Video marketing: same message, new medium In the twenty-first century technology is changing the way we communicate. Newspapers still exist (despite prophet of doom predictions of their demise), but their form has changed significantly. Not only are they now accessible online, but the standard ‘News’, ‘Politics’ and ‘Sport’ tabs are supplemented by a range of links to ‘Video’, ‘Blogs’ and ‘TV’ pages. Video in particular has become a powerful news platform, with many of the UK’s broadsheets devoting entire pages to recordings which are accompanied by only a brief caption. The Guardian’s video page, for example, covers such topics as ‘Technology’, ‘Politics’, ‘World News’, ‘Society’, ‘Science’, ‘Life and Style’, ‘Film’ and ‘Music’. The Independent’s page offers a ‘Most Popular’ and a ‘Just Published’ tab, allowing the most eye-catching stories even greater visibility. The casual browser killing time in his lunch break can watch an interview with the U.S. President, a news story announcing the winners of the MTV Awards and a report outlining a new trade deal between the UK and China, without navigating away from a single page. But the ease with which news providers can broadcast through video means that ensuring the visibility of a particular clip is much more difficult. Making it onto a visible platform is no easy task, as millions of recordings battle for recognition on news sites, YouTube and online blogs. For companies helping businesses to market and communicate using marketing DVDs, video testimonials and corporate video the task is equally daunting. Video news and marketing is perhaps the most significant difference between ‘traditional’ media and what is today commonly referred to as ‘new media’ – defined by the Cambridge Online Dictionary as ‘products and services that provide information or entertainment using computers or the Internet, and not by traditional methods such as television and newspapers’. While it is not easy to produce content that stands out from the crowd, video marketing, when done well, can be an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to enhance their online image. Hard-hitting, instant and visual, video is without a doubt the fastest and most effective way to convey a particular message or idea. In the Foreword to Greg Jarboe’s 2009 book ‘YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day’, YouTube’s Head of Advertising Suzie Reider writes that ‘marketing has changed, forever – and will change more in the next few years than it has changed in the last 50 years’. However, she goes on to argue that ‘what a marketer requires of their activations and marketing programs is plain old traditional...it always has been and always will be about connecting with one’s consumer/customer and ultimately selling whatever it is that needs to be sold’. Thus while the tools and vehicles used to market a particular product or service may have changed forever, what is required of a marketing campaign is the same as it has always been. Top production companies recognise this, and seek to combine outstanding film production quality and the latest video technology with an understanding of the strategic objectives of their client. Getting to the heart of the message an organisation is trying to convey while at the same time delivering content that engages the target audience is the ultimate goal of any corporate video production. In business terms, the objective of these companies is to win big contracts with a diverse range of clients – Royal Mail, Toshiba, The National Trust, the Labour Party and Barclays, for example, all outsource their video marketing needs. But top production companies also offer hints and tips for organisations free of charge on their websites. These free guides are often in
video format, and cover such topics as ‘How to get the most value out of...’ video case studies, video testimonials, charity videos and DVDs, franchise videos and DVDs and prospectus videos. Such guides can be an invaluable resource for businesses and other organisations unsure of the potential benefits of video marketing. Many production companies also create ‘viral’ marketing strategies for their clients. Viral marketing is simply marketing that spreads of its own accord, typically taking the form of videos, stories or information that is compelling and user-friendly. The most effective viral marketing campaigns can bring overwhelming returns for clients, who see their online visibility soar through the snowballing popularity of a particularly original or entertaining video clip. For example, this quirky two-minute YouTube video from Levi’s titled ‘Guys backflip into jeans’ has imprinted the brand’s laid back, urban image on the minds of an estimated 100 million viewers since its release in 2008. Conceptually simple yet visually inspiring, the video gets to the heart of the message Levi’s is trying to convey, and makes the all-important connection between marketer and consumer that remains fundamental to any marketing strategy, regardless of the medium. About the author Bristol-based GWS Media is an experienced, friendly and professional website design company, offering a full range of website design, website renewal, search engine positioning and online promotion services. Specialist services include online marketing and search engine promotion as well as online reputation management. SEO services are included in websites developed by GWS. Areas of expertise include multilingual website design, international website development and video on the web. From video testimonials through to corporate videos, GWS can shoot and convert video for optimal online performance and viewability. Local clients include the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service, the Charitable Trusts for the United Bristol Hospitals, the University of Bristol and BAWA (the British Aerospace Welfare Association). National and international clients include Mensa International, Nicholl Food Packaging Limited, the British Cattle Veterinary Association and the National Eye Research Centre.