Too few organizations use video effectively as a promotional tactic, and most don’t even think of video at all, except for YouTube. Video has the twin advantages of being highly viral and extremely mobile (think iPods). Any PR practitioner who fails to include video as a tactic is unnecessarily limiting her promotional campaign’s ultimate success.
The preoccupation with YouTube has led practitioners to overlook other video-sharing sites such as Vimeo, Veoh, DailyMotion, YahooVideo, Revver, VideoJug, Break, LiveVideo and even Flickr. Few bother to submit their content to the video search engines, such as Flurl, Veoh, Truveo, Blinkx, fooooo (//en.foooo.com), Pixsy, Clipblast, Metacafe and VideoSurf—or think to purchase ad placements in their results.
Video news releases (VNRs) have been around for a long time, of course, but few companies bother to put them up on their Web sites. Any of your organization’s public appearances—annual luncheons, trade shows, industry (or your own) seminars, press conferences, making announcements at corporate HQ, local-community dedications, speaking tours, rallies, etc.—can be filmed and turned into effective promotional pieces. VNRs (and the B-roll they typically generate), along with anything you put up on YouTube, can be easily repurposed into vodcasts, vlogs and moblogs; ads and PSAs (for a variety of channels, including mobile devices); and streaming-video Webcasts and Webinars.
VOD (video on demand) can be leveraged to support, and market to, site visitors by disseminating a range of content such as distance-learning “Webinars,” coaching tutorials, how-to videos, manuals/guides/tips, online meetings and summaries, and training sessions for marketing and sales staffs.
Your video content can be disseminated to social networks (Facebook) and microblogs such as Twitter. Sufficiently viral videos can be promoted on viral-content hosts such as Viralmonitor.
Nonprofits will benefit from the YouTube Nonprofit Channel Program, enabling them to connect with supporters, volunteers and donors with their own designated (and free) channel.
Ads can be placed in video games on Google (see Google’s In-Games Advertising platform at http://www.google.com/ads/games/marketers.html) and video ads can be placed on iPhones using Apple’s new iAds framework http://advertising.apple.com/brands/).
The extreme fringe of video promotion includes paid or pro-bono charity billboards inserted into 3-D virtual-reality games, and in virtual multiverses such as Second Life. Ads also can be placed in “machinima” (from “machine cinema”) productions, which create films within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D video-game technologies.
The most-overlooked video-promotion channel is the oldest. Few people realize how easy getting their own TV program on community public-access TV stations can be. As part of their franchise agreements with cities, many local cable companies offer free (or very inexpensive rental) use of their studios and cameras, which can be used to create a TV infomercial, a corporate interview or even a continuing public-affairs program. Your video content can then be hosted on a Web site and even turned into a DVD, which can be sold or given away online. Public-access audiences admittedly are tiny, but producing your own program can provide invaluable experience to practitioners and executives interviewed on the shows.