Strong brand association is one of the most powerful marketing advantages a business can have. Beyond just brand awareness, effective brand association in a given market creates links between those little neurons that lead to something much bigger than awareness: emotion. If our brains reflexively take us to a place of sophistication and superior engineering when we see the letters BMW sitting together, then the BMW brand has achieved a remarkable feat.
While it’s easy to see the importance of positive brand association, it’s not often a primary concern among small businesses. There’s a common assumption that more involved branding pursuits are something only corporate giants need to spend time and resources on, and that smaller businesses don’t have access to the channels that build strong brand associations.
Certainly, a small business is going to have a tough time launching a national cross-platform marketing blitz with a celebrity spokesperson. This doesn’t mean that brand association isn’t possible on a smaller scale. There are a number of cost-efficient channels to help businesses achieve this on a limited budget; of these channels, video has emerged as one of the most effective.
The Power (and Risks) of Video
Due to evolving shooting and editing technology, the cost barrier to entry in video production is lower than ever. This is significant, given video’s ability to quickly establish a strong, memorable, multidimensional personality with viewers. Now, not every marketing video is a guarantee of successful branding association. In fact, a hastily produced video can easily do more damage to your brand than good.
For this reason, it’s always a smart move to hire a professional video production service to ensure you’re getting a high level of quality. Some services specialize in helping you with the branding during preproduction with messaging help and aesthetic recommendations. A good editor can help make a rough series of shots more cohesive and polished, but they’re not magicians; you need a good foundation of usable content to begin with. By hiring a professional from the start, you’ll have a much better chance of creating strong brand association through video.
How Brand Associations are Established with Video
On top of the branding considerations that already go into your marketing channels, you’re introducing several additional variables into the mix when you set out to produce a video, including:
While it may not seem like it, these are all critical details when creating the overall effect that builds brand association—and this is by no means an exhaustive list. With each stylistic decision, you need to ask yourself: How does this fit in with the overall fabric of my brand? When I put them all together, what types of thoughts and feelings can I expect to be triggered among my customers? Is this consistent with the brand association I want to create for my business?
By keeping sight of the larger brand and marketing strategy during the video production process, you’ll ensure that the decisions you make along the way aren’t misguided. Once the piece has been shot, edited, and the finished product is in good shape, it’s time for the next step: promoting your video.
Content marketing is undergoing massive growth right now and we’re seeing a revolution take place across all aspects of online marketing. Here at Distilled, we believe every business can leverage great content through video.
So, when it comes to generating ideas, it’s typically best to start by finding the “content gaps” in your web presence, which should be pretty identifiable. Typically this need for content within a certain area can be worked out by the needs and wants of your audience vs the knowledge, expertise and Unique Selling Points that you have within your organisation.
OK, have a think about your own companies content gap; got an idea of what you want to produce? It’s at this point where you now need to work out whether or not your idea is going to be best served in video form or by another media type. Sometimes you might start the creative process with the idea of a video or blog post, only to later decide that actually a different form may be the most appropriate method of communication for your story.
Ask yourself – Would this content lose something if it were just text and image?
First things first: work out what you want to achieve
The next step in creating your video is to work out what you want to achieve. Three of the main marketing values you can improve by using video:
If you think you’d like your video to work to improve a number of these values then you should probably also start to think about whether it would be better to split your goals and target each individually with a different kind of video. After all, it’s these decisions that help you figure out the right technical implementation for your video and the key performance indicators with which you will measure its success.
Next up: developing your idea
Work out the style and type of your video organically by looking at the main objectives that you want to achieve. Let’s take a look at what those could look like for each of the three possible goals mentioned above:
1. Improving your user awareness
How are you going to make your video interesting for your audience? In this case, your content needs to be thought-provoking, provide useful information or creative value. An awesome example of this is the SEOmoz whiteboard Friday series; a weekly release from the folks over at SEOmoz, where short-form actionable tips are given out by a speaker in front of a whiteboard. These ideas are presented point by point serving up some insightful tips as well as acting as a great starting point for debate and discussion within their loyal moz community.
2. Building your brand awareness
To build on your brand awareness, you either need to create a fantastic and engaging “ad” for your company and service or excel over the social channels with your quality content. Work to build out some creative pieces that will generate buzz as well as offering creative value to your target community. For more advertorial pieces, interviews with members of staff work well to improve brand trust, especially if you’re a new organisation without a strong identity. Huddle’s video talk through their tools and brand is a perfect example of how to express brand identity and convince potential customers of a USP.
Looking towards Search Engine Optimisation
a) Conversions and/or Rich Snippets
By using a product video model, you can often work to improve your online conversions. These videos are created specifically for a site’s landing page to help users with their decisions when it comes to taking the next step in your conversion funnel. Working with a video host platform, like the good folks at Vzaar, means you can provide your user with a positive experience when it comes to watching your brand videos. Not only that but maybe even an exclusive look into new content and material using their password protected features. We used Vzaar to host our most recent Smarter Online Marketing video, here at Distilled.
And look at the results…
By adding the SearchLove trailer onto the Distilled Events page allowed us to get a video rich snippet result and jump from fifth to third in the Google rankings for the term “SEO Conference” in the UK. This increased our organic search traffic for this term by 32% month on month. – Tom Neville, Product Owner
b) Building Links
More than any other goal with creating video, building video for links means that the content must be absolutely exceptional. People don’t embed mediocre videos. If someone embeds a video on their site – it has to be because they want their readers to, for an instance at least, step away from their own content and spend time watching yours.
However, exceptional does not necessarily mean exciting or flashy. People will link to and embed useful resources as much as they will beautiful imagery. Take a look at this video infographic discussing the nature and potential threats linked to Stuxnet, the first weapon made entirely out of code.
c) Presence on Video Search Engines
Head onto YouTube or Vimeo and you’ll see that most people will be happy to engage with everything from answers on informational queries to pictures of cute cats – but, no matter what the style of the content, successful videos should always do one of the following:
Entertaining videos normally offer one or a combination of the following elements: humour, visual aesthetic appeal or an impressive display of skill. Humorous videos usually keep to a simple structure, following either a repeated gag in numerous different circumstances, or follow a traditional aural joke structure with a narrative build-up to a single punch-line.
Videos that instruct can come in the form of tutorials, tips, lectures or visual guides, while those that provide useful or interesting information exist to serve a particular community or interest group. A great example of this is WordPress Guide for Small Businesses by Simply Business that talks you through setting up a WordPress account for your site in easy to follow and clearly directive steps.
Still not sure if video is for you or your brand? Want to know more about how to successfully integrate video into your marketing plan? Why not find out more with the Distilled Guide to Online Video Marketing over on our training page.
Apple is going to release iOS 5, the latest version of their mobile operating system, for iPads the iPhones 3GS & iPhone4 and 3rd+ Generation iPod Touches (as well as any new hardware Apple announces this year). Your vzaar embed code generated before September 28th 2011, will not playback video on devices with the new operating system. To ensure full compatibility with iOS 5 you need to update the video embed code that you are currently using.
We have created a comprehensive help document to show you what has changed in the embed code and how you should replace the old embed code with the new.
Below are answers to some of the questions we expect you to have:
Why has this issue occurred?
Apple has made a change to their mobile operating system so we have altered the embed code to ensure full compatibility.
Why can’t vzaar make a change to its server to ensure iOS 5 compatibility?
We have looked into this but due to the technical nature of Apple’s change, it is not possible to address this issue from the server side.
I want playback on iOS 5 devices (iPhones & iPads) what should I do?
You need to replace the embed code on your sites for any videos embedded before Wednesday 20th September 2011 with the new embed code with either the HTML5 style embed code or the new IFRAME embed code to enable your videos to playback on iPhones and iPads running iOS 5.
What are the embed code options?
You now have a choice between the standard HTML5 style embed code that you’ve been using up until now, or a new IFRAME embed code. Read more here to find out what option is right for you.
How do I do this?
Login to your vzaar account and go to your video page to get your embed code. Replace the embed code on your site with this new embed code.
When should I replace the embed code on my website?
We suggest that you start changing your embed code as soon as possible so that when the update occurs your videos will playback.
Where can I find the new embed code?
All the embed codes on vzaar have now been updated. The new embed code is located in the same place on your video page. See here for further information on where to find your embed code.
Do I need to re-upload my videos?
You do not need to re-upload your videos.
What is iOS 5 and what devices does it run on?
iOS 5 is Apple’s next release of their mobile operating system. This will run on the iPad, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3rd & 4th Generations and any devices announced this year.
When is iOS 5 going to be released?
Apple have not specified the release date but we believe this will happen in October 2011.
I have more questions?…
If you have further questions or would like to speak to a member of our support team please contact us. Our contact information can be found here.
This is a guest post from Melissa Campbell, Content Manager at Distilled, who recently launched a video store selling access to recordings of their popular SEO conferences. The video store is powered by the vzaar video platform.
In a world where people are increasingly turning to the internet to learn new things, companies are somewhat hesitant to join in the conversation. This might be a mistake, however, as sharing knowledge can give companies much more than it risks.
Sharing knowledge helps make your company better at what it does, helps give you competitive advantage as your competitors try to catch up to your knowledge, helps increase your profile amongst your customer base and, after all of that, helps you win the internet.
Don’t believe me? Well…
It’s fairly well known that teaching other people something helps reinforce it in our minds. That’s (one of the reasons) why teachers have the students who finished their work help those who haven’t. The extra engagement with the subject helps in the information wedge itself in our brains.
So when you research a topic, then write a blog post or record a screencast about it, you’re reinforcing the information you researched. Just by thinking about explaining it differently, you’ve ingrained that knowledge in yourself.
This also applies when you have conversations in blog comments or on Twitter or Facebook. Chris Anderson, curator of the TED Conference, gave a really inspirational TED Talk explaining how videos in particular are perfectly positioned to help us share knowledge and collaborate in unprecedented ways.
Importantly for businesses, though, Chris shows how international collaboration fuels what he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation. As he describes it, the internet allows people to see what the best in a particular field are doing something, and they will emulate, then try to top, that. It’s that cycle that drives the innovation in the field.
As you learn more, you’ll do more interesting things.
Once you’ve started ingraining all the new knowledge you’ve acquired, you can expand your business in ways you won’t have expected. You can start producing content using new media, like videos, interactive infographics and white papers. You can speak at more and bigger conferences to raise your profile even further. As your profile continues to rise, you can become the go-to expert for news media, which makes you even more visible to potential clients and customers.
When Distilled was started five years ago, the MDs were starting a web development company. But as they shared their knowledge with other companies, they learned that SEO was the area they wanted to be in. Then, as they started building up their reputation as a company, they were able to grow quickly and expand their client base and their staff.
These days, we have offices in London, New York and Seattle, we run internationally renowned conferences, and we’ve even started selling videos, all because our founders started off their sharing knowledge to build up the company’s reputation.
For example, in 2000, Goldcorp released their geological data online, challenging people online to find gold ores and refine the mining process. People from around the world took the challenge and found the Red Lake mind, one of the richest gold mines in the world, and they found ways to make mining cheaper and easier, quickly making Goldcorp the third largest gold producer in the world.
It doesn’t actually matter if your competitors learn some things here and there from you.
Thinking of it one way, your job will always be too technical or time consuming (or inconvenient or boring or whatever) for others to do, so it doesn’t matter if you share your knowledge.
If your computer froze, you could go online and learn how to fix it yourself. But most people will still opt to take it to a computer store to have it repaired. They want to be sure it’s fixed right the first time, they don’t have the time to sit around and figure out how to do it themselves, or it just seems like it’s too hard. There are a multitude of reasons why companies like Geek Squad still exist and even thrive today.
The important thing is that people will be able to see from a quick internet search that you really do know what you’re talking about. By putting step-by-step how-to videos of how to repair a transmission online, you are giving some people the opportunity to not pay you for your car repair expertise. But those people probably wouldn’t have paid for your expertise anyway. What you’re really doing is showing all those people who don’t have the time or aren’t willing to do it themselves that you not only know what you’re doing, but you’re willing to use laymen’s language to explain what you’re doing. Which will really mark you out in an industry that often seems to purposefully obfuscate their explanations to confuse patrons.
Thinking of it another way, you will have a particular competitive advantage by sharing your knowledge. You will not only start the Crowd Accelerated Innovation mentioned above, but you will also get a head start on your competitors if you are careful about what you do – and don’t – release.
Recently, Novartis released all the raw data from its Type-II diabetes research – not their findings or anything, just the raw data. They knew the research revealed too many promising leads for one lab to follow up on, so they shared what they found with the world. Since they didn’t share their conclusions, only the data, Novartis still have the advantage of years of analysis, and when other researchers make breakthroughs, they are more likely to return to Novartis with that information, giving them even more advantage over their competitors.
Essentially, the research labs will get access to a huge amount of data which they can use to further their own research, whilst Novartis will hedge their R&D risks by getting the best people in the world to research all the potential leads their data reveal. Beyond that, Novartis have at least a two-year head start on their competitors when it comes to actually developing treatments based on the research.
So we’ve shown how sharing your knowledge can make your company smarter, give you a competitive advantage and make you more visible and memorable to the people who pay you to do what you do. But we haven’t quite explained how that wins the internet.
Well, as you share your knowledge and do more interesting things, you will get coverage in industry blogs, forums and sites, and you will feature in certain sections on mainstream news sites. This will give you a massive amount of exposure to industry insiders and potential clients. It will also put you in the forefront of journalists’ minds, making you a go-to expert, which will increase the exposure you get.
And as these sites, blogs and forums write about your site, they will also link to your site. As you become a go-to expert for news media, you can get links from those incredibly authoritative sites. Even if you don’t become a go-to expert, when news sites cover your inventive approach to your company’s knowledge, they will still give you invaluable links.
And the more links you get from authoritative or relevant sites, the more search engines see your site as a great result for certain search phrases. And as we all know, the higher you rank for a search query, the more people will click through to your site.
And that, friends, is how you win the internet.
Please Note: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily that of vzaar.com.
Powered by Twitter Tools