The Future of Online Video Marketing & the Benefits of Video Production
Video Production & Market Penetration
There are now some 43,221,464 internet users in the UK alone (Dec 2008 InternetWorldStats), representing a staggering 70.9% penetration for consumer opportunities. It’s no surprise then that the past few years have seen an increasing presence of internet strategies incorporated into business marketing plans. According to a recent survey 1 in 5 companies say that they now spend more than half of their total marketing budget online. However, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition, prompting online marketers to explore ever more creative ways with which to attract new visitors and convert them into customers; and with the rapid improvements in streaming technology, companies are now sitting up and taking note of the potential marketing possibilities that online video marketing has to offer. The US has taken a demonstrable lead over the UK, and the online market in the US is predicted to be worth billion by 2010 (E-consultancy). Clearly, online video production is set to explode in the marketing world as a lucrative and essential tool for both large corporate businesses and SME’s.
Dynamic Logic is a leading independent research company that specializes in measuring marketing effectiveness and the impact of online video. It regularly publishes results showing an overall increase in the effectiveness of online video in terms of breakthrough and communication, when comparing video with overall online marketing results. Specifically looking at areas such as message association, brand awareness and favourability, but most importantly purchase intent, they found that placing video online proved to be far more effective than standard internet advertising. ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni, for example, has recently revealed that his organisation has detected that exposure to online video advertising can lead to a 40% increase in buying a product or service.
Compared to text, graphics and illustrations, video has the ultimate power to engage and hold the viewer’s attention. The latest technological advances mean that video clips now play instantly, and with perfect sound and picture quality. Video delivers the information quickly and simply, and at its best, creates emotional pull that leads viewers to take action. It’s worth remembering that people relate to people more than anything else, and even the simplest messages can really help to bring a website to life. So what are the applications for videoc
Product Demonstrations Training Sales Presentations Press Briefings Internal Communications Recruitment Corporate Overview Corporate Social Responsibility
These are just some ideas and the list is limited only by the imagination, but how effective can these videos bec Well, take client testimonials. Most websites seem to carry quotes from happy customers in predictable and repetitive text format. Customer testimonials are a great way to endorse a company, service or a product, but in this written format, does anyone truly believe themc Are they genuine, and do they reach out and grab your attentionc Now imagine how much more persuasive it can be when a customer speaks live on camera and uses his own words to say how good you are and how great you are to work with. Now that really does have impact.
A current hot topic is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Good corporate governance is under the spotlight and companies are falling over themselves to promote their social and environmental credentials. Most large companies will now have a CSR section prominently displayed on their website, and usually supported by lengthy PDF documents of their policies and reports. The problem is that very few people open them or download them. The easy solution is to provide a video that features highlights of good business practice, whether it be the CEO planting trees, or senior managers visibly involved in running local charity events. Communicating a difficult product or service, or maybe a new concept, is not best served by a barrage of text and graphs, yet it’s amazing how many websites still do just this. Financial institutions and technology companies are often the worst culprits. Yet a filmed presenter, describing a service supported by explanatory animated graphics, or providing a live product demonstration, can really help to get the message across in an interesting and informative way. It can make the difference between a bored visitor clicking on to another site, or an interested visitor who gets the message and responds to a call to action there and then.
Should web designers be recommending video for all their clients’ websites from now onc Every site has its own unique functions and desired outcomes, and video certainly isn’t for everyone. Added to this, clients will have their own ideas about how they want their website to look. But web designers should certainly be aware of the power of video. They should be educating their clients about new trends, and helping them explore every avenue to ensure that the website reaches its full potential. There are big financial benefits to using online video, and companies can save a considerable amount of money in manpower, travel, and DVD mail outs, by communicating to an unlimited mass audience instantly and simultaneously. It’s worth noting that consumers are far more likely to view a video online than they are to put a DVD in a machine and watch it. After all, if they are already on a website and fired with interest, it’s easy to click onto a video whilst they are there. By contrast, a DVD requires interest to be re-kindled, and for new time to be set aside for a viewing.
Web designers too have a vested interested in using video. It will give progressive companies an edge over competitors who prefer to remain within the safety of their comfort zones. Video is a good driver for SEO with the potential to push a company up the search rankings. And video is, of course, a value-added product that clients will pay for over and above the conventional costs of the web design and build. Finally, video is an evolving new product that allows designers to re-visit existing clients with a new offering to upgrade the website.
Many companies shy away from the perceived complexity and costs of producing professional looking video. Video production is a specialised area in which most web designers have little or no expertise, and a good working relationship with a video production company is usually a good idea. A production company will be able to advise on content and oversee the video project from beginning to end, delivering edited media to the web designer, encoded and ready for streaming. The precise nature of the relationship will depend on individual circumstances, but whether a web designer introduces the job to the production company or vice versa, a commission fee would be considered normal.
Case Study: Spectrecom Films
Spectrecom Films is an award-winning London-based video production company with a strong track record working for clients across the public and private sector. They have recognised the growing potential of online video and often recommend that even their largest projects are streamed online rather than sent out on DVD. Recent projects include an ongoing series of over 35 promotional films for the Durham University website, 16 recruitment films for Google and a vast quantity of short presented clips for 247Spares, the UK’s top online car parts network, which resulted in a massive 80% increase in sales. Spectrecom’s unique advantage is that they own their own film/TV studio where they can produce highly professional video work in-house at very low cost.
What would be considered low costc Spectrecom’s MD, Andrew Greener, reckons they can produce studio-presented video for under 1,000 a day; “There are many variables, but we try to keep it simple. So a client could be here in the morning, presenting to camera, and we could edit and encode the material, and upload it to the web designer by the end of the day.” Spectrecom also film on location anywhere around the world, often at very short notice. “We have an American client that often gives us just one or two days notice to film, usually interviews with supporting B’ roll footage, and it could be anywhere in the UK. We haven’t let them down yet”, says Greener. And does Spectrecom work with any designers alreadyc “Yes, there are two companies in particular. We’ve received good projects from them, mostly studio work, but we’ve been able to pass high value work out too.”
Spectrecom practice what they preach, and much of their website carries examples of their video work. Not only that, but it also features videos about themselves in a way that could be adopted by any other company. What’s interesting is that the most popular page navigated to from the home page is the team page, with 25% of all traffic going here first. And the reasonc The team page features a video of every member of staff and, quite reasonably, visitors to the site want to find out who they are dealing with.
Onlinevideo is here to stay, and its presence is set to become one of the key elements that differentiates websites. After all, if you could watch a video of a new product or concept online, or read about it, which would you choosec Picture size and quality will only continue to improve, and marketers will dream up new ways of grabbing audience share and delivering key messages with real impact. If you are going to take advantage of this developing phenomenon, you need to understand the benefits and you need to be thinking of the many creative opportunities at the concept stage of new web design.