The Dos And Don'ts Of Using Video In Online Media

The rich media tide is rapidly rising, and online video trends such as podcasting and streaming video banners are new ways to execute creative with the richness of broadcast. However, as the online video tide washes over the Internet media world, and carries with it a wave of new opportunities, many companies are making critical errors when venturing into new rich media trends. Everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses (who have long since gone wireless), but for the moment, allow me to step in and outline the following dos and don'ts around emerging online media trends:

Do: Create video exclusively for online use.Although more parties will be involved and production timelines will lengthen, banners streaming video content are quickly being seen as an innovative way to push a product or service. Shooting original video that fits the unique sizes of online media will maximize the attraction, creating an incredibly dynamic visitor experience. Remind your director that online real estate is very different than the traditional rectangular format. Online advertising comes in a variety of ratios ranging from skyscrapers (extremely vertical) to leader boards (extremely horizontal). Each one has its own challenges.

Don't: Repurpose existing footage and drop into banners remitting 15-second limitations. This measure may work when there are no other choices; however, it is at best optimal. In addition, this action brings minimal brand or visitor experience.

Do: Plan your shots on storyboards for each video size. The storyboard will ensure all parties stay on strategy when developing the video, and will help you deliver your message more efficiently. When creating your storyboard, remember that online videos have no sound. Instead, focus on establishing a "mood" for the banner, creating a silent-but-appealing banner ad.

Don't: Approach a video shoot without a strategy. You don't give a speech without a script, so why shoot an online video without a plan of execution for each size?

Do: Choose a director who has experience shooting for the online media format--or, at the very least, choose someone who is willing to challenge himself in a new and growing video medium.

Don't: Hire a director who does not understand Internet media or your creative intentions to shoot your online video. Although a director's talents may astound an audience outside the online arena, if he or she can't listen, create and adapt to your media needs, the video shoot will not meet expectations.

Do: Make it your goal to first entice, then educate, your Internet audience by planting one call-to-action in the banner. Once users click on your banner, bring them to a landing page that will fully engage and educate them about your new product. Customizing your video banner to your target consumer's needs and location is a smart and efficient way to reach your intended audience.

Don't: Place video ads on your standard media buy declaring a hit-or-miss strategy for reaching your target audience. This will evoke annoyance in consumers who are not interested in seeing your brand.

Do: Group your target consumers by behavioral trends.This will ensure you are reaching your intended audience and increase the likelihood of them interacting with the ad. You want an interactive experience that truly engages the viewer/consumer. If it's engaging, they are far more likely to recall it.

Don't: Group target consumers by age. These days, it's all about defying age. Fifty is the new 30, and 70 is the new 50. Don't insult potential consumers by assuming certain lifestyle preferences based on age.

Last but not least, do keep up with current and future trends in the ever-growing and often hectic online media industry. At the moment, it's all about relevant content, customization, instant gratification, and dynamically appealing video banners. Never stop asking where the industry is heading, and what you can do with your online media creations to keep your clients' brands top of mind.

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