I bet you’re wondering just how important video is to marketing. That’s why you’re reading this post. Well, we’ve seen it first hand here at VVMG. The use of videos for business marketing has been steadily growing over the years. It is a strategy that no one in the industry can nor should ignore. Videos give a voice to a well-crafted plan. It makes the voice different from others, it stands, it pierces through the clutter and the noise. Through videos, communication is enhanced in a way that words on paper can’t match.
Here are some of the ways in which videos can be used for marketing.
1. Social Media
This is the most common channel through which people share their videos online. Social media is common since it captures the largest population. Facebook alone has 2 billion users with 8 billion video views per day. That’s billion with a B. Instagram has 800 million monthly users and video consumption is up 80%. Social media is where people meet to engage online with each other as well as engaging with brands. Since the videos are so popular, they are easy to upload and share, widely passing the message to more users. Wide scale sharing promotes your business in a way that traditional marketing cant scale without significant ad budgets. Viral videos can generate massive amounts of views and free advertising.
Newsletters are targeted more tightly that social media and the user base is typically someone already familiar with your product and your brand. It is an easy way to get to your target audience. The audience doesn’t need to go looking for your product and its more likely to share your video. It also makes a good alternative to reading, since many users now prefer watching to reading.
Videos on blog posts offer additional content to the blog posts and a different format to market your audience. This gives your site content greater visibility in search engine results, such as video carousels, referral traffic from Youtube, boosts your SEO (search engine optimization) thus creating multiple new ways of driving traffic to your site. Not all of your users will prefer reading your site content and video viewership has increased dramatically over the past several years because of this. Blogs benefit tremendously from video content.
Videos used on websites act as eye catchers. They keep your users on site longer, thus increasing your site dwell time. Site dwell time is another component of having your site rank well on Google as higher dwell times indicate higher user satisfaction and engagement. Videos can be put on the home page of your website or on other important parts of the website. They promote your products, services, and value propositions.
When creating videos, you want to avoid creating substandard content. The quality depends on the marketing strategies, one’s goals and their budget too. Think about whether you’re creating a technical product demonstration video, a serious company introduction video, or a lighthearted video meant to humanize your brand. Thinking ahead of what message you to convey will help you to develop the right approach to the type of video you want.
YouTube is much more popular when compared to Vimeo. Youtube is also the #2 search engine in the world after Google, so if you’re not engaging with video you are completely absent from 2nd biggest search engine in the world. YouTube is easy to manage and doesn’t need tech gurus to understand and use. It is also useful since it offers a wide range of tutorials, self-help videos and how-to videos which is an extremely popular way for smaller companies to engage with users. If you’re a plumbing company you can make a “how-to” video on how to replace a faucet by yourself. If you’re a restaurant you can do food videos.
Vimeo on the other hand, is popular but has a smaller community. This could sound like a disadvantage, but the community is tight knit and can offer more engagement in certain product or business verticals. It has customizable features, video dashboard and several levels of tech support which could be helpful for smaller businesses that don’t have experience managing Youtube accounts. It is also a great platform where you can add people in order to collaborate in forming videos. The only downside (other than smaller user base) is that the premium features of Vimeo come with a monthly fee.
When you’re creating videos using these platforms you need to set goals that are achievable. Your video won’t go viral in the first post, therefore, working on consistency is important. Most videos aren’t focused on the same subject so it’s important to keep the end goal in mind when you are creating content. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals will help you drive higher engagement from users. Most organizations should, therefore, incorporate videos into their content marketing plans in order to:
5. Acquiring stronger consumer attention
The “Attention Economy” has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. In 2000s, main focus was on written content. If you wanted to command more attention, or rank higher on Google, the typical solution was just to publish more articles. It was only in the end of 2006 when Google bought Youtube. Bandwidth capacity wasn’t there to watch video without continuous buffering or stutter, the sharing infrastructure didn’t really exist that allowed people to easily embed videos on sites or social media, nor pass shortened links to their friends in text messages or chat. And if you wanted to watch a video on a phone in 2006? Don’t even bother. As those barriers have become broken down and 3G, 4G and LTE mobile connections became common place, video consumption has exploded all over the world. Video is now the #1 of consuming content and better yet, it commands longer engagement and more of a user attention span which has become even more crucial in a tighter “Attention Economy”. As Brent Leary (Co-Founder, CRM Essentials) once said, “The attention economy is not growing, which means we have to grab the attention that someone else has today.”
6. Greatly optimize opportunities
Video content has a feedback loop. This measures the rate at which a video was liked, the number of times it was watched and the dislikes it received. If one wanted to get more specific, they can even determine all that at an individual level.
This kind of metric monitoring enables one to understand what works and what doesn’t. Once you have identified the themes and approaches that work the best for your audience, you are able to start repeatedly hitting on those key notes in your videos, continuously driving engagement higher and higher. You can see when your viewers stopped watching the video (was it 5 seconds in or 50 seconds in?), you can see how many people watched your video all the way through the end and you can see which of your videos get the most engagement. You can significantly improve the quality and content of your videos by analyzing these metrics and incorporating that knowledge into future videos. Image source:
7. Maintaining a higher retention rate
Let’s not kid ourselves, reading can get exhausting. It’s no coincidence that most of us plop on the couch with a remote, instead of a book. It gets difficult to concentrate on long reads especially if the content is long. That’s not the case with videos. Videos are a passive media where is reading is an active media. Reading requires the effort of reading, keeping your place on the page, processing mentally what you read and recreating it visually in your mind. Video doesn’t have these demands. As a passive form of media, its much more accessible to all users, has a higher engagement rate and most importantly of all – requires a lot less effort from your users. It’s no coincidence that most of corporate training is in video format these days, instead of written material.
8. Improving accessibility
Videos were not easy to produce neither were they easily accessible to everyone. Production was expensive, distribution was expensive, syndication was expensive, presentation was expensive. All of that made viewing expensive. Remember those TVs strapped to a cart in the classroom? Nowadays, it’s easy for organizations to produce great content. Production costs have gone down, amount of talent has gone up, distribution and syndication costs have disappeared. This all translates to being able create and distribute more videos. And more videos means content that is tightly targeted for specific groups of your users, generating higher engagement and ROI. It also allows you to run longer, ongoing video campaigns augmented by multiple videos instead of just putting out a one-off video.
9. Increasing conversions
Videos convert customers. That’s a fact. Whether it’s product demos or increasing the trustworthiness of a site, users associate videos with better products, better companies, better trustworthiness and overall a better value proposition. The video display infographic from Acquisio on the right can attest to this in great detail.
10. Forming emotional connections
Videos offer a voice, face, expressions and music to colorize content. This creates more emphasis compared to any other form of communication. Bringing out emotions in marketing has been proven to positively impact sales, retention and ROI. Without realizing, the majority of our decisions on whether to buy something even as little as a candy bar is driven by instinctive associations of a product with our previous interactions.
11. Acquiring better email clickthroughs
This involves the insertion of videos in emails. It is still new in most organizations, but those adopting it are benefiting significantly from it. Many people receive emails that are too formal and part of that is due to marketers treating email same way they treated direct mail marketing. Informal videos in email can create better connections between your brand and your users that builds trust and familiarity.
12. Increasing your ROI
Most organizations that have used videos have seen significant improvement in brand awareness, social media engagement and word-of-mouth marketing. 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video content as the type of content with the best ROI. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. The long term ROI of video consistently proves that video is a valuable investment in any future marketing strategy.
13. Appealing to mobile phone users
Most videos are now being watched from mobile phones. The aforementioned breakdown in technology barriers and improvements in wireless bandwidth has made watching videos anywhere a common practice. Users no longer are tied to their TVs or desktop PCs.
- Video traffic on mobile devices accounted for 60 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2016. [Cisco…]
- YouTube accounts for more than half of all video-based traffic across mobile phone networks [Ericsson..]
- Mobile video is growing much faster than TV viewing across all digital platforms [Cisco…]
14. Promoting products and services
Through videos, individuals can actually have a glimpse of what is being offered or used, as opposed to just reading about it. E-commerce in many ways has made product video almost mandatory to drive sales. Video lets users see how the product functions, how various features are used, how durable it is and how it handles. It also promotes authenticity and trust in the company selling the product.
15. Improving SEO
Google loves videos. Videos are engaging and they keep users on site. When visitors spend a lot time on a site, it signals the search engines that the page has good content through various metrics, 2 main ones being dwell time (how much time a users spends on a page), bounce rate (does the user return back to search results or continue navigate through the site?). In addition to that, Google also pushes video at the top of search results through special features like video carousels, helping your site rank higher for long tail keywords. Finally, Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world as was mentioned previously, and omitting video from your marketing strategy means that you can’t take advantage of it. When it comes to SEO, presence on 2nd biggest search engine result is the biggest reason to adopt video marketing for your company or your brand.
16. Increasing audience engagement
Better engagement means better conversions. The more people you keep glued to your pages, products, brands, and videos – the more likely they are to purchase from you and recommend you to their friends. Video content improves authenticity and helps you develop a tighter, more familiar relationship with your customer in a way that written content simply can’t. Audiences are likely to have engagement times upwards of 7 times longer in videos than blogs according to research.
17. Building Trust
Trust results in conversions and sales. An organization should aim at building and familiarity with its customers. Content marketing aims at creating trust and long-term relationships with consumers and video has proven time and time again to be one of the best forms of content marketing when utilized properly.
“The new era demands a focus on the ignition, not just content, on trust, not just traffic, and on the elite people in your audience who are spreading and advocating your content.” –Mark Schaefer.
Videos ignite emotions which are part of one’s trust factor. Its important for organizations to foster that kind of trust with their consumers to act as a marketing platform for the companies. It prevents consumers from shifting regardless of the emergence of substitutes from other companies and develops loyal users for life.