Online video is an effective way of advertising online, most advertising gurus are agreed on that. But what's the best way to do it? Isn't it expensive to achieve results? Here are a few things I think you could consider to get off the ground with video advertising.
1. Make it interesting.
I see so many companies distributing video that would work on TV and then wondering why it doesn't bring back results online. It's because people on the web choose what they want to watch, it is always an active choice for them to watch a video. You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink: however much you shove a video in front of someone, if they are not interested, they won't hit play. The good news is that if people like a video online, it has the potential to go viral and be forwarded thousands of times. So doing something clever with your online video can pay off. For example, this advert appeared on television a couple of years ago:
but the existence of this clever online spoof means it is still attracting views today:
B&Q also post separate funnier virals to back up TV campaigns, like this one:
And John Lewis post 'making of' videos for all their big advert campaigns:
2. Advertise on someone else's video.
If your video isn't viral and there is not really a reason for people to forward it on, maybe you should realise your video is an advert and treat it as such by placing it in front of other popular videos online. Many big video sites offer this option. Alternatively a low cost or free option would be to appear in other people's video! The retailers who feature in DIYWeek.net videos like this one
are free to embed the video on their own website and distribute it wherever they like.
Advertisers often forget that videos, like other web content, need a little search engine optimisation to allow people to find them. Key words are extra important when it comes to video because search engines can't read the words spoken in the video. That's why all videos on DIYWeek.net, as well as displaying on our home page, have a dedicated page with a couple of paragraphs of text running alongside. So for example when you Google 'Sam's Trade Centre,' their video on our site is the third result on the first page. (The YouTube entry doesn't crop up until page two.)
Another good tip I heard at a recent SEO round table was to check out what key words are turning up video on the first page of Google, then use those words in your title and description on YouTube and elsewhere. By video results, I mean you Google for that word and on the first page you see results which look like this:
If Google thinks that word is something for which video results are more relevant, they will show video higher up in the list. If your video has that word in the title and description, you've got a higher chance of being in those video results. Cunning.
4. Make a series.
If you have a successful video and follow it up quickly, you can build up a following of people and generate brand awareness. Sentry safe are tweeting about another live burn test following the success of this one:
And surely everyone's heard of Will It Blend
? How many people do you think had heard of it after one video?
5. Go social.
Obviously if you have a video, spread it all over Facebook and Twitter and get your friends to do it too. These are exactly the places that are full of people who have a minute to watch a video and if you just paste a YouTube link into any post on either of these sites the video will play right there on the page.
6. Have a go!
People find video all a bit daunting and think you need all kinds of special skills and money to throw at it. But online video doesn't actually have to be beautifully polished and professional; people expect to be able to watch more home grown video content online. And low resolution videos are also fine for the web, so why not just grab your smart phone and try it out? Here are a few ideas retailers could try for free:
- A video blog about what's happening at your store, featuring your friendly staff so people will be encouraged to come in
- Videos of you trying out new products
- Film your Christmas displays this year, email them to me and I'll put them on Festive Retail!
- Ask your customers to say on camera what they like about your shop. You could enter them in a prize draw as an incentive
- If you're totally at sea and don't know one end of an iPhone from another, why not offer work experience to a local school? Sixth forms will be chock full of media and marketing students eager to build up a portfolio of video who would jump at the chance to have a go at helping a local business expand your online presence.
Sorry there is a lot crammed into this blog post, but the basic message is have a go at video. If it's not working for you, try thinking about some of the points above and doing things differently and you should see some great results. If you're trying something new with video, I'd love to hear about it. Email
at me and I'll help spread the word.