The V Factor

As a marketer in the 2010’s, if you’re not using image and video at least as much as you are using words to communicate, statistics strongly indicate that your brand is at a distinct disadvantage. To put it bluntly, imagery and, more importantly, compelling video will do more to attract audiences to your campus than a thousand of the most well-crafted words.

Here are 10 statistics complied in a recent blog by Rossiter & Co. that make the case:

  1. Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average (Comscore)
  2. People who view a web video are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors (Comscore)
  3. Retail sites with video increase conversion by 30% (L2 Specialty Retail Report)
  4. Mediapost reports that product videos play a key role in consumer purchase decisions, citing a 9x increase in retail video views at the start of the 2011 winter holiday season. (MediaPost)
  5. In a keynote address at CES, YouTube’s Vice President of Global Content Robert Kyncl said that video would soon be 90% of Internet traffic. (Forbes)
  6. 50% of smartphone users watch web video on their mobile device. (Google Blog)
  7. Video and other multi-media product viewing options were rated more effective than any other site initiatives in an Adobe survey of almost 2,000 interactive marketers. (Adobe)
  8. Over 90% of shoppers in a recent survey found web video useful in making purchase decisions (Internet Retailer)
  9. Forbes Insight found that 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text (Forbes)
  10. Video in email marketing has been shown to increase click-through rates by over 96% (Implix Email Marketing Trends Survey)

There is clearly a sea change afoot and, for college marketers, the signs would indicate that it’s time to start paddling with the video wave or, be quickly caught behind it.

Video, good video, however, is not as easily produced as a good still image. You can’t simply point a video camera and then post the raw footage to your website. It needs to be edited, sometimes a beginning and end added, title cards and even music may be necessary. It’s a slower and more involved process than posting a picture. Yet with the marketing world moving in this direction, it is soon going to become imperative to be much more agile and quicker when it comes to video production.

Here are four tips to helping you produce video more efficiently:

  • Think of the content you need (copy, photos, and videos) on an audience-by-audience basis rather than a publication (medium)-by- publication (medium) basis.
    This might seem to come out of left field, but advance planning and anticipation is critical to being able to grow your video content and visual content in general. At the beginning of the fiscal year, create an outline of the overall brand story you want to impart to each of your important audiences. This includes having a clear sense of your brand platform and your brand personality as well as developing – or continuing – a theme that ties your overall story together. With this outline in place, you can identify mediums where that particular information (or elements of that information) can be conveyed. How and where the information is presented on the web, for example, or what elements appear in print and the print pieces in which they appear, how it might be used in email or in sms, how is it supported in news stories, or whether it is used in advertising or on social media. Brainstorm ways other than publications or text to share this information: slideshows, videos, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc. Now, in addition to other content, you have a sense of the kind of video content you’re going to be looking for and planning to gather some of the essential elements, in essence, gathering video b-roll that will tie the core of your video storytelling together.
  • Leverage key story-telling opportunities by capturing video as well as stills.
    With the audience story outline created, you can efficiently obtain the variety of mixed media this marketing environment craves with little or no extra burden on staff or budget. For example, you become aware of a professor with a unique research project. By running the story potential through your audience outlines you can identify all the ways in which you can present this information and gather all the necessary content – interviews, photography, audio, video – at once. Exposure for the individual story and the overall brand story is greater and more powerful because it is strategically conveyed in multiple ways through multiple mediums. Staff and budget efficiency is maximized through a single coordinated effort to gather all the necessary material.
  • Establish and grow a robust strategically orchestrated library of video content that can be used in many different contexts.
    Well-packaged videos have an open, a close, and a central story line. To avoid having to reinvent the wheel with every video, create a library of video clips, similar to your library of still images, that capture the essence of your campus and of your brand strengths. Cost can understandably be a concern, but this is where technology is making a difference. Most still cameras today, including high-end, professional cameras, are capable of high quality video that is suitable for many uses. In the hands of a skilled professional and with a well-strategized shoot schedule and a clear plan for the type of content necessary, it is possible to capture a wealth of professional video footage (including sound) as well as still imagery over the course of a week’s shoot. The cost of such a shoot is only marginally more than that of a still photoshoot and the value of having captured both still and video content is significantly higher.
  • Create a video template that will help speed up postproduction.
    While there will always be a need for one-off types of videos, thinking of most of the videos you create for a specific campaign as part of a connected series will significantly speed up your ability to edit and add to your collection. You can develop a series of openings, graphics for your title cards, transitions, identify a selection of music, and catalog related supporting b-roll to accompany different types of videos so that it’s easily accessible. Creating a new video then becomes a matter of assembling the building blocks, rather than starting a concept from scratch.

Using this production method, EMG has helped Old Dominion start its video strategy. EMG shot and edited numerous hours of various scenes for ODU’s video library and used the footage as well as existing footage in the ODU video library to create several video series: one based on the University’s tagline “Idea Fusion” and the other, series of campus tours. Once the building blocks were in place, the video elements came together very quickly.  The University will be using the videos on an admission’s microsite expected to launch this winter, among other places on the web. The series are designed to grow as more video content is captured. Here are some examples of the series EMG created:

ODU IDEA FUSION SERIES

 

ODU CAMPUS TOUR SERIES

Published by

Ineke Caycedo

Vice President of Brand Development

Ineke has guided award-winning client visual identity development, testing, and brand implementations for more than 25 years. She is responsible for overall design approach and direction for dozens of well-known academic brand campaigns in the U.S. She specializes in developing a unique, attention-grabbing visual approach to bring to life each institution’s differentiating brand narrative. Ineke’s branded campaigns have an unerring record for resonance and motivational power among audiences, as demonstrated by EMG clients’ ability to consistently achieve ROI. She is a recognized expert in data-driven generational marketing, with expertise in shaping design, color, photography, texture, style, and tone to hit the sweet spot with each demographic and audience sector. Her creative guidance has led to enduring creative frameworks, unique branded imagery, and conversation-starting digital advertising campaigns, collateral, and websites for institutions across the U.S.

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