“Spending on online video advertising will grow to $4.6 billion in 2013, representing a more than sevenfold increase from $587 million spent on the format in 2008.” — eMarketer.com | UCLA Empowered New Media Marketing
By Elia Esparza
One of the best decisions I made in 2012 was to enroll in UCLA’s Empowered Program to catch up on the latest in New Media Marketing and the new rules for meshing traditional marketing with the domination of social media. As editor of Latin Heat, everything I do editorial wise is linked to our marketing division. As Marketing VP for Latin Heat Entertainment, it was important I get over the stumbling blocks I was encountering. I decided to take Nely Galan’s advice (at her Adelante Conference in 2012) that it’s never too late to advance one’s education). The Empowered marketing program offered me the the channels to demystify this “wacky, yet immensely powerful new world of online marketing.”
In the area of social media marketing, I was struggling. It goes against everything I had learned 25 years ago… where the traditional marketing rules I had been taught could not be applied to the new world of social media or so I thought. And, according to one of our textbooks, I was struggling because “social media is not a marketer’s platform. It belongs to consumers.”
Eight weeks into my course, I am super fascinated with the power of videos in social media. According to our textbook, “If content is king, video is the king of the bigger country.”
How powerful is the appeal of videos? Well, in 2005 three men launched a new website and a year later, Google bought it for $1.65 billion. The website is YouTube and this site began the phenomenon of web video.
So what is this massive appeal to web videos? According to the National Endowment for the Arts, a 2007 study that “on average, Americans aged 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.” As a prolific reader, I find this statistic appalling and no doubt web videos only further fuel this lack of interest in reading. But that is the reality in this new digital age.
According to Sherman Hu, ShermanLive.com, “Crafted intelligently, web video is a brilliant viral tool to attract, engage, and convert viewers to take action better than any other marketing medium on the web.”
Shama Kabani, author of The Zen of Social Marketing, states there are three big secrets to making sure people watch your videos from beginning to end, and as some web series creators have discovered, it’s not just about creating nice images and putting it online and everyone will automatically watch the entire video. A lot of us have learned through our web series that this is not true. Web viewing habits differ than that of TV. Here are the grim viewer length percentages Kabani presents:
* Within the first 10 seconds of a video, 10-39% of viewers are gone
* Within the first 30 seconds, 33.84% of viewers are gone
* By the one-minute mark of video, 76.29% of viewers are gone
* By the two-minute mark of video, 76.29% of viewers are gone
In short, what Kabani is saying is that in the area of video viewing the online community has a “serious case of attention deficit disorder.” This means that video length has to be regulated.. That’s the first secret. “Ideally, you want your web videos to be no more than two minutes in length,” said Kabani. “When you go beyond that, the number of viewers who click away increases dramatically.”
So what do web series creators do since most range from 5 minutes up to 12 minutes long. TV-style web shows can run up to 15-20 minutes. Don’t despair, there is a way to keep your viewers engaged scene to scene until the end, the key is have screen changes every two to three seconds just the way TV commercials are fast paced… different camera angle, a different scene, or a different image image shown. And, this has to happen throughout the entire length of your video. That’s the second secret.
And, the third (perhaps most important) technique is to be real… transparency by giving your “viewer a behind-the-scenes look at your life or business. Can’t emphasize the importance of keeping it real. No repurposing any other existing videos that are not already made specifically for web viewership. That’s the mistake advertisers did in the beginning by repurposing their TV commercials for the web and failed miserably. On the web, you need more than corporate-style presentations… web viewers want to see real people… that transparency thing again.
The future of web video looks something like this: For education or entertainment, we will be watching much of it directly from our TVs and not just with our smart phones or tablet devices… think IPTV. There is already web watching from our television sets it’s just that the “technology is a bit limited and buggy.”
Next time, I have a complaint about an airlines losing my luggage and then ignoring me hoping I’ll tire of calling and give up… or a bank who illegally over charged me for three years and then forced me to take them to court at my expense (I won but it took 4 years and it was expensive), next time I’ll just create a video and air my gripes and post it… maybe it will go viral (like others have) and level the playing field against those big monster corporate conglomerates who just want us to go away quietly. A web video is a powerful weapon.
In 1976, I was a newly wed and we were both students and struggling to make ends meet. UCLA is expensive even back then! One day, I got the bright idea to hawk a few jewelry pieces and went to a well known jeweler in Westwood. He gave me a song and dance about how my gold was from Mexico and not as good as Italian or pure… I was desperate enough to take the $200 he offered me for five pieces. A few days later, I walk by the store and see in the window one of my pieces priced at $800! I had been had and there was nothing I could do about it. I spent $5 to purchase a ream of paper and created flyer I handed to every person walking by the jewelry store in protest. It was a rainy day but I endured. There was nothing I could do legally but at least I could tell the world he cheated me. From the time he opened his store until he called me in at noon, not one customer had walked in. He handed me my jewelry back and I told him I didn’t have his money. He said it’s OK and to just leave because I had given him a headache. Had this happened to me today, I would create a video to tell the world of what a crook he was… imagine the magnitude of the headache he would have now gotten? That’s the power of video.
Can you tell I’m loving my adventure back to UCLA? Priceless. Timeless. First quarter of UCLA instruction is almost over and I’m soaking all this new media stuff up like a thirsty sponge. I love learning new things. And, I love sharing what I learn.
Sources: UCLA Empowered New Media Marketing Program, 2013 and The Zen of Social Marketing by Shama Kabani.
Elia Esparza is Editor-in-Chief of Latin Heat magazine and Marketing VP of Latin Heat Entertainment