Branded Video Content is a relatively new term that you hear tossed around a lot. It refers to internet content that is a combination of both entertainment and advertising. Basically, it’s an ad that people want to watch.
Understanding the Internet in Case of the Branded Video
A lot of companies get excited over the idea of the branded video because it offers the opportunity to create a video that has the potential to connect with a wide audience over the web. Plus, the costs of distributing branded content are way cheaper than paying for media time on the television. But this belief can be extremely misleading. With television ads, a viewer is forced to watch, whereas on the web they need to want to see and discover it. If no one knows about the video then no one will ever see it and a product that costs a few thousand dollars will end up only having 100 views.
An Idea That People Want to See a Branded Video
Creating successful branded video content is extremely difficult because there is so much material on the web for viewers to choose from. They have to want to watch what you’re creating otherwise they’re going to filter it out. So, like all creative endeavours, you need to begin with a unique idea.
The Concept is King
For example, the web series ‘First Day’ tells the story of a girl named Cassie who has a disastrous first day at school and, like the movie ‘Groundhog’s Day’, she relives it over and over again in each episode until she gets it right. The series has a huge appeal to teenage girls with the first episode having over 300,000 views. Since its debut, it’s managed to consistently have over 100,000 views an episode.
So what does ‘First Day’ have to do with branded video content?
Well, it’s sponsored by Kmart and that brand makes its mark through heavy product placement. The wardrobe that all the characters wear is sold by Kmart and all the set dressings can be found in their stores as well. ‘Styled by Kmart’ is mentioned on a quick title card at the beginning of each episode so that if viewers like the coat Cassie is wearing they know when they can buy it from at a low price.
The Success of the Branded Video
Ideas that present users with the information they want can also make a very successful branded video. Take internet star, Michelle Phan. She started on YouTube creating "Do It Yourself" Videos about applying to make up. Millions of women flocked to her videos to learn her lessons and she ended up becoming sponsored by Lancome. Within a week of uploading a video she gets half a million views, and all of these eyeballs are watching her work being done with Lancome products.
The Uniqueness of the Idea
Unique ideas can also take advantage of technology to create some new. About fifteen years ago, there was a phenomenon on the web called The Subservient Chicken. It was a website that featured a man in a chicken suit standing in a living room. Viewers could type commands for the chicken to do and then watch them happen in real-time. This was done by videotaping the chicken performing hundreds of commands and then programming the website to jump to the clip of the action, being performed when it’s requested. Millions of people visited this website that was created by Burger King to promote a new chicken sandwich that could be made any way the customer wanted it.
Get to the Branded Video Content Quickly
Internet views are impatient. If they don’t get what they want quickly then they’re going to move onto something else. YouTube is the largest destination for online video and they made a guide for content creators that are based on trends they discovered when researching what works best for web video. What they found is that opening credits do not work. A 30-second intro bores viewers while a 5-second intro seems to work just fine. Get what you want to communicate as soon as possible.
YouTube Content Creator Playbook
Don’t Be Long
Time limits don’t exist for the web video, but that doesn’t mean you need to upload something as long as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. People are busy and they don’t usually have the time to stop and watch something that’s forty minutes long. Web videos need to be short, somewhere between two to eight minutes is enough. If that’s not enough time to communicate your message that structures it into multiple parts.
Create a Releasing Schedule
Television producers know that it’s important to release content on a regular schedule that keeps viewers interested for a while. You should take that same approach with your branded content. Release an installment weekly and then spend the time between episodes promoting and building buzz. Cultivate an audience and get them excited about what you’re producing. This also allows you to keep promoting the content without becoming old news.
Building an Audience
This is the hardest and most time-consuming part of being a branded video producer for your business. You can’t just upload something onto YouTube and expect that millions of people will discover it. Instead, you need to promote the content. The first step in doing this is knowing the audience your content appeals to. Then, do some research and find out what websites and blogs appeal to them. Contact the people running those sites and blogs and tell them about what you’ve created. If they like it, then they’ll share it with their followers, who will then share it with their friends.
Now, the real key to success in this part is being determined. You have to constantly be promoting for your audience to get larger and larger. If you’ve created something unique and entertaining, then eventually, the audience base will get large enough for people to share it with their friends over social networks. And word of mouth will build on its own.