While research companies like Nielsen charge ahead in measuring and quantifying how different consumer groups respond to online video and advertising, I thought it might be helpful in the meantime to share what I think are the top reasons your target audience just isn't into your online videos:
1. Your targeted audience can't find you. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Marketers have to make it as easy and strategically sound for their users and their content to meet. If you're focusing solely on howmany potential eyeballs as opposed to which set of eyeballs your content will reach, you run the risk of missing your audience completely. Understand that it's quality of interaction, not necessarily the quantity. Forward-thinking technologies across video ad networks like creative sequencing, for example, is a savvy way for marketers to serve up ads to consumers across various websites based on a user's behavior. (e.g., someone may click on and a webisode on People.com one morning. When they visit Cosmopolitan.com that afternoon and click on the same video player housing the content, they're prompted to view the second webisode in the series.)
2. You don't allow your consumers to share or "like" your video. If you want that coveted "viral" effect, the first step is to make it easy for your consumers to spread your content. Marketing studies have long argued that consumers are more likely to view something sent from a friend or relative than a brand - if you're not empowering consumers to spread your content, you're missing out on that enriching two-way social conversation. The same goes for "liking." If experts such as Mashable's Pete Cashmore are right about Facebook's now pervasive "Like" button (in that it may very well surpass link-sharing as the way to express interest in a piece of content), marketers had better start paying attention.
3. You're not creating original content. When venturing into the online world, many advertisers assume that repurposing their 30-second TV spot will do the trick. What many fail to understand is that the Web is a different animal than TV: in this world, ads are even easier to ignore. If you truly want to engage your audience with your online video content, my advice is to take advantage of all the unique interaction techniques on the market today. Here, the possibilities for creating original content are endless.
4. You're too concerned with branding and not concerned enough about entertainment value. Brands that are too concerned in making sure that all of their messages are crammed into their online videos often sacrifice quality. If you focus on the entertainment value (and work your brand into the content in a subtle way), it's likely that consumers will be more accepting of your content - and hopefully be more willing to share it. We're in an era where consumers can switch you on or switch you off with a click of a mouse. The more quickly you come to grips with this, the better your online content will become.