Video marketing continues to grow each year. In 2016 billions of ads flooded the web on a variety of different formats and destination. Almost every popular website features video ads in some form or another. Some analysts say that the market is becoming saturated, but I believe that there is still so much more video marketing can accomplish for businesses of all sizes. More doesn’t equal better, and with Google constantly changing their algorithms, just making any old video is not a successful marketing campaign. Here are a few fresh video marketing ideas to keep in mind for 2017 and beyond.
2016 finally saw the future become the present. Virtual reality almost made a splash in the 90’s, but the tech was still underdeveloped. We saw the launch of the Facebook-backed Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard, And PlayStation VR. With all these platforms being released to consumers you would think it would be an instant hit, right? Even though the entry level into Virtual Reality has never been less expensive, it’s still a very new technology.
I own an HTC Vive and I have spent many hours tooling around in various games in programs. The sense of wonder VR provides is unparalleled in any other form of media. The problem lies in the fact that watching someone use VR just looks plain silly. The actual experience of putting on a headset is far from that. So how can VR be used for video marketing?
The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are a bit pricey and most of your customers of potential prospects probably don’t own one, but there are many cheaper options. Everyone has a smart phone and google cardboard is only 10 bucks. Creating a virtual walkthrough of your business or having a product demo in VR is a fully immersive way to gain customers and inform new ones. And better yet send out free google cardboards to existing customers.
You can buy inexpensive VR cameras such as the Samsung Gear 360 Camera or your hired professional may have one. Since VR is still a very new technology, don’t surprised if a lot of professionals don’t have the equipment or most rental houses haven’t started stocking them. Buying one and having it ready to use is the best bet to jump into VR video marketing right now.and start creating content. YouTube and Facebook both have 360-degree video options making VR an attractive video marketing solution. Make sure and hire a videographer that is experienced in shooting 360-degree video. The process is quite different from traditional video, and having an expert show you what you can and can’t do, while also letting you focus on what you actually want your video to be, is a way to maximize the power of VR.
VR will continue to grow over next few years and while a lot of small businesses use a “wait and see” mentality to new tech, I suggest being an early adopter in VR will make your business stand out.
I know what you are probably thinking: Of course, a business wants a viral video! A piece of content that spreads across the web like a wildfire. Even though that is an important aspect of viral videos, and there isn’t a tried and true way to accomplish this, I think the meaning has grown into something much more.
Let’s put aside the viral videos of a cat jumping and failing for a second. Let’s focus on the videos that are strictly business related. More and more companies are spending millions of dollars trying to create a viral campaign. If you look at the movie industry you can see a common theme. Create a website, content that engages and creates buzz around the upcoming release. I know most of you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on a large campaign, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something similar.
One of the most common overlooked aspects of a viral video is that it doesn’t feel like typical advertising. There isn’t a spoke person telling you to buy his product or customers telling you how great a companies services are. Create something unique that uses your product or service as a background element. Look at this viral video Liquid Mountaineering did. Does it look like an ad? The only advertising is their website under the video. Not only is this very bold, but look at how many views they received and how many shares.
Come up with a creative way to tell a story or evoke an emotion that fits your business and run with it. Viral videos are here to stay, and anyone can make one. Work closely with your team and seem what subtle themes fit your brand and service. What kind of video can show that off without it feeling like a traditional advertising? Try a few small scale videos and see what the reception is. Just like with any other type of marketing, nothing is guaranteed and it takes some time to find the right recipe.
Quality Over Quantity
This really isn’t a type of video, is it? So why is it featured on this list? The old way is out and the new way is in.
Video Marketers have always said that creating a lot of content is the best way to help your SEO, which in turn will help you make more money. The problem has become an overwhelming majority of content is generic or just plain unprofessional looking. If you create high-quality content that engages, you will find much more success than putting out a bunch of rubbish.
Let,s take System76, a client of mine as an example. They are a Linux based computer company that works with Pixar and New York Cities subway systems to name a few. They have the means to create a lot of content, but they choose to only do video marketing 5-6 times a year.
For instance, they create a large video campaign leading up to 4th of July. Last year they used the Linux mascot, Tux as a centerpiece. Nothing in the video screams sell, but they saw their sales rise for 4th of July. Why? Because the video was fun, engaging and spoke directly to their demographic.
Another great example that System76 used for video marketing is their 2015 holiday campaign that ran in theaters across the country. The based their video around a story of a father and daughter creating a holiday light show using a Raspberry Pi and one of their computers. Once again, this video does not feel like an advertisement. Viewers are engaged in the story and can click the link or follow the on-screen prompts to learn more about what System76’s computers can do.
They also do really creative events a few times a year directly with their fans and customers. Every year they have an event called “Superfan”. They fly out their biggest fans and engage them with interesting and fun events. This year was based on Dungeons and Dragons. I created an event video highlighting just how fun it was. This, in turn, was used online to share the experience for the fans who were not able to attend and potential new customers were interested in what all the hype was about.
This is just one example where quality outshines quantity. Sit down with your team and find out what engaging content works best. Feel free to experiment and try new things. This, of course may take more time than just throwing together a video, but the rewards will far outweigh the time investment.
These are just some of the great video marketing trends of 2017 and beyond. There are more advancements in video marketing that are on the horizon. I will share new updates to this blog as they become important to businesses like you. Feel free to share your ideas of what you’ve created in the comments.