Let’s Go to the Video!

What does the future of marketing look like? The answer is video. In our visual world where one minute of video equates to 1.8 million words (Forrester), video amplifies reach and creates opportunities to convert marketing and sales efforts into qualified leads across a variety of digital channels: websites, email, webinars and social media.

Consider these stats: using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80% (EyeView Digital) while incorporating video in email campaigns and mentioning “video” in subject lines boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65% (Brainshank). And as 70% of B2B buyers watch video as research during their path to purchase (Google), videos increase the likelihood to purchase by 64% (Hubspot).

So with 73% of marketers finding that video positively impacts marketing results (ReelSEO), here are a few ground rules to make video a valuable part of your content marketing:

Strategy. As with all marketing initiatives and tools, creating effective video starts with a sound strategy. The questions to ask may sound familiar: What is the key message you want to communicate? Who are the audiences you want to reach? And on which media are your audiences most likely to get information? Based on the answers, you can determine the best video design and distribution approaches.

Style. Videos come in a variety of styles – from product demos and intricate animations to customer testimonials and basic “how-tos.” If you want to communicate a complex concept, animation is the more effective approach. Conversely, if you are promoting a great product or service, showcasing your team, featuring customers, and using graphics and engaging B-roll for live shoots typically increases the emotional connection.

Quality. It’s no surprise that the quality of your video reflects on the quality of your brand. As a result, ensure your video production includes smart, compelling storytelling and experienced film making. For live shoots, don’t use a smartphone but invest in services that include professional sound, lighting and multiple cameras.

Form and Distribution. Videos should be short and re-purposed for use across platforms: edited to be no longer than three minutes for webpages (Adweek), two minutes for embedding in emails (BrightTalk), and 30 seconds for posting on social media (BrightTalk). In addition, videos on social media need to be meaningful without the use of sound (since that’s how they typically first appear), and translation services should be considered if you are trying to reach audiences around the world.

Videos also should be un-gated and hosted on your domain, rather than on third-party platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, to help keep customers and prospects on your website. Since one of the goals of content marketing is to recycle leads by providing them with more information, video accelerates the likelihood your customers and prospects will review corresponding white papers, case studies and infographics, as well as participate in upcoming events, all while you obtain valuable user data to add to your CRM.

Budget. With 72% of online marketers looking to increase their video investment this year (Social Media Examiner), video budgets are best determined by looking at three factors: quality, time and cost. Bearing this in mind, develop a budget that takes into consideration the planned frequency of video usage across multiple applications and the potential for it to be “evergreen.” This will paint a picture for how high quality your videos need to be and the number of filming days you require – in effect, creating a budget to maximize costs and realize significant ROI if the video is used over the longer-term.