& HARNESSING THE
POWER OF VIDEO
3.25 billionThat’s how many hours are spent watching video on YouTube each month. The demand
for video continues to grow, and rightfully so, as video has more capabilities than just about
any other form of communication. However, at the end of the day, we’re still humans trying
to connect with other humans. In this post I’ll breakdown why video is so damn relevant by
identifying some of its key drivers for success. In doing so I hope to shed light on how to
properly harness the power of video for your own marketing efforts.
A Sign Of The Times
Technology and cost have played a huge role in the explosion of video. It wasn’t too long ago
that even the shitty equipment was expensive. Then you’d have to read a manual that was
likely even less helpful than one from IKEA, or you would hopefully have someone to show
you the ropes. Either way it was a huge commitment of both time and finances. Thankfully,
nowadays there’s a video for that. Just go to Youtube and type in what you want to learn.
The ease-of-use has opened the floodgates and enabled every make-up lover to now create
hundreds and thousands of vlogs, tutorials and reviews.
It’s just a matter of where we’re at as a society in general that has driven demand for
video. We rarely disconnect from technology and are constantly seeking something
to occupy our free time with. If you don’t believe me do a little research on your own
the next time you’re walking to work or headed out to lunch. Don’t use your phone.
Don’t check it. Don’t listen to music. Nothing. Instead, look around and see how
many people are face-down in their phone. I used to count the people who were on
their phone while driving as I commuted to work. I’d always give them a friendly honk
and a disappointed head shake. People seem to really struggle with staying focused
on just one thing.
To put it simply, we’re a visual creature. It’s why we keep
up with the Kardashians. We are obsessed with consuming
content, and technology has brought a world of it to our own
mobile entertainment and information centers (smartphones).
What’s unique about video is that it enables us to consume
mass amounts of information with little effort. Now whether or
not that’s useful information being consumed is up for debate.
I’m sure by now you’re thinking, “Okay, so video has grown and society has changed
(or at least the technology that connects us has), but how do I leverage video
effectively to help me connect with my audience?” To start you have to recognize
video for what it is, a catalyst for strengthening the relationship between you and
your audience. Video is your opportunity to bring an outside viewer into your world
no matter where they are.
Trust Me On This
Good relationships are built on trust and trust isn’t something that is just given, it’s
earned. Trust is built up over time. Video is a great trust builder. It increases the time
spent by visitors on your site, and with the more time spent together, the more trust
is established. That’s not just between you and the user. That quality time together
also informs search engines that your site has good content, bumping you up the
all-important search index organically. To put that into perspective, “The average time
users spend on a text only website is 57 seconds, compared to the 6 minutes spent
on a website with video.” This is where you can start to see how video has a positive
impact on just about everything it touches, as that video you just created to connect
with your audience is now optimizing your website for search (SEO benefits).
Content + Quality + Purpose = Success
Now, you don’t want to create a video just for the sake of creating a video. That’s
like ‘friending’ a stranger on Facebook just to feel a little more popular, except it’s
a little less pathetic. Content and quality matter. They’re hugely important when it
comes to video. Again, you can think of video like would a relationship, quality is
more important than quantity. “Poor quality and boring content equate to less
interested viewers.” However, before getting into the content, you’ll need to first
identify the purpose of your video.Are you looking to explain, entertain, inform,
persuade or some combination of them? I can’t stress enough how important it is to
identify the purpose of the video early on. That way the content (what you’re saying)
and creative (how you’re saying it) components align with your purpose.
So let’s talk about that content. Rule number one when it comes to content, make
sure it’s relevant. Research shows that you have about, “10 seconds to engage your
audience before they either commit or click away.” You have the audience’s fleeting
attention, so you need to be clear and compelling right from the start. If you’re
launching a new product or a service you could create a video to show how it works.
“98% of users say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product
or service.” Animated videos are a great way to simplify complex problems, breaking
them down into easily digestible portions.
Tailor The Content To The Outlet
How and where you share the video matters, too. You want to place it around
relevant content. For example, “Ads that were paired with relevant content to the
target audience saw a 30 percent increase in consumer impact.” When it comes to
sharing your content, keep in mind that the audience and how they interact with
content will vary from platform to platform. How you share something on Instagram
will more than likely differ with how you share it on your website. So make sure that
you’re framing the content for the specific audience appropriately. With video it’s
often better to have unique edits or cuts for specific channels. I’m telling you this,
because “visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than
other types of content.” With numbers like those you better make sure that you’re
leveraging it across every touchpoint possible.
Just as in your personal life, your business and success rely on the relationships you
create. Video really allows you to strengthen those relationships by telling a more
engaging and robust story. It allows you to connect with the audience in multiple
ways and can elicit an emotional response unrivaled by any other form of media
or marketing. More importantly, your customers are demanding more video, and
those marketers who are listening are reaping the rewards as video continues to be
the leader in ROI. Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers surveyed said their video
marketing is generating positive results. For companies reluctant to invest in video,
that positivity offers a powerful incentive to jump on the trend.
6. http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics (Buffer, 2014)