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5 Steps to Successful Video Advertising

Gary Baker
5 Steps to Successful Video Advertising Gary Baker
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Online video has arrived in a very big way. That became clear in October, when YouTube enticed Google to part with $1.65 billion. What isn't clear, for marketers at least, is what all those lonely girls, dancing pets and "stolen" TV clips have to do with how we will use the web to drive business.


Will online video change the marketing landscape?


Yes-- big time. Fueled by user demand, online video is rapidly shifting from "mindless entertainment" to a bona fide information source and marketing tool for companies of all kinds.


Here are five ways you can prepare yourself to succeed as online video revolutionizes how users experience websites-- and how smart marketers build them.


Step 1: Recognize that online video isn't "coming someday;" it's already here
Step 2: Learn from early adopters
Step 3: Forget everything you think you know about search-engine marketing
Step 4: Get creative about how to produce -- or link to -- video
Step 5: Stop thinking "static text"



Next
: Step 1

Introduction
Step 1: Recognize that online video isn't "coming someday;" it's already here
Step 2: Learn from early adopters
Step 3: Forget everything you think you know about search-engine marketing
Step 4: Get creative about how to produce -- or link to -- video
Step 5: Stop thinking "static text"


Step 1:


That's why Apple, Amazon and countless others are so darned interested in movie downloads.


But the rise of online video is about more than how we choose to entertain ourselves.


User behavior and user expectations themselves are shifting to favor video over static text-- and that's where the rubber meets the road for marketers. According to market research firm eMarketer, nearly 60 percent of all internet users watch video regularly-- and that number will hit 80 percent by 2010.


Previous: Introduction          Next: Step 2

Introduction
Step 1: Recognize that online video isn't "coming someday;" it's already here
Step 2: Learn from early adopters
Step 3: Forget everything you think you know about search-engine marketing
Step 4: Get creative about how to produce -- or link to -- video
Step 5: Stop thinking "static text"


Step 2:

Marketers outside of the entertainment industry are already leveraging online video in a variety of ways:



  • Breathing new life into old television ads. Some made-for-TV-ads have morphed into their online equivalent, playing automatically before or after desired video clips. Alternatively, commercials deemed too risqué for television are now popping up on YouTube, such as Chrysler's Foldgers spoof.

  • Soliciting user-generated content. "Create your own commercial" contests are one way to cozy up to the young and tech-savvy. Although the approach can backfire, as GM famously discovered, Frito-Lay is encouraging users to create their own Super Bowl ads.

  • Making banner ads that literally say something. Red Bull recently used video banners to promote its Giants of Rio extreme sports competition, achieving full-view rates as high as 66 percent and clickthroughs just above two percent, according to rich media provider EyeWonder.

  • Letting your company's "talking heads" speak for themselves. Pulling executives out of the press release and in front of a camera is already emerging as a relatively inexpensive way any company can leverage video. That's what my company did on our About ClipBlast! page.

  • Selling product features-- as well as more products. Seeing a product in action is unquestionably more enticing than viewing a thumbnail. While e-tailers don't have video clips of their main products (yet), a harbinger of what's to come is tech-review site CNET.com's collection of video product reviews.

  • Sharing expertise with your target audience. What better way to spotlight your thought leadership -- or reduce the number of support calls -- than to present step-by-step demonstrations? Askthebuilder.com features several how-to videos, including one on how web marketers can make their own videos.


PreviousStep 1         Next: Step 3

Introduction
Step 1: Recognize that online video isn't "coming someday;" it's already here
Step 2: Learn from early adopters
Step 3: Forget everything you think you know about search-engine marketing
Step 4: Get creative about how to produce -- or link to -- video.
Step 5: Stop thinking "static text."

Step 3:

As an online marketer, you more or less expect that if you build it, (eventually) they will come. After all, sooner or later, search engines will find your clip, right? Uh, well… no.


Video search capabilities, believe it or not, are basically where Google was years ago, when web search was new. That's because standard web search relies on text to find and categorize site content. With video files, there is no text, making it harder to decipher what a video is about, who posted it and how relevant it is.


Google gets around this difficulty by requiring users to create "metadata" that describe the video before posting content to its site. "Google video search" literally means just that-- searching videos posted to Google/YouTube and nowhere else.


That approach not only makes your content difficult to find, it also makes it difficult for you to monetize your own clips. On your site, you control the branding, you own the user experience and you capture the leads. On Google and YouTube, you don't.


Fortunately, a handful of companies -- including mine, ClipBlast! -- specialize in true, internet-wide video search that not only makes it easy to find video content, but to monetize it. What that means for you, as a marketer, is that you may need to expand your concept of search to also partner with the right video-search provider.


PreviousStep 2         Next: Step 4

Introduction
Step 1: Recognize that online video isn't "coming someday;" it's already here
Step 2: Learn from early adopters
Step 3: Forget everything you think you know about search-engine marketing
Step 4: Get creative about how to produce -- or link to -- video
Step 5: Stop thinking "static text"

Step 4:

Creating high quality video can be costly, and shooting amateur video can be deadly to your brand. Fortunately, you don't have to be Steven Soderbergh (or his less auteur-like counterpart, the webcam aficionado) to give your users the video they crave.


If you can't shoot it, get your content the old-fashioned way: Link to it.


Partner with a company that can embed video search directly into your web pages, enabling you to seamlessly push relevant clips to your users.


PreviousStep 3         Next: Step 5

Introduction
Step 1: Recognize that online video isn't "coming someday;" it's already here
Step 2: Learn from early adopters
Step 3: Forget everything you think you know about search-engine marketing
Step 4: Get creative about how to produce -- or link to -- video.
Step 5: Stop thinking "static text."

Step 5:

We know, we know. You've spent 10 years figuring out how best to portray your brand on the web. The last thing you want to do is think about yet another element-- or, heaven forbid, completely rethink your site.


Here's the cold, hard truth: If you as a marketer aren't thinking about video, you're not thinking the way your customers are thinking. It's kind of like railroad tycoons who didn't invest in airlines or newspaper magnates who didn't embrace television (or, more recently, the internet).


Conclusion
Just as YouTube emerged from total obscurity to a top 10 web destination seemingly overnight, user preferences for video will force marketers to add video to the mix faster than it takes to hit "Play." Every company -- from Amazon to Ziff Davis -- will have to figure out how video fits into their web strategies. Why not get started today?


Gary Baker is president of ClipBlast!, which he founded in 2004. Read full bio.

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