Video killed the content star.
“If a trend becomes obvious, you’re too late.” – Elon Musk
OK, not everyone can be a trendsetter (wrote the guy wearing tattered Chuck Taylor’s and well-worn Levi 501’s). One of the things I love most about our industry is that it’s constantly changing; it requires an unwavering commitment to learning.
Following is part one of a running commentary on the latest/greatest developments in marketing, and what we’re focusing on at Spoke. Let’s start with video…
Video is worth 1.8 million words*
As a writer, it pains me…but people don’t read like they used to. Just to fact-check myself, I read a print ad for ‘Keds Champion Oxford’ sneakers from a 1967 publication. There were over 350 words on a full page ad…for SNEAKERS. Today’s consumer ads for phones, computers, cars, fashion, etc. are like billboards. We (marketers) know that if an ad doesn’t get your attention in the first few seconds, you’re gone. To be effective, we have to be quick and compelling. Business-to-business ads might have more copy than consumer ads, but not much.
The written word isn’t dead, but it appears it might be better said than read.
Think about it, when was the last time you logged on to any social media or news site and didn’t see a video? Cisco predicts that 82% of internet traffic will be video by 2018 (up from 70% in 2015). Adobe Research reports that over half of marketing professionals believe video content has the highest ROI.
The play button looms large.
It’s not just content marketing. Content/nurture marketing leader Hubspot reports that just the mention of ‘video’ in a subject line increases open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduces ‘unsubscribes’ by 26%.
Your video looks great (to a search engine, anyway).
The mere fact that a website contains video helps search engine rankings. A video is deemed quality content, and search engines love relevant rich media content. Make sure to label your video as you would any other visual on your site, the more keywords, the better. You might even consider making a transcript of your video available to ensure the content is captured.
Did you know that your video needs a sitemap? It does. It should include a URL to the landing page and thumbnail preview, the title, description, the duration, rating (if applicable), publication date, and more. Check out Google’s recommendations here: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/videosearch/sitemaps.
What’s next? Personalized video.
There are a couple of tools out there that we’re watching (and using) with keen interest. One company, www.Vidyards.com can personalize well-produced videos with the recipient’s name embedded in the video itself. Why? Just a simple 400% increase in click-through rates. Another other less revolutionary (more evolutionary) tool is delivered by companies like www.bombbomb.com. This email tool allows senders to send simple, small production videos directly to the end user. As opposed to traditional emails, these high-touch videos elicit 81% more replies, generate 68% more leads and obtain 56% more referrals than regular emails.
When should I use video?
Ascend2 research asserts that customer testimonials, explainer/tutorials, and demonstration videos are the most effective. But that’s not all, video increases brand awareness, online engagement, customer education, and lead generation and conversion.
It doesn’t stop there. Incorporating video is a way of spreading news through mimicking the most effective means of influence and persuasion: word of mouth. Personalized messages can talk directly to the consumers you are trying to reach and are not subject to the limitations of traditional TV video. You can say what you want to, how you want to, and your opportunity of being watched is based on the viewer’s schedule and discretion. Combining sight and sound in your messaging has been proven to be the strongest form of generating high awareness and recall.
Of course, it is important to provide information that is actually useful to the viewer and avoid the more traditional “this is an ad” approach. Instead, treat the audience like someone you meet at a social gathering, conveying relevant information in a casual but professional manner, and avoiding anything approaching a hard sell. You are making an acquaintance and through this acquaintance, hope to establish a new relationship.
I’m a subject matter expert, reporting live from…my phone.
The truth is that your target is already consuming video at unprecedented rates. Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook Live Broadcasts are empowering anyone with a smartphone to be a live broadcaster. Viewer-generated videos aren’t just relegated to America’s Funniest Home Videos; we see them on major news networks nightly.
Behavior is changing (faster than 150 frames per second)
The notion that videos have to be short is simply wrong. If a viewer is interested, time is irrelevant. In fact, 81% of consumers watched videos longer than 10 minutes and 65 percent watched videos longer than 30 minutes.
And, your prospect isn’t just watching on a connected TV. According to our friends at Fortune by 2019 80% of all internet traffic will be video content.
Nielsen glumly reports that perhaps every marketer’s sweet spot (18-34-year olds) is rapidly shifting to mobile as their primary source of watching videos. Traditional viewing peaked in 2010 and has been declining ever since (after growing every year since 1949). Viosk reports that from 2012 to 2014, mobile video views have increased by 400% and that 50% of video views will be happening on mobile devices in 2016.
As technology improves, creating a quality video doesn’t cost nearly as much as it did even five years ago. As Katie Lance aptly wrote on The Huffington Post, “The people with the long-term success aren’t the ones who are just broadcasting to receive hearts. The long terms success will come when people in the community build trust with other people in the community.”
This logic behind this holds true for brands; building trust and thought leadership is a marathon, and the winners are already running.
* Forrester Research on the messaging value of one-minute video.