Across the online marketing spectrum, there is a growing consensus with digital agencies regarding the significance of online video content for businesses looking to increase brand visibility and drive sales. As shown in the graph below, more marketers are starting to see online video as a viable alternative to, or even superior to traditional TV ads, as a way to engage consumers. The keyword here is engagement with the consumer as a way of building brand awareness as opposed to just building awareness.

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While social networks and email take up the top slots when it comes to time spent online, online video has a steady viewership over the years, going from 10 minutes per day in 2010 to a whopping 24 minutes in the span of just 2 years (eMarketer). The latest comScore numbers indicate that 82 million Americans watch over an average of 1.6 billion videos per day and online videos are viewed by over 85% of the Internet users in the US.

The Luxury Brands Story

In recent years, luxury brands did not have the opportunity to effectively reach their comparatively smaller niche consumer base as they do now through online and social media channels. Experience has shown that a comprehensive, cross-platform marketing strategy that incorporates social media networks and rich multimedia content, including video (not video ads per se), is the best way to engage one’s consumers. The following are some of the more innovative campaigns:

  • Prada: short films by prominent Hollywood directors to promote the Candy L’Eau fragrance
  • Kering: a series of videos as part of a “digital storytelling campaign” on their Vimeo channel
  • Barneys NY: engaging and funny online videos of candid chats with models, with interactive product thumbnails that enable viewers to buy clothes being worn in the videos

The focus is on creating relevant and compelling content that stands out in the crowd. The important thing to remember about content creation is the objective is to captivate and engage the audience rather than just selling. That is what ads are for. We are talking about connecting with the audience, by engaging and interacting with them; essentially, videos are entertaining while simultaneously building up brand visibility and awareness.

Keeping it social as well as engaging

With cross-platform social media campaigns setting the standards in online marketing these days, the significance of video sharing options cannot be stressed enough. The “share” option is a powerful tool that can effectively multiply the reach by allowing consumers to engage and interact with their peers as well as with the brand. Social sharing has proven to be effective in improving click through rates, in all forms of marketing campaigns online, especially videos. If the content is engaging enough to hold the attention of the audience, it doesn’t matter whether the video is a photo montage, animation, testimonial, behind the scene documentary or an original story, it will work wonders for any marketing campaign.

Prada photo from Flickr by Tom French.