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To say that video can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal is not a new idea. For years now, video has proven itself to be an engaging and impactful way to connect with audiences and marketers have been continually forecasting its eventual domination of online spaces. That future seems to have arrived:
YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world.
More video content is uploaded to the web in 30 days than the major US television networks have created in 30 years.
Internet video traffic made up 69% of all global consumer Internet traffic in 2017.
Facebook generates more than 8 billion video views daily.
By 2019, internet video traffic is predicted to account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
Consider Facebook’s gradual prioritisation of videos in its newsfeed and implementation of its own streaming platform ‘Facebook Watch’ last year, or rumours of Instagram preparing to increase its video-length allowance to one hour in order to compete with YouTube. It’s not difficult to see that video is becoming the priority for the big players of the internet — and it’s for good reason.
1) People love visual information
There are a number of scientific reasons why our brains enjoy consuming visual information more than anything else — but what it comes down to is that humans are just visually wired. From the first moment we open our eyes, we already start learning how to interpret visual information and associate it with different behaviours — and we carry that instinctive ability with us throughout our lives.
There’s also evidence to show that our brains are able to make stronger connections between visual information and memories, helping us to retain things we see (and hear) longer than things we might read. Video, therefore, engages that innate instinct in us that wants to pay attention when we see something visually interesting.
2) Video is more engaging
Perhaps that innate attentiveness is one reason why video has proven itself to be the most engaging form of online content. Research has shown that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. It makes sense - it’s hard to deny that a video starting to auto-play in your Twitter feed demands more attention than a link to an article.
Hubspot research demonstrated that video was the top form of content consumers wanted to see from brands they support, taking a strong lead over things like email newsletters, images, and blog articles.
3) Video is more accessible
With the huge amount of content pushed our way by brands these days, most users simply don’t have the time and energy to read through reams of text from each of them. Research shows that the average online user only has time to read about 20% of the text on an average page.
Comparatively, it doesn’t take a lot of time or concentration to sit back and watch a video. Visual information is a lot quicker and easier for our brains to absorb, making the process of consuming more content feel less taxing. That means that videos are able to capture the attention of even the busiest internet users, especially if they have a good hook in the first few seconds.
Additionally, videos tend to be more suitable for explaining messages. Have you ever been halfway through typing out an elaborate text to a friend before giving up and saying “I’ll just fill you in when I see you”? Most things simply translate better with an audio-visual combination and a personable approach - the way we’ve been trained to communicate since we first learned to talk.
4) Video helps with SEO
Video is rewarded almost more than any other type of content on the web when it comes to search rankings. As mentioned already, YouTube is now the second biggest search engine in the world and it’s also owned by the biggest search engine in the world — Google. It’s no coincidence that video and search go hand-in-hand.
Generally, search engines aim to be as helpful as possible by bringing users the most relevant and interesting content they can find. The high engagement figures on videos and the length of time users spend watching them indicates to these search engines that they’re good content — meaning they get promoted higher in search results.
Statistics show you’re 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google if you have a video embedded in your website, plus blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. Additionally, social media algorithms are beginning to prioritise video embedded directly onto the site: native videos on Facebook have a ten times higher reach than YouTube links.
5) Video lends itself perfectly to mobile use
Smartphones today are the equivalent of hand-held computers, and that incredible convenience and functionality means more and more people are choosing to surf the web from their mobile devices. As a result, a growing percentage of overall content consumption is also happening on those pocketable screens.
YouTube has reported that mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year, and it has no signs of slowing down, with 90% of consumers reportedly watching videos on their phone. 85% of Facebook video is also watched without sound, illustrating the huge number of people who watch autoplay videos while scrolling down their phone’s feed.
Videos are the perfect form of content to watch on your phone when on the go. By comparison, things like articles, blog posts and emails are much more difficult to read on a small screen or pay attention to when you’re on a rumbling bus.
6) Video leads to conversions
When it comes to convincing your higher-ups to implement a strong video marketing strategy, this might be the most important thing of all: video marketing demonstrates a significant return on investment.
57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online, whilst 84% have reportedly been convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video. Having a video on your website landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more, and 70% of companies claim that video performs better than other content for producing conversions.
Part of this comes down to building trust with an audience, which is the foundation of any successful business. A testimonial video, after all, is just a simulated version of a word-of-mouth recommendation. Video gives you the space to make these personable connections - to create compelling stories, engage the emotions of your audience, to stop pushing promotions at them and let them come to you instead.
The future on film is already here: video is no longer just an optional tool to impress, but something that needs to be a central focus of your marketing strategy. Brands hoping to carve out their own space online and build a lasting relationship with their audience simply can’t afford to miss out.