Sometimes it seems like video is everywhere. Even in your pocket. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, faster internet speeds, development of new video apps like Instagram and Vine, and a society that’s more connected in general, online video is growing at a blistering pace. In fact, some pundits are predicting that within three years over 90 per cent of online content will be video!
The question is, with so much video out there, are we in danger of becoming immune to it?
The Growth of Video Marketing
Digital marketing picked up speed during 2013 as an increasing number of brands and businesses, of all sizes and budgets, shifted from traditional media to online video advertising. That trend looks set to carry on during 2014 as online video continues its remarkable growth.
ReelSEO’s 2013 Video Marketing Survey and Business Video Trends Report showed that 93 per cent of marketers are using video content, with 82 per cent of them reporting a positive effect on their businesses.
Another study reported that brands increased their video advertising budget by 65 per cent last year, with agencies increasing their spend by 83 per cent. And 9 out of 10 respondents plan to increase those budgets again in 2014. That’s some growth.
The recent boom in social media video only adds to this picture. Instagram reports over 130 million active users, with brand-centred video accounting for 40 per cent of all shares. While Vine has experienced a 403 per cent growth over the last year, with many brands taking advantage of its short-form video potential.
But enough statistics. Back to the all-important question – with so much accessible video content, has its effectiveness diminished?
The Spread of Online Video
The first thing to consider is the distribution of video around the internet. As we reported last year, every media outlet has a website, and a large percentage of them use video to report the news.
YouTube is now the second largest search engine, and all except one (Morgan Stanley) of the top 100 global brands have their own YouTube channel.
Use of video on social media is also growing at a phenomenal rate, with video accounting for the most shared content on Facebook.
But the spread isn’t even. Figures show that 89 million people in the US watch a whopping 1.2 billion videos every day. Yet only 24 per cent of national brands use online video on their websites. Once you start to add in the figures for small, local companies then the percentage of websites actually using video is very small.
So while use of video is increasing, it remains unevenly spread across the internet. Which means that rather than consumers becoming blasé about video content, there’s huge potential for brands and businesses to embrace video marketing. In fact, with more and more people seeking online video, it actually suggests that they would welcome more video content to help them make purchases, research a product or service, etc.
The next factor is quality. Because not all videos are created equal.
Budget can be a huge constraint for many companies, but as we’ve said before, you don’t need a large budget in order to make an excellent video. Just ask Blendtec. Their series of ‘Will It Blend?’ viral videos began with a clever idea and $100 of supplies.
Here’s one of their early ones:
Today they’ve become a household name across the world, their YouTube channel has almost 700,000 subscribers, they’ve won awards for their innovation, and their sales have rocketed. Which just goes to show, budget isn’t everything as long as you have creative ideas.
But for every Blendtec there are numerous other cheap videos which are pretty damn terrible. Seduced by offers of cheap videos from websites like Fiverr and other freelancing sites, some companies are looking to jump on the bandwagon without proper planning and research. Resulting in some terrible, and frankly unwatchable, videos. Always remember, no video is better than bad video.
So, returning to our question, yes, there’s a lot of video out there. But much of it isn’t worth watching. However, regardless of your budget, if you plan your video well yours will stand out from the crowd rather than be swallowed up in the internet wilderness. And it will be far more effective, because it’s actually good.
What Video Offers
Finally, online video offers so much more than traditional marketing methods. It’s more concise than written material and can convey information on more levels simultaneously – it’s often said that a single minute of video can convey up to 1.8 million words. This fits in perfectly with our busy lives, as spending a minute or two watching a video is a far more productive use of time than spending hours wading through instructions manuals or reading reviews of products.
More importantly, video is the most engaging form of media. The mix of images, sound and storytelling forms a sort of two-dimensional theatre that engages people on an emotional level. And as humans, we’re hard-wired to respond to the sight and sound of other people.
Consider this emotional video from Thai mobile company, TrueMove:
And can you imagine a written advert sticking in your mind in the same way as this hilarious video advertising toilet freshener?
A good video has the power to engage with viewers in much the same way as a work of art. And when people watch something that stirs up strong emotions, they instantly want to share it with their friends. This means that video has a much greater chance of going viral, giving you the opportunity to reach a far wider audience and form a greater connection with viewers. Which in turn encourages brand loyalty.
Are We Becoming Immune to Video?
Online video has been enjoying a remarkable growth over the last few years, and this trend looks set to increase for many years. But the commonality of video is showing no signs of reducing its effectiveness. On the contrary, the growth of video suggests that consumers are searching for video content as it fits much better in our busy lives. Video is useful to consumers as it conveys more information in a shorter period of time, and it’s essential for brands and businesses as it offers a prime opportunity to reach a far wider audience, form an emotional connection with them, and encourage brand loyalty.
How could you incorporate video in your marketing strategy for 2014?