2017: The Year Video Took Over Digital Marketing

In today’s fast-paced digital world, it seems impossible to imagine an effective business that functions without a mobile, tablet or laptop at the ready.

Customers, clients and employees alike demand constant communication, connectivity and information, of course online marketing has responded to these needs. From SEO to PPC, e-mail marketing to social media, since the inception of the internet organizations of all sizes have responded to the rapid advances in technology by trying to optimize their business offerings to meet them.

For those of us following these trends, 2017 has brought yet another wrinkle to the online world, digital video marketing. Newsfeed, blogs, websites, social media everywhere you look we’re seeing businesses and brands push their content through video, it’s clear that video is no longer the future it’s the here and now.

Here are some raw figures for those of you still on the fence to ponder:

  • 74% of all online traffic is now devoted to video
  • YouTube is now the second biggest search engine in the world with over a billion users worldwide, that’s over 1/3rd of the internet.
  • 55% of people watch at least one video everyday
  • 33% of tablet users and 28% of smartphone users are watching at least one video every day.
  • Video consumption on smartphones increases by 100% every year
  • Across the world 45% of people are tuning in to an hour of video content at least, every week, on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
  • Putting video on your website’s homepage has been shown to increase conversions by 80%
  • 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read a page of content
  • Because of statistics like these, 87% of digital marketers are already using online video, and even the ones lagging behind acknowledge the importance video marketing and plan to use it.

Anyone who’s witnessed the wildfire success of viral video campaigns conducted by the likes of Old Spice, Dollar Shave Club and even the inimitable Chuck Testa will understand the potential of video marketing. But in 2017 the game has changed, video is no longer just a helpful supplement to your core online offerings; it’s a core part of content strategy. Customers want entertainment and information in easy supply, and video provides just that.

What Makes SEO the Hottest Digital Marketing Trend since Mobile?

video conference

That’s a real quote by the way, from an authority no higher than social media wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg himself, and it’s in line with Facebook’s efforts over the past year to promote more and more original video content on people’s feeds. Other massive digital media providers such as Vice, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post are similarly shifting away from written content, to focus more on tailored, engaging video posts. Clearly the people in charge know that consumer preferences are shifting.  But what makes video marketing so special?

A New Level of Customer Engagement

If you ask any successful business about their online marketing strategy, whether it’s social media or search engine rankings, they’ll explain to you the importance of building a story around your brand. The internet offers businesses the ability to connect to customers and maintain their attention like never before. By creating a consistent customer-focused message with their content even small businesses can differentiate, and leave a big impression on target audiences.

Here are a few techniques small businesses are using to create greater customer engagement:

  • FAQ videos for commonly asked questions
  • Product unboxing videos
  • Customer testimonials
  • Fun behind the scenes looks at staff and operations, with stories and anecdotes

With customers 10 times more likely to post, share and comment on videos, rather than blog posts and other written content. Good videos can become a great selling point for any business.

It Will Help you Rank on the First Page

All of Google’s recent updates to their search engine algorithms have had one thing in common, an increasing focus on providing relevant video content. It’s not exactly surprising, considering the biggest video sharing platform in the world YouTube is also owned by the parent company, Alphabet. A 2009 study showed that webpages with videos are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page search results, and that number has only increased in the ensuing years as video has become more and more important.

The focus on video is likely driven by Google’s commitment to stop rewarding websites for simply optimizing each page for particular keywords. Instead Google wants to make sure that internet users get quality content that provides them with the information they asked for. In fact over 80% of the videos that are showing up on Google’s front page are informational in nature, content truly is king and with a little helpful branding and production values, you can have the best content in your industry.

Video Works on All Devices

80% of internet users own and use a mobile device, and mobile marketing has become a cornerstone of marketing strategy for most businesses as a result. One of the keys to ensuring the success of these strategies is creating a consistent user experience for customers across all distribution channels. Often text and image-based content can suffer from the conversion, but not so with video.

With Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and the recently defunct Vine it’s clear that mobile phones are a perfect platform for video content and the facts bear that out, over half of video content published is found through mobile devices. People like watching videos on the go, and audiences are only growing. Mobile users are also a lot more interested in branded content, according to Google they are 1.4X more likely to watch ads on websites, social media and YouTube than computer or TV audiences.

As unlimited mobile data increasingly becomes more affordable, more users are taking the opportunity to increase video viewership without concern of billing costs.

Because of this willingness to engage, mobile users are also more proactive about following up – 42% of smartphone users visit company stores and websites are viewing video marketing and a further 22% report positive influences due to it.

Promotes Brand Recall

Video content provides an easy shortcut for leaving a lasting impression on customers. By crafting a story that takes advantage of auditory and visual cues to market your content you can evoke emotions in audiences they’d never expect from branded content. 80% of customers are able to recall a video they’ve watched in the last month, and that includes remembering the brand that it was for.

Video content also encourages users to click on your website or social media page and stick around for longer. Statistics show that videos have a 41% higher click rate than simple text and image based landing pages. While similar studies reveal that users will spend 2 minutes longer on websites with embedded video content, with a 64% higher chance of purchasing from the same site. That’s a pretty staggering statistic in a world where the average online attention span is about 8 seconds, in a world of goldfishes you’ve got to differentiate.

Now, obviously in order to achieve this effect you’ll have to make sure your brand voice is consistent through the video content and that you’re delivering video content that is able to connect with audiences. But if you’re able to get the hang of that, then the sky is truly the limit.

Boosts E-mail Marketing

Targeted e-mails and digital newsletters are a big part of any businesses customer retention strategy, but often these well optimized marketing efforts go unread, consigned to the junk mail box.

By adding video to your E-mails you can increase click rates by 3% and improve click-through rates by 96%. In fact just putting the word “video” in the subject line of your E-mail will increase the chances of it being opened by 19%, the content itself will reduce unsubscribe rates by 26%.

Every business knows that loyal customers are more valuable than new ones, getting the message out to them about new products and services can make an enormous difference to your bottom line.

Video Increases Conversions

Although video content can be somewhat expensive and time-consuming you more than make up for the effort. Embedding product videos on your website’s landing page can boost your conversions by up to 80%. A further 74% of audiences that view a video explaining how a product works actually do go on to purchase it. 71% of marketers agree that video marketing outperforms all other marketing efforts by a good margin.

What do businesses think? 76% of companies producing video marketing are more than happy with their return on investment, that’s a pretty vocal majority.

Handy Tips for Your Video Marketing Strategy

mac with youtube homepage

Video marketing is here to stay. Utilizing it effectively can make a real impact on profits and market share. But if you’re just starting to plan a strategy for marketing through video content then where do you begin?

Sell the Story not the Product

The point of marketing is to create leads and drive conversions. Focusing on selling a narrative is the best way to take advantage of opportunities offered by video. Audiences want to connect on an emotional level.

Think about the text-based copy your company produces. Do you make an effort to keep things fun and engaging? Or are you just providing a dry run-down of the facts? Apply the same idea to your videos. Think about what your product does and place it into a bigger picture. What is the impact it can have on your clients? the community? What message if any drives your brands activities?

One way of adding a human face to your company is focusing on employees. Personal stories about the work they do is a great way of creating engagement.

Post Regularly

Each video should function as part of a larger series that customers can expect to grow over time. Delivering a story over multiple posts will hold audiences attention, bringing them your website or YouTube page regularly.

Space your schedule out a little more to create excitement and anticipation for your content. Starting a video campaign while focusing non-video marketing efforts on promotion you can create a lot of buzz. Consistent videos will differentiate your business and make you an industry leader.

Optimize your Brand Messaging

Posting your videos on YouTube is great. The process allows them to be indexed by Google and show up multiple times in search results. However when customers click them, they’ll be redirected to Youtube, not your website. Draw them to your website instead by embedding videos on to your landing page, blogs, and any social media accounts.

Put your brand logo somewhere on the video in order to create a connection between the content and your business. Add URLs that link back to your website on the end of videos and to your Youtube Channel page. They help to draw additional traffic. Finally, make sure you’re using the description box provided on the video page. Put your website’s link in there as well, right at the top.

Short and Sweet

Audiences will stick around longer for video content than text, but they still want their information in quick bursts. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat understand these requirements and optimize their distribution network for quick, easy-to-make short videos. Try to get your message out in 3 minutes or less. Focus on reaching customers that find your content as they browse through their feeds, or content aggregating sites. A message that’s easily digested is easy to share.

Quality over Quantity

Video is important but pursuing a scattershot strategy will not gain you any new customers. Poorly produced content will hurt your brand image. It’s important that you take your time to produce high-quality content that presents a professional image from start to finish. One great video can leave a far bigger impression than 10 unfocused ones. With so many companies pursuing video marketing, it helps to be able to differentiate your offerings.

Think of your video in the context of the buyer’s journey and how it fits into your overall marketing strategy. You may want to hire a company specialized in producing video content to ensure production qualities. A good production company will develop a professional final product while helping you at each step of the process.

Make Full Use of the Medium

There are a number of different video strategies a production company might pursue:

    • Educational Videos – Short simple content that informs customers about the details, features and packaging of the product, as well as any additional services offered.
    • FAQ or How-Tos – Help customer deal with common issues they face with your product. Alternatively help them get the most use out of your products and services.
    • Tutorials – We understand you don’t want to give away trade secrets, but offering viewers free content that makes use of your inside knowledge and industry expertise will help customers trust your brand and invest in its credibility. This is also a great idea for building a series, that draws viewer attention
  • Customer Involvement – Bring your customers on board by inviting them to share content through social media or YouTube, with your brand name on display.  You can even entice higher-quality offerings by offering a reward to the best videos. Customers love to see themselves reflected in their favorite brands.
  • Product Reviews – Along those lines have engaged customers carry out live product reviews for interested followers. A strong brand partner on board can really drive sales especially amongst younger demographics.

Evaluating the Results

gneric statistics on a tablet

Looking to capture a certain number of views and likes or to develop a certain number of leads? It’s important to keep track of the effectiveness of your video content, and link it to measurable objectives. Make use of the analytics information offered by YouTube and other video posting platforms. Most allow you to track the number of views and the amount of time your videos are being viewed. Keep track of the comments on your video on social media as well. On your website you can use Google Analytics to check metrics before and after posting videos. The data will help you to get a better picture of how you stand compared to your objectives.

Enlist the services of a top notch content production company. They should be capable of generating these reports for you on a semi regular basis. Work with them to provide video content aligned with your overall business objectives.

Jeff Hecht

Jeff Hecht

Jeff is the Founder and Managing Director of the Aronson Hecht Agency. He grew up in the advertising industry at his father's' agency. He has over 40 years in sales and marketing experience. Jeff brings that experience to every client and every project we work on.