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Dean Marsden

Ten Uses of Online Video

9th May 2011 Social Media, Video Marketing 4 minutes to read

I previously talked about just how big online video is and how you can edit a video for free, now let’s take a look at why you would want to create a video.  Just like creating a website, you can create a video for any reason, but here are ten (plus a little extra bonus one) examples of online video usage:

1. Branding

Branding is one that covers many different angles. You could just get away with sticking your logo on any video, but for it to be effective, you should offer a video that is useful, professional and unique.

As you will be representing your brand it should convey the same message as all of your other advertising, whilst be more personalised and engaging than a newspaper or TV advert. Beware though, the internet is more demographic aware and users are much more social. Your video can be an online success or failure based on if you can really connect with your customers.

One current example is the Waitrose recipes:

2. Viral

This is arguably the most talked about type of online video. Unknown brands and products have been made through the power of video sharing. Some may say that viral video is more powerful than traditional brand videos, but caution must be taken to not offend your target demographic. You will also need an awful lot or creativity, and for most this will mean paying a high profile creative agency to choose the right idea and implement it just perfectly. It can become an expensive option, but also the most rewarding.

This classic viral video of drunken girl at the office party works well for the end message:

3. Product Demos and Reviews

What better way to show how a product works than testing it in a live video. Although written reviews tend to be more comprehensive, an increasing number of people want to see and hear a product in action.

Here’s a great summary of all the features of the PCMag review of the Apple iPad:

4. How To and Teaching

Teaching people through written books is tried and tested, but person to person teaching is even older and more effective. Humans are much better at mimicking something we see as opposed to reading about. Creating a How To video can get you a lot of views and can usually be tied in to your brand.

This simple video shows you How to Tie a Tie:

5. Video Blogging and Sharing Opinions

Nearly everyone has access to technology that records video clips; digital cameras, camera phones, webcams and everyone has an opinion on a particular topic or news story. Although your video is not likely to get many views unless it is funny or weird, sometimes its more satisfying to get things off your chest!

This classic example of an emotional outburst by a Britney Spears fan has over 6million views  (clean version):

6. News

TV News channels are realising the power of video sharing and are posting short video clips of breaking news stories as soon as they happen. These videos are likely to be featured near the top of the search results and widely shared between friends. Although the News program clips are professionally distributed, if you can post your video first you are more likely to get the lion’s share of views. With the power of internet enabled smart phones, posting a video online is almost a one step process.

Clips such as this Japanese Tsunami report capture your attention:

7. Presentations

If you’re distributing lots of useful white papers and statistics, try to create a video from these to increase your audience. You will probably need to point people to your presentation through sending a link to them, however their perception of your brand authority will increase, which can result in increased business through word of mouth.

Google helps its users with helpful and attractive videos such as this 2010 summary:

8. Adverts

Why not upload your TV advert to the video sharing sites. If you have a funny or clever advert, your audience are likely to want to watch it again and share it with friends.

This clever advert promotes Yeo Valley’s dairy products and has received over 1.5 million YouTube views within its first three months:

9. TV Show Catch-up

TV companies are now posting TV shows on video sharing sites such as YouTube. The reason this is now viable is the recent advances in video advertisements. Bigger brands are now getting involved in online video advertising and paying good rates to capture the large audiences that professional TV shows capture.

Channel 5’s top TV shows are now powered by YouTube:

10. Music

YouTube is becoming one of the top sources of on demand music streaming, they even have a music search option. Many record companies are promoting their music through online video and this is also helping block out poor quality pirate copies of the songs.

Katy Perry’s Firework has racked up over 170 million views on YouTube, although users are more likely to play a music track multiple times which accounts for another view:

11. Just for Fun

Ok, so this is number 11 on the list of online video uses, but it is my favourite type of video. It can’t really be classified into anything other than ‘just because’.

One of the greatest examples of this is ‘Where the Hell is Matt?’:


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