Marketing with Video and Rich Media Blog

10 Reasons Why Your Marketing Video Isn’t Working?

You just spent $2,000, $20,000 or $200,000 on your most recent corporate video project and it didn’t move the dial. What happened?

The creation of your corporate video should follow a structured development process. When it doesn’t your chance of success is low. Here are ten common mistakes made by companies developing marketing videos:

1. Poorly defined objectives.
Can you easily fill in the following blanks?: This video will help ___{this audience}____  understand that our product or service solves ___{this problem}___  and provides ____ {these benefits)____ . We will measure the success of this video by ___{this rating mechanism}____.
If you can’t clearly and succinctly fill in the first three blanks chances are your video will fail to achieve any measurable results.  If you can’t fill in the last blank you’ll never know what was achieved.

2. No clear message(s).
“Expertocom is a world leader in the provisioning of leading edge solutions and robust, mission critical systems to it’s global client base.” Uh-huh. Even if you have a well defined audience, problem statement and benefit, you still need to communicate in clear and convincing manner. Some common mistakes:
- The video is all about you. No one cares about you, they only care about how you can solve their problem.
- B2N (Business to No one) If your message is so general that it applies to everyone it probably won’t resonate with anyone. Be specific. Pick one audience and deliver one really strong, concise message tailored to that specific audience’s needs.
- Jargon-loading. If you “utilize leading-edge best practices to incentivize and leverage your best-of-breed base through groundbreaking, synergistic and outside-the-box thinking” then… no one will understand you.
- Saying too much. “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter but I didn’t have time to write a short one” – Mark Twain. It’s really difficult to be succinct. It also seems risky. Script-by-committee is death to most video projects. In video, shorter is almost always better.

3. Your video doesn’t resonate with your audience.
The best messages work on a visceral level. They make you think, even better, they make you feel something.  If your video is dull (i.e. a talking head) and if you don’t use video effectively (show me, don’t tell me!) then you will quickly lose your audience. Facts are important but a good story is better. While it may be interesting to note that your lubricant is 27% more viscous than any other on the market it may be more interesting to show that your product is the one that your local fire department depends on. Translating the key benefits you are trying to illustrate into ideas and building that into a compelling visual story is done before any crew show up to start shooting.  This is the most important part of the video development process and it’s also the hardest to get right, yet it’s usually the piece that gets the least attention. How do you find a company with this type of experience? Look at their previous work. If it’s not engaging, yours won’t be either.

4. Loose, or no processes at all to develop and promote the video.
The most important part of the video production process is pre-production. Chances are that if you are either surprised or disappointed by the results of your video it is because the planning process was flawed. A well defined storyboard should tell everyone involved exactly what is being said and what visuals are being shown to support those messages. A shotlist tells you exactly what needs to be shot, with whom and when.  When the video is shot and edited a marketing plan tells you exactly what the video is supposed to accomplish, how you are going to get your video in front of your intended audience (…who may or may not ever show up at your website) and how the results of the video should be measured. Again, all of this happens before anyone shows up with a camera. If your video production company tells you what your video should look like with little or no input from you – it probably won’t help your business.

5. You started with creative.
“Our President has this really cool idea!” Just like graphic design is the last step in the pre-development phase of a website (often it is first),  ’creative’ is the last step in the development of a video script and storyboard. Again… too often it is first. Creativity is an essential part of the video production process but it should never be be the tail wagging the dog. Sure, if you have a budget to create a whack of branded entertainment, that’s a different story – but for most corporate video projects, branded entertainment is not the goal.

6. Your video doesn’t support your brand.
Too often, videos are created in isolation. Your brand is the sum total of all of the experiences people have with your company, that includes video. Your video has to support and complement the tone and key messages that you want associated with your brand. {Warning: Wacky viral videos often do more harm than good.)  Video production is not an isolated activity. Your video production company has to understand how you are marketing your business and has to be keen to engage with your marketing department and /or the marketing agency that is helping guide your brand.

7. Budget isn’t large enough.
We took a couple thousand out of our cleaning budget to do this video.” “Yep, that’s all we’ve got, but we still want it to look like Avatar.” “My cousin Eddy said it would only cost him $400 to make the same video.” The cost of video production has decreased dramatically over the last five years. That said, there is little point in developing a video if you haven’t allocated a reasonable budget for the project. What does a video cost: Here are 25 factors and their prices that go into the cost of developing a corporate video.

8. Wrong type of video.
There are many different styles, structures and purposes for corporate video. Here are 51 different types of video you can develop to promote your business.  A thirty second pre-roll promotion video is probably too long and a one minute recruitment video is probably too short. Hiring actors to speak to a technical audience isn’t a good idea.  Putting your President on camera may (or may not be) a good idea. A talking head is often a waste of time.  A detailed technical video won’t resonate with people in the awareness phase of the sales cycle but can work very well for people in the consideration phase. What type of video you develop and what structure you use for the video is just as important as what messages you chose.

9. No call to action.
What do you want people to do after they have watched your video? If you don’t know, your viewer won’t either.

10. No distribution, SEO or promotion plan.
Even if your video is great, if no one sees it you’ve wasted your money. Are you optimizing a webpage with keywords to help promote the video? Are you promoting the video on industry portals or other related sites where you intended audience might be? Have you developed an email campaign to promote the video to key audiences? Do you have a process to move prospective viewers through your sales cycle once they have viewed the video? Have you tested the video before widely launching it to make sure it accomplishes what you want it to? Do you have any budget for changes or do you assume that you’ll get it exactly right the first time through? Do you have a social media campaign, a PR campaign, a media campaign or some other promotional activity to build interest and awareness for the video?

The video production piece (shooting and editing) represents about 1/3 of the total value in the video development process. Planning (building the right messages for your audience) and promotion (making sure the video is seen) are both equally important.

 

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{Note: regarding ‘Jargon -Loading’, thanks to Lindsey McCaffrey for inspiration on ‘Words and phrases I don’t want to see in your copy‘}

51 ways to use web video to help your business grow

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As bandwidth increases and video production costs continue to decrease businesses are beginning to adopt video as a primary method of communicating with their customers and prospects. In-house or outsourced, video is quickly becoming a marketer’s media tool of choice for two reasons: video is engaging and, more importantly, video is persuasive. Here are some of the ways that businesses are using video to help improve their bottom line:

Customer Reference Videos

1.  Customer Testimonials (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer (ideally in their own environment) extol the virtues of your products and services or explaining how your company helped them to achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from fifteen second snippets to a minute and are typically combined with or used to support other marketing material.

2. Success Stories (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Similar to a customer testimonial these videos run between one and two minutes and follow an interview format where the person on screen answers questions posed by an interviewer just off-camera. These videos are usually delivered as stand-alone marketing support materials and are often grouped with other customer success stories.

3. Video Case Study (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
A video case study combines customer testimonials with more a more in-depth explanation of how your company’s products and services helped your customer be successful. These case studies usually incorporate two voices – a narrator and the voice of your customer and can run anywhere from two to five minutes. The video structure follows the same “Problem, Solution, Benefit” format found in a printed case study and usually include b-roll or other supporting text and video.

4. Man-in-the-street Interviews (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
These videos are typically done to promote events and to build buzz around coming events but can also be employed to capture ‘spontaneous’ responses to targeted questions that help promote your product or service or to help differentiate the benefits of your brand compared to the real or imagined problems associated with your competitors. Consumer focused companies such as soft drink manufacturers, phone companies and fast food companies often use this video format in advertising but you are starting to see this type of video appear as a stand-alone promotion on business websites or YouTube business channels.  Sometimes these videos are genuine. Sometimes they are completely staged. ‘Authenticity’ is, in some sense, becoming a style…

5. Customer Presentations. (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
If one of your customers is presenting at a conference, trade show or event or even in your offices and is talking about your products or services either directly with you or indirectly as part of a larger discussion this may be a perfect opportunity to capture the presentation of video (with permission, of course) to re-purpose on your website and intranet.

Product and Service Promotion

6. Product Presentations (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Product (or service) presentation videos are typically employed early in the buying cycle. Product or service presentations focus on benefits and talk from your customer’s perspective. They should speak clearly to how your product solves a specific business, personal or economic problem that your prospect is experiencing. They are used to help your customers and prospects differentiate between the benefits of your products and services to those of your competitors.

7. Product Demonstrations (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Product demos show how your product works and highlight the features that differentiate it from that of your competitors. Software screen captures, a 3D cut-away, or a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works. These videos are typically used to influence a prospect who is relatively far along in the sales cycle. In technology marketing these videos would be targeted at the technical approvers who need to understand how something works. In consumer marketing these would be targeted at the economic buyers of larger ticket items who may be further along the sales process.

8. Product Reviews (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
The best product reviews are trusted third party reviews. Video reviews can be found anywhere from YouTube to various business portals. To the extent they are positive and promote your brand, they should be referenced. You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your own products.

9. Visual Stories (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Quickly rising in popularity, visual stories employ illustrations, animations and motion graphics with a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner. These are sometime referred to as ‘explainers’ and are usually between one and three minutes in length. A new version of this tool, used primarily for entertainment, are websites that offer predefined characters and backgrounds that you can both animate and add an automated voice to (sort of like building your own Second Life commercials). You will begin to see many new hosted services offering customizable cloud-based animation modeling options – some good and some quite awful.

Corporate Video

10. Corporate Overview (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: moderate)
These videos are the video equivalent of the ‘company brochure’ for small companies – intended to give new visitors to a website a better idea of the company. Corporate overview videos typically company history, key products, executives/owners and other top level business info. As the cost of video production continues to decrease and the popularity of video increases you will start to see these videos being replaced by multiple, more targeted video.

11. Executive Presentations (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Whether you are preparing for a quarterly update, responding to a major event in your industry or making a regularly scheduled presentation there is great value in presenting the “face” and “voice” of your leadership team to all of your constituents.

12. Staff Presentations (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Social media and other Web 2.0 trends have caused companies to reconsider how they communicate with external audiences. Your senior leadership team should not be the first and only consideration to represent your company. It is becoming more imperative to consider showcasing the people that drive the day-to-day operations of your company. Customer service representatives, technical experts and legacy workers are all valuable considerations for this new category of corporate video. Surveys show that there is more trust associated with these employees than with senior management. When you are selling to influencers in organizations (versus economic buyers or decision makers) it is especially important you represent your company with people that your customers and prospects can relate to.

13. Corporate facilities or equipment tour (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Ten years ago corporate facility videos and equipment tours were popular. Down-sizing, off-shoring, outsourcing, a couple of recessions and a hollowing out of North America’s manufacturing base has change the priorities placed on these videos. Uniqueness is key to success here. That said, it’s really not about you and your stuff any more – it’s about how you can solve your customers problems.

14. Annual Report / Review (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Public companies are legally obliged to create annual and quarterly reviews. As well, larger privately held companies also create their own quarterly and annual reviews. As print continues to fall out of favor video will either supplement or replace these materials.

15. Video Signature and Video Introduction (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are just starting to enter into the corporate culture even though they have been part of the social culture for years. Other social sites like web-based dating services are now commonplace. Video is becoming a key component in how you ‘sell’ yourself, in your private life… and in business. A video signature is a video (either embedded or direct link to video) that is in the signature portion of your email. Introductory videos serve the same purpose – to give people who don’t know you a better idea about who your are.

Training

16. Training (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Corporate video first gained prominence with training (service, support, sales, personal development etc.) and continues to be one of the best uses of video. Online Video is a cost effective substitute for in-class training. You can also easily integrate video into online training management tools.

17. Overnight expert videos (Sales Support)  (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
If you serve a large geographic area or sell through channels then it is well worth the effort to put together short ‘overnight expert’ sales support videos that highlight the key selling points, features, benefits, objection handling and follow-up issues to consider by your direct or channel sales force.

18. Just-in-time learning (‘How-to’ Videos)  (Popularity:Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Contextual training videos are becoming very popular on the web. ‘How-to’ videos, video manuals, on-site video reference, quick assembly demos, and other types of video are being used to supplement or replace traditional training. Mobile video will increase the popularity of this type of video.

Customer Support

19. Post sale support and maintenance videos (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
No one reads manuals. You can save thousands of dollars of post sale support by creating informative assembly, installation and maintenance videos for your products and services.

20. Website FAQ Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
In certain formats video can be a suitable replacement for text where an authoritative voice, support materials or other visual references are required. A list of FAQ’s answered by a company expert is an example.

21. Live, two-way video (i.e. Apple’s FaceTime or Skype)
I believe an interesting application for mobile computing and video is going to evolve around the ability to incorporate live and recorded video into the customer support process. Imagine being able to show someone the problem you are having with their product rather than trying to describe it or send them a photo. Showing someone the problem is just the beginning. Getting a step-by-step video response with someone talking you through the solution – live… that’s the holy grail of customer support. Most companies will dismiss this as too expensive. Other companies, like Apple, will integrate these types of services into their entire brand experience.

Internal Communications

22. Internal Communications (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
In larger companies few people have the time or interest to understand what other groups or functions within the company do or even why they exist. Internal videos that highlight business plans, new business activities and achievements can improve knowledge transfer and lead to more effective communications. They are also a great way to show off your local heroes. These videos can be either live or recorded and are typically used in larger more geographically dispersed companies. As employees continue to work from home these videos will become more important.

23. Event/Conference and Trade Show Communications. (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Most companies spend a disproportionate amount of their marketing budget on attending and participating in a variety of industry events and yet only a very small percentage of employees ever benefit from these activities. Share the knowledge gained at these events by capturing the presentations, demos, interviews, commentaries etc. on video.

24. Employee orientation (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Once your new recruits are on board employee orientation videos are a great way to get new staff up to speed. Company history, structure, procedures, policies and codes of behavior can all be communicated effectively with video.

25. Health, Legal & Safety (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
The cost of dealing with health and safety related issues within organizations continues to grow. Video is one of the most effective means of minimizing these costs.

Advertising , Marketing  and Promotion

26. Commercials (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, in-game advertising, event sponsorships and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast / cable commercials. A proliferation of video screens cropping up on every building, device and structure will create an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities. The challenge will be to create specialized content targeted to ever- shrinking niche audiences.

27. Viral Video (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
A video is viral if it is so compelling that people want to share it. (Calling a video ‘Viral’ doesn’t make it so). Viral videos have to be extremely engaging, entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful. Unfortunately some of the most successful viral videos have little connection (and therefore value) to any brand. Everyone references ‘Will it Blend’ but very few viral videos are remotely this successful in actually driving sales. Viral video is very difficult to do well.

28. Email Video (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing activities. To be effective the video should be purpose-built to elicit a specific conversion activity such as requesting a demo, more info, etc. E-mail is seeing a resurgence with marketers and embedded video in emails (like gmail supports) or links to video in email is becoming very popular.

29. Infomercials (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Infomercials have been around forever. While they continue to be the primary focus of web-based parody videos they have remained remarkably resilient over time. The shopping channel is, in effect, a 24 hour infomercial. If done well, Infomercials can be very effective at selling certain consumer products.

30.  Content Marketing (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Huge)
This is a broad category that will become very important over the next months and years. Much of the content (video or otherwise) being created today by companies is focused on selling and focused on the brand. Focusing on solving your customers problems first and then associating your brand with those solutions will be increasingly more important and effective. (i.e. Home Depot has developed branded ‘how-to’ series that sits on their website and shows their customers how-to fix various things around the house. ) What knowledge do you have that can help your customers and prospects. People don’t go to your website to see your sales pitch. They go to see if you can solve their problem.

31. Landing pages and micro sites (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Video is beginning to replace or supplement text and graphics as a content element on many corporate websites. Landing pages can offer a more compelling call to action with video. Some micro sites on larger web properties are self contained, purpose-built conversion machines that have the singular purpose of generating a conversion activity (sign-up for more info, attend event, order something etc.). Video is becoming an important part of the conversion process.

32. Interactive Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
The promise of interactive video has been around for years but we’re just starting to see companies build in interactivity into their videos. You can build in calls to action, form fields, multiple scenarios and any number of engaging content that get people to not just passively watch your video but actually gets them to start to interact with your video. Technology will play a huge role in interactive video over the next few years. You can already see the foundations of this with YouTube allowing you to add annotations and links to videos.

33. Branded Entertainment and Sponsored Video (Popularity:Moderate  | Growth Potential:Moderate)
Viral Video in many ways is just branded entertainment. There are many ways companies can benefit from having their names attached to content. In the ’50 the ‘soaps’ were a great way for P&G and other consumer companies to promote their brand. Everyday there is a new format for sponsored video being created for delivery on the web. Many will fail but some will become hugely popular. Associating your brand with the right entertainment and informational content on the web is a very interesting opportunity.

PR Support and Community Relations

34. Video Press Releases (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
The standard four paragraph press release is now being supplemented with video and rich media to tell a more engaging story. Video is now being purpose-built to directly support the important company announcements. The new challenge for press releases is to change the focus from the company to the customer.

35.  PR Support Materials (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)

Make it easy for networks, bloggers, news gathers and others to promote your business and also to talk about your industry. Smart companies are developing video support catalogs of company and industry related materials (b-roll, industry footage, sound bites etc) and offering them to news and business portals. The demand for video is everywhere. If a news agency (online or broadcast) is looking for stock footage to use in a story it might as well be yours. (assuming the story is positive, of course)

36. Community Relations Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
If your company is out working in the community, being good corporate citizens, helping the environment or contributing to important causes you should be capturing those efforts on video. Show the world what you are doing, don’t just talk about it.

37. Corporate Talk Show / Interviews (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Weekly newsletters require a lot of effort and the ‘open’ rate on most of these is quite low. Companies of all sizes are now starting to develop talk-show format video where a host interviews various people (either internal or external to their company) to discuss things that are important to your audience. Think of it as the long tail of interviews where very specific interviews are being delivered to very specific audiences.

38. EPK (electronic press kit)  (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
While EPK’s are still being delivered on DVD, web based video and text are quickly replacing this electronic version of the press kit which became popular in the mid 90′s.

Event Video

39. Event Presentation video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Events represent a unique confluence of expertise and opportunity – often under-leveraged. Trade Shows, meeting and conferences are usually attended by your top sales people, your corporate executives, industry experts and other influential business people. If you are speaking at an event or someone is referencing your company you should be capturing this valuable content on video.

40. Round table Sessions (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Take the opportunity at an event to corral four to six of your best customers and other industry experts, put them in room and video tape them talking about industry trends, business issues and the future of your industry. This content will be the most valuable content you could ever capture.

41. Q&A Expert sessions. (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
There are many opportunities to take specific event participants to the side and take them through informal Q&A sessions on various topics that matter to your customers. This content is valuable lead generation content.

Other Uses of Video

42. Recruitment Videos (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Finding the best employees is the single most important function of any company and yet comparatively small amounts of time and money are allocated to this critical task. Recruitment videos that feature company employees, highlight corporate culture and promote the direction of the company can be very influential.

43. VLOG (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential:Moderate)
There are many levels and types of Vloggers today but for the sake of brevity I will identify two: 1. Pro Vloggers who have engaging styles, rich content and a growing list of followers who promote their vlog on their site and through various syndicated channels and 2. Regular Vloggers who have chosen, for whatever reason, to speak into a camera instead of typing on a keyboard. The problem today is that, unlike onscreen text, you can’t scan a vlog – you have to watch the whole thing to see whether it is worth your time. The other problem is that most people just aren’t that compelling on camera so there is little, to no value of a talking head – and often it’s a distraction. Of course everyone references Gary Vaynerchuck (from Wine Library TV) as the rule (rather than the exception) for video blogging in the same way that everyone references the success of Will It Blend as being what to expect when you launch your first viral video project. For individuals looking to gain notoriety from their passions vlogging can be a good option if you have a good on-camera presence and great content.

44. In Store Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Wal-Mart has its own profitable in-store TV network that makes shoppers aware of new promotions. LCD screens are ubiquitous. In store LCD’s will be networked and customizable offering you the ability to promote your own goods and services or make money by promoting other complimentary services.

45. Company Lobby / Waiting Room Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
HD video screens are popping up everywhere – why not in your lobby or reception where you can get a jump start on first impressions and also take advantage of a captive audience.

46. Mobile Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Huge)
Yep, ‘there’s an Ap for that’. Mobile video will soon be the largest video category outside of broadcast. In the short-run, mobile video will consist of hastily re-purposed video made to fit on a mobile device. It will quickly evolve into a much more specific format – i.e.  five to fifteen second hyper targeted messages that are part of geo-located (‘location aware’) and micro-niched promotions. Adding mobility (true context) to video will generate many new uses and formats for video.

47. Market research, focus groups and polling (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Market research firms are now capturing the anecdotal feedback along with the raw statistics of their research. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video of your customer describing her likes and dislikes of your new product is priceless. Go to YouTube to see how people are describing your products and services.

48. Video White paper (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Video white papers have evolved over the last years from basically a person reading a white paper on camera (what’s the point) to a professional delivery that is accompanied by charts, graphs and other visual references to make the presentation more valuable.

49. Video Magazine (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Some video production companies specialize in helping companies deliver serialized video content to their customers. Like the name implies video content is created on a regular basis (usually monthly) that customers and prospects can view through a subscription service. While it makes sense to apply tradition formats to new technology and ideas, not all ideas transfer as elegantly as others.

50. Customer UCG Campaigns (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential:Moderate)
User Generated Content Campaigns- where customers are encouraged to upload videos showing how they use your products are becoming quite popular. Contests are usually the driver but sometimes just giving customers a forum to express themselves is enough.

51. Behind the Scenes Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential:Low)
Personalize your brand. Open up the cultural veil and let customers and products understand who you are – a group of humans rather than a ‘brand’. Authenticity is important.

Have I left any out? Let me know.

 

Bonus Applications:

52. Projection Mapping. Like everything else related to video, the costs of projecting video is dropping quickly. As a result you are starting to see innovative applications of projected video. Here are some great examples: http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/7676-16-mind-blowing-examples-of-big-brand-projection-mapping?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

Bzaar Vzaar promotional video: Oliver Stone adds drama to corporate video.

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Oliver Stone invents a new video category – ‘corporate video trailer’.

Presumably sporting a Movember ‘mostache,’  Stone plays both investor and pitchman in this recent promotional video for Vzaar – the UK video hosting service that competes with Brightcove and others. It’s sort of strange.

If the video is meant to be campy/funny then I clearly missed the humour. If it’s mean to be important and dramatic then… I missed that too. I really don’t know what to make of this video. It’s well produced, features a celebrity and has a very clear marketing message that is well delivered. It’s just …sort of strange.

It could be the dramatic music, could be Stone’s delivery, it might even be the green-screen overlay of all of the videos in the background that Stone eventually emerges from half way through the video. Something about this video is unsettling and I don’t think ‘unsettling’ is a positive brand attribute, unless you are Marilyn Manson.

I suppose the video does draw attention to itself and that’s a good thing. I’m also impressed that Stone chose to invest in the company – that’s a great endorsement of their offering. I’m just not sure how this video would make me want to use their services.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Video Marketing


7 Habits of Highly Effective Video Marketing

Video is now on every marketer’s to do list. Why? Because web video and rich media engages, persuades and motivates like no other marketing tool. In deference to Mr. Covey I present seven ideas that if done well will help make your next video successful:

1. Tell a good story.
Sure it sounds simple, even trite, but good storytelling is just as important to video marketing and advertising as it is to film making. Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. They make us think. They make us feel. If told well, they inspire us.

At the heart of any good story is an emotional appeal – it may be subtle or it may be dramatic, but without that emotional connection, the story is quickly forgotten.

A good story has some or all of the following attributes:
Good stories don’t appeal to everyone
– your story should be targeted to the people that you are most interested in communicating with. (These are also the people most likely to socialize your story) - if you try to appeal to everyone, you might end up appealing to no one. (B2N)
Good stories resonate
– they are familiar and strike a chord with the audience because they can relate to the story being told. Have you tested your video idea with selected members of  your target  audience before you start production? If not, why not?
Good stories are credible – the story teller, the content and the outcome of the story have to work together and all have to be believable, trusted – your audience can see through the lies (the hype and the exaggeration).
Good stories are usually simple – they can be grand tales or ripping yarns but in the end the best stories have a simple outcome and a simple message. Keep the razzle to a minimum and forget the dazzle.

The goal should always be to create engaging presentations that tell a good story. What’s your story?

2. Show them, don’t tell them.
A video of someone using your product and extolling it’s virtues is far more powerful (and credible) than animated text or a series of photos.  Educators and trainers have long known that the true benefit of video is that it generates much higher retention rates because it engages more than one of the senses at the same time. Retention rates can triple when what you hear is being reinforced by what you see. That doesn’t mean a talking head is necessarily more engaging than an audio podcast or a brochure ‐ you still have to present compelling content that engages your audience.
The ability to show your customers how your product works, how it solves their problems and how it is used by others is where video marketing is unsurpassed as a vehicle to engage and persuade your audience. A page by page walk-through of your software interface may be helpful – but it doesn’t demonstrate to prospects the benefits of your product or how it fits into their processes or business cycles. It’s not about you or your product or service – it’s about how your product or service can help solve your customers problem. Show your customers exactly how your product or service  solves their problem! (this is especially important in the early stages of the buying cycle.)
Video, animation and interactive flash programming can build compelling visual examples of exactly how your products work and why they solve your customers’ problems.
• Testimonials are more compelling when you see and hear a customer talk about their experience with your product.
• Case studies are more engaging when you can actually see how a customer integrates your product in to their process and how your product measurably improves your customer’s bottom line.
• Product demos are far more powerful when you illustrate (i.e. using video or  information graphics ) exactly how your patented process works and benefits your customers.
The power of video and rich media is in its ability to demonstrate the tangible benefits that a product or service can offer.

3. Choose your words very carefully.
There are many important components that go into creating an effective video: Using the right equipment, the proper location, 0n-screen presenters, motion graphics, and music are all critical components to the creation of engaging communications tools. None of these however, are more important than the script (either a formal script or at least speaking points that summarize what should be mentioned in the video.)

Some things to consider when developing a script or on-screen talking points outline:
•Do you understand the key issues affecting your industry?
•What are the top three messages that you have to communicate?
• Are you clearly outlining the benefits that will best resonate with your target audience?
•Are you speaking your customer’s language?

The script is the ‘what’ in the video development process. Everything else is the ‘how’. Far too many corporate videos simply focus on the ‘how’. It is critical that the video development company you engage has expertise in marketing writing and positioning. Style won’t count for much if your message doesn’t resonate with your audience. Deciding on the right thing to say is always more important than how that information is ultimately presented.

Unscripted doesn’t mean unstructured.‘ Spontaneous’,  unscripted videos are becoming more commonplace on the internet as this type of presentation provides a natural tone and authenticity that resonates well with viewers. This doesn’t mean a lot of effort and planning doesn’t go into what questions are asked, how people on-camera respond and how the final product is edited. Even if a formal script is not developed, the business objective, structure and desired outcome of the video should all be considered and coordinated during the pre‐ and post‐production stages. You should never start a video project without knowing EXACTLY what you want the video to communicate.

4. Build‐in Interaction (and ultimately, conversion).
The more interaction you can build into the experience the more engaged the viewer is with your brand. Interest, engagement and interaction should be the goals of web-based video . “Click here to…” is a good start. What do you want the viewer to do when they have finished watching your web video? How deep do you want to take your viewer in
an interactive presentation? Here is a short list of options to include when building your online presentations:
•Click here to find out more about this service
• Click here to read a white paper on this topic
• Click here to watch a related presentation
• Fill out a quick survey to discover if you are qualified for this promotion
• Take a quick poll to see how you stack up in the market
• Click here to have a technical expert answer your questions
• Please help us improve our communications by rating this presentation
• Sign up now for our weekly industry update
Conversion is the goal. Whatever your conversion mechanism is you want your customers and prospects to take the next step.

5. Chose the right format, structure  and style of video.
Abraham Maslow’s quote, ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer – every problem looks like a nail’ applies well to video marketing. The number of web marketing service providers is growing. Many of these specialize in one specific format: ”business animation and information graphics” or ”only photo–based flash presentations.” Some proclaim that their presentation time limit (2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, etc.) is “the right one for the web” or that “their platform is the only way to be truly effective”. Of course none of them are necessarily right… or wrong. Every business problem is unique and there is a multitude of rich media tools and methods to solve your important communications problems. Consider alternative approaches and formats before committing.

The term ‘corporate video’ made sense ten years ago when most corporate videos were the same. Today there are  many different ways (here are 42 examples) you can use video to promote your brand.

6. Consider the only perspective that matters: Your Customer’s.
It’s not about you or your product. There are lots of  companies just like yours and frankly, it’s getting tougher to tell them apart. Posting canned videos of your executives or beauty shots of your facilities to your website won’t move the dial. And unless you are Apple or Victoria’s Secret no one is really that interested in your product. They are only interested in the comfort, status, utility or pleasure that your product conveys. These are the things that you need to be promoting. Like any purpose-built marketing material, your web video  should be developed with a single goal in mind: How do I communicate my companies understanding of, and solutions to, my customers’ problems.

7. Define business objectives (and outcomes) first.
As the use of web‐based video grows in popularity it’s important to remember that video marketing is a means to end, not an end in itself. There are far too many marketing articles that discuss how to get video up on your website without ever mentioning why.
Indeed, a well produced video is one of the most persuasive marketing tools available and building interactive presentations is a great way to engage your audience. But putting an unprepared executive in front of a camera, re-purposing old corporate presentations or having some guys from the mail-room put together a ‘viral’ video won’t bear fruit. Worse yet, bad video is even harder to ignore than bad print material.
Consider the following when planning to implement video on your website:
• At what stage of the buying cycle are you targeting your prospects? I.e. Product presentations (that highlight benefits – the customer’s perspective) are more appropriate during the consideration phase. Product demos (that highlight features – your perspective) are more helpful during the comparison phase.
• Who is your audience? If your answer is “…well, everyone really” you’re probably wasting your money. The vast majority of YouTube viewers are not your audience. There is a considerable difference between ‘views’ and ‘targeted views.’ Creating one broadly focused web video might add value but you should also consider breaking your web video into discreet pieces that speak to specific audiences. Successful marketing always starts with targeting.
• What are the measurable business outcomes? How do you measure success? You should be able to quantify the business value by measuring click‐thru’s, registrations, time spent watching the presentation or some other objective business metric.

7 things you won’t hear from your video production company (even if you should).

All video production is the same right?

Video production is growing in it’s importance as part of the overall corporate marketing mix. With that growth comes specialization, complexity and a host of issues that many video production customers may or may not be aware of.

Here are 7 things that you wouldn’t want to hear from your video production company:

1. “We don’t have general liability or errors and omissions insurance.”
What could possibly go wrong? One of the crew drives over a customer, they forget to get a permission form signed, they use licensed material that you don’t have a license for, a light falls on someone… etc. Chances are things won’t go wrong, but if they do you had better be working with a company that is well insured. Standard insurance coverage for a video production company is $2,000,000 for errors and omissions and general liability.

2. “We do a bit of everything – websites, PR, SEO, graphic design, print, advertising… and video.”
The market will always support a range of generalists and specialists that service the same business audience. That said, a good rule of thumb is that if the number of services offered by a company is greater than the number of employees you might want to consider getting a second quote.

3. “We don’t really understand the web, or social media, or marketing .”
The vast majority of corporate video today is being delivered either exclusively or predominantly on the web. Creating video for the web is not the same as creating video for broadcast, or for entertainment, or for presentation at an event. Viewing behaviors are very different online. You also have to consider delivery platforms, hosting options,  interactivity,  conversion techniques, social media aspects of your video and many other factors that are unique to the web.

4. “We just do corporate video to pay the bills, we’d much rather be doing television.”
Very few people go into video because they want to help businesses sell more products or services (marketing and sales stuff). Film or television is usually the goal, doing corporate work is just what pays the bills. While there are a number of great companies that do both very well, unless your video production company is working under the direction of an ad agency or marketing firm, or they specialize in marketing video you shouldn’t be surprised if your video is wonderfully irrelevant.

5. “We didn’t really focus on business results per se, but we think this video might win an award.”
Creative work is wonderful if it serves a business objective. If it doesn’t you’ve wasted your money. Very few industry awards consider business results in their selection criteria – which is unfortunate because business results are the only thing that matter.

6. “There will  be many different people working on your video project.”
You met the president of the company and his senior team. Are they all going to be working on your project? Every services organization operates with some form of distributed work model. It’s up to you as a client to ensure you get the best people working directly on your video project. If you’re not sure, ask.

7. “We’ve been using the same equipment for the last five years.
Considering that video technology (hardware, software, delivery systems) is changing literally every month it’s hard to imagine any company not taking advantage of so many cost saving and output quality advances in video production.

5 Reasons You Should Post Your Marketing Video on YouTube

Happy Birthday YouTube.

The LA times just posted a recent article that highlights YouTube’s meteoric rise over the last five years.  Google’s $ 1.6 billion purchase of the site in 2006 is still being debated but few people are betting against Google eventually turning YouTube into yet another money making machine.

All hype and controversy aside, YouTube’s numbers are impressive:

85% online video market share in the US
#4 site globally in terms of overall traffic
#2 site globally for search
20 hours of video uploaded every minute
5 Billion video streams a month
#2 time suck behind network television
…etc.

The folks at ReelSEO posted a great article in the fall that compared the options of ‘Hosting’ your video versus ‘Posting’ (placing it on a free hosting site like YouTube) and considered nineteen variables that should influence your decision. Their conclusion: “Unless your business is dependent on monetization of content (you are Hulu), chances are that the odds will be in favour of posting video.

The biggest complaint about YouTube is that it is a big messy sandbox where you can’t control how your video is being presented. That’s true, but it’s important to remember that YouTube is more than just a place to post your video for free – it’s also a marketing platform. Here are five reasons why you should place your marketing video on YouTube (regardless of whether you also host them on your own site):

1. Sharing
Yes, you do lose some control over how your video is presented on YouTube, that’s the down-side of social media – the single biggest issue for companies deciding if and how to engage the great social media experiment. The upside however is huge. YouTube was built for the express purpose of sharing. The reality is that your website isn’t as important as it used to be – it’s no longer the exclusive or final ‘destination’ for all things about your products and your brand. More than ever people are discovering content wherever they happen to be (physically or virtually). You need to create content that is intended to be shared and consumed in many different ways and YouTube is the world’s biggest content bizarre – open 24/7.

2. SEO
Google is prioritizing video in it’s universal search algorithm. Every SEO article I read tells me that Google is explicitly looking for video content. Does Google have a bias toward video on it’s own website? It’s hard to say but you know that Google is certainly aware of it’s own video and is reading the meta data that you have tagged on your YouTube channel. Ideally, if you have a video sitemap on your website with proper mRSS feed Google should be able to find and promote your video as well. Why not do both? As well, you benefit from metatagging your video content on YouTube and linking back to your own website to help improve your site’s pagerank.

3. Content marketing and getting noticed
Content marketing will have the greatest potential to influence your brand in the future. Traditional marketers will argue that it’s a waste of time to place their videos on YouTube because no one is looking for them and no one is going to find them. That’s true. No one is looking for your traditional marketing video because it talks about you and your products and no one cares much about you or your products. If instead, you post a really informative video that solves a specific problem that your customers are facing your video will not only get found, it will get shared. ‘Yes, but we can’t just give stuff away,” you might respond. If you don’t someone else is going to.

4. Reach.
The long tail gets longer every day. YouTube has the greatest reach in the world (thanks to Google). Your audience may be huge or it may be very, very small. It doesn’t matter. There is no more cost effective way to reach your potential audience than on YouTube. Sure, the person typing in “Lolcats” into YouTube is not your customer, but the person typing in “North East Bolivian Pitted Kumquat Ripple Delight” just may be. Your customer may not frequent YouTube but I would bet that someone who knows and is trusted by your customer does.

5. It’s free.
Chris Anderson explains in his new book ‘Free – The Future of a Radical Price’ (a great read btw) that free is the inevitable price for many things online – you just have to figure out something else to charge for. Free doesn’t necessarily mean cheap either. YouTube continues to upgrade it’s service every month with things like better support for HD video, interactivity, metrics, mobile integration (i.e. the only easy way to get video on an iPhone at the moment) etc.

5 Video Lessons from the World’s Best Marketer.,

Coca-Cola has been in business for well over a century and is the most recognized brand and product (Coke) on the planet.

Sure they’ve had some notable missteps along the way such as the introduction of ‘New Coke” in 1985 (or was that a brilliant marketing ploy to reintroduce their flagship product as Coca-Cola ‘Classic’) and they have not necessarily fared well with every new product or business line that they have introduced, but to remain in a leadership position in a commodity business (sugar water) for well over a hundred years – that is absolutely remarkable.

I’ve highlighted below a number of video promotions that the company has developed over the past forty years  to illustrate what I believe makes Coca-Cola the preeminent marketing company on the planet.

Lesson #1. Be Current.

Coke Happiness Machine. Coke’s new promotion, recently developed by Definition 6,  is a very well conceived viral video campaign. Coca-Cola has been a pioneer in social media but it has not ventured far into the world of viral video. (Millions of their past TV ads are shared each year but these ads were not developed with the specific goal of being shared virally – that’s just a side benefit to developing consistently great ads.)  At over a million views and counting this video is certainly a viral hit but numbers alone don’t account for it’s effectiveness. As usual, Coke does many things right in developing this viral promotion. It features the brand prominently in the video without ever appearing to salesy. (Underplaying or not featuring your brand at all begs the question – why did you bother in the first place?) The video has a simple, engaging style without feeling over produced – again an important consideration in the development of viral video. The video is engaging and a little surprising – two key elements to the success of any viral video. And finally, this video has a structure/story that can easily be repeated – new stuff coming out of a machine at a new location (“Where Will Happiness Strike Next?”). A ‘one hit viral wonder’ is great but you will have much more success if you can develop a series of videos that keep a viral video campaign going over period of time. Reach without frequency will not move the needle very far.

Lesson #2. Be Unique

Beautiful. It’s hard to categorize this video although the title certainly does this video justice. I imagine even James Cameron would be impressed with the fanciful world that Coke created to represent what really goes on inside a Coke machine. This ad aired in both 30 and 60 second formats although I think this extended version (90 seconds) serves this video best. Allusions to Willy Wonka and other children’s stories have been made but this video is like no other. The risk in stepping out this far into an imaginary world is that because there is no frame of reference it is far easier to fail than it is to succeed. Because there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ it is more likely that the viewer will respond “what the $@!# was that?” rather than “that was incredible”. Like the recent Evian Babies viral – if you have amazing work representing your brand, you reap great rewards. But if you step out, take a big risk and fail, you fail big.

Lesson # 3. Be Consistent.

Northern Lights. This original Polar Bear ad ran in 1993 and was developed to support the “Always Coca-Cola” campaign. Coca-Cola is one of the most consistent brands on the planet. They consistently create great adverting and they are also consistent in the  promotional themes and styles that they develop. Coke recognized the appeal of this first polar bear ad and  developed an ongoing series of polar bear ads that have run over the last 15 years – usually coinciding with the Christmas season.

Companies have to continually examine their markets and refresh their brand and associate new attributes and meaning to their products to stay current over time.  Coke continues to do this but there is still something to be said for consistency – the fact that they continue to use the comfortable and familiar polar bears to promote the brand. This series of polar bear videos consistently, and ironically, delivers the most engaging human attributes -  innocence and playfulness.

Lesson #4. Be Relevant


I‘d like to teach the world to sing. In 2007, Campaign Magazine called this video “one of the best-loved and most influential ads in TV history.” Created by McCann Erickson in 1971 this video neatly captured a newly emerging global consciousness. The peace generation of the sixties introduced North America to a world beyond war and trade. This video, accompanied by a great song written for the commercial (which later made it all the way to #1 in Britain and #6 on the music charts in the US),  tapped into the zeitgeist of the nation in a way that very few commercials have. Even older generations who otherwise hated the ‘hippy freaks’ found something to like in this love song to the world.

Being relevant is the hardest thing for a company to do. ‘Relevance’ extends beyond the specific attributes of your brand.  Great brands know how to be relevant because they have leadership who are attuned to the fashion, styles, trends and business priorities of the day. Unfortunately there is no rule, or law, or guidance for how to be relevant. Smart media agencies can help show you the way but ultimately it’s the company that makes the decision on how it promotes itself. Your company either has this awareness built into it’s DNA (i.e. Coke, Apple, Nike) or it doesn’t.

Lesson #5 Be Memorable.

Mean Joe Green Being ‘memorable’ is different than being ‘unique’. Unique (different) is good – that means you stand out, but being memorable is more important. Memorable usually (but not always) means simple. One simple but powerful idea that sticks with you for months and years. In this iconic Superbowl ad ‘Mean’ Joe Green shares a moment with a young fan. The point of highlighting this video is to show that videos don’t need to be overly complex to be effective. The simplest idea can be the most powerful if it is delivered in an engaging way. Good story telling is about finding an emotional link that will resonate with an audience. This ad has a universal appeal and is arguably one of the most memorable ads ever developed.

Interestingly, Coke tried a remake of this commercial with Troy Polamalo last year but it just didn’t have the same magic as the original. Yes, even the best marketers don’t always hit home runs. The difference between Coke and most other marketers is that even Coke’s ‘failures’ are pretty good.

Can text compete with video in Pepsi’s Social Marketing Initiative?

When we look back many years from now to identify the seminal event, the watershed moment where video became the dominant media type on the web, this might be it. To be clear, I am not suggesting that text will ever go away, become meaningless or die (although those certainly make good attention getting headlines…) I am referring to the time when we chose video over text as the most effective way of communicating ideas online. Yes, I understand that context is everything so allow me to elaborate.

Pepsi has chosen not to advertise during this year’s Superbowl but instead is launching a $20 million social marketing campaign called The Pepsi Refresh Project. Pepsi is encouraging people to submit ideas for projects that will have a positive impact on their communities. These ideas will be promoted online and everyone will get a chance to vote on which ideas Pepsi should fund. It’s a very smart idea. Everyone wins with this marketing campaign. Not only is Pepsi associating it’s brand with a wonderful initiative it will also drive millions of people to learn about, submit and vote on this Pepsi branded project. The residual benefits to Pepsi of this project will be huge over time. Good for them.

People get to vote every month to chose which new project goes ahead. This is where things get interesting. If you go to the Project Refresh Blog you can watch some nicely produced videos that give people an idea of what a $5,000, $50,000 or $ 250,000 project looks like. Without meaning to Pepsi has already set a potential baseline for submissions. Lower down the page they also have some text summaries of other projects but I would bet that the video’s on that page will be viewed in much greater numbers than the text and photo-based summaries. If you were submitting an idea for a project to this contest how would you present it?

Will anyone bother to read a written submission and if they do, will the written submission be as well recieved as the onscreen voice of an impassioned community leader? Well written proposals stand a greater chance of winning than poorly written proposals, no question. Better quality videos also stand a greater chance of winning over poorly developed videos. Will viewers be able to judge effectively between a well written proposal and a poorly produced video proposal? Hard to say.

I’ll give Pepsi the last word from guidance provided in their Refresh Toolkit PDF: “While a video isn’t required, it’s probably a good way to tell the world about your idea.”

If you’re selling an idea online is video a better choice than text?

GM strikes out on YouTube

What is the marketing brain-trust at Government Motors thinking?

You’ve survived bankruptcy by taking in billions of taxpayers dollars and you are facing the lingering effects of one of the worst recessions in our lifetime – one that could potentially  hollow out a huge portion of this continent’s middle class (the folks that buy most of your cars). You’ve been building mediocre automobiles for years and there is little to show for your investments in innovation. You are now pinning a great deal of your credibility {insert sarcastic comment here}  on a (partly) electric car called the Volt. You need to hit this one waaaaaaay out of the park. What do you do?

Amongst other things you pen a feeble song, you stage a 1960′s style showroom dance promotion, you capture them both on cheaply produced video and throw them up on the YouTube channel you have specifically created to promote your new game-changing car to the masses.

Ouch.

(Kudos to GM for allowing comments on the Volt YouTube channel – that was rather brave)

42 ways to use video to grow your business

video wall


New visual languages, graphic interfaces, rich media content, lower video production costs and shrinking attention spans are changing how businesses communicate. In-house or outsourced, video is becoming a standard delivery medium for marketing and communications activities. Here are some examples:

Customer Reference Videos

1. Video Customer Testimonials (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer (ideally in their own environment) extol the virtues of your products and services or explaining how you helped them achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from fifteen second snippets to a minute and are typically combined with or used to support other marketing material.

2. Video Success Stories (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Similar to a customer testimonial these videos run between one and two minutes and follow an interview format where the person on screen answers questions posed by an interviewer just off-camera. These videos are usually delivered as stand-alone marketing support materials and are often grouped with other customer success stories.

3. Video Case Study (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
A video case study combines customer testimonials with more a more in-depth explanation of how your company’s products and services helped your customer be successful. These case studies usually incorporate two voices – a narrator and the voice of your customer and can run anywhere from two to five minutes. The video structure follows the same “Problem, Solution, Benefit” format found in a printed case study.

4. Man-in-the-street Interviews (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
These videos are typically done to promote events and to build buzz around coming events but can also be employed to capture ‘spontaneous’ responses to targeted questions that help promote your product or service or to help differentiate the benefits of your brand compared to the real or imagined problems associated with your competitors. Soft drink companies, phone companies, fast food companies often use this format in advertising. Sometimes they are genuine. Sometimes they are completely staged. ‘Authenticity’ is becoming a style…

5. Customer Presentations. (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
If one of your customers is presenting at a conference, trade show or event or even in your offices and is talking about your products or services either directly with you or indirectly as part of a larger discussion this may be a perfect opportunity to capture the presentation of video (with permission, of course) to re-purpose on your website and intranet.

Product and Service Promotion

6. Product Presentations (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Product (or service) presentation videos are typically employed early in the buying cycle. Product or service presentations focus on benefits and talk from more from your customer’s perspective. They should speak clearly to how your product solves a specific business, personal or economic problem that your prospect is experiencing. They are used to help your customers and prospects differentiate between the benefits of your products and services to those of your competitors.

7. Product Demonstrations (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Product demos show how your product works and highlight the features that differentiate it from that of your competitors. Software screen captures, a 3D cut-away, or a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works. These videos are typically used to influence a prospect who is relatively far along in the sales cycle. In technology marketing these videos would be targeted at the technical approvers who need to understand how something works. In consumer marketing these would be targeted at buyers of larger ticket items who are further along the sales cycle.

8. Product Reviews (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
The best product reviews are trusted third party reviews. Video reviews can be found anywhere from YouTube to various business portals. To the extent they help you, they should be referenced. You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your own products.

9. Visual Stories (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Quickly rising in popularity, visual stories employ illustrations, animations and motion graphics with a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner.

Corporate Video

10. Corporate Overview (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: moderate)
These videos are the video equivalent of the ‘company brochure’ for small companies – intended to give new visitors to a website a better idea of the company. Corporate overview videos typically company history, key products, executives/owners and other top level business info. As the cost of video production continues to decrease and the popularity of video increases you will start to see these videos being replaced by multiple, more targeted video.

11. Executive Presentations (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Whether you are preparing for a quarterly update, responding to a major event in your industry or making a regularly scheduled presentation there is great value in presenting the “face” and “voice” of your leadership team to all of your constituents.

12. Staff Presentations (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Social media and other Web 2.0 trends have caused companies to reconsider how they communicate with external audiences. Your senior leadership team should not be the first and only consideration to represent your company. It is becoming more imperative to consider showcasing the people that drive the day-to-day operations of your company. Customer service representatives, technical experts and legacy workers are all valuable considerations for this new category of corporate video. Surveys show that there is more trust associated with these employees than with senior management. When you are selling to influencers in organizations (versus economic buyers or decision makers) it is especially important you represent your company with people that your customers and prospects can relate to.

13. Corporate facilities or equipment tour (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Ten years ago corporate facility videos and equipment tours were popular. Down-sizing, off-shoring, outsourcing, a couple of recessions and a hollowing out of North America’s manufacturing base has change the priorities placed on these videos. Uniqueness is key to success here. That said, it’s really not about you any more.

Training  and support video

14. Training (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
Corporate video first gained prominence with training (service, support, sales, personal development etc.) and continues to be one of the best uses of video. Online Video is a cost effective substitute for in-class training. You can also easily integrate video into online training management tools.

15. Overnight expert videos (Sales Support)  (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
If you serve a large geographic area or sell through channels then it is well worth the effort to put together short ‘overnight expert’ sales support videos that highlight the key selling points, features, benefits, objection handling and follow-up issues to consider by your direct or channel sales force.

16. Just-in-time learning (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Contextual training videos are becoming very popular on the web. ‘How-to’ videos, video manuals, on-site video reference, quick assembly demos, and other types of video are being used to supplement or replace traditional training. Mobile video will increase the popularity of this type of video.

17. Post sale support and maintenance videos (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
No one reads manuals. You can save thousands of dollars of post sale support by creating informative assembly, installation and maintenance videos for your products and services.

Internal Communications

18. Internal Communications (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
In larger companies few people have the time or interest to understand what other groups or functions within the company do or even why they exist. Internal videos that highlight business plans, new business activities and achievements can improve knowledge transfer and lead to more effective communications. They are also a great way to show off your local hero’s.

19. Event/Conference and Trade Show Communications. (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Most companies spend a disproportionate amount of their marketing budget on attending and participating in a variety of industry events and yet only a very small percentage of employees ever benefit from these activities. Share the knowledge gained at these events by capturing the presentation, demos, interviews, commentaries etc. on video.

20. Employee orientation (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Once your new recruits are on board employee orientation videos are a great way to get new staff up to speed. Company history, structure, procedures, policies and codes of behavior can all be communicated effectively with video.

21. Health, Legal & Safety (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
The cost of dealing with health and safety related issues within organizations continues to grow. Video is one of the most effective means of minimizing these costs.

Advertising , marketing  and promotion

22. Commercials (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, in-game advertising, event sponsorships and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast / cable commercials. A proliferation of video screens cropping up on every building, device and structure will create an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities. The challenge will be to create specialized content targeted to an ever shrinking niche audience.

23. Viral Video (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
A video is viral if it is so compelling that people want to share it. (Calling a video ‘Viral’ doesn’t make it so). Viral videos have to be extremely engaging, entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful. Unfortunately some of the most successful viral videos have little connection (and therefore value) to any brand. (Everyone references ‘Will it Blend’ but very few viral videos are remotely this successful in actually driving sales.)

24. Email Video (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing activities. To be effective the video should be purpose-built to elicit a specific conversion activity such as requesting a demo, more info etc.

25. Infomercials (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Infomercials have been around forever. While they continue to be the primary focus of web-based parody videos they have remained remarkably resilient over time. The shopping channel is, in effect, a 24 hour infomercial. If done well, Infomercials can be very effective at selling certain consumer products.

26.  Content Marketing (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Huge)
This is a broad category that will become very important over the next months and years. Much of the content (video or otherwise) being creating today by companies is focused on selling. Focusing on solving your customers problems first and then associating your brand with those solutions will be increasingly more important and effective. (i.e. Home Depot could create a branded ‘how-to’ series that sits on their website and shows their customers how-to fix anything. They would, or course, reference tools and supplies available in their store but more importantly, they would generate tremendous value for their customers and prospects – value that would accrue to them over time.)

27. Landing pages and micro sites (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Video is beginning to replace or supplement text and graphics as a content element on many corporate websites. Landing pages can offer a more compelling call to action with video. Some micro sites on larger web properties are self contained, purpose-built conversion machines that have the singular purpose of generating a conversion activity (sign-up for more info, attend event, order something etc.). Video is becoming an important part of the conversion process.

PR Support and Community Relations

28. Video Press Releases (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
The standard four paragraph press release is now being supplemented with video and rich media to tell a more engaging story. Video is now being purpose-built to directly support the important company announcements. The new challenge for press releases is to change the focus from the company to the customer.

29.  PR Support Materials (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)

Make it easy for networks, bloggers, news gathers and others to promote your business and also to talk about your industry. Smart companies are developing video support catalogues of company and industry related materials (b-roll, industry footage, sound bites etc) and offering them to news and business portals. The demand for video is everywhere. If a news agency (online or broadcast) is looking for stock footage to use in a story it might as well be yours. (assuming the story is positive, of course)

30. Community Relations Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
If your company is out working in the community, being good corporate citizens, helping the environment or contributing to important causes you should be capturing those efforts on video. Show the world what you are doing, don’t just talk about it.

Event Video

31. Event Presentation video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Events represent a unique confluence of expertise and opportunity – often under-leveraged. Trade Shows, meeting and conferences are usually attended by your top sales people, your corporate executives, industry experts and other influential business people. If you are speaking at an event or someone is referencing your company you should be capturing this valuable content on video.

32. Round table Sessions (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Take the opportunity at an event to corral four to six of your best customers and other industry experts, put them in room and video tape them talking about industry trends, business issues and the future of your industry. This content will be the most valuable content you could ever capture.

33. Q&A Expert sessions. (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
There are many opportunities to take specific event participants to the side and take them through informal Q&A sessions on various topics that matter to your customers. This content is valuable lead generation content.

Other Uses of Video

34. Recruitment Videos (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Finding the best employees is the single most important function of any company and yet comparatively small amounts of time and money are allocated to this critical task. Recruitment videos that feature company employees, highlight corporate culture and promote the direction of the company can be very influential.

35. VLOG (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential:Moderate)
There are many levels  and types of Vloggers today but for the sake of brevity I will identify two: 1. Pro Vloggers who have engaging styles, rich content and a growing list of followers who promote their vlog on their site and through various syndicated channels and 2. Regular Vloggers who have chosen, for whatever reason, to speak into a camera instead of typing on a keyboard. The problem today is that, unlike onscreen text, you can’t scan a vlog – you sort have to watch the whole thing to see whether it is worth your time. The other problem is that most people just aren’t that compelling on camera so there is little, to no value of a talking head – and often it’s a distraction. Of course everyone references Gary Vaynerchuck (from Wine Library TV) as the rule (rather than the exception) for video blogging in the same way that everyone references the success of Will It Blend as being what to expect when you launch your first viral video project. For individuals looking to gain notoriety from their passions vlogging can be a good option if you have a good on-camera presence and great content.

36. In Store Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Wal-Mart has its own profitable in-store TV network that makes shoppers aware of new promotions. LCD screens are ubiquitous. In store LCD’s will be networked and customizable offering you the ability to promote your own goods and services or make money by promoting other complimentary services.

37. Company Lobby / Waiting Room Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
HD video screens are popping up everywhere – why not in your lobby or reception where you can get a jump start on first impressions and also take advantage of a captive audience.

38. Mobile Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Huge)
Yep, ‘there’s and Ap for that’. Mobile video will soon be the largest video category outside of broadcast. In the short-run, mobile video will consist of hastily re-purposed video made to fit on a mobile device. It will quickly evolve into a much more specific format – five to fifteen second hyper targeted messages that are part of geo-located and micro-niched promotions.

39. Market research, focus groups and polling (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
Market research firms are now capturing the anecdotal feedback along with the raw statistics of their research. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video of your customer describing her likes and dislikes of your new product is priceless. Go to YouTube to see how people are describing your products and services.

40. Website FAQ Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Moderate)
In certain formats video can be a suitable replacement for text where an authoritative voice, support materials or other visual references are required. A list of FAQ’s answered by a company expert is an example.

41. Video White paper (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Video white papers have evolved over the last years from basically a person reading a white paper on camera (what’s the point) to a professional delivery that is accompanied by charts, graphs and other visual references to make the presentation more valuable.

42. Video Magazine (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Low)
Some video production companies specialize in helping companies deliver serialized video content to their customers. Like the name implies video content is created on a regular basis (usually monthly) that customers and prospects can view through a subscription service.

Have I left any out? Let me know.