The term “branding” is a popular term in the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries. People usually talk about “brand equity” and “brand awareness” as if branding is something measurable. However, the main definition of brading, or in this case “brand”, is a lot more subtle. According to the Wikipedia:
Brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one sellers' product distinct from those of other sellers”. Initially, Branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot iron stamp, and was subsequently used in business, marketing and advertising.
Trying to mix the concept of “brand” and “branding” altogether , we could try to say that branding is whether or not people can recall a business name or how consumers can actually think about a business and if they remember it.
Therefore, “branding” encompasses every aspect of a business/ service. Everything – from the signs on a company’s vehicle to the advertising catch phrases to each and every individual customer interaction – falls under “branding” in one way or another.
If this concept was well established in the offline world, it's just got a totally different meaning when it moved to the online universe – as everything else, as we’ve seen in all the past posts here in this blog and in many others from the online video industry. Regarding online videos, it’s not any different: we are talking about moving image and the most engaging tool of the advertising digital world. Only expected that branding changed completely online, acquiring even more power than it had offline. What started as a natural migration from the big corporations, simply taking a previously-filmed television commercial and placing it online moved slowly in a more refined way of making advertising online. In a first moment there was the creation of special video technology companies, then specific ad formats for the web were developed, and in the past months the fusion of the big corporations with online video platforms, as we can see the recent purchases of YuMe, Tremor and AdaptTV.
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And now, Online video advertising has reached another level of maturity with something that is not new but that recently has shown another kind of importance: branded channels. Some experts even dare to say that brand-owned online video channels will be the future of online marketing. One of the great advantages of this specific media is the way these new channels give brands the power to empower high-quality content that is aligned with their brand, relevant to their customers, and available to everybody on demand through the Internet. For brands that are used to pay insanely high budgets to media owners to get good exposure between TV shows, having their own 24/7 video channel is an the closest idea of branding paradise they could ever dream of.
But why is it that online video advertising maximizes branding features to its maximum? The obvious answer would be because the internet itself has exclusive features that allow it, not found in any other media. From all the wide range of benefits, there are three that excel themselves:
1. Video helps a brand to stand out from the crowd: Despite the popularity of video sharing sites, very few businesses are marketing with online video – especially small businesses. Creating an online video is a great way to stand out from the competitors. Stand out and become memorable. Simple as it is.
2. Video is inherently memorable: While the mere presence of video is enough to make a brand stand out, it’s important to remember that consumers are inundated with marketing messages. One can print his company catch phrase in bold blue letters on his web page, but there is a much better chance of being remembered if this catch phrase is heard by someone speaking it. Video is more memorable than words and pictures because that’s how the human brain is wired.
3. Video can impress: What’s more impressive – a story about mixing Mentos and Coke or a video where : you actually get to see what happens?
Besides the obvious, there are those inherently digital:
(Source: http://www.reelseo.com/11-ways-brands-online-video-grow-business/#ixzz2blHIoaKR )
1. Repurposed Television Commercial – we already talked about it: since the ad is already produced, replacing it on the net is just a way of getting more visibility to the brand with almost zero cost. Every view is worth and the power of the brand is just maximized.
2. Viral Video - A logical follow-up to the first example is the web-intended viral video--an ad or other video created solely for the purpose of getting views online, often through word-of-mouth. We see it all the time, and lately there is the trendy definition of “social idea” . Costs more, yes. But more and more brands are figuring out ways to avoid breaking the budget when creating web-original videos.
3. Branded Web Series - When a company eschews traditional advertising techniques (and even traditional viral video techniques) to create original Webisodes. Then, through product placement or overt plot points, the brand's messaging is conveyed to the audience.
4. Product Placement - It involves placing a brand's logo or product prominent in the popular entertainment videos of others. Rather than creating video from scratch, it's like hopping on the bandwagon of another popular entity by associating your brand with it.
5. Demonstration/Product Videos - A lot of online retailers are finding success with product demonstration videos, which have been shown to increase conversions. Once you've got the customer on your website, viral marketing ceases to be important... what you need at that point is to make the sale. Product demonstration videos can do that in ways mere text never could. Visual evidence of a properly functioning product puts consumers at ease and helps settle their internal debate about whether or not to buy.
6. Testimonials - No one is a better cheerleader for your business than customers who are happy. The happiest among them will often be willing to help you spread the word by recording video testimonials. Text testimonials are great, but they're just text... they could have been written by anyone. With video, the average consumer can usually spot the difference between a paid actor and a real customer... and the real customer's first-hand experience with your company carries more weight than you might think.
7. Fan Videos & Mentions - For the rabid fans of particular brands, testimonials aren't enough. These super fans go one step further, creating videos about or mentioning the brand they love. This is free publicity for the company, earned simply by going above and beyond in meeting that customer's needs.
8. Video Display Ads - Many companies prefer to create short video ads that run as display ads on popular websites. It's a more reliable way to ensure viewers--since a viral video attempt has no assurance of getting views, but top publishing sites can usually promise certain pageview numbers.
9. Non-Video Ads Placed On Video Pages - Sometimes you can leverage video to your advantage by non-video means. Specifically, you can place an ad on a video network, like Adsense on YouTube videos. Brands can also place a static display ad on a page that carries the video, sometimes to the point of sponsoring the entire page. There are very affordable ad networks that even small businesses can use to get their message in front of a larger audience.
10. Special Messages - Sometimes a piece of news or a current events warrant special messages from brands. A good example is the apology video from BLANK airlines. They'd screwed up some flights, and felt that the best way to begin building back the customers' trust was to admit a mistake and apologize... which they did through online video. The presidents of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air got together for an "I'm sorry" video just this March, when a computer problem created havoc with their flight schedule:
11. Contests - A popular and very inexpensive technique for using video is to sponsor a contest. Ask your customers to create videos for you, with the best one winning a prize. The end result, even if there are only a few entries, is free publicity for your brand or business -- every set of eyes that the submitted videos find is the one you basically didn't have to pay for.
12. Internal Communications/Business Processes - As IBM and Microsoft have shown us recently, many companies have begun replacing traditional office tasks with video. It's fast, easily distributed, and provides better context than text alone can.
And this list can keep growing, as the possibilities are infinite. Have I missed something so far? What are your opinions regarding branding and online video? I would love to hear it!