Everyone’s Doing It
Okay, I know you may be thinking to yourself, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it to?” But the truth of the matter is, more and more brands are starting to use web video, whether they’ve just uploaded a single video to show off their product offering or they’ve uploaded a whole channel worth of viral videos to YouTube. If you don’t have at least one video online you’re going to look like an idiot.
I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but it’s true. As more and more companies start uploading product demos and other videos to YouTube and other video sites, consumers will start searching on YouTube for these types of videos when they want to find out about a product or company. If your brand doesn’t have a web video presence you’ll be missing out.
Lets You Actually SHOW Your Product/Service
But seriously, aside from the fact that everybody else is doing it, there are lots of very valid reasons why you should invest a little bit of time and money in creating a web video presence for your brand. One of the best reasons is that it is a great way to show off your product or service. Sure, you can write a description of your product or service on your company website’s ‘About’ page. But wouldn’t it be better to actually show your customers what you do?
Back in October, Jay Bailey, CEO of Rapidfire Video told us why he thinks every company needs an online video. “I think that there are very few products that don’t need to tell their story in a digestible, concise, (and often, entertaining) way.” So show your customers what you can do in a video. Bailey says, “At the end of the day, someone reaching the home page of any company generally needs more than a few bullets that list features. They’re wondering: Can I trust these guys? Do they get my problem? Is their product as good as the three others I’ve seen? They get answers to these questions when you tell them a story.” And video is one of the best ways to tell your story.
Consumers Prefer Video To Reading
Going along with the point above, it is important to point out that consumers these days have an aversion to reading lots of text (which is a little bit sad to think about for someone like me who writes for a living, but it’s true nonetheless) . Most people would much rather sit back and watch a video and have your product shown and explained to them than have to read and figure things out for themselves. So why not make it easier for your customers by spelling out what you do in a short, simple, fun and engaging video?
Building an online video presence doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need is a web cam, or inexpensive video camera, and an idea to get started. As a matter of fact, when companies get creative and create fun videos on a low budget they often get a lot more coverage for their efforts than the brands that have huge budgets for video campaigns.
Blendtec is a great example of a brand that has really built itself up in the world of web video starting out with a next-to-nothing budget. Blendtec’s own founder, Tom Dickson, hosts the show, which takes place in a kitchen. Dickson blends things that you ordinarily wouldn’t think of blending, to show just how strong and mighty the Blentec blender is. Check out the first episode, uploaded on October 30, 2006 – ‘Will It Blend? – Marbles’.
Of course, Will It Blend has grown a lot over the last few years. They’ve got a fancy sign with flashing lights, they blend things that are a lot more expensive than marbled, and even have celebrity guests. Check out a more recent episode below. But remember, when Blendtec first started, the only things they needed to make their first video were a video camera, a blender and some marbles. Be creative and you can surely come up with a great, inexpensive way to get you brand online in the world of web video.
Lets You Show Your Creativity
The Blendtec example is a great illustration of this next point. When you create videos about your brand, product, service or company you have the opportunity to show off your creativity. Even if your product isn’t creative (like a blender), you can present it in a creative way. This puts smiles on people’s faces and gives them a reason to choose you over your boring competitors who don’t have a creative bone in their bodies.
Car insurance isn’t exactly exciting, funny business. However, Geico has been able to entertain us for years with their humorous commercials and antics. Though most are created for television, several have gone viral on the web. I think Geico is a great role model for companies looking to make their products a little more exciting, humorous and viral.
Keeps Customers Coming Back
Another great thing about web video is that it keeps your customers coming back for more (that is, if you start uploading new content on the regular). By creating a web video series, or uploading fun content on a regular basis, you keep your customers not only coming back to see more but also waiting impatiently to see what you are going to come up with next.
A great example of this is the Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Campaign’. And yes, I know that some of you may think that using a huge brand like Old Spice and the most successful online video campaign of all time is unfair. But what do we have to work for if not to be the best, eh? Old Spice first introduced a character, ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, in a Super Bowl commercial. They then began releasing more television and online ads starring this hunky yet loveable man that everyone wants to be. Then they came out with their Twitter video response campaign where they put out video after video after video, responding to fans. Fans loved it. Everyone was checking in to see if a new video had been uploaded yet and everyone wanted more. This is exactly the type of response you want (even if you can’t achieve it on the same level as Old Spice). I have a few qualms with the fact that Old Spice has retired ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, but you know what they say – quit when you’re ahead.
Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback is a strong proponent of creating “online video that delivers repeatable, measurable and sustainable views.” He wrote an article in Advertising Age and also spoke with us about how investing in web series and episodic content is much more effective for keeping customers engaged than trying to create a single video in the hopes that it will go viral.
Video Is Incredibly Shareable
Videos are being shared constantly on the web – on Twitter, on Facebook, on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and in a ton of other places on the web. The more video content you create, the more shareable content you create. People are a lot less likely to share a link to your website than they are to share a link to the witty, creative and original video you made about your company. And when they share it, people are a whole lot more likely to watch a video (which they can watch directly from their Facebook, New Twitter or StumbleUpon screen) than to click through to visit your website and read all the content on your ‘About Us’ page. Are we agreed?
I won’t tell you that there is a good chance of your video going viral. In fact, the odds are pretty much slim to nothing. But if you don’t have any videos online then the odds aren’t even slim. They are just plain nothing.
And the truth of the matter is that your video doesn’t even have to go viral to be a success. Would you be happy with 500,000 views? How about 100,000? How about 10,000? Depending on the size of your company and your website, if you get a mere 3,000 people to watch your video that could be more than well worth the time and money that went into making it. And 3,000 views are really not all that difficult to get if your video’s got the right stuff and if you’ve followed all the right steps for maximizing your discoverability and metadata.
Who Would Say No To Additional Presence Online?
For those of you that are still sitting there being negative and thinking to yourselves, “I still don’t see why I need to waste my time with web video”, I hate to lecture you but seriously, what’s your problem? When you invest just a little bit of time in creating a few online videos (or even just one!) you are opening up a whole new channel for your online brand presence. When you upload a video to YouTube you are enabling more people to discover your brand, as well as opening up a channel for interactions through comments and video responses, and are spreading brand awareness. Who would say no to that?
Customers Expect It
And finally, your customers expect you to have an online video presence. This sort of goes along with the idea that everybody is doing it, but I think it’s important to understand that when all of your competition is doing something then it’s important for you to do it to. When your customers expect, love and want something you should give them what they expect, love and want. So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and your brainstorming cap and get to work! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.