to nothing, but this one video has catapulted him to global superstardom.
Online videos can do the same for any business, all it needs is a good video, decent sharing ability and to hit at the right time. The chances of success are slim (over 100 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube alone every month) but digital marketers have found that if they can get it right, the results are incomparable.