Video marketing has gone from being a niche concern to something no business can realistically afford to ignore. The type of marketing that got results twenty years ago is no longer as effective. The impact of social media and the accessibility of high-quality content via smartphones and other portable devices has transformed the marketing landscape. Whatever the size of your business, video marketing is something you need to invest in.
The good news is that it’s never been easier to create and share video marketing content but getting your video content noticed is often easier said than done.
If you’ve decided that video marketing is something you can no longer afford to ignore, how do you get started?
Our expert guide to video marketing will tell you all you need to know.
WHAT IS VIDEO MARKETING?
Video marketing refers to video content that’s used to generate interest, encourage engagement and help businesses to grow by selling more products and services. It forms an increasingly important part of digital marketing and often overlaps with content marketing. Video is a highly effective form of content, particularly when it’s done well.
It’s been around since the invention of video technology but really came of age around 2010. In the beginning, it was largely something that required a significant budget, putting it out of reach of many smaller businesses. With the widespread uptake of smartphones and the ubiquity of social media, it has become more accessible.
At its most simple it might be a sole trader making short videos on their phone for their social media followers. At its most sophisticated, it could be a big-budget video marketing campaign featuring household names.
Whatever your budget and ambition, many of the principles of video marketing remain the same.
WHY IS VIDEO MARKETING IMPORTANT?
The launch of YouTube in 2005 marked the beginning of the current era of video marketing. It made it easy for anyone with a camera that had a video facility to upload and share video content.
Google purchased YouTube in 2006, increasing the range of advertising formats that it featured until, by 2009, there were seven ways to advertise on the platform. Since then, the development of technology made it easier to record video content, not only in the accessibility of smartphones but also in more advanced dedicated video technology.
Professional video production companies that can maximise the potential of the technology are now able to offer a broader and more affordable range of services. This has made professional video a realistic option for a wider range of businesses and organisations.
Video is rapidly transforming how businesses market and how consumers make decisions. This makes video a versatile tool that can be used across the entire sales journey, from the first encounter with the brand to the final purchase. It can also be used to provide valuable after sales service.
Video can be a versatile tool for salespeople throughout the entire customer buying journey, and it can do much more than increase engagement. Backend analytics also help salespeople qualify and prioritize cold or unresponsive leads.
The growth of video marketing is clear to see and the statistics speak for themselves. In 2021, 92% of internet users accessed video content according to research by Statista. Cisco reported that in 2022, 82% of internet traffic is now made up of video streaming or downloads.
Customers also value video with HubSpot finding that 72% of customers prefer to learn about products and services via video. They also discovered that just under half of internet users refer to videos relating to products and services before they visit a store. Research by Unbounce found that the presence of a video on your website landing page could improve your conversion rate by up to 80%
It’s not just that video is a highly effective form of marketing in itself. People are now consuming more video content. Research shows that 84 minutes is the global average per day when it comes to video consumption. Internet users in China and Sweden spend the most time watching video content, with an average of 103 minutes per day. These statistics have been increasing year-on-year.
In fact, many digital specialists are now arguing that the internet is predominantly video driven.
If you want your business to be noticed in this increasingly video-dominated digital world, then you need to be producing high-quality video content.
VIDEO AND SEO
The aim of SEO is to align your content with the priorities of search engines, which in most cases is Google. If you get it right your content will appear at the top of search results more often than not. If you can land that all-important first place your chances of website visits, leads and sales increase considerably.
Although we rarely get the full picture of what the Google algorithm is prioritizing, we do know that video is an increasingly powerful tool for SEO.
Google shows a video thumbnail next to each search result, and research indicates that when a result has a video, users are more likely to click on that listing. Although Google hasn’t confirmed its policy, most digital marketers agree that Google is now prioritizing search results that feature video content.
VIDEO AND MOBILE USERS
Increasingly, the internet is consumed on mobile devices and it’s video content that people are accessing. According to a Statista study, 77% of people use their mobile or tablet to watch videos online. Facebook report that it’s 1.5 times more likely for people to watch video hosted on their platform every day on a smartphone than on a computer.
The evidence is clear that video is of growing importance to smartphone users as a quick, accessible and convenient form of entertainment, distraction and information.
CREATING A VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY
While it’s possible to record and share a video in minutes, serious video marketing requires a well-thought-out strategy. Having a clear set of goals for your video marketing will inform every decision that’s made during the creation of your video content.
If you don’t have a clear purpose, you can find that time is wasted in production and what’s created may not be as effective as you would like. Before you begin the process of creating video content you need to think about what it is you want it to achieve for your business.
Here are the steps that video marketers will take to develop an effective strategy,.
IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
It’s important to understand your target audience and the kind of video content they are currently consuming. It’s also crucial to think about the platforms they are using. For example, younger people tend to have different video consumption habits than older users who may only use one social media platform, or who visit websites to find out more about companies and products.
AGREE ON A SET OF GOALS
It’s important that everyone who is going to make use of your video content agrees on your overall aims and objectives. Is your aim to grow awareness of your brand, inform your audience about a new product or service launch, provide valuable after-sales information, or form part of an overall brand makeover?
Perhaps it’s a combination of a number of these different elements. Having a clear and agreed idea about what it is you want to achieve with your video content and what you want your audience to do increases the chances of it being successful.
Poorly defined goals can lead to content that lacks clarity and purpose resulting in lost time, money and an opportunity to make an impact.
SET A BUDGET
Creating quality video content need not break the bank but it will require some investment to be effective. You need to take a realistic look at what you can afford and then set a budget. Most video production companies will be able to create effective and professional video content within your budget. Not setting a budget can potentially lead to costs spiralling unnecessarily so it pays to stay focused on costs.
MAP OUT A TIMELINE
As with setting a budget, a realistic timeline helps you to keep the project moving forward and reduces the chances of becoming distracted. Clear timelines will detail every step of the process and make allowances for some delays. Even producing short videos for smaller companies with modest aims will require a variety of skills and personnel. Your timeline should aim to deliver your video within the timescale you have set even with unforeseen challenges.
CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM
There is now a host of different platforms available to help you distribute your video. Each of these platforms has slightly different demands and requirements which may shape the kind of videos that you make. Think about where your audience is, how they consume video content and what they might be looking for.
There is a range of considerations when it comes to platform choice. This will include the average view time, size limitations, sound quality, communities it reaches, your own budget and how you intend to promote your video. It’s possible to make video content that can work on a number of different platforms, with longer-form content usually being more suited to YouTube
Some platforms have built-in promotion and enable easy sharing, others are better equipped at improving your SEO performance. Some platforms will require more effort if you want your video content to be seen but can provide a home for content that you’ll share and embed elsewhere.
DEVELOP YOUR MESSAGE
Your video marketing content needs to reflect your branding and the expectations of your audience. Your video content needs to communicate a message, and this will reflect your particular goals and your intended audience reaction. If your aim is to introduce your brand, share your values and what you hope to achieve, then your content will be different than if you hope to sell a specific product.
Developing your message will also inform your creative decisions, such as the kind of elements that your video content may include. You may decide that an animated video is the best way to communicate your message or that customer testimonials are the way forward. It’s also an opportunity to think about how your budget can best be optimised to deliver the results you’re looking for.
DECIDE ON YOUR METRICS
To judge the overall effectiveness of your video content you will need the means to measure its performance. Referring to your goals can help you decide on the best metrics to help you evaluate the success of your video content. Your chosen platform may provide metrics that can be useful, but these are unlikely to fully reflect your own tangible goals for your content.
You may aim to increase sales and enquiries by a certain percentage or increase your number of social media followers. Whatever you decide, make sure your metrics are meaningful.
DIY OR PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTION
If you’re creating video marketing content you may be tempted to do it yourself to save time and money. While for businesses with very limited budgets and lots of creativity this can sometimes be helpful, if you’re serious about creating professional content you will need to work with a professional production company.
They can help you develop your strategy, formulate ideas and then create video content that delivers.
At Eight Engines, we can maximise the impact of video in your digital marketing with our creative and strategic marketing and video production services.
To find out more about how we work and how we can fire-up your digital marketing, call 0161 974 1319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.