Posted by Krista Rogers
You can run but you can’t hide. The online video boom is here and it is not going to go away. And it is a great thing. Online video presents an incredible platform for public relations practitioners to help their clients or organizations improve communication and tell stories in new and imaginative ways. But the question is, “How?”
Earlier this month I participated in the PRSA teleseminar: Tapping into the Online Video Boom hosted by Mike McDougall, APR Vice President of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Bausch & Lomb that answered the questions so many companies are wrestling with.
Mike said online video should be an essential part of any corporate communicator’s toolkit. He really put the value of online video into perspective. It is no longer limited to channels such as YouTube or traditional broadcast media. It is becoming a cheap and effective tool that can be integrated into all of your communication tactics.
To quantify just how much impact online video has on internet users in the United States, here are some numbers from the results from a January 2009 Comscore report:
- Over 147 million U.S. Internet users viewed an average of 101 videos each in January (more than three a day!).
- 76.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
- The average online video viewer watched 356 minutes of video in January, (approximately 6 hours), up 15 percent versus December.
- 100.9 million viewers watched 6.3 billion videos on YouTube.com (62.6 videos per viewer).
- 54.1 million viewers watched 473 million videos on MySpace.com (8.7 videos per viewer).
- The duration of the average online video was 3.5 minutes, up from 3.2 minutes per video in December.
Mike was kind enough to share his ideas for using online video to show off an organization’s attributes, all within a strategic plan. Here are his top tips with a little Gable PR insights as well.
ELEVEN ONLINE VIDEO TIPS
- Let your spokespeople speak! Be casual and non-slick.
- Show your lighter side. Be careful though, there is a caveat; don’t make it too light. Make sure the video is appropriate to the company’s personality and culture.
- Show what is special. What could you use to increase internal morale or external interest? Talk about how many patents you have? Secret ingredients in your hotel’s recipes? Brilliant engineering in your medical device? Special relics in your museum? You can even interview someone who has been with the company for many years and share that with the world!
- Become an expert. Share your knowledge! (Check out Gable PR’s Guru ™ Program)
- Dust off the archives. People like to reminisce and witness a company’s evolution and vitality.
- Tap the unexpected. Are people using your product in a different or creative way? Build on that!
- Make the complex simple. Let video explain the complex.
- Supplement a news release with a video clip or link to a YouTube video to further explain your points and add personality to the organization.
- Turn your blog into a vlog (video log). Share your opinions, ideas, etc. through a vlog instead of a blog to better engage viewers and enhance your point.
- Celebrate global efforts if they exist. Use personalities and experiences from other countries. Highlight it and show it off.
- Highlight success. Milestones are a cause for celebration and an opportunity to say, “Hey! Look at us!”
One of the greatest aspects of the online video boom is the bang you can get for your buck. Grab an HD Still Camera for $130 that will have video and be up and vlogging in no time. Need an event documented at your European headquarters in Germany? Don’t send over a whole crew. FedEx a $130 camera and have the footage uploaded in an hour (or have them buy it there if the price is right).
YouTube experts blogged about three factors that contributed to driving an overall growth of 1700 percent in uploads in the last six months: new video-enabled phones on the market, improvement of the upload flow and a new, streamlined process to share videos on social networks. The new technology creates accessibility that allows for endless opportunities for anyone to jump on board and use online video to their advantage. And it’s a must-have addition to almost every PR communications tool kit.