Every self-styled marketing guru will claim they’ve discovered the long sought-after magic bullet of online advertising. One week they’ll swear targeted ads are the future, and the next week motion graphics are all the rage. The truth is, most of these have a great deal in common: The inclusion of video content. In one form or another, shareable video content is ruling the web when it comes to marketing.
This is an “adapt or die” sort of world we’re living in, so here are some things to keep in mind while you and your brand navigate our increasingly video-heavy Internet culture.
It’s no secret that shareable online content is one of the keys to a successful marketing campaign. The word “shareable” can mean different things to different people: sometimes it means “funny,” and sometimes it means “startling.” With videos continuing their meteoric rise in popularity and importance, motion graphics have become a favored technique for creating shareable content that can quickly and succinctly elicit an emotional response.
Chances are good you’ve seen motion graphics on television already, in news reports or even movie trailers. Now they’re being used with great success by all kinds of companies; if you want proof, just take a look at this video about cult classic cars, or this one about bath salt zombies, which was featured on The Huffington Post. Since motion graphics are another type of short-form video, they’re highly shareable across a variety of platforms, including desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.
Micro-Video Is Here to Stay
It might have been tempting to shrug off micro-video sites like Vine and Instagram as passing fads, but their growth over the last year or so is making it perfectly clear that they’re here to stay. Back in June 2013, Twitter’s Vine app was the #1 most-downloaded non-game app in the iOS App Store. Clearly, sharing six seconds of video at a time is keeping a lot of people entertained.
If you’re not familiar with Vine, think of it like Twitter except for videos: Users can share short, looping videos with friends. Of course, it’s become a popular way for different brands to share videos about their products.
Fast Company recently published a great list of the “boldest” uses of Vine for marketing purposes. There are some big names on this list including Samsung, Dunkin’ Donuts and Target.
These are worldwide corporations, mind you, but the beauty of Vine is that it sort of automatically levels the playing field; with just a few seconds of video to work with at a time, even smaller companies with a more modest marketing budget can make something that looks professional.
Making YouTube a Destination Instead of a Diversion
We’ve all seen our fill of YouTube videos of cats, dogs, and precocious toddlers. For most of us, the content on YouTube is a way to fill up the empty spaces between social obligations. However, marketers have found a way to bring people to YouTube for a different purpose: To spread the word about their brands.
Remember those Old Spice videos featuring Isaiah Mustafa from a couple years ago? They managed to do something remarkable. They caused people to go out of their way to watch advertisements for Old Spice. That, people, is marketing done right. From Reddit AMAs (Ask-Me-Anything) to personalized YouTube videos, Old Spice did an amazing job of creating a memorable and personable character people couldn’t wait to experience and even imitate.
Those now-famous commercials are still some of the most-viewed videos on YouTube. In short, Old Spice turned their YouTube channel into a destination people couldn’t wait to visit, instead of a trifling distraction.
Verizon FiOS has also had a measure of success using its YouTube channel not just as an effective marketing platform but also as a way to inform its customers about Internet and television content that might interest them. There are even channels for students who are interested in attending online college and want advice on how to apply or how to get the most out of their experience.
YouTube isn’t just a place for commercials, though. It’s also a great way to give people a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite products and brands that they might not get otherwise. Learning how something is made, or getting a more in-depth look at the ways it can be used, is a great way to entertain your audience and to retain them.
The Marketer’s Toolbox Gets a Permanent Addition
It might be hard to believe right now, but the success or failure of smaller brands and multinational corporations alike may very well rest on their ability to capture the attention of their prospective customers using video content. You still want to remain agile, adaptable and diverse in your marketing techniques (read: don’t put all your eggs in the same basket), but for right now it’s looking like video is going to remain a hugely important tool in the marketer’s toolbox for the foreseeable future.