The value of using video in content marketing

Where it comes to content marketing, cutting through the clutter is no mean feat. In 2013, Facebook reports that there are 4.75 billion pieces of content shared daily on the popular social networking platform alone. This is almost twice the figure from the year before. There is simply too much noise vying for attention, making it increasingly challenging for marketers to effectively engage with audiences.

To make matters worse, the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US revealed that the average attention span of an adult has now reduced to a mere 8 seconds – less than that of a goldfish. As a frame of reference, our attention span was almost twice that duration in 2000. As ridiculous and amusing as the statistic sounds, its implications for content marketers is hugely significant. (For more discussions on how to ace your content marketing strategies , join our Content 360 Conference on 8-9 April this year.)

Which begs this question – just how do marketers overcome such a challenge and not throw in everything but the kitchen sink to effectively engage audiences? The answer is simple – by employing video. For maximum impact, marketers should consider the following video strategies:

Owning Video Content

It is safe to say that the familiar equation marketers often use in their outreach is:

                          Right Content + Right Place + Right Time = Success

While this used to be a sufficient marketing strategy, it is now severely outdated. Simply no longer enough to get the share of voice your brand deserves, marketers should consider this new equation instead:

Great Branded Content x Right Place x Right Time = Success

Marketers need to take ownership of video in their marketing mix as brands become digital publishers of their own content. The real pressure is to show maximum impact and a clear ROI.

“Owning” video isn’t limited to conceptualising, producing and seeding a viral video. The goal here is to drive brand lift and purchases by reaching a new level of sophistication and expertise by building strategic, purposeful video campaigns that leads the consumer through the sales funnel and enhances conversion.

Furthermore, marketers should be aware that audiences today are very discerning and can see the merit of brands owning and publishing their content. A good video lends to their credibility and aids in the shortening of the decision-making cycle of consumers.

Video Storytelling

Ever since young, we may have heard of the classic sagas of good versus evil or heroic knights slaying the villainous dragon to save the princess. But there is a reason why we vividly recall these tales even to this day – everyone is wired to relate better with a story. Stories subtly seed the core of the message and contribute to high attention rates, allowing brands to easily and effectively seize the attention of audiences.

What better way is there to achieve this than through video storytelling? Marketers can utilise the medium to cut through the clutter with a differentiated voice to bring their stories to life, and increase information retention, brand perception and the quality of the message it delivers.

Video has proved very effective when employed on websites – pages with video attract 2-3 times more site visitors. Videos on landing pages also increased conversion rates by 75%, according to the 2013 Eyevision Research. A separate report from Marketing Sherpa also reveals that having videos on web pages can result in more than 150% increase in organic traffic from search engines - since 70% of the customer journey today are carried out through a “Search, Social and Self-Directed” model.

Transforming the World, One Person at a Time

A good example of the sheer power of these video strategies synergising is Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) workout videos. Michelle is a popular personal trainer, and a household name in Australia, having been one of the trainers in Australia’s iteration of The Biggest Loser.

The website is driven primarily by video, both long and short form. Through featuring their own video content which includes daily exercise regimens and twice-weekly coaching mentality videos, 12WBT allowed Michelle to be a personal trainer and friend to her members. The videos enable Michelle to be accessible wherever the viewer is watching, to get advice about emotional habits, and all through to her nutritional and exercise programmes.

With video, round-to-round sign-ups grew by 5,000%, and 12WBT amassed over 800,000 Facebook fans along the way, in addition to an astounding video engagement score of 80%. More importantly, the programs brought Michelle closer to her fans and real and lasting changes to the lives of more than tens of thousands of people.

As evidenced above, it is 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 branded owned video, mixed with video storytelling elements, marketers can benefit from increased loyalty, higher brand engagement, more content sharing and higher referral rates.

The writer is Tomer Azenkot, general manager, Asia, Brightcove

For more perspectives on content marketing strategies from brands such as Kellogg's, OCBC, Dell, Lenovo and more, look out for Marketing magazine’s Content 360 conference, happening 8 – 9 April 2015.

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