The old adage "seeing is believing" has always applied to PR, but the popularity of visual media has turned this clichŽ into strategic reality. Even blogs, once considered an evolution of print media, are growing visually with the use of video blogs.
Unlike online videos, video blogs generally have a consistent format with content that changes with each posting. For consumers, navigating the Internet for specific information can be daunting because of the erratic structure of some emerging media.
However, video blogs offer audiences a predictable - yet visual - source for content that can vary from interviews with a top-level executive, to the demonstration of a new product, service, or feature.
"From a product demo standpoint, it's great because you can visually engage with whoever is taking you through a demo," says Adriana Gascoigne, VP of Ogilvy's 360 Digital Influence.
Video blogging, also known as vlogging, jumped in popularity over the past three years, mostly due to the popularity of YouTube and other outlets for showing off homemade videos.
The popularity of vlogging Web sites and equipment means that there are also more distribution options for video blogs than traditional text sites. Not only can bloggers publicize the videos through a homepage, but communications pros can use Web sites like YouTube and FrictionTV to reach a wider audience.
"People enjoy passing videos around more than the static blog entry from a site," advises Ken Shuman, VP at the Horn Group.
However, the expected quality standards for video blogs are generally higher than that of amateur videos, adding to the credibility and resonance of its messaging, he explains.
While it's unknown whether video blogs will ultimately supersede text blogging, the technology has a number of clear outreach advantages, Gascoigne adds.
"With text blogging, I have to be able to scroll and read text," she says. "But with the video blog - you can either listen or watch, or do both simultaneously."
Video blogs offer viewers a consistent format to visually retrieve information
Product demos and executive interviews can be conveyed easily to viewers with video blogs
Video blogs can be both embedded into Web sites or uploaded onto online video sites