The World Loves Video
Every day, around eight billion videos are played on Facebook. Whether these are personal, broadcast media or Brand 2 Consumer videos, with thanks to smartphone technology and accessibility, video is a wildly popular mode of communication.
Even toddlers can attest to the fact that in terms of online interaction, video is the medium of choice. Thousands of brands are now marketing through videos viewed by children on YouTube Kids and other channels. The chart below from Tubular Insights shows statistics from August 2016. The top 4 channels have over half a billion views each. That’s a big market being accessed.
Cisco predicts that by 2019, 80% of Internet traffic will be coming from streaming video content. It is very hard to argue with the impact of video on marketing with these startling statistics from Insivia:
- Including videos in email leads to 200 – 300% increase in click through rate
- Including a video on your homepage can increase conversion rates by 20%
- 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others
This is why a lot of brands and businesses are turning to video as a key digital marketing tool. Below is a great info graphic from Hubspot that captures how users interact with video online.
Get on Board
You may be wondering whether this new drive to promote business through video really applies to your company or organisation. Using video as part of your digital marketing is not just about advertisements. As well as campaign videos, you can and should be using video for:
- Customer testimonials
- Product demonstrations
- Vlogs (video blogs)
Getting Started: The Basics of Digital Marketing Through Videos
Tell a Story:
Using video is a powerful way to connect with your audience through entertainment, information or support. When you think about the history of video and moving images, the draw has always been in the story. Understanding your audience and the kind of story that will entertain or inspire them is important when creating video content. In order to get them to engage with your business through your video, it should be told in a story form.
There is a multitude of ways to weave storytelling in your videos such as:
- Creating fictional stories with actors
- Interviewing relevant people who can tell a story about an experience or history
- Do a demonstration of a product or service
- Post videos from customers
Companies’ digital marketing budgets are increasing year on year as they continue to see a great Return on Investment. In particular, there has been a sharp increase of investment into video marketing. with 71% of businesses increasing their video marketing budget in 2016.
As it is a relatively new area, there is a limitation on access to ROI data. The good news is that it is easy for each company to measure their own Return On Investment. Even better than that is that businesses with limited budgets can get results using video marketing if it is done cleverly.
If you think about how people use videos in a social context, such as through Vine, Instagram or Snapchat, the overwhelming theme is that they are short. Vine videos are just 6 seconds and Instagram’s are up to 15 seconds.
It’s unreasonable to think you could give a product demonstration in 5 seconds, but keep in mind that your digital marketing video should be short and concise. Animoto carried out an interesting survey in 2015 to see what consumers thought the ideal video length was.
The numbers are varied depending on the type of video, but it is safe to say that videos are best kept to less than 3 minutes. Nearly 60% of respondents said they would turn off a video that was too long.
Call to Action:
In video marketing, you should prioritise the story, not the sale, but this does not mean that you have to avoid the pitch altogether. At Convince and Convert they suggest putting the call to action within the dialogue of the video, for example, ‘visit our website’ or ‘send us a message’.
Another way you can inspire viewers to take up your call to action is by using annotations. These are small pop ups that can appear beside YouTube and other videos reminding viewers of actions including to: subscribe, comment or share.
When putting videos on your own web page, ensure that you put your videos beside highly visible and easy to use action buttons such as contact forms, entry forms or free trials.
Platform of Choice:
- Your website: It goes without saying that putting videos on your business website is a good place to start. This will increase your popularity with customers and search engines. These videos can help you to quickly deliver your message, engage and delight your customers, and stand out among competitors with videos that show personality.
- YouTube: YouTube is still the king of videos, with a huge number of people using YouTube as a search engine. In fact, when someone uses Google to search for something, YouTube videos will come up as an optional click for them.
YouTube is also popular for advertisers because of the way that they count how videos are watched. Unlike Twitter, who count a video as ‘watched’ after 3 seconds, or Facebook, who count a video as watched once clicked, YouTube’s numbers are based on videos that have been running for more than 30 seconds. Advertisers like these analytics because it is more likely that a customer will have genuinely engaged with the video if they have watched it for 30 seconds or more.
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are the main players in terms of platforms for video. Marketers should consider Facebook as a core part of their strategy for video, as they have always been ahead of the game in terms of ease of use and access to analytics.
Twitter is taking the video world by storm, having just signed a $10 million deal with the NFL to live stream 10 of this season’s games. It is anticipated that this will change the way tweeters interact on Twitter.
Snapchat is also increasingly popular, and is a great place for storytelling. If your brand is pushing behind the scenes videos, this might be the right platform for you.
The jury is still out on Instagram, as, although it is still a well-liked medium for video, it does not work as hard to push unique tools or added value.
Have Fun With It!
Videos are a proven way of engaging existing and potential customers. It is a powerful marketing tool that you should be using to promote your brand and make a genuine connection with the audience. Keep it short, show some personality and play around with the best platform for your brand.
Even with a modest budget, you can develop genuinely helpful and entertaining videos which will increase visitors to your site, keep you in favour of major search engines and promote your business as an enlightened and charming enterprise.