In June YouTube announced that it had hit the 3 billion views per day milestone and was receiving 48 hours of new video per minute. Garner listed online video as one of the top ten strategic technologies for 2011. Yet according to Mark Robertson, founder of Reelseo.com, most brands are not using video enough throughout the customer lifecycle.
Your ability to achieving serious objectives through online video relies upon your organisation looking beyond product films, ‘corporate’ videos, or putting TV ads online, and taking a more strategic approach to online video.
The biggest difference between online video today and corporate video of the 1990s is that of audiences. Online audiences today are used to consuming far more information per unit of time than twenty years ago. Just think about the pace of TV comedy, or soap operas, and how it’s simply got faster over the years.
More significant is the difference in environment for today’s audiences. No longer are viewers confined to limited channels in their living rooms, or pre-feature cinema advertising. Today’s online video content is competing with every other available entertainment option on the web: audiences can, and will, click elsewhere if what they’re watching isn’t delivering the goods.
Finally, device convergence now means video can be watched on TV, on laptops, tablet PCs, mobiles, video games consoles and more. Not only does this pose a technical obstacle in that brands must ensure their content works across all devices; it means that audiences could be distracted by any number of interruptions from any device. The living room viewer of today might have three devices operating at once, with all their content competing for attention.
Whilst this might sound like hell to anyone who’s ever wondered when technological innovation is going to be brought to a halt by the limits of human tolerance, it’s an unavoidable fact of modern digital communications. For content producers the take-away message is simple: we must now work harder than ever to ensure our content is relevant to our audiences. We must now undertake a multitude of technical, distribution-related as well as creative considerations in any online video project and this calls for robust strategy.
Setting a strategy is simple: it’s simply about defining what you want to achieve with your online video, and planning every aspect of your campaign around that main objective. Here are some top tips for creating a robust video strategy:
- Have a clear objective
- Identify your audience
- Understand what makes them tick
- Work out how you’re going to reach them
- Understand the technologies you need to make it work
- Define how you’re going to measure success
- Calculate the value of the opportunity (or the cost of the problem) to guide your budget
- Build in a mechanism for continuous reporting, thinking and improving your strategy
The most difficult of these is having a clear objective for your strategy. Online video can achieve many different things such as: increasing sales uplift, improving site dwell-times, increasing site return-rate, or improving click-through on a particular part of the funnel. But setting one of these as your main strategic objective will help focus your campaign and your content.