By Jeremiah Owyang
A picture can tell a thousand words, and a video essentially consists of many pictures strung together. How many words is a video worth? It is enough to make video the most popular expression through which we share and view things online. We watch 6 billionhours of video per month on YouTube, upload an additional 300 hours per minute, and that does not even touch on the growing popularity of more video-orientated social media websites like Snapchat.
But if you are interested in content marketing, you probably already know that video is important, and may be familiar with some tips on how to produce a marketing video that has a better chance of going viral. But the internet is constantly evolving, and that means that content marketers have to think about how video marketing will evolve going forward.
Here are some things to note about the importance of videos and trends to spot going forward.
Educating Is Better Than EntertainingContent marketers often dream of creating viral videos that spread across the internet in a flash by being humorous or creating some bizarre internet meme. But what makes videos so much better than pictures or words is that videos can pack in much more information in a short amount of time. Instead of trying to create a funny video, businesses are leaning on videos as a means to educate their customers.
Of course, using videos for educational purposes is not a new concept. McDonald’s used a two-minute video back in 2014 to educate customers about how its chicken nuggets are made and attack rumors about the health quality of its food. But the greater sophistication of internet marketing in its own right has spurred greater consumer distrust of funny videos promoted by businesses.
We live in an age where people do not easily trust others, especially corporations. This means that corporations need to be seen as giving something to the people to gain trust. Information in a video can accomplish that and is free.
Corporations should look to create videos that help and educate customers as opposed to zany videos that look more like a stereotypical advertisement. This shows that the corporation cares about the consumer and keeps it in the consumer’s mind.
The Importance of Social MediaAny self-respecting business should have a social media account, even though the specific social media website may vary from business to business. But while a business may have a social media account, it may still view YouTube or other video-sharing sites as the primary place to upload videos.
It may be time to start viewing those other social media websites as the primary place to put videos up instead, as they can boast certain advantages compared to YouTube. Twitter users can retweet a video and thus get it out to consumers who may not have noticed it otherwise. Facebook is sitting on a mountain of data that increases the chances of hitting the right consumers. Snapchat hits the teenage demographic, which is a key target for many businesses.
Most importantly of all, by branching out to other social media websites, your business can hit a wider field than you could by just staying on YouTube. You should look to push your business’s footprint on social media websites in general, and video is a key avenue to accomplish that.
The Rise of Vertical VideosEver since the television was invented, we have been accustomed to watching things with a horizontal frame. But one ongoing debate in the marketing world is whether marketers should embrace the growing popularity of vertical videos.
The lack of excitement toward vertical videos is understandable. Since they first popped up on websites like Instagram, vertical videos have been mocked as low-budget videos that are difficult to watch, as two black sidebars take up most of the screen. But while vertical videos may be awkward to watch on a computer, they are better to watch on mobile. And the tech story of the past few years has been how mobile devices are supplanting computers.
This format change will affect how businesses create videos. The narrower vertical format means that businesses cannot place as many people or things within a frame and have to pay more attention to the top and bottom of the frame. And because the vertical format is more popular on mobile and Snapchat, it promotes a more in-your-face style.
All of this means that a business needs to know when to use vertical and horizontal formats, and adjust its video production department accordingly. Longer, educational videos like the kind mentioned above should stay in a horizontal format. But shorter videos that are more like ads could move to a mobile format to attract mobile users, and businesses should consider emphasizing one format depending on their marketing strategies.
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