The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

Online video is an opportunity for individuals in the hunting world…

Video Camcorder

Hunting business owners often ask me what I think about the future of online hunting video and the role it plays for business owners.

Video, as it’s always been, will play a major role in the connection between business and customer.

The role of online video continues to increase:

  • 76.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The average online video viewer watched 356 minutes of video (approximately 6 hours), up 15 percent versus December.
  • 100.9 million viewers watched 6.3 billion videos on YouTube.com (62.6 videos per viewer).
  • 54.1 million viewers watched 473 million videos on MySpace.com (8.7 videos per viewer).
  • The duration of the average online video was 3.5 minutes, up from 3.2 minutes per video in December.
  • The duration of the average online video viewed at Megavideo was 24.9 minutes, higher than any other video property in the top ten.

Statistics courtesy of YouTube Surpasses 100 Million U.S. Viewers for the First Time – comScore, Inc.

Marketing strategy should involve all communication mediums that improve the quality of the connection you share with your customers. The ultimate goal of the Web and the available communication mediums (blog, image sharing, and video sharing) is to connect with customers on as much of an individual level as possible so as to foster a trusting relationship that provides the customer with valuable products and services and the business with profit.

As online video continues to grow, it’ll be important for proactive businesses to figure out how to connect with their target customer via online video. The challenging part will be to analyze the target customer and focus on creating video content that is relevant to both the customer and the business and is sharable.

Let’s look at a few potential ways you can use video in your marketing strategy…

Understanding Your Customer and Your Business

As I mentioned above, the key to successful online video strategy is to gain and understanding of your customers. This way you’ll always keep your focus on creating video content that is relevant to your customer.

You don’t have to make videos for every hunter on the Web. You only have to make the most relevant video for your specific target customer. This is where you’ll find the most success and return for your monetary and time investment.

I like the approach the folks at Woods N’ Water take with their online video series available on My Outdoor TV.

Here is their description of their online video:

Woods N’ Water Television Series is not only entertaining but specifically produced to be interesting, exciting, informative, filled with humor, and true-to-life; honestly portrayed adventures without a lot of hype. The information on the program is straightforward and not wrapped around hard selling our audience products. It is refreshingly honest and doesn’t contain any rock music over the hunt, ridiculous whispering you can’t hear, bad acting with exasperated high-fives, pumping arms, shaking closed fists, giggling after a kill, or phony excitement after taking an animal. We just don’t do that. We respect our audience’s intelligence and do all we can to give you a show that you can not only relate to, but believe in as well! You can count on a down-to-earth show jam packed with excitement, anticipation, humor and honesty. Over the last 25 years, we have compiled an overwhelming number of our programs–95% or more–in the wild. We have also produced several programs in hunting preserves from 1,000 to 5,000 acres in size. While hunting in preserves is not for everyone, some members of our viewing audience enjoy these programs and, for a variety of reasons, hunt in preserves. Whenever we tape a show in a preserve, however, we make sure that our audience knows this fact by clearly stating it in the opening sequence.

Blat and Bleat from Woods N’ Water

Woods N’ Water understands their customer and by showing videos such as this video on calling, they are using their knowledge of deer hunting and educating their users. Woods N’ Water is creating a trust and increasing the likelihood of their target audience joining in for a guided hunt.

Viral Video

Viral video seems to be the buzzword used most when the topic of online video is discussed.

Creating video that is shared amongst your target audience is an obvious goal for any online video strategy.

Often when we think of viral video the first things that come to mind are guys performing crazy stunts on You Tube or babies being caught saying funny things. It’s mostly America’s Funniest Home Video-type stuff.

But to create focused viral video there is a formula you should take so the results of your video going viral have the highest potential for actual return on your invested time and money.

In the post 3 Viral Video Ideas for Hunting Businesses I discussed my non-scientific equation for creating compelling online video:

(Clever Entertainment) + (Sharability) + (Target Audience) + (Product/Service/Personal Brand Tie-in) – (Push-Marketing) = (Successful Viral Video)

In this video, the team at Bowhunting.com does an excellent job of understanding their audience and using the ingredients for a quality viral video:

(192” Trophy Buck) + (Video blog, Share features with video, emailed to followers) + (Bowhunters) + (Products used in the video are available for sale on Bowhunting.com) – (Users opt into view the video online) = (Successful video for Bowhunting.com)

Now, Todd Graf of Bowhunting.com worked hard to harvest that trophy buck and the buck is definitely the story of this video. However, you can create quality viral video by using the aspects of your business that match the formula.

Goal-Oriented Video

As with anything, it’s important to focus on specific goals for your online video strategy.

When you’re sitting around brainstorming ideas for a video throw around some ideas for specific goals. This could be something like “How do you feel about making a video that increases the awareness for our new turkey call or for our collection of turkey calls?”

Sometimes if you start with an idea for a specific goal, the ideas for creating the actual video will fall into place.

Check out the videos from Arkansas Outdoors Online TV.

This video was focused on educating the target audience, turkey hunters, on the proper way to use a specific turkey call. The goal of the video was probably to turn casual visitors into dedicated followers or subscribers. Turkey hunters will likely find this video valuable and will come back to Arkansas Outdoors Online for more video content.

Summary

Online video is going to be a big part of the future success of businesses in the hunting industry. Get started with your video initiatives today so you can take advantage of the video communication medium to connect on a more valuable level with your customer.

Understand your business and your customer and set strategic and specific goals that will create win-win situations for your customer and your business. This is the recipe for long-term success with any marketing strategy.

Don’t be afraid to test different things. Continue testing – it’s the best way to find out what your target audience is yearning from you.

Best of luck with your online video strategy.

Bonus – Favorite Online Hunting Videos

3 Rivers Archery Broadhead

New Archery Products

Michael Waddell Hunts Illinois

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

How to Keep it Simple – The Flip Video Camcorder

Disrupt the Hunting Industry

3 Viral Videos Ideas for Hunting Businesses

What to read next on the Web

How to Release Your Web Marketing Potential

10 Secrets For Creating Viral Content

Persuasive Online Video Strategies

Image courtesy of Will Foster Photography

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.

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