By Dave Windsheimer
More and more businesses are using online video
to market their products to consumers. Two local
marketing experts say there are a number of good
reasons that’s happening.
Among the explanations are that Internet traffic
continues to grow, videos can be tailored for
specific groups and Internet users are more likely
to respond positively to video messages than to
reading static words on a screen.
Theresa Agresta, a partner at Allegory Studios in
Saratoga Springs, said online video is an effective
marketing tool because the Internet is now highly
mobile with the explosion in the number of smart
phones, laptops and other portable devices.
Overall, some 78 percent of all Americans now
watch or download online videos, according to a
2013 poll from Pew Research Center’s Internet and
American Life Project Omnibus Survey.
Not only are the videos more readily available
and being viewed, but Agresta said that marketers
can show their clients just how effective a tool that
moving pictures are.
“From a marketing perspective, we can show
a lot of analytics on video. For example, we can
show to a client how many times their video has
been viewed. We can show at what point in time
the viewer stopped watching the video. There’s a
real trackability factor and it allows us to show the
success of a given piece,” she said.
The kinds of videos being produced, from
polished professional pieces to cellphone video
quality, are as varied as the businesses that utilize
them. Agresta said a slicker-looking video is more
appropriate when a business introduces a new
product or touts a luxury item.
That same business could utilize lower-quality
videos when company leadership addresses their
employees to inspire the team. “There’s a great range
of production quality that can be used by the same
company to accomplish different goals,” she said.
Kariann Wolf Morris, who runs a marketing consulting
business in Ballston Lake, said consumers are
more likely to watch a more amateur-looking video
because it’s seen as “more realistic and authentic.”
A particularly effective kind of amateur video,
Morris said, is one where an educational institution
offers on-camera interviews with current and
former students. Such endorsements can help a
prospective student decide whether that institution
an appropriate choice or him or her.
Videos of seminars or presentations can also be
used to educate a potential client as to the services
a business offers.
“At Allegory, we videotape our workshops and
can then make them available online,” said Agresta.
“That gives us not only the opportunity to educate
the viewer but to educate a potential client in the
services we offer.”
Another less-polished, but popular online video
offering is the product review, where consumers can offer their thoughts and opinions about a
specific item they have used. Agresta said, “Seeing
something that is being demonstrated in an online
video is a great way to kick up the understanding
of products in a retail sale environment.”
Video is also an effective marketing tool because
a consumer is much more likely to recall images
than words, said Morris.
“Statistics indicate that some 80 percent of Internet
users will more easily remember the content
of a video as opposed to reading text online,” she
explained. “Video also has a higher ‘sticky’ ratio,
which means that a viewer will continue to view
a video for longer periods than they would simply
reading text on a website.”
Consumers not only more easily remember the
content of videos, but are more likely to be inspired
to take action. Morris explains that businesses using
online videos see higher “click-through rates”
(the rate at which a consumer will be motivated
to go to a specific website after watching a video
about a particular product) and “conversion” rates
(the rate at which a consumer will make a decision
to buy a particular product after watching an
Morris said if a consumer likes or is entertained
by an online video, they are highly likely to share
that video with their friends. By doing so, the consumer
has helped that business get the word out
about its product offerings.
“The way most people find new videos is through
sharing,” she said. “For example, a person sees a
video they like and they will share it with their
friends though social media like YouTube, Twitter
or Facebook. Videos with a humor component get