Now let's talk about online video. Online videos offer a rich and engaging experience for users. Similar to TV commercials versus print ads, online videos can be a more powerful and versatile way to reach consumers than other forms of online advertising, such as banners and pop-up ads. However, online video as a marketing channel is harder to manage than traditional television advertising, which is well established. First, the audience for online videos is diverse and fragmented. It's harder to predict who will watch what and when they will watch it. Second, the online video universe is astronomical in size compared to traditional television. To give you an idea, on YouTube alone, there are about 1.3 billion active users. Three hundred hours of videos are uploaded every minute and almost five billion videos are watched every single day. Third, the format and length of online videos and then the supporting technologies behind them vary drastically from platform to platform and device to device. For example, a viral video on YouTube, an in-stream or pre-roll video ad, and a promo video posted as a native ad on social media, each require different messaging and delivery strategies and involve different technical and production considerations. Fourth, while the viewers may spend hours browsing and viewing online videos, they are impatient and can be easily distracted. Unlike watching television, online video users can access the content at anytime from any location. They have full control over choosing the content they like. As such, promotional videos produced for online viewing must be interesting and relevant, or they'll likely lose the audience's attention very quickly. Finally, the audience for online videos is global. Besides ads from a handful of international companies and top brands aired during prime-time programming, most television commercials are produced for and aired on regional cable networks to target consumers in specific markets. Online, however, companies face viewers from all over the world. It is important to think about how to get your videos discovered and shared early in the planning process. Are you going to post your videos on your own social media page? Or are you going to post them on YouTube? Are you going to engage social media influencers to widely share your videos? Or are you going to rely on search engine optimization techniques to promote the videos? How does your online video campaign strategy align with your marketing objectives? For example, musicians and bands may post clips from their music videos for free on social media sites to drive downloads of their songs on paid sites. Brands may use online videos to entice users to engage with them. Small and medium-sized retailers and direct sales companies, can create online videos for consumer education and brand exposure. Like those infomercials that once only exist on television, marketers can now create and maintain dedicated YouTube channels to showcase their products. Making strategic decisions about when and how to implement online video marketing requires a deep understanding of your product. The market, your brand, your business cycle, your target audience, and all related technological issues. Let's take a closer look at the two broad categories of online video marketing. Video content and video ads. Like blog posts and syndicated articles, original online videos can be used in content marketing campaigns. These videos do not contain explicit marketing messages or mention specific brands. They are made for entertainment and information purposes, and thus they're meant to be shared and to provide value to the users. Video content may include how to guides or tutorials, video presentations, educational lectures, entertainment, conference talks, industry updates and product reviews and updates, among other things. Video ads, on the other hand, are paid advertisements that are filmed and formatted for online use. Digital marketers today should develop an online video strategy that is different than, and separate from, a television strategy. Keep mind that online video campaigns paid or unpaid, should be part of your integrated and multi-channel digital strategy rather than a part of your TV advertising strategy. Let's dive deeper into looking at a widely adopted online video strategy, viral marketing. The goal of a viral marketing campaign is to widely disseminate marketing content through sharing and liking. The advantage of viral marketing is that it can organically build tremendous momentum for your campaign at a relatively small cost. For instance, you can create video content that is closely related to a currently trending issue. By riding a wave of existing buzz, you are tapping into a conversation that is already at the top of people's minds. Like publicity stunts, viral online videos are often provocative, highly entertaining, unique, and sometimes shocking. But you have to keep in mind though, that any type of publicity based campaigns, including online viral video, must add value to your audience. But more importantly, you should never create a viral campaign without an end game in mind. You should ask yourself, why do you want to go viral to begin with? Now that you generated a buzz, then what? How would you convert the sudden surge in consumer attention to meaningful KPIs, such as brand awareness and revenue increase? A major disadvantage of viral campaigns as compared to paid advertising is that their process and impacts are difficult to control and predict. There's no magic formula to going viral. Many online videos became viral by accident. In addition to having interesting and creative content, there are many social, cultural, and contextual factors that can influence how an online video is received by this audience. Let's now take a step-by-step look at online video production. First, and as always, it is critically important to identify your audience. What do they want and need? What video content are they already watching? How can you get their attention? Provide them something of value, and promote your brand all at the same time. You need market research to help determine the answers to these questions. Once you know who you are producing the video for, it is time to develop the central concept and the core message. What will resonate with your target audience? Is your video a stand-alone piece or part of a coordinated campaign blitz? What is the marketing message you want to convey? What should the style and tone be? Will the aesthetics and style of your video content be consistent with your brand identity and brand image? Once you lock on a concept, you then need to develop a script and a storyboard. Unlike TV commercials, online videos are often produced with small budgets. Companies can of course, outsource the creative and production work to production houses. But many of them rely on in-house talent to create online video content. As such, marketers must weigh the benefits of adopting online video strategy against the immediate cost of production, the medium-term sustainability issues, and the long-term investment on talent and technologies. Once you create the content, there's still additional considerations. Where do you want to host or post your video? If you post your content to video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo, it'll be easy to embed it in your own site as well. There are clear advantages to posting on external sites like YouTube. The main one is to reach a target audience and drive sharing and traffic back to your own site. You should probably create a channel for your brand to host your videos in one place. This allows users to find all your content easily in a place they're already going to for video content. You can also add a logo and control the look and flow of the experience, so that it feels like a branded asset.