From the rise in popularity of on-demand video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime to Tiktok’s almost overnight success with its user-generated, video-first approach, it’s evident that video has become a core component of the online user experience.
- In one study on digital video penetration in the United States, it was forecast that 83% of internet users would have accessed digital video content by 2020.
- In 2020, 17% of global internet users between 18 and 25 years old spent more than 20 hours each week watching online videos.
- Cisco forecast in its 2019 Visual Networking Index report that, by 2022, nearly 79% of global mobile data traffic would be video.
And it’s not all YouTube either
Sure, Google’s video bank remains a powerhouse, thanks to its two billion users watching more than five billion videos every day. But at the same time, video has become indispensable on almost every other social media network. TikTok, for instance, broke the one billion user threshold earlier in 2021, making it a firm contender in the video marketing space.
Another factor to consider: the rise of visual search
It’s tempting to think of YouTube as a social media network. In reality, though, it’s the world’s second-largest search engine, right behind Google. YouTube videos show up at or near the top of an increasing number of Google search results pages.
Visual search operates differently from the text-based alternative
Online users leverage visual search technology to find answers by the millions, and they expect sensory input (i.e., videos and graphics) in those results.
- 36% of consumers have used visual search when shopping online.
- 50%+ of consumers say visuals are more important than text when online shopping.
- 72% of U.S. internet users regularly search for visual content before making a purchase.
- Revenues of ecommerce websites that adopt visual search can increase by 30%.
Accounting for this changing user behavior can make a tangible business difference. Search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer simply about optimizing text and code. Integrating graphics, illustrations, images, and videos into our online efforts is already a crucial part of a larger marketing strategy.
What does this growing trend in consumer behavior mean for you and your clients? Can they afford to ignore the power of video marketing to reach, convince, and convert their online audiences? Let’s take a closer look.
What are the benefits of video marketing?
Embracing video marketing can benefit your clients’ businesses and brands in several ways.
1. Video is an excellent storytelling medium
Try asking your clients to write a few paragraphs about their companies’ origin, purpose, and mission. Now, imagine the same narrative in a video. Which will resonate with their audience more? You clients can tell (and keep telling) their target audience who they are, creatively express their brand voice, and increase their relatability through compelling video.
2. Video helps overcome short attention spans
According to a study by Microsoft, we start losing attention online after about eight seconds. That means your clients’ content can’t just be compelling; it has to be persuasive fast. Video is tailor-made for that challenge and, if done well, helps grab and keep an audience’s attention within a few seconds.
3. Videos are relatively easy to produce
A significant barrier to video marketing used to be production complexity. That time is long gone. The rise in popularity of user-generated content, broadly considered the most authentic type of video, shows that users aren’t necessarily looking for production quality. They’re looking for entertaining, engaging, valuable content. Almost anyone can generate this type of content with as little as a smartphone — more on this below.
4. Videos are easy to access and consume
Of course, that ease of production only matters if the barriers for your audience are just as low. Fortunately, they are. The proliferation of smart devices, combined with the many platforms optimized for video, means that you can be almost certain your clients’ videos will reach their audiences – if you can find ways to get in front of them, of course.
5. Video marketing performance is measurable
Modern marketing cannot operate on hunches. You need to prove its success, which helps direct both budgets and priorities. Fortunately, video statistics go beyond the standard reach and clicks. You can track when users drop off, for how long they watch, and how many users convert from your clients’ videos.
How to use video in your clients’ marketing efforts
Video marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s essential to focus on suitable video types, appropriate platforms, and best production practices for your clients’ brands, products, services, and target audiences.
1. Choosing video types to match your strategy
Online videos can come in many shapes and forms:
- Video ads grab an audience’s attention in a few seconds as they scroll through their social media newsfeed. They’re ideal for growing brand awareness in a paid campaign.
- Education or how-to videos are designed to add value without necessarily pushing your clients’ brands. Use them to build trust and credibility with their target audience. Brand trust will pay off later when sharing more conversion-focused content, as users will likely be more receptive towards it.
- Product launch videos, specifically produced to build excitement, are valuable in an environment where you can engage an already intrigued audience about a significant product change or service update.
- Product demonstrations hone in on product benefits in a way no written paragraph ever could. Have a look at the Final Straw product video, which needed just 35 seconds to show precisely how many ways this product can benefit your life.
2. Choosing the platform(s) to match your clients’ videos
Picking the best video format goes hand in hand with choosing the platform on which you’ll promote it. While almost every digital platform now has a video component, a few are worth highlighting – primarily based on the type of video content that does well for each.
Platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn support longer-form video content
As the second biggest search engine, YouTube should be your number one platform of choice for sharing your clients’ video content. While any video works well on YouTube, popular formats include how-to videos, product reviews, educational videos, and Q&A interviews. Long-form videos (over two minutes long) can generate the results your clients are looking for on YouTube.
In her six-minute video below, YouTube creator, Kia, provides viewers with 12 steps for editing their YouTube videos:
2. LinkedIn Video
LinkedIn’s primary audience consists of business professionals, so video content that educates viewers or shows users new product features or the benefits of your clients’ services will do well.
Since LinkedIn doesn’t want to lose any traffic, videos uploaded directly to LinkedIn are shown to more users than videos linked to within a post. A popular workaround is to repurpose your clients’ YouTube videos into shorter video clips and upload them directly onto LinkedIn. You can then add the YouTube link in a comment below the video to encourage click-throughs to your clients’ YouTube accounts.
Click here to see how SiteCare’s very own Jason Bagley implements this workaround.
For short-form video content, consider using TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts
TikTok has recently overtaken YouTube for average watch time in the U.K. and the U.S. Its growth isn’t looking to slow down. Most TikTok users want to be entertained, which means that quick, punchy, funny, inspirational, and highly engaging videos get longer watch times.
Top B2B brands leveraging the power of short-form TikTok videos include the well-known media company Morning Brew and tech innovator Adobe. The financial technology (FinTech) business, Square, co-founded by Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, uses TikTok to grow its following by resharing small business owners’ TikTok videos on its Tiktok account.
See the example below of a short video/GIF shared by Dayana Nikolova listing eight plugins she feels every WordPress site needs.
2. Instagram (IG) Reels
IG Reels is a direct competitor to TikTok. You’ll often find TikTok videos being uploaded to Instagram Reels to further their reach, as videos that do well on TikTok seem to do just as well on Reels. Similar to TikTok, short and entertaining videos work well as an IG Reel.
3. YouTube Shorts
YouTube Shorts is Google’s answer to TikTok and Reels. Shorts are videos created in the YouTube app that are anything from 15 to 60 seconds long. The product isn’t as polished: short-form videos show up in your usual YouTube app feed as there is no stand-alone Shorts app, only a Shorts tab on the app.
Again, the same type of content that works well on TikTok and Reels will work as a YouTube short. These videos don’t seem to get the same traction as TikTok videos or Reels, so, for now, we’d advise sticking to TikTok and Reels for your short-form video content.
3. Producing the best videos for your business
When producing your videos, consider three critical factors: your equipment, environment, and content.
Your equipment needs can range widely. Any smartphone is a great start for recording videos. If you want to get more technical, invest in a mirrorless or DSLR entry-level camera kit to optimize your video quality. You can record audio using an external mic or an item as simple as the headphones you use for your mobile device. Refer to this blog for the best vlogging setups.
The environment you choose should be relevant to the video you’re creating. Lighting and camera angle are essential here. Try to keep the camera at eye level at all times. Ideally, you should use three lights for optimal video quality: one to light up the background, one for lighting your subject, and one ambient light to add brightness.
Your content and messaging should be concise and avoid anything superfluous. It helps to write a script to tighten up and prepare the narration (and narrator) from beginning to end. In terms of content structure, we recommend starting with the problem you want to address and then using the rest of the video to speak to your proposed solutions.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This comprehensive video marketing guide provides plenty of information and best practices to help even novice marketers succeed.
Done right, incorporating video content into your clients’ marketing strategies can significantly impact their marketing success. Google, for one, is looking to index Instagram and TikTok videos in future search rankings, further elevating the importance of these platforms and video as part of SEO in general.
Here’s the best part, though: it’s never too early (or late) to get started. Video marketing is set to become more relevant as online visual search behavior increases. So, can anyone afford not to give it a try?
Get in touch with SiteCare today to learn more about our lead generation and digital marketing services.