Today's digital marketers know the power of content marketing. That's why it's used regularly by 91 percent of B2B (and 86 percent of B2C) marketing specialists. It's not always clear, however, what form this content should take. Are blogs more effective than social media posts? And where does video advertising fall in the equation?
Statistically speaking, video marketing is arguably the most popular advertising medium used today. Currently, 87 percent of online marketers use video content in their marketing strategies. Worldwide, 51.9 percent of marketers cite video as the content strategy that produces the best Return On Investment (ROI). More specifically, surveys show that video content embedded in your website's landing page can increase your conversion rate by 80 percent.
Here's a look at why video advertising may be your most effective platform in the visual arena.
How Video Revolutionized Content Marketing
How did video become such a force within just a few years? The short answer is YouTube, which is also part of the Google Display Network. In a single decade, YouTube has stretched the possibilities and boundaries of video, creating a whole new role for the medium in today's culture. With four billion daily views (and 300 hours of video uploaded every minute), YouTube has transformed the Internet into the television of the modern age – and it's a television offering unprecedented opportunities for marketers. Since its 2015 partnership with Google Brain, YouTube marketers have been able to integrate AI with big data to help clients and advertisers reach their target audience with pinpoint accuracy. The numbers tell the story: YouTube's most popular ads of 2017 averaged views of more than 25 million, with the top spots going to ads for Clash Royale: The Last Second (110.7 million views) and Samsung's India Service: "We'll Take Care of You, Wherever You Are" advertising campaign (150.3 million views).
Also watch: The Best Video Ads of 2017
Thanks to other significant factors – such as consumer access to affordable high-speed broadband and improved IT technology that mitigates the constant buffering and slow download speeds of the past – video has become a digital juggernaut in the marketing industry; and as such, an indispensable browsing/shopping tool for consumers. In a recent study, almost 50 percent of Internet users say that they seek out videos related to a product before purchasing it at a store. Likewise, 90 percent of consumers said that watching a product video helps them make purchasing decisions. In addition, research shows that four times as many consumers prefer watching a video about a product rather than reading about it.
While written content can describe a product, videos can visually demonstrate it – and just as importantly, visually (and audibly) demonstrate the reactions of people using it. As a result, this audio/visual component engages the consumer's senses in a more realistic and personal way.
Video Marketing in Social Media
Studies show that 60 percent of marketers utilize video in social media marketing, while 73 percent of marketers plan to increase their video use in social media. More specifically, 48 percent of marketers plan to include YouTube in upcoming marketing strategies.
Perhaps the most significant statistic shows that 64 percent of consumers make a purchase after watching branded video advertising on social media. With its huge viewership (more than 500 million video viewers a day on Facebook alone), social media provides the perfect platform for marketers to post engaging, informative videos that can be seen instantly – and at any time – by hundreds of million people on a daily basis.
Another of social media's advantages is that it provides users with the opportunity to share videos that they like – which in turn provides advertisers with widespread product exposure at no extra cost.
Recent studies show that 55 percent of consumers pay close attention to videos they watch, compared to averages of 39-43 percent who merely skim through blogs, social media posts and news articles. Likewise, 45 percent of consumers say they want to see more video ads in the future.
With B2B consumers, video has a similar impact. Research shows that 59 percent of business executives prefer to watch video over text, when given the choice. Likewise, more than 80 percent of senior business executives say they're watching more online video than they were last year. Given these numbers, it's not surprising that 96 percent of senior executives say that they plan to utilize video in their content marketing during the next year.
Cross Channel Marketing
One of the great benefits of video is that it can capture consumers at so many stages of their journey. Businesses can run their videos not only across YouTube, social media sites and limitless websites, but also on connected TVs and mobile devices, resulting in an unprecedented bang for their advertising buck.
The popularity of video has created some unlikely marketing pairings, with video providing a much-needed boost to other platforms and channels. For example, marketers have found that the word "video" in an email subject line will boost open rates by at least 19 percent. Likewise, 50 percent of users say they're more likely to read email content if it includes links to a video. This indicates that today's video-hungry consumers are ready to be entertained at any time, even while checking their email.
Online video ads can also be used to further the story line of a popular TV ad. A classic example is John Hancock's 2015 ad campaign, which featured three 30-second scenarios, each prompting viewers to go online and choose their favorite ending to the story. Likewise, popular TV ad characters from brand names such as Geico and Progressive regularly appear in Internet-only ads that promote the brand even further.
Savvy marketers point to the fact that, since television has been advertising's greatest success story over the six decades, it's not surprising that video has become its online successor. All the components that spelled success for TV advertisers are creating the same prosperous climate for digital marketing – with the added bonuses of anytime viewing, social media sharing, live streaming and new AI technologies that allow viewers to interact in real time with the video. With these exciting technologies on the digital horizon, it's a safe bet that video will become even more customized, more engaging, more interactive – and more financially lucrative for those marketers savvy enough to utilize its capabilities.