Contributor Allen Martinez provides an overview of the why and how of video marketing, including an important primer on how you can get started.
When’s the last time you were choked up by an AdWords sentence? In 2018, text is easy to skim right over, thanks to the many platforms that bombard us every day with the written word.
Video marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools online right now, and it gets more popular every day. To boost your online campaign with the most effective ROI you can get with a marketing tool, video cannot be ignored.
What does video marketing consist of in 2018?
While basic video marketing is still a strong campaign tool, there are some recent developments in the world of video content that you can employ to boost your efforts. For 2018, there are three things to focus on including in your video content strategy:
- Live video: Thanks to livestreaming services being added to most of the big social media platforms, like Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope, live video has become more and more common. Statistics have shown that consumers spend three times longer watching live videos than pre-recorded videos, which gives you a huge opportunity to share your message.
- Virtual reality video: This is one of the newest trends in video marketing, but it has the potential to lead the way in the coming year. Facebook has recently unveiled a new VR headset that’s expected to ship this year, and digital marketing gurus are predicting it will change the landscape. Get in on the ground floor with this fast-growing video trend.
- 360 videos: The use of omnidirectional cameras got its start in 2014, but only recently have marketers begun to grasp the potential here. Still, case studies conducted by magnifyre and Google suggest that people engage more with 360-degree video as compared to standard video, so keep an eye on this trend to explode this year. It allows you to give your viewers a sense of immersive space, and the tech to create these videos gets cheaper by the day.
- Video funnels: In the same way that email campaigns can nurture someone once they have opted in, you can use video funnels to drive audiences over time from awareness to consideration phases using several videos. Facebook and other platforms let you create custom audiences based on their behaviors, which allows you to retarget based on behaviors.
The year of 2018 is also set to be the year that even more small players in the online business world will be getting into video and dominating the scene. We’ve already seen examples of this with brands like Dollar Shave Club, which invested in a video campaign and, according to a New York Times interview with the founder, received 12,000 new orders in the first 48 hours of the video’s launch. That one campaign turned this little-known subscription service into an internet darling with a big following almost overnight.
Though Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin told The New York Times he only spent $4,500 on the video, the fact that Dubin was both actor and producer (with the help of friends) made it possible for him to keep the budget down. I’d estimate that the video would have cost closer to $32,000 if you had properly paid everyone involved in making it, as you should. But even at that price, it would have returned an amazing ROI.
Video marketing stats: Why you should care about video
Still not convinced that a video campaign could be just what you need to jumpstart your marketing efforts? Take a look at some of the statistics gathered by Wyzowl in a December 2017 survey of 570 marketing professionals and consumers:
- 81 percent of businesses use video as a marketing tool (up from 63 percent in 2017).
- 85 percent of businesses regard video as an important part of their marketing strategy (up from 82 percent in 2017).
- 95 percent of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
- 81 percent of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
- Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72 percent of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.
With such booming statistics showing clear success for video — particularly for video’s ability to convert viewers into customers — it’s not hard to see why this is a must for your marketing.
What video can do for your business and how to get started
The reason that video is so powerful is twofold. First, it allows you to tell a story very quickly, and in a way that consumers have been trained to enjoy through a culture of movie- and TV-watching.
Second, it gives you the ability to connect to the viewer’s emotions, which helps users connect with your brand in a meaningful way. You can create videos with very specific intent, targeting specific audiences and getting specific reactions, in mere seconds.
How to develop your video marketing strategy
1. Understand the user: Personas and consumer journey
To capitalize on video’s ability to connect with the consumer, you have to ensure that you are crafting the right message for your target audience. This is why it’s very important to spend time gathering consumer insights before launching your video. Unlike text, which can be easily edited if it’s not drawing attention, video must be remade and relaunched to adjust the message — so it’s best to get it right the first time.
Evoking emotion from your target audience should always be your goal, but be aware of what emotion you want to evoke. For most businesses, awe and admiration will be important for building your brand reputation. But if your customers are blindly loyal to a challenger brand, you might need to use humorous logic or even intense FOMO (fear of missing out) emotions to stir them out of their comfort zone and get them to listen up.
I have used all types of emotions in my work, and they all work on the right audience. It just depends on getting the right audience.
2. Create goals and KPIs for your campaign
The next thing you need to do to use a video marketing strategy wisely is to create a measurable KPI for your campaign. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what they are. As with other marketing strategies, it’s important to do some A/B testing to learn what works best for your audience.
3. Understand what type of video is correct for your goals and the platform
There are multiple ways to present your videos to your audience, such as:
- Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media.
- TV and other traditional media.
You’ll need to research each to learn where your audience is, and which platform best suits your message. Social media platforms that are more fluid, such as Twitter and Facebook, make it easier to share content, but that content is often very short-lived. That means that these platforms are often better for short-form and live video, or for content that you’ll pay to promote.
Longer videos might be better suited to YouTube or traditional media platforms. YouTube is an excellent platform if you intend to create a series of related videos because you can easily create a playlist and encourage subscriptions for your viewers to follow along. With YouTube, the active browsing feature allows you to use SEO to attract audiences, so you have other options beyond paying to promote your content.
4. Create video that’s effective and cost-effective
There are many things to keep in mind when creating a video. Be sure to keep your branding in mind — just as your website and social media profiles are branded for immediate recognition, so should your videos immediately signal to viewers who you are. Consider what story you are telling about your brand with your video. Be sure to show, instead of tell, your viewers, what your message is all about. That is the power of video, after all.
You can create videos in-house or have a video marketing agency create them for you. In-house video allows you better control over video and makes it easier to feature personal touches, such as messages from actual employees. But it can also cost you more in time, lost work productivity and money as you learn the best video creation techniques. An agency gives you a professional-looking video right away from experienced creators. Keep in mind that whichever option you choose, you’ll have to make sure that the technical team and the creative team communicate clearly and frequently.
Not sure if you should go in-house or outsource? Phil Nottingham of Wistia makes it incredibly clear in this image below. If it’s a low-budget, low-risk effort, stay in-house. If you’re ready to take it seriously, hire an expert:
Video case study with Plated
When you’re going for that professional level and a video marketing strategy comes together, what does it look like? This case study with Plated gives you a great example of what you may be able to expect from a video marketing campaign:
Create intent with video
In the first video at the beginning of this article, I discuss how the call to action in a video is a powerful motivator for viewers. The statistics show that audiences are much more likely to take action after watching a video, rather than after reading text.
By creating the right intent with your video — inspiring the audience to buy a product, invest in a service, explore your website or take any other action — you’re taking advantage of the driving force of video marketing. You can create intent with the storytelling techniques in the video, the music, the visuals, the structure and more.
Put video to work for you in 2018
Remember that video doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, some of the most popular video campaigns in the world are extremely simple — and their power rests in their simplicity. It’s more important to target your audience is a smart way than to create a complex video.
Keep in mind that more and more companies are turning to video for their messages, which only works to train your audience to respond to video even more. Even small companies have embraced the power of video marketing for the future, and they are using trends like live video and virtual reality to boost their reach. This year, embrace video in your marketing strategies, and don’t be left behind.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.