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The real value of web video in marketing

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Vladimir Milanovic
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Ubiquity of fast Internet access in recent years has enabled the smooth streaming of high definition video on both computers and mobile devices, making the video a desirable form of  user engagement. Since it’s cheaper than ever to point and shoot and get the video online fast, this medium is useful and appealing to both big brands and small businesses alike.

The usage for web video is huge. From video blogs (vlogs) and product reviews, to advertorials and infomercials, the values of web video are generally reflected in:

  1. Improving user engagement

  2. Generating brand awareness

  3. Search engine optimisation

Using web video to improve user engagement

One of the most influential researchers into people’s online behaviour and how they read the web, Jacob Nielsen, sums his findings in one short statement – they don’t. The reality is that people are going to skim and scan the web content looking for attention grabbing headline or a keyword that reflects the reason they’re on the website. That is an active experience, but the video on the other hand, doesn’t give you the ability to skim and scan content, it is a passive experience, meaning you are being presented and not discovering on your own. Therefore, video offers a totally different method of engaging the audience. The difference lies in the sequence of reaction to consummated content. Unlike the written word, with video, the emotional response precedes the contextual acknowledgment and the experience of comprehension of the meaning is much more immediate. Imagine what impact a well-designed two minute video can make, taking into the account that the quantity of information that can be projected over one second of video outnumbers the amount of information that can be read.

With all big gains comes big risk, video is not different. Whilst it can allow you to generate instant emotional connection to the audience and get their mindshare, it can also serve as a quick distract for visitors. If it doesn’t achieve instant emotional engagement, you risk turning off potential customers. This usually happens if you don’t have a relevant and appropriate idea for the content of the video.

Using web video to promote a brand

There has always been and will be a gap between how people perceive brands and what their actual value is.  It is not a surprise that advertising and PR have been one of the most successful industries for decades now. Shorter this gap is, better the reputation of the brand. Naturally you want your audience to see you in the best possible light. Good quality online video can indicate the quality of your brand. How? Well, it might be old fashioned thinking but if you have the time, money and resources to create such a video, it indicates that you’re a financially sound, legitimate business with interest in providing great customer service. This is especially important in b2b marketing. As face-to-face relationship is the basis in b2b communication, recreating this experience through video can help you reveal the human side of your business, more than an image or a written word could ever do.

Using the video for search engine optimisation

From the SEO perspective there are two main goals that you can achieve with online video. You can either generate social shares or you can increase traffic to your website. Generating social shares as a result has links directing to your website so it forms the part of overall SEO strategy. What’s important here is to understand that social shares come with the great content and great videos. The best SEO link building video campaigns started off with the brand awareness as its primary goal. As the role of SEO in online marketing begins to demystify, producing exceptional content (in form of a video, text, image or sound) will naturally result in good search engine optimisation.

However, the video can also be optimised for search engines, just like text. This is done through using rich snippets, short clear and descriptive explanations about what the videos are about that are displayed on Google search results page. The main benefit here is that it draws your eyes straight to the result, as it is more eye-catching than other text based results, thus having the ability to increase traffic to the website. Accompanying thumbnail image must be taken into consideration because it’s the first thing that is seen by a visitor. Check out Wistia for video hosting.

Conclusion

The popularity of web video presents a huge opportunity for businesses to improve their brand image, increase online traffic and website conversion rates. Producing videos doesn’t come cheap, but it usually isn’t as expensive as people think it will be. Still, it costs nothing to ask!

 

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About Vladimir Milanovic

Vladimir Milanovic
Vladimir has been working with GCOMM since 2010 on the design and implementation of the recent branding and marketing strategies. He was also responsible for the rebranding of LiveBackup in 2012. Between 2006 and 2010 he was involved in the creation and launch of Imperial Tobacco’s European BTL platform for its Davidoff brand as well as for the rebranding of French icon, Gitanes. Vladimir graduated from the Belgrade University of Arts in 2005.
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