Are theses two strategies fundamentally different (and conflicting) ideas?
Broadcasting with web video
On one hand there’s the idea of widely distributing a video (or videos), which has its roots in words / concepts like “broadcasting” and “publishing”. It is an idea that sees the video itself as a product. It is an idea that defines the audience as cohesive and single entity. It is an idea that that is inherently imprecise in individual communication and measurement. It is an idea that is based on hope / entertainment / passivity as a marketing strategy and director of human behavior. It is an idea that can be defined by the phrase, “marketing a video.” This is by far the lion’s share of people’s general awareness and the perception of web video, related to this idea.
Narrowcasting with web video
On the other hand there’s a nearly opposite idea that has its roots in words / concepts like “narrowcasting” and “inbound marketing”. It is an idea that sees the video as a driver of well-defined and refined business workflows. It is an idea that defines the audience as a collection of individuals. It is an idea that is inherently precise in individual communication and measurement. It is an idea that is based on action as a marketing strategy and a direct0r of human behavior. It is an idea that can be defined by the phrase “marketing with video”. This is by far the minority of how people think of and understand the possibilities of web video. Especially as it relates to business.
One perspective is that these two ideas are simply different. They cannot be reconciled. As they apply to business, they aim to achieve very different results. Marketers should chose one or the other.
- Broadcasting one’s video aims to generate greater awareness.
- Narrowcasting aims to generate action.
The main benefit of narrowcasting is that it is more closely aligned with the “rhythm” and resource realities of businesses today. Marketers are tasked with showing measurable results immediately and budgets for creating video(s) that are tight and heavily scrutinized. As such, marketers must bring as much focus as possible to one’s story or message because they may have only one video with which to work. They need as much control over viewer engagement as possible because they need to prove that the investment in video enables more predictable and effective conversion processes that impact top-line revenue.
The other perspective is that marketers should leverage both strategies. The two approaches may be like water and oil under normal conditions, but if you add a little heat… everything changes!
One of the major benefits of broadcasting is that it is self-serve and self-propagating, and this works well to generate free publicity. While marketers may be tasked with showing results now, they shouldn’t overlook the benefits of casting a wide net. One can pull someone on into their world using a longtail search phrase for search engine optimization and then convert that interest to curiosity about web video. Broadcasting, especially when tracked properly, adds to the amount of data that one can collect. Especially if the on-site behavior is logged and then added to their contract record when they ultimately opt-in. A concept best described by the CEO of Eloqua, Steve Woods, in his book “Deciphering Customers Intention in the Online World (aka Digital Body Language)”.
What do you think? Please leave your comments below.
Credit: This post was derived from a brainstorming session via email between myself and Adam Zais (VP of Sales & Marketing at Wistia).