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  Online Video – Times and Strategies Have Changed, are You On Track?

Posted by Kevinjcull on February 21, 2014

Just like everything else with the Internet, online video is ever-evolving. We’re barely into 2014, and change is about the only constant! This year, companies will create videos that are more relevant to consumers’ interests, more interactive, and versatile, making them effective for a variety of uses across the web.

In the past, many companies’ efforts in the world of online video didn’t go much farther than creating a video and putting it on YouTube, mostly because of the simple fact they could. Are we getting into something that is difficult for those without a degree in online video marketing? Hardly. The fact is, if you’ve got the basics of creating and implementing a marketing strategy down, you can do this!

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Basically, there are four steps or “pillars” to achieving results you expect with online video. These include:

  • Understanding your target audience
  • Creating content
  • Managing the distribution of your content
  • Measuring its success and determining which content is most responsible for your success

Let’s break this down into bite-size pieces.

Do you really understand your audience? Online, there are plenty of diversions when your video fails to capture the viewer’s interest – just a click of the mouse, and the viewer is gone. You may think you know what your audience wants, but do you really? Ultimately, you want to create content those who view your video want to watch, discuss, even share. Understanding what your audience expects can be accomplished by audience profiling, focus groups, or putting yourself in the mind of your potential customer. Will the content inform, engage, and enlighten?

Create content that attracts your audience like flies to honey. Rule number one – consumers do NOT like watching ads. Your content has to work very hard; after all, it is the substance your online video is made of. The key to video content your audience actually wants to view is the brief. When you hand off the brief to a member of your staff, production company, or whoever will be handling it, it should be based on audience impact in terms of behaviour, motivation, changing the viewer’s way of thinking.

Content distribution management. Your online video marketing strategy must be organised in terms of content distribution; distribution is not an afterthought, but a very important aspect of your overall strategy. Considering the competitiveness of the web, your content must be extremely appealing and engaging so that you not only attract your target audience, you retain it.

What channels will be used to distribute your content? Social media networks are effective for many companies, as you can reach a wider audience, many of who will share your content. Still, even when your online video is viewed across many platforms, you cannot count on every person who views it sharing it. This is why it is so essential to distribute across as many networks as possible, particularly those with a large number of members interested in your niche/industry.

Measuring and attributing success in your online video strategy. Measuring the success of your online video strategy is crucial in determining which of your efforts seem to be producing the most results. To measure your success, you must:

  • Determine exactly what KPI (key performance indicators) you are measuring
  • Have the analysation tools in place to capture the most critical information

However, this is not the end of measuring and attributing success. Once you have the tools in place to capture information to be measured, do you know how to interpret the data? The entire purpose of measuring success is so that you can change what is not working, and put more of your effort into what is.

Ultimately there is only so much you can measure online, given that the majority of data is extracted from server logs and tracking codes. Focus your efforts on discovering the data that gives the clearest picture, and consider using a program such as Excel to build a template suitable to your needs, so that you can get a true picture of social shares, comments, visit duration, views per host site, and other pertinent information that tell your story.

While this may all sound complicated, it’s really not. It all boils down to marketing 101 – know and understand your target audience, share content that is compelling, valuable, and solves a need, make sure you distribute your content where it will be in front of the most people, and measure your success so that you can “tweak” your efforts where needed.

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