How to Use Engagement Capital in Web Video

Posted on June 10, 2010 in Video Optimization, VSEO

Liz Pratt is the Marketing Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems.

When defining goals to create a video SEO strategy, it is important to keep engagement capital, not just an immediate jump in sales, in mind. Engagement capital is the term used to describe the trade between marketer and user. It is usually entertaining or informative content in exchange for some kind of support or action from the user. The more the viewer gets out of the video, the more likely they are to respond to a call to action.

The benefits of earning engagement capital are obvious, but it is easy to throw it away by over-branding web video to the point that it resembles a commercial. Once web video becomes a commercial, the viewer may feel that they have done enough just by watching the “advertisement.” They will be less likely to share the video, which is the purpose of VSEO in the first place: to create video that will be shared so that it will place high on the Universal Search page. In VSEO, the user is a partner first, and a potential customer second. If your video is too heavily branded, a user will not send it to their friends, because they haven’t built a close enough connection with the company or brand. Think about what commercials are a success on YouTube: mostly those from companies who have huge departments devoted to Super Bowl worthy advertising, and also very large and loyal customer bases. Unless a business has this kind of power behind it, it will be very difficult to build up enough engagement capital to make viewers forward an ad to their friends.

The trick to making an effective web video is the delicate balance between how much engagement capital has been earned and how strong the branding or call to action is. Keeping branding light is key. Including a company logo at the very end, a quick mention of the company name, or showing a particular product is often enough to make an impression without drowning a VSEO strategy. Put simply, the less a video asks of the viewer, the more likely the viewer is to share it.

When a video really is remarkable and sharable enough to earn enough engagement capital, that’s when it’s time to include a strong call to action for your brand. To start, however, it is always best to play it on the safe side. VSEO branding is more appropriate to educational videos than to conversion videos, so keep the heavy branding there.  Allow conversion videos speak for themselves without forcing anything onto potential customers. That way, they won’t hesitate to send your interesting or funny video to their friends, making it easier to find in the Universal Search pages. And if the videos can’t make an impression without plastering branding everywhere, it may not be strong enough to be a part of a VSEO strategy yet. It may require a little more work to make sure the video can earn the engagement capital it needs.

SearchPro Systems is a leading New England based national digital marketing firm offering complete end-to-end Universal Search marketing solutions, specializing in video SEO.