How much time do you spend watching videos each day? If you’re like most adults in the U.S., the answer is about 1.25 hours, according to eMarketer. That’s almost 40 hours per month, and that number is only getting bigger. In fact, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, video traffic will make up 80% of all global consumer Internet traffic in 2019.
You don’t need a DeLorean or a chat with Miss Cleo to decipher what that means for the future of marketing—it lies with video. Still not convinced? Check out these astounding stats from Video Brewery:
- One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
- 100 million Internet users watch online video each day.
- 90% of online shoppers say they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions.
- Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.
- 80% of Internet users remember watching a video ad in the past 30 days; of that 80%, 46% were inspired to take action, such as researching the video subject or actually purchasing the product.
What does this mean for your brand? You’d better make a funny cat video, stat! Just kidding (although I will appreciate it if you do). It means that if you’re not already, you need to start thinking of the best way for your company to leverage the power of marketing with video. As you do, keep the following tips in mind:
Cater to viewers’ intentions.
Yes, buyer personas are important, but more than reaching your target audience, you need to reach your target audience with a video that meets their needs. Lucas Watson, VP of Global Brand Solutions and Innovations at Google, describes four “micro-moments” when viewers turn to video for help: when they want to watch a video about their interests; when they want to learn something; when they want step-by-step instructions on how to do something; and when they want help deciding on a purchase. Your video marketing strategy should take into account not only your target demographic but also which “micro-moment” is driving your potential customers to watch videos. If you can provide them with a video that is useful and relevant, you will establish your brand as helpful and trustworthy.
Don’t lose sight of the video’s purpose.
I was recently watching “Project Runway” and couldn’t help but roll my eyes at how often the Sally Beauty salon stylists work their brand name into the conversion with the contestants. “Here at the Sally Beauty salon, we’ll use Sally Beauty salon’s exceptional hairspray to make your model’s hair look Sally Beauty beautiful!” Respect your viewer and his or her intentions; don’t use your video as an opportunity to bash people over the head with your brand name, or you’ll come across as salesy and untrustworthy. For instance, if you post a how-to video, focus on providing helpful instructions, not on selling your product. It’s all part of the ongoing migration away from traditional marketing techniques; research shows that “the videos consumers perceive as being ‘less like advertising’—regardless of whether they are video ads or branded video content—are seen as more informative, authentic, and original.”
Make sure your videos are visible in the right place at the right time.
Where and how should you promote your video to make sure you’re reaching your target audience at the right micro-moment? Consider search, social media, blog partnerships and of course, the king of digital video, YouTube. According to YouTube executives, the video-sharing site “now beats every cable network in reaching 18- to 49-year-olds…The total number of visitors is up 40% over the last year.” YouTube’s ability to blend advertising and entertainment makes it an undeniable go-to for video marketing. But keep an eye on Facebook, as well. In an effort to battle YouTube, Facebook has announced that it will soon be testing a dedicated video section, building on the already amazing number of daily Facebook video views (more than four billion in April). In fact, according to ad product lead Ted Zagat, Facebook is expected to be mostly video within a year or two.
Create for mobile.
Mobile-friendliness is no longer optional, it’s a must, and video is no exception. YouTube stats show that more than half of video views come from mobile devices. And in addition to reaching a larger audience on mobile, you’ll also reach a more focused audience. According to Think with Google, research shows that viewers are much less distracted when watching a video on their mobile device than they are when watching TV. Watching TV was the viewer’s sole activity just 28% of the time, while mobile video watching was the viewer’s sole activity 53% of the time. Bottom line? Think mobile first.
Think outside the box to create compelling video content.
You only have a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention—make them count, or your audience will bounce (or click the dreaded “Skip” button on a TrueView YouTube ad). There are all kinds of tricks and tips to keep viewers watching, from logo placement to music selection, but the most important tip is this: create compelling content. Worried that your brand doesn’t lend itself to creative video marketing? Think beyond the basic buyer-seller relationship—how can you expand upon your company’s expertise and values to create something people want to watch? From Orkin’s entertaining and educational “scientific fact or fake” ads to Blue Moon’s fascinating, artistry-inspired “Craftsmen” videos, we’re seeing a huge variety of companies producing out-of-the-box content with great success. And of course, appealing to viewers’ emotions is always an excellent way to keep your audience glued to the screen, as companies like P&G are well aware. If you can watch this ad without feeling emotional, you might be a robot:
Show you care.
Digital videos are a great way to express your brand’s values and share the ways in which you give back to the community, which can have a huge impact on brand loyalty, especially for millennials. Home Depot, a company also known for its popular how-to videos, does a fantastic job creating value-focused videos. They frequently post “Celebration of Service” videos about the ways they give back to veterans, and in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, they recently posted a video showing how the company stepped in to help the affected communities:
Also think about cultural movements your company wants to support. The Always “Like a Girl” campaign garnered more than 59 million views online, inspiring viewers with its message of female empowerment.
Expand successful campaigns.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Follow Budweiser’s example and continue the storyline of ad campaigns with proven success rates. Of course, you don’t want to rehash the same exact ad, but if viewers love a particular theme or character (hello, Old Spice Man), brainstorm creative ways to build upon that success. Friskies did just that with their popular “Dear Kitten” video ads, presented by Buzzfeed:
Measure success according to your goals.
Remember that marketing success is about more than conversions. Did you increase your YouTube channel views? Did you see brand search growth? How many viewers shared your video? Set goals and measure your success accordingly.
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Laurel Reese—Project Manager