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In a 2012 report released by comScore, it should come to no surprise to marketers that Canadians still top the list for the number of videos viewed per user – 271 videos/month is the latest tally. Total online video viewership is up 58% in the Canadian market year-over-year. Clearly, Canadians love online video. With these kind of statistics perennially flowing in from research sources, marketers focused on Canadian audiences must improve their online video strategies and tactics.

It All Begins With Content: So where to start? It all begins with content. That is, decide what type of video you want to create. The fact is, most videos watched on the Internet falls into the category of entertainment, which can often be summed up with titles like “Funny Pet Tricks” and the like created by amateur videographers. Even so, there can be a large audience eager to view your business-oriented videos if you approach the medium with authenticity and engaging content.

blue-video-icon-300x297Marketing Objectives: Consider that branding and awareness is your prime marketing objective with online video, with content falling into one of the following categories: education, humour, and/or information/news. In my experience, humour usually wins out online, and if it works for your audience, could be the approach you are looking for. But unless you are a beer company or trying to appeal to a youth market, it may not be feasible to go this route.

The Host Approach: comScore cites a 185% increase in Canadians seeking out news/information type video content in 2012. Education/information based-videos can work for many organizations. The trick is to avoid boring and dry videos. This can be accomplished by introducing the foil of a fun or quirky host who can introduce and explain your product or service through their entertaining lens. This host-approach can be enhanced by giving viewers insight into your product or service that is not normally seen–such as behind the scenes tours, product production that showcases quality construction, etc. This approach can give your video content an element of authenticity that is extremely valuable, all within an engaging host-foil.

Customer Participation: Get your customers to create the video content. Perhaps this comes in the form of testimonials or product/service experiences. This ‘word-of-mouth’ approach can work well because the content is coming from a third-party source that, again, your audience will see as authentic and valuable. Remember to give your customers an incentive of going through the trouble of creating videos about your product/service. Perhaps this is a contest, or a VIP experience.

Non-Traditional Partnerships: Consider showcasing your product or service through a non-traditional video partnership. This approach can take many forms, but it always places your product or service in situations where you are leveraging the power of another brand. This can be very powerful and also cost-effective, as you are sharing video production costs with your non-traditional partner.

Introduce A Sales Funnel: This is important. Your online videos must include a direct or indirect sales message. After all, you are a business with a need to sell your product or service. Do this by encouraging your video audience to connect further on social media to participate in contests or discounts, with the ultimate goal of list-collection. Video sharing sites enable this messaging to occur in many ways, most notably through the text areas associated with your video, and through embedded video links pointing to your website or Facebook page.

Go ahead, put some of your online marketing budget towards online video creation this year. Ensure your primary metrics/goals are oriented towards awareness & branding. Incorporate contests or discounts with the video strategy to encourage viewers a step further down the sales funnel. Remember, this is a visual medium. Use that to your advantage and take the time to make your service or product ‘pop’ on camera. There are long-term benefits to this approach where video views can reach thousands of eyeballs over the course of time.

NEXT UP: Give me some exposure! Video tagging and seeding your content to video-sharing sites.

Source: comScore: 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus

Chris Lamb

Chris Lamb

Chris Lamb is the president of Clickside Digital Communications, Inc. an Internet marketing agency & consultancy helping organizations meet their business-goals online. Clickside is based in Calgary, Canada.
Chris Lamb