Online video is changing the way people engage with content, ads, and brands. Social media platforms are steadily incorporating video elements while a range of affordable technology is putting cameras and video screens in the hands of small businesses, content marketers, and consumers alike. Video is becoming the newest way for businesses and their audiences to communicate online and on mobile devices.
Also, as technology improves we are seeing digital video being used in many new and different formats. Far from just viewing pre-produced video content, you now see webinars, testimonials, silent videos, email videos, 360-degree videos, as well as live and interactive videos.
This surge in popularity is being reflected in search engine rankings. Video SEO is an important consideration for any online marketing campaign. It also doesn’t hurt that YouTube, the internet’s leading online video platform and second most popular search engine, is also owned by Google.
VIDEO MARKETING WORKS
A 2013 UK study discovered that online video is far more engaging than a simple text article. Adults reported that they are more likely to share (39%), comment (36%) and ‘like’ (56%) online video over a basic text blog. This is not surprising considering video is a completely different method of engaging audiences than image and text. The experience of comprehension is more immediate and there is often an emotional response before the full understanding of the meaning. The amount of information that can be shared in a short time is also much greater than with text and images.
The downside is that watching a video has traditionally been a passive experience. It is easy for users to skim text and decide which sections are important or interesting to them. With video there is no skim option, you either watch it or it doesn’t keep your attention and you move on. However, this limitation is being addressed with recent innovations like live and interactive videos.
NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S TV COMMERCIALS
Many marketers make the mistake of recycling TV advertisements and reusing them online. Industry leaders are treating online video differently than marketing for television. Online video ads are unique for a number of reasons.
- Consumers online do not like unexpected noise. Studies have shown that as many as 85% of social media videos are watched without sound. As a result, your videos need to be crafted with clear text and visuals that communicate your message without the audio.
- Unlike a television commercial, an online video can inspire an immediate reaction. Viewers can engage with online videos by liking, sharing, and commenting. Videos go viral because they evoke an emotional and immediate reaction.
- Video marketing messages can be more targeted than television commercials and can be tailored for specific audiences.
Major social media channels are are all making live video part of their core offerings. Live stream video is fast becoming a top priority for many of these companies to increase ad sales and re-inspire user growth. Brands with a presence on channels that offer live video should think about how they can leverage this low-cost video marketing tool to reach audiences who increasingly want content delivered in the moment. Live video has a low barrier for entry and is able to provide an unfiltered, unedited look which has innate authenticity.
The next wave of innovation has already begun: to make both live and recorded videos more targeted, personalized, and interactive. Surveys, data collection forms, questionnaires, and other marketing tools are being integrated into videos to increase interactivity. Demos have already been shown of choose-your-own-adventure style videos where viewers self-select their content journey within a single media player.
2015 saw personalized video campaigns generate a 200%-1500% increase in click-through and conversion rates. With numbers like that, it is no question that the growth of interactive online video marketing will continue.
This great article from Huffington Post has some interesting insights about the use of video in contemporary online marketing:
How Video Marketing Will Change the Game for Marketers in 2016
And as we’re all now seeing first-hand, video has emerged as the medium of choice, not only for peer-to-peer content sharing and broadcast media, but also for brand-to-customer communications in both B2C and B2B markets.
Video goes from brand to demand to sales and service
Many still think of digital video as viral content on YouTube, video ads on Facebook, and flashy homepage videos that tell a brand’s story. But in recent years we’ve seen the most successful brands expanding their use of video throughout the entire customer journey to help them build better relationships, educate and convert buyers, and improve customer satisfaction. From creative campaign videos that bring light to pain points to customer testimonials and personalized product demos, video will play a starring role at all stages of the marketing and sales funnel in 2016. In a recent research report by Ascend2, the companies that are seeing the greatest success with video marketing ranked the importance and effectiveness of different types of videos in the following order, starting with the most effective:
On-demand product demonstration videos
- Explainer and tutorial videos
- Thought leader interviews
- Project reviews and case studies
- Live and on-demand webinars
- Video blogs
- Event videos
Note that “Bottom-of-the-funnel” content like customer testimonials and on-demand product demos lead the list, which may seem somewhat surprising. But if you think about it, this is the content that sits closest to new revenue. Video marketing can help companies sell more.
The rapid growth and expansion of video marketing cannot be ignored. YouTube alone has over a billon users worldwide. According to MIT Sloan Management Review, nearly 60% of all digital impressions are now driven by visual content. The widespread use of mobile devices and smaller screens have also contributed to the landslide of video content. Online video is the medium of choice and businesses of all sizes should take note and adapt their content strategy.