1. Product Demonstration
No amount of text will ever compare to seeing a product in action. No matter how eloquently you articulate your customers’ pain–and your product’s ability to ease that pain–a picture is worth a thousand words. A moving picture is worth even more than that.
Because of online video’s infinite shelf life, demonstration videos can impress potential consumers forever and ever–unlike the limited run of most TV commercials.
2. Allows Fans to Become Cheerleaders
In a case like GoPro.com, the main use of the videos is still demonstration–showing off the capabilities of the tiny HD camera to capture thrilling extreme sports moments in first-person view. But in a fantastic twist, it’s actually demonstration video content that’s being created by happy customers–the brand doesn’t have to even do the work anymore–brilliant.
When people are passionate about a product or service, they’ll tell others. And as video becomes the dominant content form online, more and more of those passionate consumers are making use of it. The holy grail of online marketing for brands used to be if they could get a blogger to write something positive about them… or put it on their Facebook wall… or tweet about it. Now, however, there’s video.
Consumers are going to make video regardless of what your company does. More people than ever have video capabilities at their finger tips They’re making videos of abnormal weather… crazy pets… or hilarious kids. Brands that excel in the areas of customer satisfaction are going to reap the benefits of online video for years to come, whether or not they create any on their own.
3. Low-Cost or No-Cost
Time is really the only cost remaining with online video. YouTube is free… many online promotional methods are cost-free, such as social media… you can get a high-quality HD camera for a few hundred dollars now… so the balance of power in the advertising world is shifting. It’s now possible for a Mom & Pop outfit to create video that looks and sounds as great as what major brands were spending millions on only a few short years ago.
In the same way we urged small businesses to use email marketing as a way to cut printing and postage costs… we’re now urging them to use video to save… well, any cost whatsoever. It’s hard to beat online video ROI when the total investment is somewhere between $0- $500.
4. Placing Ads On Others’ Videos
A lot of small businesses are still a bit intimidated by the idea of writing and filming their own online video. And that’s understandable. Technology isn’t always easy to embrace when people are set in their routines.
For those who aren’t quite ready to become filmmakers, but still see the incredible popularity and power of online video, there’s video advertising–specifically, placing ads on the successful videos of others. Just like Adwords places highly-targeted keyword-based ads on search result pages… YouTube has their own version of an Adwords-like system. Companies small and large can run ads based on keywords, viewer demographics, and more.
Of course, the ideal solution would be for a company to create their own great videos, and then use YouTube ads to drive traffic from other similar videos to theirs.
5. Be More Human
I used to encourage consulting clients to blog because a blog, by nature, has a more casual tone. Stripping the message of the formality that often accompanies professional website copy has a way of humanizing the company, the executive, and the employee.
And if a more casual writing tone can endear consumers to a brand, how much more powerfully will video convey the company’s identity and message?