The world is now flooded with screens, and those screens call for video.
If you want to grab people’s attention and get them to tell their friends an ad is just not going to cut it anymore. Develop content based on consumer needs, not your products. With lines blurring between entertainment and advertising, the online video boom offers excellent opportunities for brands to capitalise on this burgeoning trend.
How-to videos help the consumer learn something of value, ideally in an area that relates to your product. It isn’t about selling your product, but rather helping the consumer in a way that will, indirectly, reflect positively on your brand. Brands often overlook the power of branded online entertainment, and yet it is an exciting, relevant, contemporary platform, which has the benefit of being an extraordinarily cost-effective marketing and promotional vehicle, with unparalleled consumer reach.
Through sharing with friends and colleagues, social networking gives brands ‘legs’, and its informal nature builds consumer trust. At present, roughly 30% of people share videos they like, over 400 videos are shared on Twitter every minute, and the time spent watching YouTube videos on Facebook amounts to 150 years.
The power of sight, sound and motion enables brands to interact with consumers in a way that were not possible before, and the products that generate topical buzz and hype, in addition to achieving more long-term success, are those which regularly post consistently refreshing YouTube content that adds value for online audiences. The brands that achieve long-term success are the ones that consistently and frequently publish refreshing content that has value for audiences online.
While South African advertisers are beginning to wise up on this trend, many simply upload an arbitrary collection of commercials, instead of exploiting the extraordinary marketing power of YouTube. By maximising the opportunity to create especially customised online entertainment, featuring unique, relevant, and engaging content, that is targeted towards a given consumer community, and with which they can identify.
There has been an overwhelming realisation that to change their perceptions of and behaviors around your brand you need to meet their needs first.
Modern marketing strategies should automatically include online video as an intrinsic part of their bouquet; however, it’s vital that material designed specifically for YouTube viewers boasts the same quality standards, in terms of overall production values, as items created for conventional broadcast media. For optimal impact that attracts attention and fosters ongoing brand loyalty amongst online consumers, any YouTube offering should be slick, professional, audience-appropriate, and, above all, content-rich.
The online video has come of age. Don’t miss the party… and, if you want to be invited back, make sure to present a well-packaged and appealing gift!
Jerome Mouton is creative director and the founder of 34 South Media, that specialises in the production and distribution of online video content for brands.
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