Should Video Be Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?

The short answer is yes. Read on for the detailed version.

Image courtesy of  Jan Vu Nam

Image courtesy of Jan Vu Nam

Marketing is a tough gig. Yeah, it can be fun. If you do it well, you get to do some pretty cool stuff. If you’re really good at it, you get to geek out over all kinds of data and information that gives you insight into your brand, your products, and the people who care about them. You’re constantly learning, and there’s an incessant stream of new tools available to connect you with your customers. That’s the best part of a career in marketing, and the worst part. Sometimes it feels like you’re staring down the business end of a firehose and they’ve just turned on the water. For the love of Pete, brace yourself!*

The trick to surviving the deluge is to understand when something new becomes something that’s expected. It happened with websites. Then it happened with Facebook or Twitter, or LinkedIn. Thankfully Google+ decided to chill out and go have drinks with Friendster and MySpace. The point is, some things move beyond cutting edge and make it into the mainstream. And once that happens, you hurt your brand by not being there.

We’re making the case that video is now one of those things.

Traditionally, video has been expensive and process intensive. On top of that, it’s been difficult to measure your return on investment. Many people believe it’s still that way. But that’s not the case. There are a ton of different ways you can create video, from simple clips shot on a mobile device, to fully produced, near Hollywood-quality short or long-form presentations. The fact is, you can afford video in some form. Actually, you really can’t afford to not take advantage of it.

There are many different ways video helps you connect with your customers, and make things better for them. Providing a better customer experience is an essential part of winning new customers, and keeping the ones you’ve already got. Last time we checked, that’s kind of a big deal. Video helps you with all of that. And the bottom line is, your customers are starting to expect it. Why should they spend an hour talking to customer support on the phone? They should be able to find a video on your website that walks them through solving their issue. That’s where your customers are moving. Will you be there to meet them?

In addition, it’s now incredibly easy to measure your ROI on video. Depending on how you host your videos, you can access a number of metrics that will help you evaluate exactly how your audience is responding to your messages. You can measure views, play rate, engagement, social shares, conversions and more. Analyzing these measures gives you insight into how trusted your brand is, how clear or on-target your message is, where viewers lose interest, whether they find your content compelling enough to share, and whether your videos convert to sales or another call to action, like filling out a contact form. That’s extremely valuable feedback that can help you refine your content to make it more engaging and valuable for your customers.

So let’s sum this all up.

Consumers are watching more and more online video, connecting with brands they care about in new ways. Video provides consumers with a more digestible and exciting way to learn about new products, get support, and connect more deeply with behind the scenes access and other exclusive content. Brands are expected to provide that kind of content, and doing so can improve their customer experience, and boost SEO.

Fender Musical Instruments uses videos to show customers hot to modify their instruments.

Apple, Inc. is using video to educate the public about their new Apple Watch.

With an increasing range of options, there’s a video strategy that’ll work for you at any budget. Set clear goals, and work with someone who can help you develop a strategy to achieve them. Video offers a wide range of analytics that will help you measure and analyze your progress, and make adjustments that’ll move you closer to your goals. Showing an ROI won’t be a problem.

Investing in video is one of the best ways to engage your customers emotionally, in a way that builds a stronger connection with your brand. It exposes them to who you are and what you’re about, and it’s by far the best medium for telling your story. It’s not optional anymore. If you’re not using it to build your brand, you’re actually putting your brand at risk.    

If you’re still wondering if video has really gotten to be that big of a deal, here are a few stats that might help you make up your mind:

  • Landing pages that included videos see an 86% increase in conversions.
  • Video helps boost your SEO results. You’re 50X more likely to show up in the first page of search results if your page features video. Video also increases the time people spend on your site, and reduces your bounce rate.
  • On Facebook’s top 10 brand pages, videos are shared 12X more than links and text posts combined
  • YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. You only get on there if you have video.
  • 13 to 24 year-olds are watching more YouTube than TV. 96% of them watch online video with only 81% watching scheduled TV and 56% recorded TV. The general consensus of the report is viewers prefer media that they can watch when they want that’s easily relatable, makes them feel good and has ads that can be ignored. Catch that last part? Ads that can be ignored. Video content that your customers seek out moves you past that part.
  • Facebook and Twitter are both actively pushing more video content on their services.

It’s time to stop looking at video as a luxury, or a fringe item. It’s mainstream, man. Time to start using it to your advantage.

*Pete’s a really nice guy, and he’d feel absolutely terrible if you were caught off guard by the whole firehose thing. Pete urges you to be prepared.