Brands need to have a video marketing strategy in place to reach and engage with audiences effectively. Almost every platform now offers support for some form of video uploading and editing. More importantly, 72% of customers say that they would rather watch a visual clip for information about a product or service.
While the prospect of pivoting to a video-led content strategy can be daunting, Merkle vice president Rocco Albano believes that these fears are unwarranted. Video does not need to be complex or deliver incredible levels of return on investment immediately to be worthwhile.
On the contrary, Albano urges marketers to use video to actually “simplify” the customer experience rather than making it “more difficult and convoluted”. Approaching video with trepidation often puts brands on the wrong footing from the start.
Rising demand for video
The medium has been used extensively in digital marketing and advertising for more than a decade now, but the demand for engaging visual content and the volume of ad campaigns is set to rise further with the continued rollout of 5G and the arrival of iPhones that support ultrafast mobile speeds.
Search engines are also surfacing more video content. In a recent report, Cisco forecast that video will account for more than 80% of traffic in 2021, and that Google and Bing will be key drivers as algorithms continue to be tweaked to favour high-quality content.
Another study by HubSpot found that 81% of businesses are now deploying video, with many using it for storytelling and entertainment purposes as well as for informing audiences about products and services.
Video marketing versus advertising
Video marketing is not the same as video advertising. You can use video at any point in the sales cycle, but how you publish content and target consumers can differ depending on the campaign and objectives.
Video in a marketing context is generally a simpler task as you are focusing on creating an excellent video for your website or to post on social channels, with the aim of educating and informing. In contrast, video ads target specific audiences and are typically more brand-heavy with harder sells, similar to traditional commercials.
The format, length and quality of production will change depending on what you are trying to achieve, so it is a good idea to think about how you plan on using video in your campaigns before you begin. This doubles back to the act of making video simpler.
Adtaxi director of CX Bob Batchelor says that video does not always have to be the highest quality to be effective either. He adds: “Authentic videos are more real and are received better by the public. And the video does not have to cost a lot or be time consuming either.”
Prepare for the holiday season
Those looking to create video for marketing purposes during the upcoming festive season should look to tailor their visual output depending on the objective at hand while, at the same time, being aware of key trends. Batchelor admitted that the video landscape is by and large the same now as it was a year ago, despite advancements made in 2020.
This means that shorter videos are much more likely to resonate on mobile devices, as is content that offers deeper personalisation and an awareness of the customer’s needs.
Fellow Adtaxti director Lindsy O’Connor also offered some insights that could help marketers preparing for a content drive during the next two months. She noted that live videos are very popular at the moment and are being viewed around three times more on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, compared to standard, pre-recorded videos.
O’Connor adds: “Implementing the right video strategy is less about seeing your brand and more about if you want consumers to convert more than seeing your brand or its site.”
Short and long-form video
Marketers looking to increase lead generation and sales over the festive period should use longer videos with a runtime of up to five minutes. These videos, which are suited to both B2C and B2B settings, should be built around the core product with information about how to buy it and its feature set, in addition to links to the product page.
In contrast, videos that are designed to increase awareness and educate should be slightly shorter. These can be readily shared on social media with relevant hashtags and can be included within blogs and articles. Not all video has to be standalone. It can also be incorporated into written content.
HubSpot has actually offered a quick runtime guide for marketers to target for the most popular platforms. It recommends that videos should run for 30 seconds on Instagram, 45 seconds on Twitter, 60 seconds on Facebook and two minutes on YouTube.
Video advertising can also be worthwhile depending on your budget and objectives. O’Connor advised brands not to underestimate the benefits of a programmatic ad campaign where you can set a target audience and serve ads to them using automation. This will enable you to reach the right people at the right time, cost-effectively.
Support SEO with analytics
If you need a helping hand with video marketing distribution during the busy period up to Christmas, you can partner with an agency that will manage your posts across a variety of different social channels. After publishing videos though, it is important that you practise good SEO standards and keep track of performance to showcase important KPIs.
O’Connor recommends using “deeper measurements” to rate the performance of videos, leaning on metrics such as website visits, brand interest, awareness lift and completion rate to effectively gauge the impact of video campaigns. Don’t sit back and think that the job is done either. When your content inevitably converts, consider using videos to upsell or as ‘thank you’ messages to drive further revenue and brand retention.
To conclude, video marketing does not have to be an expensive undertaking that requires prestige productions to deliver value for your company. Video, in any form, is an excellent format for communicating messages and delivering information to customers and clients during what will soon be one of the most important sales periods of the year.