People watch video online and are more likely to buy. That is a great and promising statistic. The question now should be how we convince the other 48% that they should also buy. Are companies losing out on revenue because of the quality of their online video content?
In PART I of this series, we began discussing the current online user’s demand for online video. In short, they want content that is produced very similarly to the television and cinema content they are familiar with. But how do we get there? What does quality really mean for a viewer?
Before we discuss the visual quality of online video, we need to consider content. How many times have we watched a movie and thought how amazing it looked, but the plot was just bland and cliché? Yet, movies that clearly were made long ago with limits compared to today’s standard still hold up well. Quality content goes beyond just looking great.
The following are some points on how to increase the quality of your video’s content, beginning with perhaps the most important aspect, efficiency.
Online video generally doesn’t need to fit within a specified timeframe. The idea that “shorter is better” is no longer accurate. It’s not inaccurate either, but it is a sweeping statement that doesn’t take context into consideration. Shorter as an absolute value was more appropriate when the majority of people didn’t have broadband. Today, we should replace the term “short” with “efficient”. And this is critically important, because we can create quality with efficiency and accuracy.
Users expect video length to be exactly sufficient for the content, not longer, not shorter. For example, if one is a medical provider and there is a need to explain the intricate details of a procedure or device to a patient, a video may need to be several minutes in length. This makes sense, and adds additional value because the details have been relayed and the viewer knows it. A thirty-second piece would frustrate a viewer because the content would be too trivial. If one is trying to explain how to refill a ballpoint pen, then several minutes may be far too long, especially if the real content is only available in the last portion of the piece. The chances of losing a viewer are high when they are frustrated by a lack of upfront content.
Traditional advertising language is not always your best bet when it comes to online video. While it’s true that speaking to one’s strengths is better than the alternative, it’s exceedingly easy to overplay one’s hand online. Traditional ad speak can become transient and meaningless. Don’t be satisfied with making a moving version of a print ad. Don’t use copious amounts of bullet points and call that good.
Viewers are looking for accurate details, not sales pitches. The traditional 30-second TV ad language and timing doesn’t work nearly as well online as it does during a TV commercial break. One must absolutely convey an authentic message. That can either be within the tone of the video, or the content itself.
Create quality with rich, accurate details and an authentic voice.
A video campaign should support a brand. If one’s brand is fun-loving, kitschy or silly, maintain that. Make sure it is accurate, detailed and efficient.
Video can be used to break free of the stoic brand identity of some companies, and can be a vehicle to show the lighter or more human side of that brand. However, companies should never allow video to become something that undermines a brand. That presentation may be a fine line, and has almost everything to do with context of video placement.
If possible, tell a story. Better yet, create a longer term story with a series of videos. The series need not be fictional, but it can be. Think in terms of “Creative Non- Fiction”. Think about the audience and what they might respond to. Consider the types of television the audience is currently watching and what similarities can be created between your content and the content they are already loving. Don’t just copy somebody else’s work, but draw inspiration from the familiar.
Discover what your stakeholders need and fill that need via quality online video.
It’s not rocket science. We already know what media people like best. You and your strategic video partner need to determine what your stakeholders, customers, and potential customers need and want, and then create your online video presence around those discoveries.
Being mindful of the above, you are far more likely to gain increasing returns on your investment.
In Part III, we’ll discuss visual quality and production value. While content is always king, the way in which you produce your video says something about you. Use this to your advantage. We’ll talk about how next time.
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////Transport is a creative agency that focuses on strategically–crafted online video media for brands and products. We are a team of designers, filmmakers, and strategists…multi-faceted and enthusiastic creators of moving images and brand messaging. We believe strongly in the power of online video to transform the way people learn about brands and products. We focus on creating efficiently-crafted, authentic product and brand messaging that connects companies directly to their clients and customers.