Online video has, in a relatively short period, become de rigueur among many b-to-b companies’ websites. Indeed, nearly 60% of brand managers said they plan to invest more in online video in the next 12 months, according to the Online Video & the Media Industry Quarterly Research Report for the second quarter of 2010, which was released in late September.
The report, which was conducted by Brightcove and TubeMogul, examined online video discovery, usage and engagement data from a sample of nearly 2,000 news and entertainment websites representing 3.4 billion video streams. It found that 70% of respondents said they plan to add mobile video to their marketing mix in the next 12 months while nearly 60% of respondents said they plan to invest more in online video during the same period. What’s more, consumers who find marketing and e-commerce video via Facebook and Twitter have the longest viewing times, 1:24 minutes and 1:18 minutes respectively.
As prospects begin to expect that online video be part of the lead-generation process, the onus is on sales and marketing execs to package, produce and distribute online-video programming. Here are a few steps on how to get started:
- Pre-Production – Sales and marketing managers must first commit to deploying online video as part of their lead generation services. It can’t be half-baked. Companies may prefer to outsource the job or find someone in-house who knows his way around online-video production. There are several questions to answer at the outset: Is the video going to be a one-off or a springboard to a series? What segment(s) of your audience are trying to reach? What are the most cost-effective ways to leverage the video? E-mail? Events? What is the expected life cycle of the video?
- Principal photography – Reserve several hours out of the workday to shoot the video (or, if the commitment is more long-term, create a shooting schedule). Find an appropriate backdrop – either in the office or, perhaps, outdoors – that will not distract eyeballs from the person delivering the company’s message. (The host of the video should wear solid colors because wearing stripes also tends to distract viewers.) To host the video, pick executives who are comfortable in front of the camera. Be sure and identify the person’s name, title, e-mail address, twitter handle; the frequency of the ID should be in proportion to the total running time (TRT) of the video. You could also split the screen, with one half providing factoids and information about the executive and/or company. Have a script prepared, but remember that the text needs to be delivered in a conversational style. Create both a short version, which the company should push out initially, and a longer version, say 20-30 minutes, for those prospects who want more in-depth information. For the director, this is not the time to channel your inner Scorsese. Play it straight and don’t get carried away with camera angles. The focus should be on the information/education/thought leadership that the company wants to communicate.
- Post-production – As classic movies are created in the editing room, so, too, must sales and marketing executives use post-production to kill any extraneous aspects of the video; focus on the video’s “flow” and context, and, most important, sharpen the message. If need be, go back and re-shoot certain segments to make the commentary as clear as possible. Insert “B-roll,” or accompanying (and relevant) video into the package. Don’t get carried away with integrating music into the video. The soundtrack should be a tune (or tunes) that harmonizes with the message. Distribute the video using various marketing channels as well as social networks and YouTube. There are several easy steps to improve search engine optimization by running your video on YouTube. Name your file with meaningful keywords. (YouTube names the video based on the filename.) Include a description and tags (more keywords). Keep it brief and don’t bury the lead; 20% of viewers scoot after 10 seconds.
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