Creating Link Love With Informational Videos

Back in May, Greg Jarboe posted a link to the SearchEngineWatch Blog pointing to a statistic put out by PR News saying that online video is underutilized. This is particularly the case in the B2B world where videos could create a lot of link love.

The article stated that PR execs are afraid of this new medium. It aptly points out that whether they are ready for it or not, the media 2.0 world is happening. In this world, your customers and prospects have the opportunity of talking about you in a very public way and completely without your approval. If you don’t start participating in the 2.0 message, it is very likely that your corporate 2.0 message will happen without you.

Innovative Marketing Videos

I got to thinking about Greg Jarboe’s post because Jennifer Laycock recently wrote a post at Search Engine Guide titled, “Excellent B2B Viral Video Example.” She discussed the difficulty B2B businesses have in this space. She then gave a link to a very clever video created for an industry that might normally not be noted for its innovative marketing. As of July 15, 2007, it had been seen 452,844 times and was favorited 2,425 times.

After watching that video, you might actually be discouraged. You might think you simply don’t have that level of creativity. I’m here to tell you that you probably don’t have that kind of creativity. Of the thousands and thousands of messages we see, a scant few are ever of the crazy, genius caliber of this video. Nor do most videos drive that level of traffic. Holding yourself to the level of brilliance created by a very few will result in a complete message freeze. You won’t be able to create anything out of fear that you aren’t the next “Will It Blend?”.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Granted, people do love the entertainment value of videos like lonelygirl15. But when it comes to information gathering, people don’t need to be endlessly entertained, especially online. There are two primary reasons people go online — to be entertained and to gather information. When in the information-gathering mode, they don’t need or particularly want a bunch of glitz. They want the information they are looking for in an easy to access and understand way.

In one of my earlier videos, “Search Engine Optimization Expectations,” there is plenty wrong from a video-production standpoint. It’s just my big head in too large a format. I could have cut away to other pieces of information. I could have spent a lot more time on it from a production point of view. But not one of the comments was about that. The comments were all about the content.

Don’t Strive for Perfection

Perfect is the enemy of good enough. Web 2.0 is moving too fast to strategize how you are going to make your message look precisely the way you want it. By the time you figure out how to make everything absolutely perfect, your audience is going to be on to the next big thing. You’ll never get a word in edgewise. Additionally, if you are too polished in your message, it stands a big chance of looking more like a pure commercial than something offering value to your viewers.

Video is a particular aspect of web marketing I feel especially passionate about. Online video is going to be so much better than anything we currently have.

My 2-year-old kid never wants to watch broadcast TV. We either watch videos (my wife has almost all of “Finding Nemo” memorized), or we watch YouTube. Right now, he’s into Monster Trucks and the “singing engine.” But it’s never a matter of what is being presented to him. For my son, it will always be, “What do I have the slightest interest in looking at right now?”. In our house, Rap Cat is so May 2007. We personally accounted for at least 1,168 views of that video. But now, my kid will actually scream, “No, no, no!” if he’s anywhere near Rap Cat. He cannot waste another minute of his precious video time on something as silly as a rapping cat.

You Can Benefit From Informational Videos

The great thing about video right now is that there is nary an industry that has a leader in this medium. And so many industries could benefit from informational videos. I also have to say, it’s incredibly fun. And once you have a system, it’s incredibly easy. I’m writing this article on a beautiful summer day. Come over here and finish this article by checking me out in my back yard.

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