by Terry Green
If you’re one of the 25 million people who enjoyed watching the “Wedding Entrance Dance” on YouTube a summer or two ago, you are familiar with the concept of viral videos. In less than six weeks, Jill and Kevin’s wedding entrance had been viewed online over 25 million times. Spoofs of the video, such as the “JK Divorce Entrance” video have also gone viral, attracting over six million views. No doubt, viral videos can attract a lot of attention and drive traffic to your Web site. However, viral videos are like winning the lottery: most of us won’t get the jackpot. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t produce online videos. In fact, online videos deliver many benefits, even if they do not go viral. Your online videos may not have your customers dancing down the aisles, but they will deliver the following key rewards:
- Another medium for your message – Marketers understand that different mediums are appropriate for relaying different types of information. For example, you may be using several channels to deliver information online such as websites, blogging, Twitter and Facebook. Online videos provide you with yet another medium for delivering information. If you are not using online videos as part of your larger marketing strategy, you could be overlooking an entire segment of potential customers.
- Brand building – Online videos allow customers to get to know you better. While brochures and websites allow a customer to read about your company, an online video brings your company to life. Viewers can see and hear the people who make up your company. These videos can build your brand as well as your company culture. Customers and employees alike enjoy the personal touch that online videos convey.
- Improved search visibility – Online videos can be an important part of your search engine optimization strategy by providing additional organic links on the search engine results page under the videos heading, thus driving more traffic to your website.
Producing online videos isn’t as difficult as you may think. They do not need to be full length productions, but rather short, informational pieces. While production values are important, you do not need to spend months planning, shooting, and editing. Produce a series of short videos and enjoy the ongoing benefits of each one. Once each video is posted on your site, it will continue drawing traffic to it. And, like a lottery, the more tickets you have, the greater your chances of hitting the jackpot.
As you consider jumping into marketing with online videos, realize that the chances of your videos going viral are slim. Instead of hoping to go viral (or worse, not using online videos at all), keep your eye on the real prizes: improved communication, the chance to continue building your brand, and improved search visibility.