BtoB: How are marketers using video differently today?
Allaire: In general, we've seen a marked shift in the attraction of corporate customers—b-to-b marketers in particular—in using online video over the past 12 months. We've gone from a world where the majority of [our] customers were media customers to a place where the majority of our customers are marketers and, in most cases, b-to-b marketers.
BtoB: How can marketers improve their online videos?
Allaire: There are a few things—low-hanging fruit. You could even call them tactical, but they matter.
We have this concept: thinking about your video as part of an audience network. The idea is that ultimately you want to have this anchor brand experience on your own site. But the way you'll get a lot of value and get people to that video is taking advantage of syndication. [For instance], you're making that content available on widgets that can be embedded on social networks, or you're making subsets of the content available on YouTube. But building into those touch points very clear calls to action. It's taking advantage of user flow across the Internet.
BtoB: What's the biggest mistake marketers make with online video?
Allaire: A lot of people say that their strategy is to put their video up on YouTube. But that's not an answer. They don't control that brand context. You don't control community-building around it. It's not your Web site. The right strategy is to leverage YouTube and use it as a way to drive people to your own branded experience on your own site.
Also, people put video on their site but fail to connect it with the impact the video is having. If I am the CMO, the first thing I am going to ask when someone says they want to add video to a site is, "What is the measurable ROI? Is it converting users? Is it driving more engagement with other content that's valuable from a loyalty perspective?'
There are great tools out there that let you look at these things and analyze user behavior to understand what's happening. It's simply crucial to connect Web analytics with video.
Jeremy Allaire is chairman-CEO of Brightcove, an online, on-demand video platform used by media companies and marketing organizations (www.brightcove.com).