Today, online video has become as prevalent as text on the web was more than a decade ago and is now being used as an effective marketing tool for businesses small and large alike. In a recent article in the New York Times, Kermit Pattison highlighted the growing trend of businesses using video as a low-cost way to reach to sell their products, connect with customers for deeper conversations and communicate their brand. The barriers to creating and distributing professional-quality video have been eroded with the development of affordable content creation tools and the solutions available from online video platforms.
In the example presented by the New York Times, Pattison focused on how a small California manufacturing company, Ceilume, decided to use online video as a way to tell customers how its products were different from its competitors. Pattison spoke with Ed Davis, President of Ceilume, who discussed how video marketing helped tell his company’s story better than any other marketing approach it had tried before.
According to Pattison:
“Over the last several years, Ceilume has produced dozens of YouTube videos for product demonstrations, advertisements and how-to instruction. These videos are embedded in the company Web site or show up in results when customers search for keywords. As a result, Ceilume has reached tens of thousands of customers at a very low cost.”
Here’s one of Ceilume’s video from its YouTube Channel, Can I Afford a Coffered Ceiling? that offers information to customers rather than a blatant sales pitch:
Pattison shared the following 6 ways that online video offers low-cost marketing for your business:
- SHOW YOUR PRODUCTS – Online video may be the best way to demonstrate a product. Customers can see the actual product and make purchasing decisions based on what they see rather than having to request a sample.
- CREATE A DESTINATION – Having an online video spokesperson in your video adds that human touch that no other marketing tool can duplicate, short of being there in person, and when you add that element to your company website you create a reason for customers to keep coming back. Your website can become your company channel full of useful information that connects with your customers and you’ll be seen not as pitching products, but as customer-friendly experts.
- USE ANALYTICS AND TOOLS – All video platforms, including: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Blip.tv, and professional platforms like Brightcove, Ooyala or Kaltura, offer tools that allow you to measure the effect of your videos. The ability to measure video traffic beyond “views”-including audience dropoff, what sites and search terms are referring viewers, and audience geography-offers content publishers deeper insight into both the viewing habits of their audience and the extent of your video’s reach.
- BUILD A BRAND CHANNEL – One way to get the attention of customers is invite them to become your video producers — especially if they jump off cliffs, ski down steep powder ridges or do somersaults on BMX bikes.
- ADVERTISE WITH VIDEO – YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google (which owns YouTube) and represents a huge audience of potential customers. It offers a dozen advertising options, including banner ads, promoted videos that appear on top and beside search results, and “preroll ads” that appear during other YouTube videos much like a conventional TV commercial. YouTube recently announced that it was displaying more than three billion ads per week.
- OFFER INSTRUCTION – Pictures are really worth a thousand words and video multiplies that equation with 30 pictures a second. Online video makes it easy to follow the adage “Show, don’t tell.” Many businesses have turned to video for instruction manuals and how-to guides.
For more information, read the full post: Online Video as a Marketing Tool – NYTimes.com