Video's all the rage nowadays, right? Everybody's doing it, so we should be too. Didn't Mike say he got like 40,000 views from that YouTube video?
Original image courtesy of Graur Codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Actually, there are far better reasons than just social proof to use video as part of your marketing (we'll go as far as to say that you're missing out if you don't). Here are 6 undeniable reasons, backed up with proven fact, why you can't ignore video in your marketing strategy.
1. Video engages your audience
Humans are hard-wired to pay attention to video. It's all down to the way our brains work.
Evolutionarily speaking, we are much better adapted to take in and understand visuals than we are text. After all, we've understood the world through visual stimuli for 30,000 years. In comparison, the written word has been around for less than 4 millennia. We're drawn to images, particularly moving ones, instinctively, and we interpret them in less than 1/10th of a second (probably way less).
So with video, it's easier to capture and keep your target audience's attention - no matter who they are. We're all human, after all. Visual communication doesn't just increase our comprehension and recollection, but it also affects our emotions and attitudes, which in turn influence decision-making. Combine all that with aural inputs and you've got the ultimate engagement tool.
Basically, video is persuasive. By creating a visual, aural, emotional connection with your audience, you're that much better positioned to build trust, encourage loyalty and communicate messages. And that's a great foundation for successful marketing.
2. Video improves your online reach
Your online marketing content - and its results - lives and dies based on how easily it gets found and shared (with help from your distribution strategy). Well here's some good news. Video improves your SEO, findability, shareability and overall online presence unlike any other type of content.
Did you know that the chances of getting a page one listing on Google increase 50 times with video? Google loves videos (especially YouTube ones, to nobody's surprise) and gives them precedence over all other search engine results. Plus, results with video - rather than plain text or images - have a 41% higher click-through rate.
So video will get your business more visibility on search engines, and a better chance of being found and clicked on by your target audience.
Last but not least, viewers online love to share video content. A Simply Measured study of the top 10 brands pages on Facebook found that videos are shared 12 times more than link and text posts combined. There's no excuse - you should be using the power of video to give yourself a boost to online reach. Easy win.
3. Video is cost-effective
Having said all that, you can see how video gives you so much bang for your buck. Average costs might be higher than for other types of content, but average returns are much higher (and that's how you calculate and improve ROI).
This must be why 52% of marketing professionals report that video has the best ROI of all content types. Brands and companies that use video on both their website and external sites like YouTube or Facebook report the best ROI of all.
In a study by ITN productions, 82% of brands said they considered their previous investment in video either successful or very successful. So it's interesting that, in the very same study, 55% of brands identified expense as the main limitation to investing more in video. Yes, you have to spend money to create a truly outstanding piece of video content and achieve the most ambitious of results. But there's no reason why you can't produce video within your budget, whatever it may be.
Whether that means working with a results-driven video agency (hello!) or filming your own simple videos on a camcorder, video can be incorporated into your marketing strategy in any form - and in a cost-effective way.
4. Video success is simple to measure
You know how it goes. You decide on your marketing strategy, put your marketing content out there in the world, and start tracking your measures of success.
But there are lot of metrics you just can't track. For example, which of your blog posts are encouraging viewers to slow down, reread, highlight parts of the text, and save the post to their favourites? Beyond time spent on page, you don't know.
Unfortunately, text-based marketing content is hard to measure once it's out there in the world. But did you know that 43% of video marketers can capture content metrics across all channels (website, blog, and social), compared to only 16% of marketers who don't use video? That's because video content sits in players. Its analytics are always preserved, so it can always be measured according to standard metrics like audience engagement, no matter where it's placed or shared online.
With video you can track exactly how long viewers spend watching and rewatching parts of your video. That gives you great insight into the effectiveness of video at engaging with your audience, across all online channels. Combine that with standard metrics like click-through rate, social sharing and impact on conversion, and video success becomes the simplest to work out of all content types.
5. Video increases time spent with your brand
Once you've got your audience engaged with video, they're hooked. They'll spend more time with you and your content. And that means you've got longer for your brand and message to sink in.
On average, retail site visitors who view video stay for two minutes longer than visitors who don't. Two minutes might not seem like a lot, but in an age of short attention spans, that's a long time to help get across your tone of voice, increase recognition of your brand and express your messaging to your target audience.
Consider it from another angle. Mist Media reports that the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. Video is a key way to encourage your audience to spend more time with you. From there, your brand has a strong basis to communicate your desired messages and encourage your desired action. Speaking of action...
6. Video encourages action
As a type of content in your marketing strategy, video is uniquely positioned to drive your audience towards the action you want them to take - whether that's buying a product, filling out a form or subscribing to your emails.
The statistics are definitive. In terms of conversion, studies have shown that video content on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. Returning to our retail site visitors, they are 64% more likely to purchase if they watch video first. And 57% of consumers themselves say that product videos make them more confident in a purchase and less likely to return an item.
Video doesn't just encourage action on websites and landing pages. Usurv found that consumers are 27.4 times more likely to click-through online video ads than standard text banners, and nearly 12 times more likely than other rich media ads. Besides that, video is hugely effective in email marketing. In one survey, including a video in an introductory email improved click-through rates by 96%. And in another, it reduced the number of subscriber opt-outs by 75%.
That's a lot of data to take in. What it means is that video can help you to achieve the results you want in your marketing with a higher certainty than other forms of content.
Well, the facts don't lie. Now that you know why you can't afford to ignore video in your marketing strategy, you've got no excuse. Start using video content - or increase the amount of video you currently use - in your marketing to reap the benefits. What are you waiting for?