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Captivating Audiences with Breakthrough Social Video
The distinction between corporate web presentation and consumer-driven online content is narrowing. Corporations have gone as far as imitating the candid home-made video style hoping to recreate the viral success seen by funny pets and cute babies candidly caught on cam.
Does this strategy work– or does it generate more buzz for faking a viral video? In the case of Pepsi who staged soccer star, David Beckham, for a video they hoped would go viral, they generated a lot more interest in whether the the footage captured was authentic rather than the actual product placement of the Pepsi can in the shots. Their ad made headlines alright—namely ‘Pepsi Shows Us The Wrong Way To Fake A Viral Video’ [source cited].
No other time in history has corporate communications shared a competitive publishing marketplace with that guy next door whose popular podcast is shot by an $80 webcam. You don’t have to be an expert to make video for the web; virtually anyone with credit card access can sign up to take a DIY video training class online these days. Without question, the stark contrast between corporate and amateur-produced content on the web is graying. Social Media is to thank for this phenomenon, which is great because it levels the playing field making it so that the best content wins. Big production budgets don’t garner any insurance that your video rules—the viewer community does. So how do you produce corporate marketing videos that break through the competing amateur noise to reach captivate audiences and initiate a viral outbreak? Here’s how:
Rule #1 Keep the Content a’ Coming
It’s 2011; time to pencil in “Produce Video” on your marketing calendar. Whether you employ video for corporate intercommunications or brand storytelling, producing content should become a part of your communications operation. Nothing builds an engaged audience like something more to look forward to from your brand’s series. Create segments that tell your organizations story. Instead of publishing a newsletter, record your appreciation for your vendors and clients with a segment on ‘thank you’ stories. Engage an audience in what’s happening inside your organization acknowledging outstanding employees, announcing job openings and presenting corporate announcements.
Expose the “making of” employees with the most tenure/promotions; showcase what’s producing company change and growth, your organization’s community outreach, and your corporate culture. Involve everyone in your company; each member of your organization has valuable input and a unique perspective invaluable to your business– even if your board members or investors are the only audience privy to these insights, document these topics. Organize your segment topics, create your content, book your shoots, and produce, produce, produce!
Rule # 2 Keep it Reel Short
You’ve only got a few moments hook your audience. To create an impression that will influence the viewer’s experience with your video, keep it short and spot on. Shorter videos typically earn more views, feedback and share clicks. With a feel-good presentation and authentic humor, you can lock audiences longer for demonstration, training and outreach content. Be sure to plant your hook deep in the beginning and pay it off in the wrap up with teasers about what your viewers can look forward to seeing next.
Rule # 3 Focusing on the Topic
Interviews are a great way to introduce a topic but good eye contact keeps your viewers focused on the information being introduced. Represent authenticity and create interest by introducing topics eye to eye with your audience.
Rule # 4 Encourage Your Audience
The right audience wants to interact. View duration, comments and share clicks reveal that you’re reaching the right audience and as to whether the content is influential. Initiate interaction by asking for feedback with a question inside the content of your production. Invite your viewers to share what they have to say about your content rather than asking them to promote your content for you. Video responses are a great way to involve your audience in the process, too.
Rule # 5 Quality vs. Quantity
Ultimately, the production quality of your content is worth much more in the long run than the quantity of videos you produce. Likewise, the feedback, viewership growth, and increase in interaction is worth much more than the number of views your content generates. The two most important factors to amplify your production quality is choosing the right camera format for shooting and optimizing playback format for web and mobile viewing.
Youtube has plans to get even more like classic television by featuring designated channels for all genres of original content. Other competing mediums are soon to follow suit and create an even more competitive social market place. What’s your game plan for capitalizing on the social video revolution?