Once brands decide to market themselves with online video, they’re faced with the question of where to get it. Hiring an outside agency is the obvious answer, but it isn’t the only answer. Companies need to become creative if they’re going to work with small budgets and still put out new video content regularly — feeding the beast of a demanding production schedule.
Addressing that topic was an afternoon session during today’s MediaPost OMMA Video conference in New York City.
Alternatives to working with agencies include creating lower-priced videos in-house or crowdsourcing, said Neil Perry, president of Poptent, a community of independent filmmakers available for collaborative crowdsourced assignments. By being resourceful, brands can create more videos with the same pool of money, allowing them to constantly update their online properties with fresh video.
While it’s tempting to repurpose videos used for television ads, Perry and the other panelists agreed that it wasn’t effective. They also agreed that brands’ demand for viral ads was unrealistic.
Only 1 in 500 videos made by brands gets over 500,000 views said panelist Alison Provost, CEO of video production and distribution company Touchstorm.
When looking for topics for online videos, don’t just promote your company: offer helpful advice. Show your company to be a thought leader in your area. “Video advertising is still an interruption, and that’s a problem the brand has to bear,” said Provost. To counter the nuisance factor, create videos that are genuinely helpful and that solve a problem. Brands can be journalists, she asserted. As an example, she highlighted videos that Pampers created for concerned parents, answering their questions on a variety of baby topics.
Finding the right topic is a challenge for brands, said Jonah Bloom, executive director for content strategy at KBS&P. Brands naturally want to promote themselves, although providing useful information works better online. Brands are changing, Bloom noted, as they learn about social engagement. Add value and viewers will stick around longer. Don’t talk about the brand, but talk about the customer.
Creating a social dimension around brand online videos is also important. YouTube is a more social medium for brand videos than Facebook, Provost said, as Facebook videos tend to be more personal. The “post and pray”’ strategy isn’t enough anymore; Provost said brands should create a YouTube channel to help drive video views.
“To really succeed on the internet, you need to create something people can jump into and be a part of,” said Chris Schreiber, vice president of marketing for Sharethrough, an online video agency. We now live in a remix culture, Schreiber said, and the goal shouldn’t be to simply have viewers watch a video, but to have them engage with it. As an example, he touted Lululemon’s Sh*t Yogis Say video, which the company turned around quickly (and which has received nearly 2 million views on YouTube).
Schreiber’s company worked on five Super Bowl campaigns this year, he said, and didn’t run the same videos online and on television. Prior to the Super Bowl they ran commercial teasers online and afterwards they ran extended cuts of the Super Bowl spots.
If a brand is especially strong at producing its own content, it gets called a full-fledged media company and becomes synonymous with the lifestyle it celebrates. That’s what happened with Red Bull, which Schreiber highlighted as a success and which has become equated with extreme sports.
“Red Bull has answered the question of how you feed the beast. They’ve stayed ahead of it for years now,” said Schreiber.