Online video is the future of Marketing

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July 23, 2012
If you have used the Internet in the past three years, chances are you have watched an online video. Video is everywhere. Our friends post funny cat videos on our timeline. Our coworkers pass along inspirational messages about success. Our favorite brands showcase their products in inventive ways. Nearly every site you visit has a video displayed in some form. As a result, video has rocketed in viewership–and there’s no sign of it slowing down.
Here are 5 reasons why online video will soon dominate your time spent on the web, and why if you’re a marketer, you can use video to propel your business forward.
1. More and more users are consuming their video entertainment online
Study after study after study shows that more people are using the internet to consume video. In April 2012, ComScore reported that the average viewer watched nearly 22 hours of video in a single month. Most likely, those 22 hours were broken into many short-form videos, each being watched for just a few minutes at a time. The market is moving more toward catering to the Facebook generation’s attention span–quick videos that are aimed to inspire, provoke, or excite. Likewise, the viewing experience on tablets devices such as the iPad make short-form content even more enjoyable. Apps, especially in the travel realm, are using HD video to engage audiences. Desktop and laptop viewers and tablet audiences continue to consume more and more short-form video–and marketers are seeing a big opportunity arise.
2. Marketers are using video to engage social media audiences
If you truly want to measure a trend’s staying power and rising popularity, there’s one metric that almost never fails. Can you make money from it? If the answer is yes, and there is a lot of opportunity to do so, then you can bet that it will stick around for some time. With online video that is definitely the case. Brand marketers have found great ways to engage audiences and create brand loyalists through online video, especially through their Facebook brand pages. Look no further than a brand like Red Bull to see how this can be done perfectly. With more than 27 million Facebook fans, Red Bull, an energy drink company with an extreme sports edge, must be doing something more than just updating their status about their newest flavor. Like so many others, I subscribe to Red Bull’s updates because it often features some of the world’s best athletes doing unthinkable things. I don’t even drink Red Bull, but you can bet I share their videos every time I see someone in a wingsuit flying through Yellow Mountain in China. That’s just awesome.
I predict the next 5-10 years will be huge for video marketing online. Brands are moving further away from direct advertising, whose metrics that are hard to calculate, and into original video content–content that is created not to sell but to engage. They tell a story and they create brand loyalty. The days of direct consumer advertising is dwindling, and the advent of marketing through storytelling has arrived. This will propel online video even more into the world of serious profits.
3. Barriers to entry are low
With the barriers to entry continually being broken down with advances in technology, filmmakers now have the ability to create content–all in beautiful HD–for a much lower price tag than ever before. DSLRs, with the Canon 5D, 7D, and 60D leading the charge, have evolved into amazing filmmaking machines. Videographers now have the ability to create amazing looking shots for a fraction of the cost of even half a decade ago. Throw in a nice mic, a high-quality sound recorder, a tripod, and a bit of editing pizzaz and you can make some very compelling videos. While shooting and editing a professional-grade video still takes a good amount of skill and experience, and perhaps this alone will help keep the market from being too saturated, it is now easier than ever to teach yourself to create the next viral hit.
With that being said, there are still a few more barriers to entry. To create truly high-quality content, you must be a storyteller. You must be able to pull together a large selection of shots and content and pare it down into a manageable short-form video that will engage an audience. Again, these techniques can be learned and taught–so save a few thousand dollars, snag some equipment, watch and learn, and make the next awesome video.
4. Quality is expanding quickly
To expand on the previous point, the advent of high-quality equipment at a reasonable price means that more potential storytellers are getting their shot at creating videos. Before, the sheer price and other barriers to entry meant that there was a very small portion of the population who could even be in the field. Now, with it being much easier to afford to even make videos, there is more opportunity for younger talent to enter the market. As a result, quality is expanding quickly. While we still have a host of poorly shot cat and travel videos on YouTube, communities like Vimeo pump out amazing amounts of beautiful content every day. A quick look at the Vimeo homepage will allow you to view some of the most compelling and original video work online.
Vimeo and Youtube are also amazing teaching grounds, with tons of professional how-to and DIY videos. Likewise, sites like No Film School are giving independent filmmakers access to some of the best tips and tricks on the web, making at-home learning easier than ever. The result is a huge influx of high-quality video, which can only mean more viewers, more shares, and more enjoyment for all.
5. There are plenty of avenues for dissemination
Everyone knows YouTube and it continues to dominate the market. But unless you’re a professional musician or are looking to score the new huge viral video showcasing your friends firing off bottle rockets from a made-at-home cannon, there are plenty of other places to showcase your videos. As mentioned above, Vimeo is the finest collection of artistic videographers on the web. Without outwardly deleting poor-quality content, Vimeo’s homepage and search results make it easy to find awesome content and avoid the endless amounts of useless crap that often plague the YouTube experience. Along the same lines, Pinterest’s new video feature gives curators great opportunities to pin videos to their boards. Even more so than Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest has created a sharing experience so simple and effective, it makes the potential or virility even higher. Niche markets have emerged for nearly every subject you can think of, so whether your online video is about cats with lightsabers (I’d watch it) or running The Mount Everest Marathon, chances are there are blogs and sites who want to share it. All it takes is a bit of research and outreach.
Kerrin is the co-founder of the new travel documentary site Humanity.TV. He is a self-taught filmmaker and photographer with a passion for adventure. Follow him on Twitter and like Humanity.TV on Facebookfor inspiring travel videos and photos.
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Company’s Videos = Exposure

Why RevZilla has produced over 1,800 videos clocking up 9 million video views
Video marketing is a rapidly-growing technique for increasing brand recognition and loyalty. In fact, according to this Fast Company article from Kerrin Sheldon, short-form video will become a dominant form of marketing over the next five to ten years.
Sheldon explains that the trend is gaining momentum due to increasing numbers of online video consumers, the growing use of marketing through social media, low barriers to entry, improved production quality, and enhanced distribution options.
Even large corporations are turning to online video marketing – for example, check out “The Single Life,” a barely-branded video marketing effort from Dentyne. But small and medium-sized companies without huge advertising budgets can grow their brand through video marketing, too.
Producing online videos provides companies with a more meaningful way to interact with (and grow) audiences than traditional video marketing. For the most part, if given a choice, consumers will turn away from traditional advertisements. However, audiences are choosing to watch online branded videos, especially when the content is engaging and informative.
A case study of a motorcycle gear company RevZilla.com
We invest a lot in video marketing to build brand loyalty:
  • RevZilla has produced over 1,800 videos that provide product reviews and instructions for more than 17,000 subscribers around the world.
  • In just a few years, RevZilla has accumulated over 9,000,000 video views.
I’d describe our video strategies this way. We try to use video so that it is…
  • Short, engaging and lightly branded
    These videos provide information about products that RevZilla sells and direct viewers to additional information on the RevZilla.com website.However, the videos don’t act like infomercials that scream “advertisement.” The purpose of the videos is to provide viewers with information to make smart choices about products, not to try to force them to buy specific products.
  • Consistent
    RevZilla’s 1800+ videos follow a consistent, host-driven formula that is both informative and engaging, which helps to grow audiences and brand loyalty. One or two online videos is simply not enough to create the kind of conversations that grow a brand. RevZilla’s video’s function almost like a series, which keeps viewers tuning in for the next installment.
  • Specific focus
    RevZilla positions itself as an expert on motorcycle gear, and it has successfully built an online video audience by focusing exclusively on what it knows best. Sometimes companies have achieved viral success with more emotional, less content-oriented videos, but having a specific focus and area of expertise is more likely to build brand loyalty over time.
  • Conversation
    RevZilla encourages conversation. One of the best things about online video marketing is that it gives users the opportunity to join in on the conversation. For example, this RevZilla video features the best products of the year, which were chosen in part based on user feedback.Also, check out the comment thread after this clever video highlighting October 2012 deals and products.
evzilla
  • Representatives responsiveness to comments
    Representatives from the RevZilla team respond to comments (including negative ones) quickly and politely, instead of shutting down the conversation.Viewers also provide valuable feedback on the difference in style in this video, which featured a brief Batman spoof (they liked it!), and host Anthony Bucci offers a free t-shirt to whichever commenter can guess the team member who is dressed up as Batman in the video. This is a clear example of a fun, personalized type of interaction through online video that is likely to build brand loyalty over time.
Thanks to Anthony Bucci for sharing their advice and opinions in this post. Anthony Bucci is the Co-Founder of www.RevZilla.com, which sells motorcycle apparel, parts and accessories while offering expertise and educational content to inform its customers. Company culture is king at RevZilla, emphasized by the site’s conversational personality with its customers.

Netflix wants to change TV

Netflix doesn’t just want to compete with traditional pay TV networks like HBO, Showtime and Starz – it wants to change television forever. The company envisions a future for TV in which old-fashioned things like ratings, schedule and recaps simply don’t matter anymore.
old TV
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called his company’s newly-announced Disney deal a game changer when quizzed about it by Harvey Weinstein during Wednesday’s UBS Media conference. The deal, which will bring new and catalog titles from Disney, Marvel and Pixar to the service, marks the first time a major Hollywood studio has chosen Netflix over a traditional pay TV network.
But Sarandos also made it clear that he doesn’t just want to steal away big blockbusters from the likes of HBO and Starz. Throughout the conversation, he explained that Netflix aims much higher: it wants to change television forever. Asked about how TV will look like in five years, Sarandos replied: “It’s gonna look nothing like we’re seeing today.”
So what is going to change? Sarandos gave us some good clues Wednesday:
Ratings don’t matter. Come February, Netflix is going to launch two original TV shows, and chances are that millions will tune in to watch the new season of Arrested Development alone.  But don’t expect Netflix to brag about it. Sarandos made it clear that he won’t release any numbers, no matter how good they are. “It’s a really irrelevant number,” for a subscription TV service, he argued, because it doesn’t have to sell large simultaneous audiences to advertisers.
And what’s worse, once you start releasing these numbers, everything is going to get measured by it. Your new show isn’t as good as last season’s hit? Then it must be a failure. Well, in the case of Netflix, it may not, because audiences may discover the content over time. Sarandos said the same thing could be true for HBO, and argued that it was a mistake for the pay TV network to put such a big emphasis on ratings.
Time slots are for sports and talk. Netflix has a pretty straightforward understanding of the TV space. On one side, there’s content that works well on linear TV, like sports and nighttime talk. “The immediacy of Jon Stewart…. lends itself to linear business models,” Sarandos said. On the other side, there is scripted content, which comes with a much longer shelf life.
Sarandos made it clear Wednesday that he has no intention to mess around with scheduled content. And for good reason: Making successful linear TV, getting people to tune in every night at a certain time — that’s hard. “The most difficult thing in linear television is the pressure on the time slot,” Sarandos said. With a Netflix-like on-demand model, you don’t have any of those issues.
This is on the surface just a simple business decision – but it could foreshadow a much bigger change. After all, if Netflix is successful with its no-schedule strategy, should other TV networks stick to the schedule as their viewing is shifting towards an on-demand world?
In related news: Viewers don’t want to wait for the next episode. One of the biggest differences in the way Netflix approaches its original content is that it releases an entire season at the same time. Weinstein had some doubts about this approach, arguing that people who grew up with traditional TV may prefer a staggered approach, and that it may take away from word of mouth and other marketing opportunities. But Sarandos countered that this is how people already watch traditional TV, thanks to DVRs. And in the end, it’s giving subscribers what they want: “People have the most satisfaction with immediate access,” he said.
Creators love this as well. Turns out that there is an unintended side-effect of releasing an entire season at once: If you give people the ability to watch two to three episodes at a time, or an entire season over a two-week span, they’ll be less prone to TV schedule amnesia. Right now, many shows spend a number of minutes recapping the previous episode — which makes little sense if viewers finished the previous episode minutes ago. “If you don’t do all that, you have all of this additional story-telling time,” explained Sarandos.
TV is getting more personal. Netflix has been investing in personalization for years, fine-tuning its recommendation engine to highlight movies and shows you might like to watch. However, so far most of this has been happening on the household level. Now, the company is taking steps to differentiate even further. One of the first steps was Just for Kids, the UI that separates kids’ content from other streaming fare. Next up are efforts to take this even further. “There is all of these things that we are looking at (around) deep personalization,” explained Sarandos. “Voice recognition, visual recognition.” In the future, Netflix could be able to pull up a user’s personalized recommendations as soon as that person walked into the room, he added.
Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user joe.ross.
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  • 5 Comments

    1. I think one thing that has plagued Netflix for years was is stale availability on the movie front, but it has really shined in being an outlet for marathon viewing seasons of television shows you are JUST wanting to get in to viewing.
      Though I don’t think they will single-handedly do any real damage to the traditional television model, they do raise valid points that have me interested in how they plan to evolve the streaming business model. We’re definitely in exciting times!
      Reply /

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    2. Those are some pretty fanciful assertions.
      I’m sure if the ratings for these new Netflix original shows were high, Netlfix would release them. It’s great that some shows (probably not many) may break out weeks or months after they begin, but I’m not sure how that helps to sell advertising up front.
      As for filming and releasing an entire season of a brand new and untested program all at once, that is a huge gamble to take on a regular basis unless it is a fairly low budget production.
      Finally, for all the talk of “personalization,” the Netflix streaming website is woefully primitive in terms of customization features – you can’t even sort the queue by genre, let alone do any kind of advanced search based on popularity, director, actors, year, language, etc.
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    3. Stephen – NYC Wednesday, December 5 2012
      “TV schedule amnesia” – I like that phrase. I certainly do not like the recaps that shows do. “24″ was notorious for spending the first 2 minutes telling us what happened last week. And shows that recap what happened just before they went to a five-minute commercial break waste more time too. Time that could be better spent getting back to whatever it was we were watching. I just wish that the shows could make it to Netflix sooner. I have decided to wait until a show has been canceled or there are at least 2 seasons worth to watch online. I don’t want to watch 13 or 22 episodes only to find out that the current season isn’t going to be there for another year. I can wait for it all to be there.
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    4. Here is another reason why these moves from Netflix need to be watched more closely – it is a huge part of all Internet traffic.
      http://statspotting.com/2011/05/netflix-is-30-percent-of-all-internet-traffic/
      And that, just with movies. with TV and other stuff …
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    5. Stephen – NYC hit the nail on the head with regards to the delay in availability. Case in point: they are shouting to the heavens about this Disney deal….When is Disney going to be on Netflix??? IN THREE YEARS! Quite frankly, I think deals like that are only going to frustrate consumers. One day, your favorite films are in your “collection,” the next day “POOF” they are gone simply because you didn’t choose the right service. Granted, in this case you have 3 years to prepare for it.
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  • Internet Ad Spending Will Outstrip Print in 2015!!

    Mad Men are moving their money – the internet will take more advertising dollars than newspapers and magazines combined by 2015, according to latest forecasts.
    Mad Menphoto: BBC / AMC
    2015 is the year when internet advertising spend will overtake combined newspaper and magazine ad spend globally, according to ad group ZenithOptimedia’s latest forecast.
    That mark has already been passed in some countries, but not on a worldwide basis.

    Forecast: Ad spend by medium (ZenithOptimedia, Dec 2012)NewspapersMagazinesTelevisionRadioCinemaOutdoorInternet20112012201320142015-50k0k50k100k150k200k250k$USD million

    The group reckons the internet attracted 15.2 percent more ad dollars globally in 2012, though total cross-media ad spend grew only 3.3 percent.
    ZenithOptimedia reckons internet ad spend will growth at 14 to 15 percent per year going forward and will be taking 23.4 percent of all advertising money in the world by 2015.
    By that time, online display ad spend will be on the cusp of overtaking search ad spend for the first time.
    This is not purely a digital growth story — print ad spend has been declining. But the worst of the cliff-drop, seen at the height of the 2008/09 downturn, has bottomed out, leaving more modest print cuts going forward, ZenithOptimedia projects.
    Television remains the most lucrative advertising medium.

    2 Comments

    1. Considering the iPad wasn’t launched until spring of 2010 and the announcement of ‘The Daily’ shuttering today – I feel your prediction is premature. I don’t feel like you can line-up these mature advertising markets against a new fledgling source like the internet and predict the next few years. It’s too early to tell and the only reason forecasts like this are created is to use them to sell digital space. . . which I know you said it’s “not purely a digital growth story” but that’s what it will be used for – accurate or not.
      Plus you are doing this during an economic downturn where most mature industries are suffering – print (newspaper/magazines) or not. Ad spending is down not because those media vehicles don’t work. . .
      I’m not saying internet ad sales won’t grow but you are only showing a small window of time of factual events and then trending along very similar inclines/declines.
      But – I too – cannot predict the future. We’ll both have to wait and see. Opinions are just that.
      Reply /

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    2. michaelvbaker Monday, December 3 2012
      Premature to the consumer or the Dealer? This discussion is elementary/carnal knowledge to two years ago…………….
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  • loading external resource
  • Mad Men are moving their money – the internet will take more advertising dollars than newspapers and magazines combined by 2015, according to latest forecasts.

    Mad Menphoto: BBC / AMC

    2015 is the year when internet advertising spend will overtake combined newspaper and magazine ad spend globally, according to ad group ZenithOptimedia’s latest forecast.
    That mark has already been passed in some countries, but not on a worldwide basis.

    Forecast: Ad spend by medium (ZenithOptimedia, Dec 2012)NewspapersMagazinesTelevisionRadioCinemaOutdoorInternet20112012201320142015-50k0k50k100k150k200k250k$USD million

    The group reckons the internet attracted 15.2 percent more ad dollars globally in 2012, though total cross-media ad spend grew only 3.3 percent.
    ZenithOptimedia reckons internet ad spend will growth at 14 to 15 percent per year going forward and will be taking 23.4 percent of all advertising money in the world by 2015.
    By that time, online display ad spend will be on the cusp of overtaking search ad spend for the first time.
    This is not purely a digital growth story — print ad spend has been declining. But the worst of the cliff-drop, seen at the height of the 2008/09 downturn, has bottomed out, leaving more modest print cuts going forward, ZenithOptimedia projects.
    Television remains the most lucrative advertising medium.

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