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Is the money you are investing in video making a difference?

These benefits and examples of video marketing show why video should now be an essential digital marketing tactic

The short answer would be “yes”. Investing in a robust and high-quality video digital marketing strategy is well worth it, and it’s helping more than you can imagine. If your video engages, your conversion rates can be increased with just one smart technique or the right content that goes viral for a good reason.

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula, no clear pattern, or perfect algorithm that will cause your success to skyrocket overnight. That is why most might dare doubt the validity and reliability of video content. However, you do not need a one-hit wonder to tell the difference or one small investment with a significant payout. What you need to understand is the actual value of video content and, most importantly, its real potential for online marketing in the long run.Image and video

We live in the age of video

Industry leaders' prediction is that online marketing will reach a stage where the written word will slowly lose ground for video. And it’s certainly not stopping. Nicola Mendelsohn, who is the head of operations for Facebook on several continents, such as Europe and Africa, predicts that video content is about to become even more important. In fact, in a matter of just five years, it’s possible that social media platforms, including titans such as Facebook, will become almost entirely video.

In the meantime, we can see video's progress. Everyone is beginning to understand the power of a well-crafted video. It’s not just big brands, but also smaller companies that are embracing this true well of possibilities and adding its benefits to their marketing strategy. It’s no longer the promising technique of the future. It’s here. Even more, it’s expected to surge forward with full-force this year.

Infographic: Online Video Boom Leads to Surge in Data Traffic | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

So, in 2017, video is worth your investment, and it’s making a significant difference in helping your business grow. Video-driven content is becoming the cornerstone of digital marketing. Here’s why:

1. It’s an All-Around Viable and Easy-to-Access Strategy

Technology has made huge leaps forward. Creating and successfully using a video is no longer a difficult task only afforded by big brands with huge budgets. Even “the little guy” should be able to provide this all-around useful tool without hesitation. Videos can venture further than just your company’s presentation. It can be used in several areas.

Zappos understood its use and added demo videos for their products. A simple presentation of shoe designs on their website from all angles resulted in a 30% increase in sales.

2. Google Loves It

Simply put, Google owns YouTube, which means that by posting videos on the platform, you can gain the search giant’s attention. With Facebook running an aggressive campaign to become the dominant force in online video sharing, YouTube will be rolling up its sleeves with determination to hold strong. More videos posted, liked, and shared on this platform will gain you more online influence. Just by adding a single one on your website, you increase your chances of getting to the highly sought-after first page on Google search 50 times over.

And if Google loves you, everyone knows about you.

  • YouTube reaches the audience between 18 to 49 years old more than any TV broadcast or cable network.
  • 6 out of 10 YouTube subscribers agree that a content creator influences their view on a company or a brand.
  • YouTube celebrities occupy 8 out of 10 slots for teenagers on their list of “most influential people”.

3. It Targets Millennials

Two-thirds of newspaper readers worldwide are Baby Boomers. Millennials, on the other hand, are consuming their news through social media feeds and online publications. What we do know about the younger generation is that they want their information right now, they want it clear, shareable, and, most importantly, it has to be visually represented.

  • Information conveyed in videos is processed 60,000 times faster by the human brain.
  • 90% of online users admit that videos are helpful when deciding on the quality of the product and whether or not they want to buy it.

4. Your Competitors Have Already Started

Even if it’s just an assumption, consider that your competition has already taken this significant step forward, and they’re investing in video content. You need to keep up. Otherwise, you will be left behind.

A video marketing campaign in 2016 can be potentially crucial. Even larger companies, such as IKEA, who already have a significant number of customers, invest in one. They have created a series of instructional videos on how to build their furniture after purchase, proving once again that video defeats print, even the simplest ones.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image Source: Most Popular Ads Worldwide Shared Online in March 2016 (Statista)

  • In the past two years, marketers have increased the budget invested in digital video programming by 114%. (Source)
  • 65% more of marketers in the U.S. plan to increase their budget to account for mobile video ads. (Source)
  • Video content was declared to have the best ROI by 52% of marketers. (Source)
  • 87% of online marketers already use video content in their strategies. (Source)
  • 96% of B2B companies already use video in some capacity. (Source: Insivia)
  • Around 75% of marketers plan to use videos to promote brand awareness. (Source: HubSpot)
  • 22% of small businesses plan to create and post a video in the next 12 months. (Source: Insivia)

There is no question that online video marketing should be your mantra in 2016 nor should you doubt that your investment is making a difference. Worst case scenario, all those extra funds are being used for the sole purpose of keeping up with your competition. It may not propel you forward, but it’s stopping your company from lagging behind. The downsides are few to non-existent.

Why You Should Keep at It

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1. Higher Conversion Rates

There are differences between looking and seeing. Videos capture your viewer's attention and keep them engaged. Visitors tend to stick around for 2 minutes longer on websites that have a video included, and they are 64% more likely to purchase one of your products. Even something as simple as adding one to your email marketing campaign can double click-through rates.

One short video on your landing page can increase your conversion by as much as 80%.

2. You Want to Reach Your Audience

It’s well known that readers become ten times more engaged in a video than they do in other types of content. They are like short stories for the smallest screen, and emotional tales are 22 times more likely to reach us than cold hard facts.

Your audience can be touched by the simplest message if you know how to deliver it. Dove used the common theme of “self-confidence” in their “Campaign for Real Beauty” video that created cultural waves. It’s simple, short, touching, and memorable. The video has since acquired 6.5 million views to prove its success.

  • Drama or comedy-centered content is the most popular, reaching and influencing 39% of viewers.
  • Content focusing on news impacts 33% of viewers.
  • Music videos are considered influential by 31% of viewers.

3. It’s Not Where You Put In The Big Bucks

Breath-taking shots of the city’s skyline and simple effects are not exclusive to Hollywood movies anymore. In this day and age, using drones can replace the expensive rental of a helicopter, and video editing is no longer magic that only well-trained wizards can do.

You don’t need to invest a tremendous amount of money. The capabilities of video production companies have grown. Simple creators can turn into Hollywood producers with just some basic software knowledge.

Video content does not put a significant dent in your budget, it increases conversion rates, and it touches your audience. Those are three important points to add to the pro column.

If You Do It, Do It Right

Go Beyond The First Layer

If you want to be more impactful and make sure that your investment in video is making a difference, show something goes deeper than the surface. Touch your audience, speak to them, and express something that is more than a promotion of your product or company.

Don’t sell your product, sell your message. DICK’s Sporting Goods did not focus on their product in their “Who Will You Be?” campaign. They did not promote a sporting shoe and its comfort. Instead, they invoked emotions by showcasing its ease of use, telling the story of single mothers striving for performance.

The ad becomes a tribute to resilience and perseverance when you struggle with identity and the incredible effort for single moms to put themselves first for once. It touches a broad audience with a beautiful message.

Music Connects People & Brings Them Together

Out of the 100 most shared videos of all times, only one of them is not a music video. Music can be tremendously impacting, so never forget to make use of those magical properties it can bring to the table. Use an appropriate song to convey the tone of your video. Or, even more, make it look like a music video. You don’t need lines when music is such a beautiful art form in itself.

Attack the Senses

It’s not all about emotions. It's about the senses as well. It's true that a picture speaks a thousand words, but how about a video? Make use of the visual and the audio to reach your audience. If you dare, go further and try to break the barrier by targeting their sense of touch or smell. It's not easy, but it is rewarding.

The brain's complex network can create correlations you can use to your advantage. An image can trigger a childhood memory and its associated smell, the touch of material, or the feel of the breeze. A successful video will engage all of these senses one way or another.

Don’t Be Afraid to Explore

It’s perhaps daunting to venture so far forward, but do not be afraid to explore your options. Predictive data is that the consumer internet traffic will increase from 64% to 80% by 2019. At that point, there will be new lanes to explore concerning online video marketing. There's no time like the present to learn them, and take into account that your competition is probably already on them.

Animation Is Your Closest Friend

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Whether it’s a 30-second clip or a longer video, animations undoubtedly appeal to all audiences, and it's a powerful tool in online marketing. Be it adults or children, an animated video can send the right message because it’s easier to understand and can be made to look professional, colorful, goofy, serious, or childish. You have seen the likes of Pixar and Disney master the art of storytelling through animation, or Facebook explaining their new updates.

  • They are more likely to become viral, and viral video marketing campaigns can increase your click-through rates by a whopping 750%.
  • They are easy to understand by people of all ages.
  • The sky’s the limit concerning creativity, as you can create a visual for abstract concepts (emotions, ideas, etc.) or create situations that are unsafe to film in real life (explosions, life-threatening conditions, etc.).
  • It’s less straining on the budget. You do not need to hire actors, rent props, or other expensive material.
  • It is easily editable. Instead of reworking the entire video, and you can use what material you have for future campaigns, such as layouts, sets, color schemes, or even characters that become mascots for a particular project or company.

The only downside to investing in animated video marketing is the fact that it’s harder to create. You will either have to spend a lot of time learning it yourself or find an animation expert that will assist in creating the content for you. However, it’s undoubtedly an excellent option long term. It captures audiences of all ages, can convey the right message, has the potential of going viral, and it’s visually pleasing for all, and it can be used even in the years to come.

Virtual Reality Is Your New Friend

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Without a doubt, 2017 is the year that future developers will refer to as “the year when virtual reality took off”. Major publications are making use of virtual reality as a tool to transmit their message through videos. Tread carefully if you plan on doing the same. It’s a new venue that needs to be carefully considered, but the potential payout is excellent. The data shows that digital video ad spending will rise to $28.08 billion by 2020 only in the U.S., up from the $6.84 billion last year.

It’s All About Heart

Turn up the cuteness factor, add some humor, defy stereotypes, or do anything that will tug on your viewers’ heartstrings. A successful video marketing campaign can truly make a difference in your conversion rates, bounce rates, and click-throughs. Keep in mind that around 78% of internet users in the U.S. watch online videos every week. It’s a vast demographic you can target simply through creating your own content and strategy.

In 2017, videos are and will continue to be at the forefront for consumers, no matter their age, platform, or device. A wise investment could result in significant results now and in the future. The average internet user is estimated to spend an average of 5 hours per month watching YouTube videos and 16 minutes of those watching video ads. Steal a few of those precious minutes, and your investment will make a difference.

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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