Video is increasingly central to the online experience, thanks in no small part to better support on social media platforms, more accessible video production tools and a growing global audience of content-hungry web users. Here’s why it should be central to your content marketing too:
How video content can benefit your brand
1. Videos helps your message stick
According to research from the marketing agency insivia, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to only 10% when they read it in a piece of text. This means video is likely to make a bigger impression than an article would during the limited window of time during which you have the viewer’s attention.
2. They also help spread that message further
If your aim is to achieve wide reach with your marketing content – and we think it should be – video is likely the best choice of format to achieve that goal.
The reason is simple: video tends to get more shares on social than text or images. In fact, social video has been found to receive twelve times more shares than text and image based content put together.
3. There are several genres of video ready-made to show customers your good side…
Got some expertise or a great product to share with the world? Video content can help you get the message out there. There are several well-established genres of B2C/B2B video which are produced successfully by all sorts of businesses, from mega-rich blue-chips to under-funded start-ups. Here are the video genres most frequently by businesses last year:
- Product demos
Source: HubSpot (2017)
These video types represent new and more direct ways to tell people what’s so great about you and your business. By guiding viewers through tricky subjects, explaining product features or getting happy customers to speak out, brands can raise their stock with new and existing customers alike.
4. Oh, and some people won’t become customers at all until they’ve seen a video.
Of all the useful things about videos, perhaps the most important from a marketing perspective is their power to build customers’ trust in a brand. Many web users want to see a business, its people and its whole reality before they become customers or clients – otherwise they’re just putting their trust in a bunch of source code.
Building trust can have a measurable impact on conversion rates – which in this case means the percentage of visitors to a webpage or social media content item who perform a subsequent action that achieves a business goal, such as liking a page or making a purchase. Estimates vary as to exactly how much video boosts conversions, but Unbounce’s figure of 80% is a widely used benchmark.
If video content is so great, why are some businesses still not producing it?
Even though most businesses these days can afford the equipment to produce decent video content, the overall cost of video can still be off-putting.
It’s common knowledge that a successful video in 2018 could just as easily be shot with an iPhone as with a Hollywood-style production setup. Cutting costs gets harder, however, when it comes to hiring professional film-makers and video marketing strategists to create and execute an outstanding concept. On top of that, you have the costs of distribution on social, e.g. budget for sponsoring the video on Facebook.
The good news is that plenty of businesses get enough value out of their videos to make the costs worthwhile, for reasons like the ones listed in the previous section of this article.
There are further ways to reduce the costs of video marketing, beyond using affordable equipment. For instance, businesses can distribute their content on alternative social networks to gain free or relatively cheap exposure. By finding cost savings wherever appropriate, most businesses can make video add up.
Straight up, you should try vertical video
If you still watch videos on your laptop or desktop more often than on your smartphone, you might struggle to see the appeal of vertical videos. That’s only natural, since you do most of your viewing on a horizontal screen.
However, the big problem with making content horizontal is that most people now experience the internet in a vertical view.
In the UK, 48% of respondents to a 2018 survey said the most important device they use to access the web is their smartphone, while just 24% placed their laptop first. And this trend goes beyond Europe.
According to research published by Statista, the number of mobile phone video viewers in the United States is set to increase from 169.5mn in 2018 to 179.4mn in 2020.
The upshot is that more and more web users will be looking to vertical video for the best viewing experiences to suit their device, because most new smartphones have vertical screens.
What makes a great vertical video?
Social media provides abundant opportunities for brands to promote themselves and reach customers via vertical video. Popular places to post include Instagram Stories, snaps on Snapchat, Facebook Stories, and even YouTube, which now supports vertical video on all device types. There’s also IGTV by Instagram for long-from vertical content.
Before you choose a platform to publish your vertical video content on, you’ll need to work out what that content will be. The most natural fit for vertical video tends to be footage of people – whether that’s a self-filmed vlog, or an interview involving featuring and filmed by separate people. Another word for the vertical orientation is portrait, after all.
This is a subject close to LAMA’s heart, as almost all our community members self-produce vertical videos via our platform. Visit our Magazine to get some inspiration from their work.
By combining vertical video with cost-saving tactics like shooting on a smartphone and distributing content via alternative channels, your business could tap into the enormous potential of video marketing in 2018.