Consumers have changed the way they like to view advertisements. The time is gone when  print media – newspapers, magazines, telegraphs, and the like – was the golden-haired child of marketing. Instead of sitting in front of the TV for hours, shoppers are now online watching movies, TV shows, and a whole host of educational and entertainment videos — and all of these videos have the opportunity to be prefaced with a relevant ad. In fact, a whopping 85.1 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in January 2014 and nearly 26.9 billion video ads were viewed.*

With those numbers in mind, it goes without saying that in some cases online video advertisements have as much reach (or more) than TV ads. Companies are taking advantage of this by publishing marketing videos that inspire people to fall in love with their brands, talk about them to friends and share their videos over social media. If you are looking to be inspired here is a list of some of the best marketing videos to be published online in recent history and some insight into why they are successful.

If you have not already done so, these metrics probably make you want to integrate video into your marketing strategy. I know from experience that when you are too close to your creative it is hard, as they say, to see the forest through the trees. When that happens you may find yourself paralyzed with the minutia of tasks necessary to create marketing videos, or creating a series of videos that seem unrelated to each other or even worse, creating videos that seem unrelated to your business. Here are 13 simple tips to help you stay focused, on point and create a video marketing strategy that makes sense.

  1. Start creating video content. Period. Visual content consumption trumps written or audio consumption. That is, around 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.** Videos are a great way for consumers to remember your product, so do what you need to do to get started right now.
  2. Leverage YouTube. Their videos are EVERYWHERE. Besides the fact that people use YouTube as a search engine in and of itself, its reach is enormous. Twitter, one of the world’s most popular social networking sites, stated that there are more than seven hundred million YouTube videos shared via its site every minute. Besides Twitter shares, YouTube videos are embedded on blogs, shared via Pinterest, Facebook and Google Plus.
  3. Make your video content fun and informative but if you have a small marketing budget, keep them economical. Instead of doing a write up or an infographic, a video can convey all of your product or business’s necessary information to consumers in a fun way. If you can’t come up with the money to shoot a series of live-action videos right now, consider using animations and motion graphics. These alternatives give you the option of creating high-quality video ad production at a price that is accessible to companies of nearly an size.
  4. Capture your viewer’s interest with a series of videos. It takes some planning, but consider creating a series of videos that are interrelated, then release these them as online video ads at scheduled dates. Think mini-series. When done right, consumers see these ads as standalone shows and they anticipate the next chapter’s release.
  5. Sway your audience with a celebrity endorsement. An article on Forbes said it well when it stated “…a celebrity endorsement can tie a celebrity to a brand in consumers’ minds for a very long time.” Ask a popular celebrity to endorse your product via online video and watch fans swoon.
  6. Don’t forget video’s worldwide accessibility and ability to bridge language barriers. Anyone with an Internet connection can view your marketing video – from New York to New Zealand, your ad can be seen worldwide. And with captioning, your video can be understood regardless of the viewer’s native language.
  7. Remember, time is of the essence. Gone are the days when shoppers were willing to read through article upon article in order to vet product and reviews. People want to understand your product in less than 2 minutes and often make the decision to purchase (or not) just as quickly. Video allows you to present your information succinctly, spoon-feeding viewers exactly what they need to here.
  8. Publish your video online. Almost 7 out of 10 citizens with access to the Internet view online videos. Enough said.
  9. Share your video on social media, especially Facebook. Facebook’s popularity is growing. And with it, so is online video’s reach.  In January 2014 Facebook had 84.9 million video views.* Now that companies can post online videos to promote their products for minimal fees, and the smart ones are taking advantage of that.
  10. Give people a strong call for action. People watch video, and then buy. Surveys results show video has a positive impact on purchase decisions and drives brand engagement. In fact, 73% are likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.***
  11. Reuse your video across platforms. A video uploaded last year does not need to be reprinted, recreated or restored. Your video is marketing fodder for as long as it is relevant to your business.
  12. Add a personal touch. With a little creativity, online video ads impact people in a very personal way. Add a human element to your videos and you will touch the hearts of your viewers. Create positive emotions that they associate with your product and your viewers will be more likely to become fans of your brand.

Bonus: The number of online video views are growing exponentially by the day and promise to gain in popularity as more people have access to online videos via mobile device. With a little diligence and creativity you can leverage online video for your business. Be consistent, be creative and most of all have fun with it. Your audience will recognize that you love what you do and that honesty will speak volumes about your brand.

* – comScore
** – 3M Corporation
** – Zabisco
*** – Search Engine Watch