Archive for the ‘Corporate TV’ Category

Online Video Changes Game For Brand Marketers

March 25, 2009

Two years ago when online video burst onto the scene, the growth engine behind it was centered on consumer-driven uploading and sharing of video clips. At the time, commercial media companies were trying to take advantage of the migration of audiences to the Web and also open up new revenue streams through online video advertising.

Today, the growth engine behind online video has shifted dramatically. Video has expanded well beyond the media industry and into nearly every corner of the professional Web, as corporations, governments, non-profits and educational institutions look to use video as a cornerstone of how they communicate, market and inform on the Web.

With the explosion of online video adoption in the last two years, savvy marketers are now using video across their business to help build their online community, evangelize their products and engage directly with customers. The following examples are all our clients, but the video trend applies across many industries.

Building a community

Vanden Borre leverages online video to help build community interactions and enhance the experience of its vendors, drivers, partners and employees. The company uses online video extensively for product education, corporate communications and product launches through his web TV. Community members and employees have on-demand access to a large library of video content, as well as the ability to comment on and rate the content to help foster ongoing engagement and interaction.

Evangelize your product

Eurostar recognized early on in the Web 2.0 era that video was a powerful force in promoting its brand and reaching customers directly. When Eurostar launched its “Royal Guard Cheeese Game” campaign, the main video was placed on YouTube as a teaser to drive traffic back to the full campaign website, where users could experience a full video game based on  the mastermind concept. The campaign drove thousands of viewers to the site.

Boost customer engagement

Other companies like the CarGlass and PoolCover have launched online video initiatives to engage with customers in a more visual, impactful way. CarGlass take care of hundreds of client in his service centers around Belgium, so during the waiting time, the client stay informed about the new services and products of the company with a cost effective budget.

PoolCover has launched a comprehensive online video initiative to educate consumers on its range of products. This has proven to be extremely effective, as consumers making high-consideration purchases value the opportunity to see the product in action online. This can be accomplished more effectively through the use of video versus static images and text.

Online video has certainly become a powerful tool for marketers to expand their brand presence and reach customers and prospects in a new way. These companies recognize that when it is done effectively, video can be a major force in opening direct-to-consumer communications.

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don’t tell me, show me

February 13, 2009

Very often, I am talking with marketing managers and/or managing directors. In the middle of telling  them about how we’re producing and distributing branded original content across a network of sites online, they ask me a very simple question: “Why video content?”. Admittedly, they went on to say that they know who they are (and who their companies are), “I’m the producer and seller of Product X, which does A, B and C,” they said, “not the producer of great video content.”

So I explained that when they do tell people who they are(mostly via banner advertising), fewer and fewer people tend to trust them. In fact, Don Tapscott’s book “Grown Up Digital” points to a whole generation that is amazingly adept at detecting, filtering, skipping and blocking ad messages all together.

The old screenwriter adage “don’t tell me, show me,” is extremely relevant, and branded entertainment is something advertisers have been doing successfully for years. Just as they embraced running TV spots online, advertisers find it a natural progression to embrace other proven “offline” tactics like product integration and show sponsorship, and bring them online.

Unlike ads, branded content engages people with good story-telling, while at the same time showing your product in action. Rather than telling people the features of Product X, you get to illustrate authentically, without heavy sales spin, how Product X fits into a particular lifestyle.

I pointed out that Honda, which recently produced a “Dream the Impossible” documentary series, states in one of its videos: “Honda is an engine company.” But even as an engine company, Honda strategists saw the potential of tapping into the power of story-telling and communicating personal narratives that correlate with their brand.

Where banner ads simply flash a message, and rich-media ads only invite interaction, good content and Webisodic series hold the customers’ attention for minutes at a time, lure them back for repeat exposure, and communicate much more than the often forgettable “buy me” messaging of a traditional 30-second spot.

In today’s digital environment, where empowered consumers dictate their media schedule and only flock to brands they can relate to and connect with, offering your client base quality and entertaining content is a better way to connect and stick out from the clutter. What’s more, the best of traditional Web advertising still applies. In terms of distribution, content can be super-targeted to the right eyeballs, significantly reducing waste. Could you imagine if television networks, rather than shooting a number of shows out to a diverse audience and crossing their fingers for big pockets of success, could target each of their shows to the people who wanted to watch and enjoy them ?

As an example, I pointed out that Honda could easily distribute full episodes of their documentary series around the Web and target them using contextual and behavior methods to get in front of their core target; 25-to-49-year-olds with a youthful spirit and who are comfortable with technology.

Finally, I pointed out that unlike banner ads, whose success is often judged by how many clicks a unit got (a metric that has yet to correlate to brand lift), content can be tracked on a whole new set of much more in-depth metrics.

“You can see how long people are engaged with content, where they rewind or fast-forward, how many times they watch and re-watch content, as well as where and when the pass the content to friends or re-post the content to their own social media sites,” I noted.

I would have continued — but they stopped me at that point by yelling over me, “I get it! Goodbye banners, hello Webisodes.”

“Exactly,” I said. “Exactly.”