By Andrew Martin
It’s no secret that video use in content marketing is on the rise. Online video is becoming an efficient means for people to gather and consume information quickly and frequently impacts purchasing decisions. However, many businesses are failing to include it as part of their marketing strategies—doing so at their peril.
If you aren't currently using video or don't believe your strategy is effective or appropriate, now is the time to shift your thinking. Video is the perfect format to quickly grab busy audiences’ attention. Promoting visual and interactive content enables businesses to show, not tell. It can help explain more complicated stories in a short and compelling format viewers can enjoy—and marketers can measure.
Research shows that 46% of consumers confirm they made a purchase after watching a branded social video. That stat is supported by the reality that YouTube is the second-largest search engine. Additionally, half of the marketers who use video in email campaigns see increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding.
The best way to get your marketing messages across to the right people is by understanding the role your content is playing in the customer experience. By being customer-centric, you can speak directly to your target audience with the right message, at the right time of the customer journey. So, for example, if we’re talking about Generation Z, research shows that in four years, they will represent 24% of the U.S. workforce and 40% of consumer spending. As their purchasing power increases, it will be critical to recognize they are one of the largest consumers of video content and if you’re trying to reach them, you need to adopt and develop video strategies for engaging them successfully.
For the most part, individuals respond positively to emotional connections from large brands. Designing emotion into video requires new insight methodologies and data sources that deliver deep, ethnographic understandings—interpreted and analyzed through a customers’ viewpoint. Often, how a customer behaves relates to how they feel. From our perspective, the emotional experiences are foundations for business success. Customers want brands they believe in, that respect their time, understand their needs, and make them feel valued.
Brands creating videos can effectively set the tone, explain who they are, provide solutions, and share stories in a visually captivating way. Online videos are also easy to share and consume. Audiences are about 10 times more likely to engage, embed, share, and comment on video content than on blogs or related social posts.
Furthermore, video is clearly a priority for social media channels, which are making it even easier to execute on their platforms. For example, Facebook's Canvas advertising product and its partnership with BlueJeans, “the first platform for large-scale, interactive video events that can broadcast over Facebook Live,” will only extend the trend.
Many marketers have the impression that delivering a video marketing strategy is difficult and expensive. However, new technology and the proliferation in platforms have led to a vast range of choices and have made major improvements to video and its implementation online.
Now that video is finally easy enough to produce, edit, and publish, marketers can feel more comfortable experimenting with it. Depending on the production quality you’re aiming for and your budget, you can invest in an in-house videographer or, for a more professional execution, outsource to an agency to collaborate with throughout the whole process.
To get started, review your company’s overall needs. It’s important to outline your scope, research your audience, identify relevant content, and develop a strategy to contribute to reaching each of them. You’ll need to know what type of content you'll make, who you're making this content for, where your content will live, and what the call to action will be.
A solid, data-driven plan can make the difference in knowing if your content is delivering on ROI. The “post and pray” method won’t cut it when it comes to generating a pipeline. Measuring performance is the only way to know if your videos are successful. Collect data on how your videos are performing and resonating with your audience. Data has the potential to be your most valuable marketing resource. With the right information, you can gain a better understanding of your customers and their behavior.
Ultimately, to truly appreciate the value of video as an effective business solution, don’t think of it as a one-hit wonder. Approach it as a long-term tool with a long-term goal. It takes commitment—you want to sustain momentum by improving on and learning from each video you make. With the right video strategy in place, your company will benefit from its powerful potential to tell engaging stories and inspire audiences to take action.
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