Video marketing has to be clever, to the point

 Billboards, television, radio – Oh, my!

Advertisements are everywhere we look. From writing on vehicles, to marketing in elevators and bathrooms, there aren’t many places consumers can go to escape being bombarded by ads. We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads in the 1970s to about 5,000 ads on an average day.

parkingI, like many other people I am sure, have what I call advertising ADD. I don’t usually focus on one thing long enough to actually receive an advertisers message. It seems the goal of advertising execs these days is to fill every space available with some sort of ad. Now, especially in larger cities, we see messages on parking stripes, on stairs, below ground in metros and subways, on taxi toppers, on cars, plastered on buildings, being pulled by airplanes and on mobile billboards.

But, do any of those techniques really work? With so much smacking us broadside each day, do we really pay attention to the ads that have become as common as nondescript buildings we pass by each day?

A couple of years ago, television advertisements became shorter to appeal to our shrinking attention span. Once-popular minute-long ads had already decreased to 30-second and in 2010, 15-second ads took over as the most popular for advertisers. Shorter, 15-second TV commercials increased in use by more than 70 percent over a five year period.

With the invention of items such as Tivo and online ad blockers, consumers can fast forward through and ignore pesky advertisements. Sites such as Hulu create less of a presence for advertisers. Laptops and phones have also contributed to shortened attention spans. Consumers truly do control what they see, when they see it.

Grunge vintage televisionAccording to Kantar Media, about 5 percent of a viewing audience for a 15 second commercial will stop watching. That number increases to 6 percent for 30-second spots and 6.5 percent for minute-long advertisements. And advertisers are taking note, creating new 15-second ads as opposed to editing down already produced 30-second ad. Procter & Gamble doubled the company’s number of 15-second ads to more than 299,000 in 2010 and Walmart increased its 15-second ads to 148,000 in 2010 as compared to about 5,700 in 2005.

That was two years ago. What about now? Since online advertising is an increasingly important branding tool, let’s take a look at those stats.

More than 20 percent of people will change their minds about watching an Internet video if it doesn’t load within five seconds. Seventy-five percent of people change their minds after a 10-second delay. Research by Visible Measures shows that it takes 20 percent of viewers 10 seconds or less to abandon a video that doesn’t hold their attention. By 30 seconds in, a 33 percent of viewers have moved on. Forty-four percent say “goodbye” at 60 seconds and just about 60 percent abandon the video at two minutes.

What do those numbers mean for advertisers? If an online video reached 10 million people, two million saw less than 10 seconds of the probably-expensively produced advertisement. But those numbers also hold true for shorter online videos.

That means, when it comes to video branding, it’s important for advertisers to get to the point quickly.

vineTying social media into video branding, Twitter’s new Vine product forces video makers to creatively get a message across in six seconds. Just as Twitter helped us learn to get our point across in 140 characters or less, Vine uses the same methodology with video.

Even if you aren’t ready to jump on the Vine bandwagon when it comes to sinking money into a different type of video advertising (which you really should consider doing, by the way), there is still much to be learned from the art of condensing an idea in to a six-second spot. Here are some ideas for formulating the perfect video pitch:

  1. Be brief. Think of one idea that you want viewers to know about your brand. Limiting the pitch to one thought will help the viewer retain the message.
  2. Make it quirky. Think of interesting ways to showcase a product in hopes of helping it go viral. The more shares, the more people see your message.
  3. Communicate your difference. What makes your company stand out? Are you organic? Do you donate to a cause? Are you safe for kids?
  4. Make it interactive. Is there a way you can turn your video idea into a contest, or encourage people to share the content for a discount? Or, create a video that asks viewers to create their own and share it on your networking site. Creating an avenue for company, consumer interaction is always a good thing!
  5. Remember, social media messages don’t always have to push your brand. Use clever historical trivia (like Google does with their daily Doodles). Participate with a holiday-related short. Create a video that others will share. That promotes your brand as fun and relevant.
  6. Educate viewers about something new and cool. Maybe there’s a unique way to use your product. Show folks how! Be amazing.

Need some more ideas on clever videos. This site shows some great examples that use the tips above, and there are even more thoughts on how to catch the attention of viewers.

viralAs for Vine, The Gap, NBC, The Humane Society, BuzzFeed, GE, Tropicana and sports companies and teams have already jumped in and are spreading their vine messages everywhere. And it’s easy to track the effectiveness of Vine videos. An app called Simply Measured offers a free analytics tracker to keep tabs on how popular your videos are. The tracking is free for Twitter accounts that have 10,000 or fewer followers.

Keep in mind that 87 percent of marketers in the United States use video for branding purposes and mobile video is expected to make up 66 percent of global mobile data traffic within in the next five years. That’s up 51 percent from 2012. So whether you are using YouTube, Brightcove, Vine or another form of video branding, it’s important to find new and creative ways to keep your audience coming back for more.


Posted on May 5, 2013, in New Media, Public Relations, Social Media, Strategic Communications, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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