I was a Junior in college when YouTube hit it big. I can remember the first time someone pulled me into their dorm room to show me the X-Men cartoons that had been dubbed over. YouTube videos quickly took their place alongside jokes and pranks – a man’s sense of humor was now determined by whether he could point you to the newest, funniest video. Cats on Roombas and laughing babies ran rampant. And by the time I graduated, everyone was watching.
Now, we use online video for everything. Whether we want to change a tire, catch up on the news, or watch a movie, we look to web-based video to educate, entertain, and inform us.
And have you noticed? Online video has gotten really good. Businesses are publishing high-quality animated or live-action videos to their landing pages, while online video giants like Hulu and Netflix are producing critically-acclaimed shows that only air on the web; and top-tier hosting services like Wistia have generally upped the ante on what internet video is capable of.
The Future of Video
So it really shouldn’t be any surprise that online video is the next great frontier in marketing. According to The Guardian, video marketing is expected to comprise 69% of online consumer traffic, while a full 64% of marketers expect it to play an overwhelming role in their strategies over the next few years. And if you’ve seen the statistics on the future of video, you know that online video will only get more popular.
This information is likely not new to you – on some level, you probably already know just how important online video is. So rather than beat you over the head with reasons to start marketing with video, I want to take a different approach.
We know that video marketing is growing and that it works. But why? What is it that drives people to view? Why is it that online video will eventually eclipse social media in popularity? These are important questions that, as marketers, we should be asking. Because if we understand why people are watching – and they most certainly are watching – then we can understand how to make our videos better. Here are just a few reasons why people are watching:
1. People trust marketing video.
Think about this: Any time you open your browser and start looking for information on any topic, you’re not just going to find one or two articles or blog posts that are relevant to your search – you’re going to find one or two thousand. And you don’t always know how reliable these sources are – they may be specialists, but then again they could be amateurs without a clue. And it’s hard to tell when one text-based article is more trustworthy than another.
Not so with video marketing. We can tell a good video from a bad one. Almost anyone can pick out bad audio, or low-quality animation, or camera work that was shot on some guy’s iPhone. So when people come across a quality video, they pay attention – because they know it took work. Because they know it took money and time, and not just anyone could have made it. People trust good video because they know it takes some expertise.
The Takeaway: Now, it should be pretty obvious that plenty of low-budget videos have great, legitimate content; it should also be obvious that not all high-budget videos are really trustworthy. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is that people are more likely to trust the information you present – to take it seriously – if you can package it up in the format of high-quality, well-produced video.
2. Video marketing is shareable.
How does an online video go viral? As the name implies, a piece of content is viral because it is passed on from person to person. Good video gets shared. You may not be able to pull your friends aside and get them to read the hottest new piece of longform journalism, but you can probably get them to watch a video. The same goes for your fracebook friends. If you share the latest funny cat video, people are going to click – they’re going to watch. People share video because it’s easy to pass it along.
People don’t share every video, though. They only share the good stuff. The videos that are worth sharing. People share videos that matter to them – because they were funny. Because they were interesting. Because they were moving.
The Takeaway: This is the great benefit of video marketing. When people watch something and enjoy it, they’re going to tell other people about it. They’re going to share it. But you have to make something worth sharing. You have to make video that is interesting, funny, moving, educational, honest. You have to make it memorable. Which brings us to point 3…
3. Video marketing is memorable.
This one is straight-up science. If people hear or read something, they’re only using their auditory sense. But if they watch video, their auditory, visual, and gestural senses are all being stimulated – all at once. Which makes viewers more likely to remember what they’ve seen.
A great video can move people like no other form of media can. The right combination of music, narration, visuals, and motion can invite viewers to experience the whole range of human emotion – sometimes even in the same video. And when you foster emotion, you make yourself even more memorable.
The Takeaway: This is just another of the reasons to invest in video. You want people to remember who you are and what you do, and video is one of the best ways that you can make sure they do.
I’m sure you can think of many, many more reasons why people choose video over text-based media. But these three are a good place to start, because they tell what kind of videos we should be making – videos that people will trust, that people will remember, and that people with pass along. Because if you can build a loyal customer base that cares enough to talk about you? Well, then you’re golden.
That’s why we make explainer videos – those short, (frequently) animated, entertaining videos that you’ll frequently find on a company’s landing page. They shorten your sales cycle, increase conversions, and even boost sales.
Online video marketing is less of a gimmick for marketers and more of a crucial element to a sophisticated, well-rounded content marketing strategy. In other words, If you’re not making use of video yet, you’ll need to do it soon if you want to thrive in the new marketplace.