What to consider before you start with video

Fergus Stoddart

Fergus is the founder and commercial director for Edge, the independent strategic content marketing agency. As the original founder of Edge in 2003, Fergus is a recognised thought leader on content marketing. He has a wealth of experience and has spent a decade devising and launching customer engagement strategies for many blue chip companies and brands. Edge's clients include Woolworths, Volkswagen, Westpac, Australia Post and Foxtel.

For the past few months it seems like video has been the topic on many marketers’ lips and there’s been some pretty impressive stats being thrown around.

For instance:

  • 80 per cent of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days; 46 per cent took some action after viewing the ad (Online Publishers Association)
  • By 2015, 57 per cent of consumer traffic will come from video (Cisco)
  • 70 per cent of the top 100 search listings on Google are video results (Marketing Week)
  • Video is the most shared brand content on Facebook (Zuum)

But even with stats like these, should marketers be rushing to invest time and budget into video?

Yes and no.

Where many marketers are struggling with video is they are still treating online video like TV advertising. This is because thinking of video content in an editorial sense can be difficult as it’s not about communicating a single minded proposition in a 30 second spot, which is how many online videos turn out.

Rather, online video plays a different part to the traditional TV ad. For instance, users usually seek out videos instead of being forced to sit through them. This means as a marketer we can ask for more of their time and attention (about 90 seconds instead of 30). Because of this we can tell slightly more complex stories than the single-minded ad allows.

To achieve this there needs to be an overarching content strategy. This shouldn’t just dictate messaging, theme and branding of video content but also where videos will be placed as well as frequency.

Unlike using television as a distribution model, online video distribution has many different channels including social media, emails and YouTube, each which change the context that video is viewed in. For instance, on a branded site a video may sit alongside editorial content and other imagery, while on YouTube it will need to compete with a barrage of other videos.

A common mistake made with online video is making it campaign-based, like TV spots. Online video needs to be ‘always on’ and be a constant presence, reinforcing and enlivening brands, entertaining, informing and providing utility to consumers stating and restating a point of difference.

Yes, video is becoming a powerful medium for branded content but before you rush out and start filming consider your content strategy. Take advantage of the ability to tell your story and think about where your videos will sit online as well as ensuring you plan for an always on strategy, then, let the cameras roll.

Tags: video, digital marketing, content marketing

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