Video – as a marketer, you already know how important this is in the marketing mix. At the end of 2013, a study from ReelSEO showed that 93% of marketers were using video and 82% of them had seen a positive impact from using video. You only have to look at the statistics to see why this is important:
- Online video consumption has skyrocketed, according to Pew Internet, with 78% of adults engaging with online video.
- The same study shows that social media sites are hugely important in this trend. Some 58% of adults watch online video on these sites and 78% of adults use the sites to share online video.
- A study cited on Forbes shows that people tap into emotion, pay attention to faces, look at movement and listen to voices. All of this comes together in video.
Branded Online Video Statistics
So it’s hardly a surprise that brands have caught onto the viral potential of branded video and, more than that, the power to connect in a new way with their existing audiences. After all, if you’re not using video marketing, your audience may see you as less relevant.
Last year, 40% of the videos posted on Instagram came from brands, according to Unruly Media and short form video (such as the videos seen on Vine) were one of the top marketing trends. Meanwhile, AdAge stats show that Kony got 41 million video views in a single day for one of its online video campaigns. The companies who used branded video were rewarded by millions of video views and social media shares.
Lessons from Three Successful Branded Video Campaigns
There are dozens of branded video campaigns out there, but here are three that stood out.
1. Pets Add Life
This campaign by the American Pet Products Association to help pets find homes has been running for two years. The YouTube video series features pets being interviewed about the search for their own human. The most popular videos have more than a million views each and they work because of the humor and the cute factor, which never hurts in social media.
2. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches
This video series shows the differences between how people see themselves and how others see them, tapping into some painful insecurities and truths about the perception of beauty. To date, the 3 minute version of the video has had more than 62 million views. It works because it’s about an issue that everyone has an opinion on.
3. Virgin America Safety Video
Virgin America has made the in-flight safety video fun, with a musical extravaganza that conveys all the essential information in a fun way (which matches the brand’s and founder’s personality). It’s more heavily branded than our other examples, but the 6 million plus views and thousands of positive comments show that it works.
5 Ways to Make Branded Video Work
As we have seen, branded video is hugely successful. Statistics from 2013 showed that branded video was shared 500,000 times a day and that 68% of those who viewed the video remembered the brand it related to. Many people also recommended videos to their friends, leading to additional views and smoothing the path to purchase. So what are the features that make the best branded videos work? Often, they are the same as for other successful social content.
1. Make it Memorable
Some branded videos succeed because people can’t help remembering them. A good example was the Wake County SPCA promo video which encouraged pet adoption by having staff and pets participate in a riff off ABBA’s Take a Chance on Me. The combination of a catchy song, cute animals and a heartfelt plea garnered more than 3 million video views.
2. Use Humor
Get people laughing and they will want to share your video. That’s one of the attractions of Evian’s Baby and Me video which showed adults dancing to a catchy opposite their baby counterparts thanks to some mirrored glass. This video has more than 82 million views to date.
BlendTec’s Will it Blend series is another example of this, showcasing the most outlandish objects fed into a blender.
3. Tap into Emotion
The Dove video shown above is an example of this. Tapping into the insecurity many women feel about their appearance and turning it around to showcase the beauty others see made this video get a huge response.
4. Be Topical
For the Sochi Winter Olympics, protests over Russia’s anti-gay stance were countered beautifully by a short video from the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. The timing of this video and the popularity of the topic resulted in more than 5 million views.
5. Provide Useful Information
The more useful online content is, the more people are inclined to share it. Online video is no exception, and it’s something brands can use to their advantage. This video from the Dollar Shave Club shows how useful their razor blades are and how club members can save money on something essential.
Some of the best branded videos manage to do more than one of these at once, giving more reasons for people to share.
How Heavily Should You Brand the Video?
As the examples cited show, brands take radically different approaches to branding. Some, like Dove, put their brand logo at the end of the video, while others, like Virgin, mention the brand more overtly. Another approach can be seen in a video from The Guardian, which promotes its brand of journalism with a spoof story on the Three Little Pigs, interspersing Guardian front pages throughout. This video combines a well known cultural reference with humor to good effect.
Whether you choose to go for short-form video on Instagram or Vine or a longer video on YouTube, Vimeo or another video site, you can’t afford to ignore this medium any longer. It doesn’t even have to be costly. Flow’s Camp Gyno video ad cost just $6,000 to make. The beauty of branded video is that you can have fun with your brand image without the constraints of rules about advertising. Use your video to inspire, educate and entertain your audience while gaining maximum visibility for your brand. Check out the following resources to help you get started:
- The YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands
- The 7 Most Significant Social Video Trends of 2013 – Marketing Magazine
- Six Things We’ve Already Learned about Branded Video in 2014 – Visible Measures