Wednesday, July 4, 2007

4 Smart Ways to Use Video

Learn four new ways to spin video for maximum effect from the Fifth Network's director of marketing.

Video is a malleable tool that can be used to tackle several marketing challenges. Because of its eye-catching nature and emotive, attention-grappling abilities, it is inherently a powerful instrument for raising brand awareness and lift. Many advertisers also use video in their ads as a gateway feature for transferring their users' attention to other ad functionalities. Due to the tracking capabilities of the internet and the potential for audience interaction, many advertisers look to the clicks garnered from this video (be they clickthroughs or interactive clicks) as their standard of success.

When this is the case, utilizing a call-to-action like "click here" or "click for more info" helps guide users to act. When your goal however is to apply video for the specific purpose of activating a response, we think there are far deeper ways to entice interaction:

1. Polls In-banner video ads have the unique distinction of being able to house multiple videos. Having several video assets and messages rotate within a unit helps to avoid creative burnout and can be used to contextually target different user-interests.

Another use of multiple videos is to play them side-by-side and allow users to share their opinion on which they prefer. Advertisers can ask their customers which ad they'd rather see on TV, which video is the scarier trailer for an upcoming horror film, or which candidate they'd rather vote for.

Polling units can also return real-time results and show users how their opinions measure up against other users who are voting.

Simply by giving the audience the chance to share their opinion, an advertiser increases his chance of attracting interaction with the brand. What's more, this type of interaction requires active engagement and thought on the part of the user.

2. Games
People love a good distraction, and in-unit games, when targeted to the right audience, are great ways to activate users and keep them focused on a branded environment for an extended period of time.

With the advent of technologies like multiple videos and "hotspotting," developing games within video units is a new creative option for advertisers. Anyone who's recently been in a seedy East Village bar should be able to tell you about the nefarious versions of Photo Hunt that keep bar-goers entertained for hours on end. The game simply tasks players with finding the difference between two photos before time runs out. In the same respect, different but similar videos can be shown side-by-side or one-after-another and users need only to identify the differences.

In utilizing hotspotting technology, which gives users the ability to actually click on specific elements in a video, advertisers could turn their existing commercials into whack-a-mole type games. For instance, the ad unit could ask users to click on a certain object in the video every time it appears on screen. The potential for the application of video into games in near limitless and the added bonus for users is that, if they want their game stats saved and broadcast to other gamers, all they need to do is enter their contact information. Another high scoring metric for advertisers as well!

3. Instant wins and sweeps
Yet another great reason to use web advertising is that advertisers can give their audience the chance to instantly win a prize. Obviously, for sweepstakes, advertisers can give users the chance to win something by a set deadline. In applying this functionality to the ideas above, advertisers can further entice click actions by offering prizes to the winners of the games or poll entrants.

4. Video hosts
Another application of video could be made-for-web video as a means of speaking directly to users, which has shown to garner better-than-average video viewthrough and interaction rates.
Using web-specific video to have a contest announcer point to the prizes a user can win and walk users through how they go about attaining something free is a great way to keep a user's attention and interest. Free stuff is nothing new in the ad game, but using video to find out what stuff users want more of, and speaking directly to them as they interact with the brand, can certainly help fingers click faster.

In conclusion"Click here for more info" is the battle cry of many successful ads, but sometimes, users want a little more than "info" sometimes they want to share their opinion, a challenge or quick distraction, recognition in front of the internet audience at large, a trip to Tahiti, an iPhone or a coupon for real in-store savings. Giving users the opportunity to get something more from their interaction with an ad is a recipe for interactive success and using video as a secret ingredient can make your success taste that much sweeter.

Source : Bradley Werner is the director of marketing for The Fifth Network.

No comments: