By Megan Totka
Video marketing was the big success story of 2016, and so far in 2017, there are no signs it’s losing its shine.
The statistics tell a powerful tale. Research reveals video viewers are between 64% and 85% more likely to buy a product after seeing a video for it, and 71% of marketers report higher conversion rates for video than for any other form of marketing.
Using video in emails can substantially increase click-through rates, and users are far more likely to share video with their friends (therefore promoting your company for free) than any other form of advertising.
And if the primary benefits weren’t enough, rich media is seen in a favorable light by search engine algorithms—so the presence of a video on your website could also provide a handy SEO boost.
Is Video Right for You?In short, yes, it probably is. Online access in developed markets is near-universal; 84% of American adults are internet users, and among the under-50s the figure is closer to 95%.
That’s good news for all online marketing, but video in particular benefits from the rise in our use of mobile technology to access the web. An incredible 92% of mobile users watch and, most importantly, share videos.
Text rarely works well on smaller screens, but video is perfect for mobile.
However big your business is and whatever you’re selling, it’s a near-certainty that your target demographic will be out there waiting on the web, ready and willing to engage with and, if they like it, spread your message around.
Getting Creative vs. Calling in the ProsVideo marketing is a lot trickier to put together than static images or text-based advertisements, and this can present problems, especially if you’re doing it alone or as part of a small, non-specialized team.
Whether or not you can produce useful video marketing in-house largely depends on the skills and equipment available, and what your goals are. A quick, six-second Vine video could easily be shot using a smartphone camera, and a $400 camera on a tripod is more than capable of producing professional-looking video.
Using a professional video production company will almost certainly produce better results, though, and a polished, stylish end product with quality visuals, writing, planning, and sound (amateurs rarely cover all these bases) is a lot more likely to make a strong impression on a potential customer.
Think about what you want to achieve with your video. A mediocre-quality Vine isn’t likely to do you any harm, but if you’re showcasing your business or product in a “real” video, quality matters. Potential customers could be put off by a poor-quality video.
The Cost of VideoIf you’re doing it yourself and have the tools on hand, the production side of video marketing is “free”… aside from the loss of working hours better spent on other tasks.
Taking the professional route obviously costs a lot more. As a rough guide, a minute-long video produced by a competent, local team would come in somewhere in the region of $5,000. While it may sound pricey for something so short, you receive a product you can use to promote your business on dozens of different platforms. And remember: There’s no better platform than video for growing your business.
But be wary of hidden costs. You may also need to spend precious dollars on promoting the video, for example. Some marketing companies will offer a full service, including production and promotion. This sort of deal gives you a clear upfront idea of the cost—but only pay for services you actually need.
Calculating Your Video ROIHaving made your investment in video, your number one priority will be measuring whether the resulting additional sales justify the cost. It’s impossible to determine exactly why each sale was made, but there are plenty of tools available that will give you a strong indication of your videos’ effectiveness.
Google offers a free, simple URL builder that allows you to add tags (known as UTM parameters) to URLs pointing at your site. These let you use your Google Analytics account track visitors arriving to your site from specific locations, in this case, from clicking links associated with your video.
YouTube and Facebook have their own free tools allowing you to track user behavior, and paid tools such as Wistia offer a fully comprehensive tracking experience.
Get StartedMore and more businesses are turning to video to get their message across, and as smartphone use continues to rise, the importance of this medium will only grow further.
Don’t expect instant success; your first effort might be a hit, or you may have to wait until your fourth or fifth video to see real benefits. Stick with it. You can’t afford not to.
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