Branded Video Is Trending. Here’s What PR Pros Need to Know.

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Wrap your mind around this. Google receives 4 million search queries per minute, about twice the number it received in 2012.

Not only are more people turning to search to resolve challenges, they’re doing so more frequently. One reason is that Google is always within arm’s reach. Smartphone adoption surpassed 1 billion in 2012 and was projected to reach 1.75 billion in 2014, numbers that closely mirror the increase in searches.

What people want is also changing when they search. Faster phones, the abundance of phones and ubiquitous WiFi make videos that much more appealing. It’s a transition to a new way of life, and brands hoping to succeed through content creation need to adapt.

On April 29, PR News’ Matthew Schwartz will join Cision’s Heidi Sullivan on “Film School: How to Use Video for PR,” a free webinar that will provide the latest video best practices for communicators.

Here are some of Matthew’s thoughts about the importance of video now and moving forward.

Want the video creation tips and best practices you need? Register for our free webinar now!

Q. Branded video views increased 73 percent from Q3 of 2013 to Q3 of 2014. To what do you attribute the tremendous growth in branded video?

At the risk of hyperbole, we’re on the cusp of a golden age of visual storytelling. Brands and organizations of all stripes are producing videos with increasing sophistication, moving beyond talking heads to produce videos that can tell a brand story, via animation, stop-motion and other video formats.

The bottom line: a growing number of consumers (read: millennials) have been conditioned on online video and now expect some type of video communications from the brands they’re vested in.

Q. In terms of public relations, what benefits do videos provide that text and static images can’t match? Does video have any weaknesses?

For PR and marketing communications, online video programming is a great way to get your message out and build your audience. Countless studies say that consumers have much better recall of a video than they do static text — and that can facilitate the path to purchase or, in the least, better engage your audiences.

The weakness in video is producing a half-baked video that makes the message come off cheesy.

Q. From interns to executives, everyone has some writing skill, but many have never put together a professional video. What are some of the most important video production elements for beginners to master?

Video Content Marketing

The most important element is finding people in-house (or freelance) who have a knack for video production. They need to know how to “storyboard,” include B-roll in videos and, when you have an event or conference that you want to use as a messaging tool, how to live stream.

Another important element is getting buy-in from the tippy top, because online video is not going to show immediate returns. Brand managers also need to start off slowly, with videos in the two to five minute range, and build a library/YouTube channel from there.

Q. How can you produce video for different marketing channels (desktop, mobile)?  Do you foresee this changing as more brands compete for consumer attention with video?

As various digital formats become ubiquitous, brand managers will have to produce “once,” but distribute “many” for the various digital channels at one’s disposal.

Q. What are some core videos (product demonstration, thought leadership, e.g.) that most any brand can make?

Product/plant demonstrations are very popular, particularly among B2B brands. Thought leadership is now popular but may be on the wane because more and more companies are starting to produce videos with a narrative and are more organic in nature than “thought leadership,” which is essentially a talking head.

Consumers want videos that flow, and feature “characters” they can follow. It’s nothing short of the “cinemazation” of PR and marketing.

Don’t miss Matthew’s free webinar! Register now!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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