When people talk about online video they typically talk about videos like this one, the Minnesota wedding entrance choreographed to the Chris Brown ballad Forever.
The video was published July 19, 2009, and it now has nearly 30 million views. It had nearly 19 million views in the first three weeks after posting.
That’s what you call a viral video. It’s the stuff marketers dream of — 19 million people reached with no money spent on distribution or production. Businesses that achieve that kind of reach profit enormously. If you have any doubts, checkout what it did to Forever’s iTunes sales.
Of course, the chances of your company creating a video that reaches 19 million people in three weeks are essentially zero. It’s not going to happen, so don’t bother.
Most marketers understand that truly viral videos are almost impossible to create — and they use this as a reason to abandon video altogether.
That’s a mistake.
Video doesn’t need to be viral to have an impact on your business. In fact, any robust inbound marketing content strategy should include a video component, designed with assumption that none of the videos will “go viral.” Instead, businesses should put time into video for at least six other reasons:
(1) Video Gives Your Business A Voice — It’s one thing to read a paragraph about a company, but it’s a completely different thing to spend two minutes listening to a business owner and staff share the story, vision, and purpose of their business. Video adds a personal dimension to company websites, which are typically heavy on impersonal text.
(2) Videos Are Marketing Annuities — Like a blog post, videos are annuities; once you’ve published your video and it passes its initial burst of traffic, you’ll continue to get traffic and banding value indefinitely.
(3) Videos Build Company Culture — Videos are fun and they show that your company can have fun. They serve as morale builders within the company, and recruiting tools outside the company.
(4) Video Is Another Channel for Your Content — Effective inbound marketing content strategies need to be executed in multiple media types. Some forms of information are best communicated in blog posts; some in photos or graphics; some in webinars; others in video. If you’re not using or even experimenting with a combination of these channels, you’re missing potential customers.
(5) Videos Are Not As Involved To Produce As You May Think — If your business has stories, and all do, videos will be easy to produce. Don’t get sucked into the traditional details of video production. To plan your video, define your stories, schedule time to shoot it – with outside help if you wish – and make sure the shooting doesn’t drag on. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it simply needs to be authentic, relevant, and a bit entertaining.
(6) More Video, More Likely to Have a Big Success — Just like venture capital or movie production, online marketing video is portfolio business. No successful movie studio bets their year on a single film. They spread their resources across multiple films, and hope they’ll get one money-maker out of their portfolio. You should approach your marketing videos the same way. Don’t stop telling your stories and those of your employees, customers, collaborative partners, neighborhood, etc. Ask yourself – would my customers find this story interesting? – if so, tell it.
Does your company / business currently use video for marketing? How? Why? What else should be on this list?