If the Internet is an ocean, video keeps the currents flowing.
Although the Web has more text content than you can shake a stick at, video is also an online empire.
Statistics show as much. Cisco reports that by 2018, video traffic will be 79 percent of consumer Internet traffic—a 13-point increase from just five years earlier.
For brands to exist online, video is essential. The challenge is to identify which platforms are best at distributing and elevating your message.
Let’s explore a few best practices that ensure people see your videos. Let’s also identify how video can help you achieve financial and educational goals.
1. Aim for conversions.
Video should be a crucial part of your content strategy; it can convert people into customers. Whether you want clients to buy something or share information, video can help.
For example, a recent study of B2B marketers found video on a landing page boosted conversions up to 80 percent.
Although there are many reasons video turns people into customers, a big one is that a video adds context in a way few other content types can, notes WideFunnel, a marketing optimization company. Video allows you to demonstrate a product that might be difficult to explain in writing, helping “make a product more tangible and reduce the perceived risk of buying.”
WideFunnel points to Airbnb, which created a series of attractive online video spots and enabled users to create their own video tours:
2. Capitalize on social media.
In addition to hosting branded video on owned media such as a company website or e-newsletter, earned media (like social media) is a must.
Although video abounds on many social networks, several frontrunners emerged in 2015. Tumblr, a Yahoo! brand, is among them. Brandchannel.com notes tourism programs such as Travel Alberta of Canada are adding video to their Tumblr pages for a content-rich presentation:
Add the fact that Tumblr enables brands to disseminate content throughout the Yahoo! family, and a powerful communication mechanism emerges.
Other media companies identify powerful social media storylines on platforms like YouTube, and sell robust media packages around them. In an interview with Streaming Media, Danny Fishman of Believe Entertainment Group describes the keys to successful video branding. “For us, it’s more about going to where the current fan base exists versus trying to bring them elsewhere,” Fishman explains.
Instagram has also tested video’s waters—specifically for mobile devices. The concept: Create 15-second videos around product reviews and other usable information.
Your brand might try these creative solutions. (If banks are doing it, you should be, too!)
3. Explore the up-and-comers.
The startup community buzzes with interesting ideas on branded video, from interactive elements to adjustable native ad displays. Consider the following examples:
Rockabox creates a website-style experience anchored by video. Interactive elements are key; videos have clickable content visitors can use to access additional information and social media sharing, and other features.
But the system isn’t simply about grinding out yet another painful video ad. “Consumer engagement won’t start to happen unless the right creative idea is delivered,” Rockabox CEO James Booth says.
Sharethrough features an in-feed content exchange (including videos) which generates revenue. “Whereas Facebook’s exchange (FBX) is built for in-feed, native ads just on Facebook, Sharethrough’s Exchange (STX) is built to scale native ads in the feeds of content publishers across the rest of the Web,” explains CEO Dan Greenberg.
Plenty of other great resources track emerging channels for branded video, including this cost-per-click breakdown by Contently.
4. Do your homework
Keep reading and learning. Branded video distribution goes beyond content creation and interaction to issues like copyright protection. That’s why companies such as Adobe have developed specialized products that help you protect your work.
We’re awash in an ocean of online video, and the tide is rising. Branded content is popular, and the best original ideas will find an enormous audience. Whether your video surfaces depends on whether you are nimble enough to ride the waves of change.
A version of this article originally appeared on Visually.