This is actually kind of confusing for a lot of people because when you think about it, who defines the box? What constitutes as being “inside” the box?
What the heck is the box all about anyway? And is it really a bad thing?
For a lack of an explanation from anyone, I would rather think of it this way: The box represents a certain set of standards often deemed as being “normal” or “ordinary” or “everyday”.
Now, is it really a bad thing?
I’m thinking maybe not, or at least not as bad as some people would like to portray it to be.
Why? People, being a thinking and organized lot, need a certain set of standards to compare things to, so they can see if it’s good, bad, or whatever else. Apart from that, standards also afford a certain level of “reliability”, in terms of what can be expected, or in some cases, what needs to be followed, otherwise everything would a big, hot mess, like a typical teen’s dorm room.
This is especially true in making any of your marketing initiatives. Bear in mind that while I do encourage you to be as creative as you can get with your marketing ideas, I also strongly urge you all to follow the guidelines set by our online rule-setters, mainly the search engines and what they consider to be allowable initiatives and what they consider to be prohibited practices.
And this is why you really shouldn’t ignore some of the standards set in the industry.
I would particularly like to point this issue to when you are making an online video. In many instances, a lot of the videos out there are insanely creative and good, but still fail to help their brands achieve their marketing and promotional goals.
Because they really didn’t adhere to any standard when they made it, thinking to throw caution to the winds and focus on making the most creative video marketing project ever made.
I like the “most creative video marketing project ever made” part, but I have to say you need to follow a few standards in your efforts to actually make them all worthwhile. It’s just a few anyway, won’t hurt your creativity much.
And here they are:
Why shorter is better in online video marketing
You know typical TV commercials are usually anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute long? Think that’s short? Well, if you’re making on online video for marketing purposes, you should make it EVEN shorter than this. Why? People on the internet have even less of an attention span that people watching TV. You could make an online video that’s the most interesting piece of video marketing material online, but if it runs for a long time, you can expect a definite thinning-out of your viewers. A recent survey done online indicated that online videos running less than 30 seconds got more completed views (completed being signified by a survey at the end of the video) than those that ran for more than 30 seconds.
Why measurement is also essential in online videos
Video marketing is something you do for a number of reasons, either to drive traffic, inform your target market of something, promote a new product, or some other purpose. Whatever your purpose may be, it is vital that you measure the impact your video makes on your target market, if it is a screaming success or if it is a total flop. Why? It makes no sense to continue making a video along the lines of what you do if no one is watching it, or even if people are watching it, but does nothing in achieving the goal you set when you made it. Be sure to align a specific goal with your purpose in making the video, otherwise it may very well be a wasted effort, marketing-wise. There are actually quite some internet companies out there that hinge a large amount of their marketing studies on the results of their videos, like how it was accepted by their public, if it drove any to actually get into their product more, and so on.
Why video content equalizes the playing field
I know this for a fact: large corporations and conglomerates are always on the lookout for promising promotional and marketing activities from smaller and even medium sized companies. Why? So they can either tap the source of the brilliant idea for the promotion, or even emulate it to a certain extent. This is especially true when it comes to highly creative online video ideas. Why? Premium content ideas aren’t exactly easy to come by for larger companies who may already tried almost every concept for their promotions, so they look to others for ideas they may not have tried yet. A smaller company actually stands a chance to wrest away viewers and followers from larger, more established brands with a well-made, highly creative, and entertaining video.
Why consistency should sometimes be observed
The drive to be highly creative necessarily means trying out a lot of ideas and concepts to see which one is the best fit for the particular brand that you are promoting through your video. This, however, also creates a bit of confusion on the part of your target market. Consumers have this tendency to associate a brand with one particular and outstanding quality, usually derived from the brand’s advertising and promotional activities. This being said, the “identity” of a brand needs to be created through a measure of consistency. Why? You need to fixate on an idea, a concept, an image, or a message and be consistent with it throughout your campaigns, so as to establish an association with it in the eyes and minds or your target market. This is where you make your branding, so be sure the idea that you make consistent in your concepts is something that you really want your target market to associate with you.
Like I promised, just a few, and they aren’t even all that difficult to follow, right? Have fun making your video, cuz, and follow these simple standards to make all your efforts worthwhile.
Andy “Creativity + Standards” Jenkins