Video is the most effective way for a brand to communicate a message or tell a story. Clients are always bringing their video assets to PR agencies, begging the question: how can you help us achieve video virality?
As a publicist, I know that getting press on a video is no easy feat. Unless you have an out-of-this-world advertainment, the media is not willing to embed your clients’ video into their editorial content without a cost. Traditionally, PR agencies have not supported paid video advertising for their clients. However, as the lines between paid and organic begin to blur, there is real opportunity for PR agencies to offer video distribution for viral effectiveness, achieve placements on targeted sites, and earn from it.
Video is everywhere and PR can place it:
We live in a world where consumers prefer shiny screens to glossy magazines. U.S. adults spend more than five hours a day consuming digital media, and nearly 11 percent of that time watching video on digital devices, as PRNewser reported earlier this year. As publishers continue to embrace the shift to digital video, there is a rapidly growing $7.7 billion video marketing industry that is poised to hit $14.38 billion by 2019, according to eMarketer. As the publishing industry evolves, so too does the PR industry that supports it.
At its very core, public relations means content promotion and storytelling that engages a conversation. Being a publicist today means much more than achieving organic placements; we understand the vast media landscape, making us well equipped to activate video marketing campaigns for our clients in order to capture a share of the budget. By adding video distribution to a new business pitch or a list of digital offerings, PR agencies have an opportunity to expand their role as media experts to include video virality.
How to achieve video virality:
The proliferation of digital and social media has ushered in a new era of “earned media” or word-of-mouth recommendations that spark video virality. However, with 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, and more than half of them having less than 500 views, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. With a little paid distribution, you can spark a conversation for your client’s video across the social web. Video distribution is a great add-on to a PR campaign because it allows you to promote your client’s video on the sites that matter most to them, and utilize paid media to drive earned media.
With video distribution, PR agencies have complete control over who they want to target and where they want to target them, with one-click social sharing buttons and custom banner overlays that drive a viewer to take action. The formula is simple, place a video in front of the people that matter most and give them every reason to share it with their networks. For example, this summer Virool helped Revolocity Creative promote a video for their client, Scotts Miracle Gro, during the Women’s World Cup. The video was placed on top-tier websites like USA Today Sports and garnered 900,000 video views. As a result, 8 percent of viewers shared it on Facebook, which led to another 290,000 earned views. In other words, using paid promotion, the Scotts video got a 33 percent increase in views they didn’t pay for.
With every great video, comes a great story:
More often than not, your client has a story to tell that accompanies the video they want you to promote. Whether it’s a cause campaign or a culture piece, the video is a digital asset to support a wider marketing initiative. Consider coupling your video distribution with branded content that can be placed natively on top-tier websites that are on your client’s wish-list. “Native” advertising is a popular type of online advertising that has the look and feel of the content or editorial space around it.
For PR agencies, native advertising is the new MAT release; it offers much more control over where and when the article and video gets picked up. Using native advertising, you have an opportunity to tell your client’s story to the right audience, on a premier publisher, and place their video contextually within the article. For the Scotts MiracleGro campaign, Virool included a mix of branded content that was natively placed on sites like Buzzworthy to tell a story about how the brand was calling for real grass instead of turf during the Women’s World Cup.
As video continues its domination of the internet, PR agencies have an opportunity to expand their role as the experts in publicity to include activating video campaigns that achieve earned media. Whether you white-label a solution or partner with a provider, video distribution is a great addition to the list of digital offerings.
Kara Ivy Goldberg is senior brand marketing manager at Virool, a video distribution platform for marketers. Today, more than 30,000 global customers are using the Virool platform to promote their content and reach a targetted audience across 100,000 multi-channel publishers.