And as with any form of marketing, you tend to get back from online video what you put into it. Fortunately, online video now offers scale and customization so you can create something truly original, not just "off the shelf" content.
Here are four strategies that marketers can implement to create a memorable and effective online video campaign:
Hollywood is moving online -- take advantage of it
From Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst to Ben Silverman's Electus, the entertainment industry's biggest names are bringing their creative clout to online video. Those names may open up some doors for you, providing access to top talent.
But even more significant than the name recognition is the expertise that these creatives bring to the table in crafting a story that integrates brand messaging and enhances the consumer experience. Research has shown that consumers are open to branded entertainment online, but it needs to be presented thoughtfully and creatively. If your brand is part of the content, then you should turn to the experts to make sure it's handled with care.
Think outside the video player
Online experiences should empower the consumer: with the latest interactive ad formats, consumers can share the video with others, interact with the video to see additional brand content, make a purchase directly from the page, enter a ZIP code for locally relevant info, etc. More and more, consumers expect these "extras" that supplement video, and the marketers that provide the most compelling, easy-to-use and relevant content are the ones that will form the strongest connections.
Use insights to inform creative content and delivery method
A truly effective online video strategy relies on a deeper understanding of audiences, including knowing when and how they consume video content, what kind of content they are interested in, and how much time they are willing to spend watching online video. These insights spring from consumer data that is unique to online.
One major department store integrates its products into an online video series recapping daily daytime TV highlights based on insights about its consumers' interests to create a connection between consumers and its brand, while driving purchases.
Get your video in front of the right people
Even the best video content won't have meaningful impact for marketers unless it reaches the desired target audience at scale. So combining data, insights and technology is essential for delivering video content to the right audience in the right environments, and partners that can deliver that kind of scale and brand safety, can help you make sure your investment in video pays off.
The video campaigns that will be the most successful are those that take advantage of everything the medium offers -- talented partners, immersive experiences, the combination of content with insights about your viewers, and the ability to reach the right audience. Those that do all these things are likely to satisfy viewers and you might just end up with a winning campaign.