Tag Archive: YouTube

  1. Are Company Videos Worth the Investment?

    corporate videos

    Grab your popcorn and “small” soda (that’ll be $25.68, please): your brand could be in the movies, kid. Only, we’re skipping the silver screen for a venue that’s universally available in pockets, purses and laptops from here to Timbuktu. With many free video hosting options literally at your fingertips, creating company videos has never been easier. But why create them at all?

    Let’s break down why company videos are an effective means of communicating to your clients and how to craft them the right way. ACTION!

    Should Businesses Create Company Videos?

    Time is valuable. Is it really a worthy investment to spend it on writing a script, setting up shots, hiring voice talent, editing and publishing company videos for your dry cleaner, pizzeria, investment firm or doggy daycare?  That all depends on your objectives as a company. However, if you’re looking for a storytelling method that is humanizing, engrossing and optimized for search engines, you may want to double down on your company’s commitment to company videos.

    • Getting Personal: Though we’ve never really warmed up to the phrase, “let’s hear it from the horse’s’ mouth,” it, nonetheless, applies here. What better way to share your company’s personality than directly from team members and leadership who know it best? Company videos can literally put a face to your company, humanizing your brand and reminding people that your team and leadership are real, live, passionate men and women.
    • Watching > Reading: Put down those torches and pitchforks–we love reading but videos are simply easier to consume. With our current lifestyles of constant consumption, what better way to reach an audience who so often doesn’t have the time to sit down and read a headline, let alone an entire article? Auto-playing videos or the seductive play button are often enough to garner attention (and keep it) through the magic of moving images–as long as your content is up to snuff.
    • SEO-Powered: Any digital marketing professional worth his or her salt will preach the gospel of search engine optimization (SEO) until you’re a convert. Luckily, most video hosting sites make supercharging your video’s SEO simple. Providing a keyword-rich title, custom URL, tailored description and content tags all help your video garner some much-coveted online attention.
    • Fewer Limitations: There is no debating that TV is still huge. With Super Bowl ads still reaching legendary levels of viewers (at equally gargantuan prices), anyone who says that the TV spot is dead is dead wrong. However, the internet has opened the video floodgates, giving brands a low-cost outlet for getting their word out. Better yet, the web allows for far fewer limitations than broadcast TV. Instead of trying to cram an idea into a 30-second spot, you can take more time to get to your point (as long as you don’t bore the viewer). This also frees you up to be more creative when telling the story of your brand and showcasing the benefits of your product instead of succumbing to quicker, less engaging SELL SELL SELL tactics.

    Company Video Best Practices

    Figuring out that your company could benefit from company videos is great–but how are you supposed to do it effectively? Well, it’s something that depends highly on your individual brand, but after creating a few in our time, we have a few tips that may make your video more masterpiece than made-for-TV movie.

    • Quality is Key: If your team doesn’t have video experience, we highly recommend hiring someone who does. From lighting, to set design, to audio and editing, each element of film has to hold up to the brand standards that your company works so hard to maintain. Lower quality videos may be OK for social media, but when it comes to a full-fledged corporate video, invest in people who know what they’re doing. If you do have some video aficionados on the payroll, ensure that they’re given enough time to properly plan, shoot and edit the piece. Keep in mind, the quality level of your corporate video directly reflects the quality of your product or service. Trust us–it’s worth the investment and far less costly than many other means.
    • Short and Simple: Yes, one of the benefits of filming a video over a TV spot is that you can go a bit longer, but this is not an excuse for your company to produce the next Lord of the Rings trilogy. The fact is, even with video, people tend to have short attention spans. According to Wistia, two-minute-long videos are viewed about 20 percent less than seven-minute-long videos. Length aside, storytelling is most effective in marketing when it focuses in on a singular point and keeps an audience’s attention by being narratively efficient. Tell the story you set out to tell–no more, no less.
    • Sharing is Caring: Even if you’ve created one of the greatest company videos of all time, it is all for naught if no one sees the thing. SEO experts recommend first publishing videos within Vimeo and embedding into the brand website in order to drive web traffic directly to the brand as opposed to being funneled through YouTube. After a few months, it is safe to spread the love over to YouTube to expand the video’s visibility. These videos can make for engaging social media content as well, so share away on your official brand page and encourage employees to post to their personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels, especially if they’re featured in the video. According to Social Media Today, videos shared on Facebook have 135% greater organic reach compared to photo posts on average. Do not miss this opportunity.

    Moving Pictures

    Company videos are effective because, when done properly, they are affecting. The internet has blessed us all with the power to share our creations on a global level, often with a far lower buy-in than traditional commercial spots that were once the only outlet for companies trying to reach audiences with this powerful storytelling medium.  

    Company video created for AndCo Consulting

     

    Providing fewer limitations, infused with SEO potential, easily consumed and powerfully personal, company videos can be huge for your company if they are well-produced, don’t overstay their welcome and are published and shared appropriately. It may just be time for your company’s close-up.

  2. 2015 Marketing Campaigns We Loved

    angel-1070418_960_720

    Did you know that every time a bell rings a marketing campaign gets its wings? Well, maybe the wings part is fiction, but they sure do sprout into this world at a rapid pace. With 365 days for different marketing initiatives across a variety of mediums (think email, web, social, native, etc.), there are plenty. Here’s a little breakdown on digital campaigns we FOUND and think WON this year.

    Geico’s Unskippable YouTube Ads

    If you’re like me and every other person I know, you typically tune out the preroll ads on YouTube right when you click play. You know they’re coming up, so you check out for a couple of seconds until you’re ready to watch your intended video. Knowing this, Geico’s marketing team opted to strategically alter their content to combat this issue.

    What Geico did was hook the viewer during the first five seconds, knowing that if they couldn’t get them then, they’ve lost them forever (or until the desired and intended video starts). They did this by creating digital ads that concentrated all messaging efforts on the first five seconds of the video while rolling funny, albeit ridiculous, footage afterwards for pure entertainment purposes. The real pull was that these ads put a new spin on preroll video and grabbed the attention of Geico’s peers, other digital marketing strategy agencies and yours truly. Check out one of the videos below for yourself.

    Domino’s Tweet-to-Order

    Pizza. Check. Twitter. Check. Emojis. Huh?

    pizza emoji

     

    You would think I was checking off a weird lunch/work list, but no, it’s just me talking about the Domino’s 2015 campaign and long-term strategy that struck a chord with millennials and more. Speaking to the five seconds that resonated with Geico, Domino’s understands that getting your message across in a clear, concise and clever way matters more now than ever. They also understand that ease and speed is more important to customers than ever too. Understanding that, they’ve given the ability to TWEET AN ORDER FOR PIZZA IN JUST ONE EMOJI. Right? It amazes me too. We might not be living the Jetson’s lifestyle I thought we would be by now, but we can tweet for pizza! That’s a win in my book, as it’s way more efficient than signing in online or calling in an order.

    All you need to do is register your Twitter handle on your Domino’s Pizza Profile. You can then tweet the pizza emoji or #EasyOrder to the Domino’s Twitter handle and, BOOM, you get a direct message confirming your order. Then pizza will be on its way to your home, office, bodega, wherever. Joy!

    This newfound system is a part of Domino’s AnyWare ordering technology. Not only can you order food from your computer and phone, but your smartwatch and smart TV as well. The digital options are nearly endless.

    The future is here my friends.

    Always “Like a Girl”

    A smart and heart-tugging campaign will, of course, be in the mix. You’ve got funny (the Geico campaign), the genius tech-centric (the Domino’s one) and now you have the smart, empowering and beautiful one.

    The Always “Like a Girl” campaign did exactly what it intended to:

    • Brought attention to the limitations put on girls by social norms
    • Established Always as an ambassador for equality

    The campaign first drew attention on SuperBowl weekend, with the Always 60-second spot airing during the big game. The reason this commercial stood out in its time slot was that it was so different from any of the previously played commercials. The spot challenged the idea that doing something “like a girl” is an insult, which is what it’s commonly thought of. Instead, it promoted the idea that anything performed “like a girl” could and should be associated with strength.

    The video was inspired by a study sponsored by Always. The results found that more than half of the respondents experienced reduced confidence during puberty, which occurs between the ages of 10-14 in girls. At the start of the video, it shows a group of kids, ages 10-14, acting out what “like a girl” means when speaking about certain activities. Those in this group presented themselves as weaker when acting out what “like a girl” means. When asking a younger group, the individual kids responded with assertiveness and power, showing the strength in what being a girl means and is.

    Social experiment campaigns (remember Dove’s Real Beauty?) that help shift social norms to a positive are always something that we can back…like a girl. 😉 WINNING!

    The above are just some of the many smart and creative campaigns that have grabbed our attention this year as the time ticks towards 2016. We hope the campaigns of the future present us with many more thoughtful, smart, creative and engaging campaigns to look forward to. Remember, the foundation of these campaigns is always a strong marketing strategy.

  3. 3 Digital Marketing Tips from YouTube’s Biggest Stars

    Ah, YouTube — that venerable bastion of cat videos and fail compilations. A place where you can learn how to play Oasis’ hit song “Wonderwall” (on ukulele, no less!) and watch Neil DeGrasse Tyson discuss supermassive black holes. Readers, we are truly living in the future. Come to think of it, the fact that you are even reading this instead of simply watching a clip of me saying these words is becoming a bit of a rarity in its own right. Put down your pitchforks and torches, though — I’m not here to announce the end of the written word. I just think that advertisers can learn a lot about branding and digital marketing from YouTube’s biggest success stories, especially with media consumption steadily moving from the living room to the laptop.

    Who Is Felix Kjellberg?

    If YouTube was a country, Felix Kjellberg would be king and court jester. The young, Swedish YouTuber is beloved by millions worldwide for his commentary on video games and goofball humor, but don’t let the levity of his content fool you. Felix, known on his channel as “PewDiePie,” is clearly a shrewd businessman and master of self-marketing. In fact, the 25-year-old has become, arguably, the biggest name on YouTube, grossing millions of dollars a year with over 34 million subscribers. But what can a twenty-something millionaire Swede and his fellow successful YouTubers teach us about digital marketing? Quite a bit, actually.

    Felix Kjellberg YouTube Video

    1. Know Your Audience

    Knowing your audience may be the single most important step to creating effective content and building a fan base in anything you produce. Felix’s channel is not for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be. Content is crafted specifically for his teen and young adult fan base, dominating the demographic. If you want to effectively craft copy or create content for your business, you can’t go in with a scattershot approach and expect to find much success. If you don’t know who your audience is, chances are they won’t know who you are either. Direction is key to crafting an effective digital marketing plan and your business’s creative roadmap is highly influenced by who your targeted audience is.

    2. Listen To Your Fans and Critics Alike

    Everyone's a Critic

    Photo credit: Brett Kiger via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND Photo credit: Brett Kiger via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

    Anyone who’s been on the Internet for more than, oh let’s say five minutes, knows it can be a cruel and highly-critical venue. Much like any producer of creative content, even the most successful YouTubers face criticism — both constructive and not. Though it’s far easier to throw out the fair critics with the malicious, an experienced creative knows that sometimes criticism is the only road to growth. In the case of YouTubers, many look at analytics such as downvotes and views when assessing how successful their work is. On a more visceral level (and perhaps more applicable to other businesses), many simply head to the comments section to dissect exactly what their fans thoughts are on any given piece of content.

    Social media, for better or worse, is a fantastic litmus test for most businesses and can offer your company many of the aforementioned “comments section” feedback and analytics. Many make the critical mistake of simply ignoring their brand’s detractors. Since social media is, by and large, meant to be a conversational channel, wishing a negative comment away through inaction or (gasp) deleting said comment will only highlight an unwillingness to accept criticism or lack of sympathy, whether that criticism is founded or not. It’s also important to reach out to those with positive things to say, commenting with thanks in order to let them know your brand is listening.

    3. Don’t Be Afraid of Change

    If a YouTuber’s fans don’t like the content, the video has received fewer views, or the audience makes suggestions for improvement, a change must happen to keep the channel afloat and growing in popularity. You must be willing to change strategy if your current plan is proving ineffective. These principles are no different for your brand’s digital marketing plan. If you see that certain approaches are garnering less engagement than you would like, try a different approach. Change it up, try different channels of marketing, reach your audience in different ways. Just because one thing didn’t work doesn’t mean they all won’t.

    Take It From the YouTubers…

    A commonality among some top YouTubers is their fan base cultivation. They are often able to preserve their community through knowing and nurturing their audience, crafting a strategy with them in mind, all while taking constructive criticism in the hopes of producing a better product or service. These are all factors to consider in your business’s advertising efforts — yes, even if you’re not in the business of filming yourself playing video games on the Internet.

    Statler and Waldorf image courtesy of Brett Kiger

  4. Screencasting gains momentum…

    Screencasting isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been in use for several years, actually. Jon Udell of O’Reilly Media has a good rundown on the concept from a couple of years ago. But I seem to be seeing more and more of the application in use on Web sites as a quick way to show a user/audience how a software tool or a Web site works.
    Basically, the idea is to show a mirror image of a software concept or tool while the demonstrator narrates his/her actions. Check out this screencast demo from 37 Signals showing how one of their software tools works. It’s a great alternative to simply creating a laundry list of bullet points and calling it a ‘feature list.’ Both tools have their use, but I love the simplicity of the screencast application. I got a kick out of Josh Hallett’s screencast showing his frustration with finding information on a Web site. This example shows that screencasting isn’t just for software demonstrations. The concept can be used to communicate in a way that words and pictures alone can’t do.
    There are lots of tools available to produce screencasts. It’s worth considering when you have a communication objective that fits.

  5. Playing Defense

    I’d hate to be running for office in the age of YouTube. First, there was John McCain taking a snooze during President Bush’s State of the Union address last week. Now, it appears that Hillary Clinton’s singing voice was caught on tape during the national anthem during a recent appearance. This is nothing new, of course. Howard Dean had his fair share of difficulties a few years ago for the same kind of thing. One could argue that his scream did irreparable damage to his political career.
    Politicians need to think defense at all times when it comes to what they say and do. Putting out a hundred press releases (i.e. offense) doesn’t get you a fraction of the impact that one of these does.
    As the YouTube effect continues to proliferate, corporations will need to do more and more to follow suit.