Guest Blog Post by Maria Botta
“As consumers spend more and more time online, it’s critical for marketers to reach our consumers at the right time, with the right message, communicated in the right way. Tools that help drive those insights help us stay on the cutting edge.” - Gayle Fuguitt Vice President, Consumer Insights, General Mills
Most of my career I have worked as a producer on a variety of projects from commercials to corporate videos and everything in between. But in the last 3 years I have gone from producing traditional video communications, to video content specifically for online dissemination.
As we witness the evolution of the internet, going from a static environment to that of moving images, marketers are creating online video for everything.
This evolution has created a new medium in itself, completely different from the old time platform of TV, so it's no surprise that this new medium presents a challenge to advertisers and marketers on HOW to message the audience. The online environment has infinitely more channels, and there is lots more content. Research shows that creating quality original content represents a huge opportunity for brands, because original content has the best effect on consumers' recollection of brands, as well as fostering positive sentiment.
I suggest that instead of thinking of “adapting” a :30 or :60 ad made for TV, create a video specifically designed to engage online audiences.
In the past 24 months alone, I have worked on 5 different online video projects, for 5 very different clients, with very different communication goals. All of them chose to include online video as a cornerstone to their overall marketing strategy - and all have achieved great results by doing so.
Below are 3 examples of the projects I have worked on.
For General Mills, we created 20 "How to videos" in English and Spanish. The videos where then deployed on their proprietary microsite as well as on several independent channels including youtube.
A film for the NROTC for the US Marines, geared to the parents of prospective NROTC candidates.
NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps) Marine Option
While at Graduate School at Thunderbird, I directed and produced for the Marketing Department 4 candid student interviews, that are used on their YouTube Channel and for recruiting.
Executive MBA Student Perspective - Choosing Thunderbird
All of these projects involved telling a story, an entertaining story that connected with their audience and compelled them to listen and watch.
The growth of online video has been exponential
According to a recent study by emarketer, US online video ad spending will grow by 43.1% in 2012 making it the fastest-rising category of online spending.
The total US internet audience viewed an all-time high of 42.6 billion videos in October.
“It's still going to be about the people who can tell a story, you can own the TV network or outlet but you need to hire the people who can tell the story or you won't own it for long.” - Michael Eisner, former CEO of Walt Disney and founder of The Tornante Company
One of the reasons that marketers are moving towards online video content is the growing number of eyeballs watching content online. The 2010 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, indicates that 69% of adult internet users, or roughly half of all U.S. adults (52%) have used the internet to watch or download video.
It's not only important to produce a good quality video that engages with your audience, but it's equally important to deploy the content on all relevant platforms, including social media and proprietary websites. Your video can be as simple as the ones I featured, or as complex as creating webisodes.
Still, there are some challenges, including understanding how to properly measure ROI. However, there more emerging technologies that do a better job at measurement - this is all very fluid stuff because constant refinements are happening everyday.
If your company is not using video communication as part of your marketing strategy, you are missing an amazing opportunity to really connect with your audience with a message that is relevant.