Yesterday, I had a chance to speak with Dan Greenfield of Bernaise Source Media about the role of online video in the growing real-time data stream of social media and how brands should start to think about leveraging its power through digital distribution channels such as YouTube. The stats were flying as Dan and I discussed the exponential growth of the online video medium both on the web and mobile channels.
During the show, Dan described a number of best practice examples, in particular BlendTec "Will It Blend?" series and the Dove Evolution campaign.
Each of these brands took advantage of the online video space to correctly show off the strengths of their brand and/or product as well as thought out of the box and took some risks. When I asked him why it seemed that so many brands had yet to embrace YouTube and similar media sharing channels as part of their communication strategy, Dan suggested that the very nature and culture of the medium has yet to be fully understood.
Quality online video will continue to drive the currency of the data stream, thus brand marketers must look for ways to tap into their brand assets and culture and appropriately extrapolate it via video to be successfully distributed and consumed by the consumer community. Below are some critical elements to keep in mind as you develop your digital video messaging and presence:
Strategy: Dan observed that much of the YouTube Channels published by brands seemed to be random containers of videos ranging from old tv ads and c-suite press conferences to user-generated one-off outtakes. Brands appear to be throwing up videos to see what sticks. Additionally, most of the channels lacked any consistent branding. Consumers crave editorial purpose and your YouTube Channel and its videos shouldn’t be any different. Set a clear objective and tone for the content that will be showcased and expectations on frequency and dialogue with viewers. Be sure to integrate links to other places in your social media footprint so consumers can continue the conversation and /or debate in their preferred community environments (and take you with them) beyond your corporate initiated channel.
Culture: Understand the medium and the interface. It seems that the more popular videos have a combination of the bizarre or extreme to them or at least a common denominator of humor. But don’t discount consumers’ fascination for good old fashioned acts of everyday nature. National Geographic continues to draw legions of viewers with their wildlife videos. Guess some people don’t get tired of giant anaconda feedings…go figure.
Format: Video is about the art of rich storytelling. You need to have a solid understanding on how to shoot the subject in order to reflect the story you want to be told. It’s no wonder why professionally-produced online video grew 25% last year and garnered 41.6 billion views. Also, just as important, you have to realize the end device that video will be distributed and consumed. Don’t forget, there are big differences between web viewing and mobile viewing – know which one you are targeting from the very beginning.
Measurement: Online video is not traditional broadcast tv – so don’t expect to measure it in the same way. Views are great, but how many ratings, comments and embeds did each piece generate? The ripple effect of your videos is the cash cow you should be tracking.
Dan’s final advice is a great mantra for anyone stepping into video: “Unpolished does not mean authentic; it’s what you’re saying that is the measure of real authenticity”.
We covered a number of other topics, including segmented channels and mbile. You can listen to the full podcast episode here. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MichelleBatten_iMediaWorks
It’s been a month since I started this series and I am super grateful to Diane Deseta, Sherry Heyl, Peter Fasano and Dan Greenfield for spending the time and sharing their unique points of view on past podcast episodes. No matter what you do in life, I’ve found that it’s better to row with others when you can. It almost always improves the quality of the effort and makes the journey a lot more fun.
Next week, our series will be on hiatus as I journey north to the Twin Cities for a little vacay con mis primos (that’s Spanish for cousins). Instead of hosting this podcast on Thursday at 4pm (edt), odds are I will have a margarita in hand, sitting comfortably somewhere lakeside (if Delta Airlines or the weather in MSP doesn’t delay my flight). Stay tuned for details on the next episode, “PART 5: Virtual Worlds: Build It, But Will They Come?” – hope everyone enjoys a safe and relaxing 4th of July holiday.