Video is a fantastic tool to communicate any message. As you may know, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine behind Google. What does that tell you? That video has huge power and people are searching for video content all the time. Communicating via visual image is much more effective than text or spoken words alone. Studies have shown that visual information can improve the understanding of spoken words by as much as six times.
July 21st, 2011
Eight Ways You Can (and Should) Be Using Video
Like any means of communications, how you use it, what you show and the story you tell will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your video. Social media has changed the game in how PR professionals use video. Traditionally, video was used to support a news story (think B-roll package) or to produce a video news release (VNR). While those forms of video used to be very effective, they have become less and less effective every day. In fact, most TV stations won’t use VNR or video they don’t shoot. A company needs to have a really great story (and truly news) AND very compelling video to get stations to use it. Most times, the ROI isn’t there…the results don’t justify the cost.
While edited video may work with traditional media like it used to, video still has a very powerful place in a marketer’s arsenal. Rather than think of video in a supporting roll, today’s marketers are realizing that there needs to be a strategy. After all, you don’t get to millions of views on YouTube without thinking it through. (Ok, some do, but that’s plain luck.. and I don’t think you want to base your video strategy on luck.)
What are the best ways to use video today? Here are a few of our favorites.
Media Relations: This is probably the most traditional use of video for PR pros. However, the VNRs and B-roll packages of the past don’t work like they used to (if at all). While there are instances where B-roll from an event or supporting a new product may work, you are more likely to get better results sharing video content that is not produced specifically for media relations, but that is part of a video/blog series, is something creative about the product, or that provides new information that media can share with their audience.
Contests: Video is a great tool to use for a contest. Almost everyone has video functionality on their mobile phone or device, so getting “fans”, “followers” or visitors to create video as part of a contest allows for more content to be created. Usually this content is interesting and can be funny and provocative. It is also likely to generate comments and interaction from others.
Video Blogs: Video is a great tool to show someone how to use your product or service, give them new ideas on how to use your product/service, share interesting ideas from others and provide tips. Remember, everything doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) about your product. Regular video updates provide content that, if tagged correctly, will show up on YouTube and other searches.
Celebrities: Are you working with a celebrity spokesperson for your campaign? If so, plan on adding video components specifically for the web and social media outlets to your plan. Yes, you may have to pay a little more for the celebrity’s time, but the results will be well worth it. If fact, we suggest creating a series of videos with the celebrity for the campaign to get the most mileage out of the program. If your spokesperson isn’t a celebrity, don’t worry as you can still make great videos with your spokesperson that will have a long shelf life.
Events: Most PR pros capture video at events, but many don’t know what to do with it. Sending it out to news stations may work, but usually doesn’t garner much coverage. Providing video of events is a great way to show those who couldn’t attend what you did, but it has to be interesting. Like most videos today, 1-3 min
utes is the target.
Product Launches: Still pictures and a press release really don’t get it done anymore. The most effective way to showcase your new produce is to show video of the product. It’s the next best thing to having it in hand. Video can show the product in a way that allows the viewer to really get a feel for what they would be buying. Also, the video can show how the product works, its features, and ease of use. A video product demonstration makes it come to life.
Social Media: While most of the video examples above can also be distributed via social media channels, one strategy is to develop video content solely for social media. This will need to be much more creative, interesting and will need to be very subtle with regard to company logos and branding. People view content that is interesting. You won’t see many sharing the latest ad. You will see them share things that are interesting, different, unusual, creative, and that will generate discussion. Give them something different when they come to your Facebook page or YouTube channel. New, different and interesting content is what will bring them back.
Corporate / financial announcements / executives: Many people like to hear from executives. While one can read the information, it’s much more effective when the same information is delivered via video (remember, video can improve understanding by six times). The executive exudes confidence and can be a great conduit for any announcement, especially if there is a crisis or hot issue at hand.
There are many other ways to use video. Video will continue to become one of the most widely-used tools. Remember, YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind Google. A strategic plan on how to use video is essential for any PR Professional. Continue to explore different ways in which you can incorporate video into your plans. Let us know if you have any other ways you like to use video.