Whether you’re a big brand, a small business, or simply someone looking to build your own personal brand via online video, what other better way to start than taking advice from the CEO of CollegeHumor.com? A very funny, shaggy-haired, Dennis Crowley (Foursquare CEO) look-alike, Ricky Van Veen, presented a list of 10 myths about Web content yesterday at the Mashable Media Summit.
Myth # 1: People will watch my branded content.
You must ask yourself first, ‘Why would anyone watch this content?’ If 75% of your content’s purpose is to entertain and 25% is to sell, they you are already starting off with a handicap because you are competing with TV shows. The key is to have truly unique content that can’t be seen anywhere else. One mistake that brands make when creating content is worrying too much about legal and PR. Brands have to more flexible and less self-serving.
Myth # 2: People will be patient with content.
Thirty percent are gone after the first 30 seconds, and one-third of all Internet activity is done simultaneously while the audience is watching television.
- Take down the barriers to access your content
- Get to the Point
Myth #3: People will find my content.
People won’t just stumble upon your content. One needs a seed strategy to push it out and generate buzz and word-of-mouth to make it viral. One way to do this is to team up with an already-established brand.
Myth #4: The internet is a level-playing field.
A link on Drudge Report yields more results than some dude’s blog. Veen suggests tapping into the power users with a large audience.
Myth #5: We have no idea why things go viral.
While there are no rules for making videos viral, they all share one commonality–they give users a reason to pass it on.
- Videos should be short, approximately two to three minutes long
- A hook should come in the first 20 seconds
- Clear title
- Sweet spots College Humor taps into: Topical issues and “Candycorn” (cultural touchstones that everyone knows, but doesn’t actively think about).
Myth # 6: Experience leads documentation.
We have a new generation that puts documentation above experience. It’s all about Flickr feeds and Facebook status updates. It’s basically high-tech bragging.
- If you’re a marketer, create experiences that allow people to show off how cool they are.
Myth # 7: Let’s build our own community and tools.
Don’t build your own features — if you want people to share photos and whatnot, use Facebook and Flickr. You get much more exposure and reach in that way.
Myth # 8: Let’s keep things professional.
Personality drives your brand. At CollegeHumor, we post photos of staff as well as videos and other content on their site.
Myth # 9: Traditional media is irrelevant to the Web.
The Web content creators eventually want to move into the film and television space. The Web hasn’t quite yet figured out how to monetize its model, while film and television have been making money for years.
Myth # 10: People will create good content for me.
Getting people to create content is hard, getting people to create good content is really hard.
Veen wrapped up the presentation with the announcement of the partnership between College Humor and Pepsi’s SoBe that will launch SoBe Studios — a project that creates branded video content. As part of this project, a new three-part web series, “Mr. Vicarious,” featuring comedians Paul Scheer and Nick Kroll, will premiere today.