December 14, 2017 by Stuart Laybourne

5 Reasons You Should Make Video Your Content Hero

A LITTLE INTRODUCTION

Did you know the average American attention span is now less than that of a goldfish? In fact these days…we’ve lost you already, haven’t we?

The truth is, people hate reading on the internet. This can be an exceedingly important problem for marketers to solve as they try to deliver their messages to potential consumers. Many times companies are attempting to tell complicated stories to inattentive audiences through ineffectual tools. So what marketing instrument can a company leverage that will captivate potential consumer audiences and hold their attention to deliver the stories the company needs to tell?

Video.

There is a reason so many media companies, both large and small, are pivoting exclusively to video as the centerpiece of their content platform. And we’re going to tell you why… in a long, written on the internet, blog post. Ironic really.

 

Things are Different Today

Do you have any idea how hard it was to produce and distribute those Swanson TV Dinner commercials that ran during Leave it to Beaver?

Guess what champ, it wasn’t easy.

Video used to be a medium reserved exclusively for big companies with big budgets, because actually producing any high-quality video content was a huge monetary burden. The costs of hiring an advertising agency to write scripts, cast talent, shoot video on film cameras, and hand edit was exorbitant. But once you’d gone to the trouble to produce your video content; the options for getting your message out to the public weren’t plentiful. There was that one TV station. And, there was that other TV station. Supply and demand tells us that getting your commercial into the limited airtime available wasn’t going to be cost effective. Ward Cleaver wasn’t giving up his ad units on the cheap.

Even as the advent of local buys on cable television made distribution a little bit more accessible, it was still generally too expensive and complicated for most businesses to achieve real results. Fortunately, we’re living today, not in the 1950s, 1980s, or even the early 2000s.

With technological innovation; better digital cameras, advanced compression technology, more accessible editing systems, and most importantly, the proliferation of high-speed broadband internet and LTE cellular networks, more people are watching more videos in more places than ever before. Thanks Al Gore!

According to “ThinkWithGoogle” almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.  And, “TubularInsights” reports that 500 million people are watching videos on Facebook every day.

Today businesses can easily reach prospects and customers at a low cost:

1) on their own website
2) on YouTube and Vimeo channels
3) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other social channels
4) with premium placements in “OLV” online video and “MV” mobile video
5) through programmatic and native ad platforms
6) through email programs

Businesses that would never have produced video content in the past, are wowing prospects and customers like never before.

 

Video is Still the Most Engaging Media

Watching that mouse whistle silently on a riverboat sure was neat. But ever since 1927 when sound was added to motion pictures, audiences have been wowed. Nearly a century later, this perfect combination of sight, sound, and motion remains the best way to captivate audiences.

According to MediaPost – “Humans are hardwired for stories and, through storytelling, we can relate to and understand the world around us, process information and connect with our values.” As video continues to become the undisputed champion for telling brands’ stories, advertisers will need to be ready with data strategies to reach the right audience.

According to insivia.com – One-third of online activity is spent watching video.

And while you still hear people say, “that’s one you should really see on the big screen,” more and more people are turning to their small screens, like tablets or phones, to consume video. Cisco (the company, not the rapper… although he’d probably agree) says, by 2019, video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

So what’s the bottom line? As consumption choices for video have increased, so have consumer’s desires to watch and engage with video in new places. You could say that video for businesses and marketers today is similar to what the web was in 1999: an untapped, new frontier of possibility. Businesses who understand and use the power of video to engage and connect with their customers are going to be more likely to win the battle over their competition for the consumer dollar.

 

Video Increases Conversion and Action

Not only do people love watching video, they love engaging with it. In fact, video is driving more engagement and more conversion than any other media. Whether it’s in email, on landing pages, or websites, in-roll or outstream; video delivers better click through rates, higher engagement, and better conversions.

Video Stats

That’s a lot of numbers, but they all say the same thing… video drives action.

Because video is such a key component in today’s marketing mix, more and more marketers are turning to video as a solution to move prospects through the sales funnel by building awareness, educating, engaging, and ultimately converting. In fact, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

For businesses of all types today, the question isn’t whether or not you should have a video strategy, but rather just how big your video strategy should be.

 

Videos are Versatile

“Adapt or Die”
– Brad Pitt, playing Billy Beane, who probably never really said that.

We’ve discussed just how engaging videos are when it comes to communicating a great story. But what you might not realize is just how adaptable of a medium video is as well.

Companies use video on their websites to tell their brand stories and launch products. They use videos in email to provide customer support and explain how their products work. They use videos in social channels to engage, surprise, and delight their prospects and customers. They post videos on horizontal search engines like YouTube and Vimeo so people can easily access information about their products and services. And yes, people are still turning to video as the most effective way to communicate in advertising, on television, online, and with mobile and social.

Can you get that kind of flexibility, in an antiquated corporate print brochure?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

So what are the types of videos that businesses should be thinking about using to promote their brand and products? Glad you asked:

1 Brand Videos
Highlight your business and products or simply tell people who you are and what you’re about.

2 Product Launch Videos
Educate prospects and customers about new and existing products and services.

3 Event Videos
Kick off and support trade shows, presentations, and other events.

4 Explainer/How To Videos
Educate customers and employees about how to use your products and services.

5 Training videos
Train your employees and channel partners about your products and services.

6 Media videos
Distribute to the media to support news about your company and products.

7 Testimonial videos
Generate great third-party endorsements from customers and partners about your products and services.

8 User Generated Content
Compile feedback from customer, employees, and other stakeholders to create unique and authentic perspectives about your product and services.

9 Motion Graphics and Animations
Create motion graphic and/or animated videos to demonstrate use cases for your product and services in a fun and engaging manner.

10 Live Video
Stream live video to support events and training.

 

Video is the Future of Content Marketing

Just as businesses and marketers have embraced the concept that high-quality and relevant content is the key to establishing and building relationships with prospects and customers, video has emerged as the content that consumers want to consume most.

So what does that mean for the future of content marketing?

It’s video.

Haven’t you been paying attention?

YouTube already has over 1 billion users, a number that will only continue to grow. Over 500 million people are watching videos on Facebook everyday (TubularInsights), Snapchatters watch 10 billion videos a day (Adweek) and 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter (Bloomberg). So many cat videos.

As we previously mentioned, video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. So if your company’s content strategy is based solely on text and static images, you’re only capturing 20% of your potential audience. It doesn’t take a mathematician and an abacus to tell us the numbers aren’t in your favor if you’re not utilizing the power of video.

Adding video to your website, blog, and social channels also increases your organic search engine rankings. According to Eric Suir at Entrepreneur, search engine result pages (SERPs) are shifting their focus towards content and away from keywords.

Translation to english: video is a critical part of your SEO strategy too.

 

CONCLUSION: Make Video a Key Part of Your Content Strategy in 2018

Let’s face it, as we continue the move to smaller screens and shorter attention spans, video is going to become an even more important part of every marketer’s content strategy. Video is an effective and compelling way to tell a story, deliver a message, and disseminate information on phones and tablets.

With more people watching more video in more places than ever before, it’s our responsibility as marketers to generate the quality video content that potential customers are searching for.