Big Fuel: Story key for successful online video advertising

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online_video_small.jpgADOTAS — Every minute, about 10 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, the number one site for uploading and viewing videos online. In fact, hundreds of millions of videos are watched each day on YouTube. Most quietly fade away.

At Big Fuel, we’ve been working with advertisers to effectively deliver online video for years. Our videos don’t fade away, in fact, our last two videos generated over 1.5MM video views in less than 2 weeks. (Facebook Manners, Real Life Twitter)

Here are some basic, yet essential, guidelines for success. These are some of the rules that we follow which allow us to guarantee results for our clients.

We boiled them down to two general segments: content and strategy. This post will deal with content.

Content is key. Good content is great. But good content is not necessary to get 100,000 views. But remember, the content is what will drive visitors back to a site. There should be a great concept, but it shouldnʼt be forced to fit a brand– the brand should fit naturally into the concept. You need to tell a story.

Itʼs the age old premise of good television, and itʼs the same for video. And the story can be anything from a heartfelt tale, how to do something better, or how to acquire a new skill.

The most basic element in a good story is surprise. Give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Lead them down one path and surprise them with a totally unexpected ending.

Donʼt make it an ad. If a video feels like an ad, viewers wonʼt share it unless itʼs truly amazing. However, if you give them content they want and find valuable, they are always willing to listen to your brand message. The key is integration of the brand message and how natural it feels to the content.

Run the gamut of emotions. Make ʻem laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine, so is the case with video. Everyone enjoys a good laugh and we all love spreading it around. Just as laughter works, so does tears, joy, compassion, a poignant moment and showing the strength of the human spirit. And it doesnʼt have to be exclusive to human spirit, narcoleptic dogs, fainting goats, silly cats and dogs are all topics that can connect emotionally.

The power of sex appeal. Yes, sex still sells, even in video. And weʼre not talking porn. Romance, intrigue, sexual innuendo doesnʼt have to be in poor taste. But be careful of strong language and risqueness. Yes, in the online world youʼll find plenty of this, and in many cases itʼs been the key to a videoʼs success. Itʼs all a matter of oneʼs personal viewpoint on whether this angle is personally appropriate.

Spectacle works. Albeit a small spectacle, Matt who travels the world taping himself dancing has been a huge success.

And such a success, he is now paid to travel and dance. Flashmobs and over-the-top scenarios are great features for video. Weʼre also a great believer of contests and challenges.

Another seemingly minor, but more important than you realize is the headline. The name you give your video can be make or break with the success of your video. Many go in after a video has been running and change the name and repost.

And for how long the video needs to be, no more than 2-3 minutes depending on content. Or make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips.

Itʼs also important to keep the viewers attention; you donʼt have it for long. There are plenty of Youtube viewers who subscribe to weekly shows and look forward to these updates. But, most viewers watch one video, share it (hopefully) and then move on. Because viewers are more likely to watch a second video on a similar theme or by the same producer then they are to follow all video releases, we recommend having at least one other video upfront before promoting and seeding content the other video.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Your website is amazing.
    Great idea.
    We provide the way to create video advertising based on PowerPoint. If you will, we can go further.

  2. […] More on the online video proposition, to go along with the earlier post in this space, from Avi Savar of Big Fuel today in ADOTAS. Says Avi, “Donʼt make it an ad. If a video feels like an ad, viewers wonʼt share it unless itʼs truly amazing. However, if you give them content they want and find valuable, they are always willing to listen to your brand message. The key is integration of the brand message and how natural it feels to the content.” […]

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