“Facts tell, but stories sell.”
Perhaps more than any other media in the modern content marketer’s arsenal, video is a strong storytelling medium. It helps marketers cut through the clutter with a differentiated voice, and increases information retention, brand perception and the quality of the message it delivers.
Earlier this year, Aberdeen’s research on content marketing and management with Brightcove found that successful brands were more likely to incorporate video into their content marketing mix. In fact, companies using video experienced almost twice the rate an average website did in converting traffic compared with those that didn’t use video.
Video capturing the undivided attention
New research points to why customers rank video as the trusted and most personable brand marketing experience. Explaining their choice, 44% said video was more appealing, while engaging (28%), authentic (29%) and sharable (10%) were other reasons for trusting video content over other forms of brand communication.
Another factor contributing to the rapid adoption of video among brands has been mobile. Not only do 79% of consumers favour digital content over traditional, but more than one in 10 (12%) prefer to consume content from brands on their smartphone, tablet or mobile application.
Here’s another compelling statistic brands can’t ignore; the average cost per marketing-generated lead is $93 for companies using video compared with $115 for those who don’t. In fact, a company using video only requires 37% fewer unique site visits to generate a marketing lead.
Lights, camera and call-to-action!
So how do we set up for video success? A mix of both professional quality and do-it-yourself-style video marketing content – depending on the need – has been what high-performing companies have done.
Another report by Aberdeen, Lights, camera, call-to-action: trends in video marketing, says these companies use a combination of sources to develop content that reaches audiences, just like any other forms of content.
Sixty-eight per cent of them develop video with in-house production capabilities, while 44% outsource it to an agency or freelancer. Some blend in-house and third-party services to develop video assets.
Regardless of the means of production, marketers need to develop a set of video marketing competencies that will elevate video from less of a “special event” to more of a regular and integral component of their content marketing calendar.
The same research further suggests the adoption of video capabilities has had a positive impact on closing the quality content execution gap. All the extra effort pays off in terms of brand perception and audience engagement, even if creating video content requires more work than other content types.
Consider these three recommendations to maximise your success:
Be original – if content marketing is going to be a point of differentiation and competitive advantage, brands must remember to deliver a unique voice. While the adoption of video content is generally beneficial, marketers need to develop original and relatable videos. Connect viewers with the broader theme of your content marketing efforts and use video as a key step in your content path when engaging customers.
Understanding its flexibility – think about video in the context of a customer’s journey, be it brand awareness, engagement, conversion, purchase and loyalty. Each video must be purposeful in engaging the buyer at each stage of their life cycle. A product or demo video is likely to educate or convince, while TVCs and brand videos should entertain or inspire.
Empower the user – add interactive elements within your video – from dynamic hotspots that trigger content such as quizzes, polls, image carousels, shopping carts, in-video contests, and social buttons for sharing across blogs, sites and white-listed for Facebook walls and Twitter cards.
As marketers, we’re all naturally obsessed with metrics and video offers several unique benefits in this respect.
Being a temporal element, video captures binary viewing metrics (such as the number of times the video was played) and the duration of each play. This provides valuable feedback about effectiveness, since videos viewed all the way through are naturally more compelling than those switched off midway. The data is especially powerful when used in the context of visitor or lead scoring, with duration of views indicating levels of interest.
The second benefit is the portability of videos. Videos can be distributed across multiple channels, and yet still maintain integrity, in terms of tracking metrics. Static content such as PDFs or infographics lack the ability to report viewership metrics when syndicated. We see this reflected in the superior ability of video users to capture content metrics across all channels – 43% of video users compared with 16% of non-users.
Analysing the ROI of video marketing
So how does one measure the impact of video and its conversion?
One important metric is website conversion, the alchemy of converting interest in content into a sellable contact. An average website has a conversion rate of 4.8% for video content users. Compare this with 2.9% for non-video users. While the difference might seem small, it becomes very significant when we factor in the average cost per lead.
Lastly, investing in a video management solution not only increases the quality of the measurements, but also reduces its complexities. Dedicated video management and marketing solutions support the ability to upload and manage video content across multiple channels, and provide comprehensive reporting and analytics across all channels.
Before we press stop
As consumers become more tech savvy, it’s increasingly important for marketers to understand the influence of video in the marketing mix. Video creates an opportunity for engagement and should be viewed as an integral part of a marketing strategy and not just an add-on.
By delivering a high quality, relevant and engaging video experience, marketers can benefit from increased loyalty, higher brand engagement, more content sharing and higher referral rates.
The writer is Radha K Raman, marketing director, Asia Pacific, Brightcove