Why Aren’t You Investing in Video Marketing?
Yesterday I was walking through Market Square, in Portsmouth New Hampshire, and I overheard a conversation between two store owners who were discussing whether or not they should be creating videos. Woman #1 argued that they should be making videos to integrate into their marketing mix (add to the website, or to include in social media blasts, emails etc), while woman #2 seemed hard-pressed to understand why creating videos was so important in the first place - citing that they had bigger marketing issues to iron out. Walking a few feet behind them, you can imagine how I wanted to step-in and offer advice, but ultimately I couldn't bring myself to cut in.
This morning I decided to write down some thoughts on the topic however, in case there are other people struggling with this same question. From my experience, too many businesses, big and small, are still reluctant to create video content. This may be due to a variety of factors, such as they are: not sure what kind of video content to make, no in-house expertise to produce this type of content, too expensive to outsource to an agency, not sure how to track the results, not sure what their goals should even be… the reasons are all over the place. But just because video can be challenging, doesn't mean it can be ignored.
I'll step back on second. When you are preparing a marketing plan for your business, it goes without saying that you are probably incorporating the following strategies: website improvements, merchandising, search engine optimization, ppc, mobile optimization, email marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, a/b testing, and perhaps others. But why aren't you incorporating video?
The truth is that video is easier than ever before, and anyone with a smart phone can be creating, editing and distributing video content. How "good" that content is - or will be - will certainly vary based on skill and experience - but the same could be said about any skill you commit to learning. If you are reading this post I am going to assume that you are a marketer (or someone interested in marketing related topics) and so you have probably taught yourself many things over the years. For instance: would you say that you are better at generating Facebook engagement for your business page today, than you were four years ago? Like anything, the hardest part is getting started.
Now... I'm no video expert, so I'm not the best person to write a post about how you should develop an action plan to start the process of video creation. That is a post for My Friend Dan because he is a legit video guru - but rather this article here is meant for someone still not convinced about whether video is worth the investment and whether or not it can move the sales needle.
Put simply, brands cannot afford NOT to be thinking about video marketing. In a recent article I read that Cisco predicted that by 2019 -> 80% of all Internet traffic will be directed towards video content - if correct, that figure would be 64% higher than it was in 2014 (only two years ago) and a significant portion of that growth is expected to occur this year in 2016. Think about what that statistic will mean for the future of marketing. Think about the impact this will have on how eCommerce businesses choose to communicate with their desired target audience. A shift is taking place in consumer behavior - and marketers have already started to adjust their strategies. According to a new study via DemandWave, not only is video content the most popular format of content consumption among customers, but video content is now the most popular (and most preferred) form of content by marketers. Video-first communication should now be the norm.
Whether it’s video on Periscope, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube, or Twitter the content you need to be thinking about creating is video. No matter what you’re selling, no matter what your services your company offers, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy, you are going to miss out on valuable connections with your target audience. Still not convinced? Here are a collection of recent statistics I've gathered from across the web which impressed me - and should help convince you that video need to be a priority:
- Each day 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook alone, the world’s largest social media platform with over 1 billion active users
- Each day 6 billion video views take place on Snapchat, which has over 100 million daily active users
- Every minute of every day over 400 hours of video is being uploaded to YouTube, and in a given month 3.25 billion hours of video content is consumed
- Back in June 2013 when Instagram first introduced videos, more than 5 million were shared within the first 24 hours
- Using the word 'video' in an email subject line increases open rates by 19%, click through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%
- Overall, 78% of U.S. adults watch online videos every week, and 55% watch every day
Given these compelling statistics you can see that video cannot be ignored. By seeing that video content is where customers are choosing to spend their time - its easy to understand that video is an extremely powerful communication channel. Recently my friend Dan (the same "guru" mentioned above) and I went down to Allston M.A., to join the Boston eCommerce Meet-Up Group where we discussed "How to Utilize Video for eCommerce". You can see a clip of the video I captured here. Joining other industry folks, we were able to hear from video vendors and local businesses about video's importance within marketing.
So how should you get started? There are a lot of great posts on this topic online already, one which I found helpful is this one here "How to Get Started With Video Marketing" by Michael Reynolds. Once you understand how to approach video marketing, always keep an eye on what else might be coming down the pipe-line. Where is the industry heading? What metric within video marketing is the most important to pay attention to? Yesterday, Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers posted an article with terrific insight on some of these topics: "5 Video Marketing Predictions To Guide Your Content Strategy" which can not only contribute to helping you get started - but can also offer some solid predictions for what is coming next.
Before I close, I'd like to challenge YOU to take one video with your phone today. It doesn't have to be long, just think about what would visually grab the attention of your customers - for instance maybe your store just received some new Easter products - so a short video to introduce them - and say where they can be found (online or in-store only) would be great. Post it to Facebook (or any platform which you feel comfortable using) and include some relevant information which might make someone click on it. I think you'll be surprised by the reaction you get, and everyday you can improve upon it.