by Neil Davidson
Today, video marketing’s status as the fastest growing online marketing media format is unrivalled. It’s impossible for anyone with an internet connection to avoid video marketing. Friends share links to viral videos via social networking sites. Brands use video to sell their products and services, before producing further how-to videos to help buyers use their purchases. Videos start playing when you visit websites, whether you’ve requested them or not.
Businesses are flocking to video marketing, impressed by its wickedly effective conversion rates and incredible shareability, and video advertising is growing at a phenomenal rate. Yet, it was only April 2005 that YouTube published its first video (and less than a second since it published its last one).
So why is video marketing so effective? And how has it become the ultimate game-changer for online marketing?
THE VALUE OF VIDEO
Video is based on artistic and creative forms of art that have been around for thousands of years. We’re no strangers to these individual concepts online. Visual art is represented with images and web design, aural art is captured by music and voice, and the conceptual story is told through text. However, when you combine these different elements, you create a little piece of magic. Because one minute of video can represent the combined meaning that it would take 1.8 million words to express. Yet it takes only a fraction of the effort to produce than those 1.8 million words would.
The non-believers may at this point question what’s new here. After all, we’ve been watching adverts on television since 1941. But the beauty of online video marketing is altogether different. It’s aimed at a different kind of viewer, and offers something else – engagement.
Videos demand attention. You can’t skim-read a video – you either watch it in its entirety or you switch off. And we all know how fickle online viewers are. With so much information at their fingertips, if something doesn’t grab them, they’re gone in a flash. Brands and businesses are beginning to understand that old style TV ads don’t work as well online. They’re less likely to hold people’s attention and unlikely to be shared. For a video marketing campaign to be successful, it needs to have impact. It must engage viewers, give them something to think about, something they want to share with their friends. It’s more of a social game.
As video marketing has been steadily growing, it’s also been evolving. Brands are engaging in storytelling to elicit an emotional response from the viewer. They want to start a conversation, have an impact. Because the more impact a video has, the more likely that it will be shared, and the quicker its message will spread.
Nowhere is the power of video more evident than with the social funding platform Kickstarter. Kickstarter offers writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers and designers a new way to fund their projects. Whether people want to create a work of art, make a new album or computer game, write a book, or design a new piece of technology, funding can be difficult to secure. Kickstarter offers a platform for people to ask for funding from the public, in return for rewards. With one stipulation – if Kickstarters don’t achieve their full funding target within the specified time, they don’t receive a penny. It’s all or nothing.
We recently published some research on the impact of video marketing for Kickstarter campaigns, after noticing that projects with great videos seemed to reach their targets more frequently. The results were conclusive, with projects 85% more likely to reach their funding targets if they had a video, regardless of location or type of project.
Video has the power to influence and effect change more than any other type of medium, because it’s the best way to get a feel for the emotions, motivations and character of a project. Kickstarter is a community, so people are funding the person behind the project as much as the project itself. They want to see enthusiasm and passion in the project, get excited with them. Which is much easier to achieve in a video than with text.
Another reason why video is so successful for Kickstarter campaigns is that it taps into the current psyche where people want to be a part of something. Video recreates a face-to-face experience; it displays a human angle, makes a project much more personal, and makes backers feel more involved.
HOW TO MAKE A KILLER KICKSTARTER ONLINE VIDEO
The ultimate Kickstarter videos are a combination of a unique concept, wicked ambition and an unforgettable pitch.
Last year Neal Stephenson, a well-known science fiction and historical author, succeeded with his campaign to fund a new sword-fighting video game. His video is below:
It’s personal and demonstrates a passion for sword-fighting. It outlines what he wants to achieve from this project and why it will be revolutionary for sword-fighting games. He’s also brilliant at putting together the story behind the idea (well, he is an author!) to keep viewers engaged, yet at the same time he is giving you the hard sell: why the funding is necessary, how it will be used, and how elements from his game will go on to produce other, better games in the future. Most importantly, it has an element of humour, which makes it instantly shareable. He reached his funding target with money to spare.
Earlier this year, Brandon Griswold also reached his project target with this fabulous video for his Manly Marks project:
The design of the video stays close to the project. It begins with a beautiful close-up of a print being made, then introduces himself – an eminently likeable character. He tells the story behind his project with a hugely comic element, and shows he is not afraid to laugh at himself. He also demonstrates the rewards on offer for his backers: a beautiful selection of his prints. It’s open, human, and funny. It’s a winner.
WHY YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO EMBRACE ONLINE VIDEO MARKETING
It’s clear that the linchpin of most successful Kickstarter campaigns is a great video. One that captures the viewer’s attention and makes the project crystal clear. The lessons we learn from this can be applied to any type of business as Kickstarter is simply a microcosm of the business world. Video introduces a human element to campaigns and clearly demonstrates the passion and belief behind something. It has the power to engage viewers, to tell a fabulous story, and to make people want to share it with their friends. This makes it the most effective promotional tool in a viral landscape.
Producing a great video demonstrates the credibility behind a project or brand and shows a level of professionalism and brand quality; it illustrates the amount of effort put into a campaign and helps establish a level of trustworthiness.
Furthermore, its influence can only go in one direction: up. With an increasing number of people online, faster broadband and more smartphones, we can expect the use of videos in online marketing to increase. A lot. The days of video being a nice-to-have marketing tool are long gone.
Now it’s a necessity.
This article originally appeared on Video Production & Marketing Blog | Mywebpresenters.com
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/why-online-video-is-the-ultimate-game-changer-0585397#1HsB8WWWaQHm7Dq8.99