Video Marketing: Seeing (and Hearing?) is Believing!
Video blogging is getting a lot of hype these days. You can almost hear it shouted from the rooftops: Video is the Most Important Tool in Today’s Marketing Tool Chest!
Wild claims? What’s so important about using video in your B2B or B2C blogs? More broadly, what’s so important about using video in any of your marketing efforts?
It’s vital to take a step back for some perspective, because the answer to those questions is the same as the answer to this more fundamental one: What is the goal of using any marketing tool in your marketing plan? The answer, of course, is to contribute to your overall marketing strategy.
Video is incredibly capable and, for some purposes, more capable than other tools. After all, it combines the benefits of text, visuals, and audio all in one place, with the added potential for real-time customer interaction. As Facebook’s Director of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Srinivas Narayanan, says, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is a library.”[i] Complete with a sound track and a response card!
But even with all that, the only reason and the only time to use video is when it will effectively further your overall marketing plan! If it won’t, choose from among your other tools. Video is not an end, it’s a means to the end.
The difference between video and other marketing tools is its effectiveness for certain purposes. For example, if your goal is to create name recognition, traditional methods may be quicker and more cost-effective than video. But if your goal is lead generation, or branding (and the feelings and reputation that go with it)—video may take you much further, much faster, than single-media methods. If your goal is to shorten the sales cycle, video may be your new best friend.
What Type of Video?
There are as many categories of marketing videos as there are marketing goals. You’ll want a mix of them in your marketing arsenal, and you must align them and coordinate them with your other efforts. As with any marketing tool, the kind of video you use in any given circumstance will depend on your specific marketing goal, the target audience, and their progress along the buyer’s journey.
Sometimes your strategy will call for a step-by-step product demo. Other times, you’ll want to use a thought leader piece. At some junctures, your most effective tool will be an “explainer video” (a broad features-and-benefits product description). Testimonials are an important part of the mix, too.
Other formats include culture videos, expressing aspects of your corporate culture that your potential customers identify with; emotional impact stories, highlighting the positive effect your product or service has on an individual or community; and even web streams with live consumer interaction and feedback.
What Platform to Use?
Eventually, you’ll create a library of videos adapted to each social media platform you utilize—Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Native content is more effective than links from one platform to another. Choose platforms based on your target audience. And be sure to create versions tailored to each hardware platform that the video could be viewed on—PC, tablet, or mobile device (especially mobile, whose role in the buyer’s journey is rising rapidly[ii]).
What about Facebook’s Fake Video Statistics Scandal?
With Facebook’s admission[iii] that they inflated viewing statistics over several years, you may wonder if the video revolution is really just hype. While there’s still much to learn about Facebook’s metrics, Internet-wide video usage and influence in purchasing decisions is definitely on the rise.
According to a 2018 survey[iv] by the video creation service Animoto, 73% of consumers look to social media during the purchasing process, 93% of marketers say they’ve landed a new customer as a result of social media videos, and 88% say they’re satisfied with their video ROI. Plus, “video gets three times as many shares as text and images combined,” says Animoto’s co-founder, Jason Hsiao.[v]
The Facebook scandal facts, when they become clearer, will and should influence budgeting decisions—how much to invest in which platforms. But that doesn’t change the fact that video is becoming a more and more crucial and strategic marketing investment.
Digital marketing and social media guru Gary Vee recommends companies spend 5-20% of their marketing resources (“your money, if that’s what you’ve got, or your time, if that’s what you’ve got”) on emerging marketing tools and platforms to prepare the way for the inevitable business and technology changes to come.[vi] Right now, video is one of those emerging marketing tools. The earlier you get in the game, the more competitors you’ll beat to the punch—and to the customers.
What They See is What They Get
For savvy purchasers, it’s boiling down to this more and more: What they see is what they get. That is to say, what they see in a convincing, well-honed online video is what they purchase.
Savvy sellers, take note!
[ii] See “38 Mobile Marketing Statistics You Need to Know,” by Anna Gotter.
https://www.business2community.com/marketing/38-mobile-marketing-statistics-you-need-to-know-02185085 (accessed 04/22/19)
[iii] “Facebook may have knowingly inflated its video metrics for over a year,” by Chris Welch. https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/17/17989712/facebook-inaccurate-video-metrics-inflation-lawsuit (accessed 04/22/19)
[iv] “2018 State of Social Video: Marketer Trends” https://animoto.com/blog/business/2018-social-video-marketer-trends/
[v] “Here’s Why Video Advertising On Social Media Is Crucial For Small Businesses,” by Rebecca Lerner. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccalerner/2018/10/23/heres-why-video-advertising-on-social-media-is-crucial-for-small-businesses/#6d818fcc3787 (accessed 04/22/19)
[vi] “How to Allocate a Traditional vs. Online Marketing Budget,” by Gary Vee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=152&v=jfvXU199IlQ (accessed 04/22/19)