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What does “Video Marketing” really mean?

Paradigm shifting technologies are great, but they can have an unfortunate side effect... confusion about new terminology. One such phrase that's currently mired in confusion is "video marketing." Folks generally fall into one of two camps, both of which are valid but beg definitions, differentiation, and division. We'll break these camps into two groups: "Marketing With Video" and "Marketing A Video".

Marketing With Video

The people in the "Marketing With Video" camp are usually selling a product or service and using video to better explain that product or service. This typically takes the form of incorporating video into a direct marketing campaign like a newsletter or promotion. The simplest example of "Marketing WITH Video" is a company adding video to its website to summarize its product. Other examples of "Marketing With Video" include:

  • Gathering actionable data on user engagement to help optimize a purchase funnel
  • Incorporating video into e-mail marketing campaigns to understand which prospects are particularly interested
  • Using recorded webinars as a source of lead generation.

Here's an example of "Marketing With Video". This video is designed to better inform a web visitor about some elements of a product once they're on our site. It wouldn't be nearly as useful if viewed on YouTube.

The common thread of "Marketing With Video" is that the video is designed to better market things to someone who is already engaging with your company because they're on your website, signed up for your newsletter, downloaded a whitepaper, or perhaps registered with you at a trade show.

Marketing A Video

Businesses who think of Video Marketing as "Marketing A Video" are generally trying to build brand awareness for their company/products. This is done by giving viewers a taste of the brand or concept in a concise package that can travel anywhere and that is designed to be shared. Taken to its extreme a video will be so compelling that it will market itself and you have created the elusive viral video. For this reason, these types of videos are generally more about entertainment and less about explanation.

Once the video has been created, it is often pushed out to as many of the consumer video sharing sites as possible (YouTube, Vimeo, blip.tv, etc.). These videos are often accompanied by a social media campaign, reaching out to bloggers and posting on Twitter, to try and generate buzz (and views) for the company's video. For companies in this camp, they can either manually manage the whole process of marketing their video, or they can use third party tools like TubeMogul. TubeMogul allows companies to push videos to several different video sharing sites simultaneously and track the views across all of those channels in a single dashboard.

Here's a great example of a "Marketing A Video" campaign that turned out to be a viral success. I'm unsure exactly what it's for, but I like it!

So, why does this matter?

These differentiations are important because understanding them can be the difference between solving your problems quickly and being lost in the mire of marketing-speak website after marketing-speak website. Do you find this differentiation important? How would you improve upon these definitions?

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