Companies large and small published an average of 33 videos each month over the past year – an 83% year-over-year increase from 2017. 81% of brands now use video content as a prime marketing tool (up from 63% in 2017). The rationale behind this increase is clear:
- 97% of marketers say video helps increase their audience’s understanding of their product or service
- 80% say video increases dwell time (a key factor in search engine optimization)
- 76% say video leads to increased traffic and subsequent sales
- Nearly half of those surveyed say video content leads to a decrease in customer support queries
Why is video so effective as a marketing tool? It’s simple: the modern consumer loves it.
A HubSpot study found that 72% of consumers prefer to engage with video-based content over similar text-based content. It’s not just that video content is more engaging. HubSpot’s data also shows that 81% of consumers claim that video content has convinced them to make a purchase in the recent past. A content marketing playbook that doesn’t include video in 2019 would be like not having a blog in 2015. If you’ve been on the fence with video, now’s the time to hop over to the right side.
Video Marketing Best Practices for 2019
As with all things content marketing, there’s a lot to consider when putting together an effective video marketing campaign:
- The purpose of the content
- The format
- The video’s length
Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – you must always keep in mind how your video content serves your marketing game plan and company’s overarching goals.
Know Your Purpose for Creating Video Content
The modern consumer prefers valuable video content to text-based content, but a video’s value is defined by the viewer, not the creator. Your best bet is to create a variety of videos for different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Awareness Stage Video Content
At the Awareness stage, your goal should focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. You need to make viewers aware of a problem or issue they likely already face, and clarify why it’s an issue worth solving.
In the following video, Google’s Maile Ohye discusses five common SEO mistakes companies make and provides several quick tips to get them moving in the right direction.
Secondly, you want to introduce viewers to your brand and show them what you bring to the table.
In the above video, ElaN Languages pits its own translation services against Google Translate in a humorous way that also proves its weight. While each of the above videos take a different approach to catching its audience’s attention, both introduce customers to their services and nudge the viewer into learning more about how the brand can help them.
Consideration Stage Video Content
Videos targeting viewers at the Consideration stage dive deeper into how the product or service solves the viewer’s problem.
UpTo quickly explains how the scheduling app works, showcasing what the viewer will gain from using it.
Another common Consideration stage video is the case study, interview, or customer testimonial:
Entice your current customers to share why they love your product in their own words. They’ll know their opinion is valued and fellow consumers will trust the authentic review.
Decision Stage Video Content
Once they’re at the Decision stage, you’ll want to showcase what your brand is all about through your video content, presenting behind-the-scenes videos and/or “About Us” content:
At this stage, the viewer has likely decided to purchase from either your brand or a competitor’s. By showing that your organization is more than just a money-hungry company, you’ll have more leverage to sway them over to your side of the fence.
You can also dive deeper into some of the content you’ve already presented during the Consideration stage. You might revisit a testimonial video and have the customer explain how the product has helped them. Or, you could provide a hands-on, step-by-step tutorial that shows how your product works.
Video Content for Retention
Finally, you’ll want to present video content to your audience after they’ve converted. These videos could focus on:
- How power-users can get more out of your product or service
- Showcasing related products that provide additional value
- Announcing new releases, updates, etc.
As with any other type of content, whenever you set out to create a specific video, you need to be able to answer two questions: who is this video for, and why do they need to see it?
Use the Right Format
You have a number of choices when it comes to video publishing models; let’s take a look at each in more detail.
Live Video Content
According to data collected by Livestream:
- 80% of consumers would rather watch live video than read a blog post
- 81% of consumers increased their live video-viewing habits from 2015 to 2016
- Facebook Live viewers spend 3x more time watching live videos than recorded content – and leave 10x more comments on live broadcasts
Your audience wants live video; it’s your job to give it to them. The following companies are doing it right:
In the above video, fitness company Further Than Fitness used Instagram Live to showcase the brand’s fitness program in action by broadcasting an entire hour-long session for its viewers.
This Facebook Live broadcast from Benefit Cosmetics asked their Snapchat followers to send in topic suggestions and engaged with audience members throughout the broadcast.
While broadcasting live allows you to go “off-script” to engage with your audience and address hot topics, questions, and concerns, develop a rough plan for the video nonetheless. Explain to your audience that you’ll be addressing questions at the end of the broadcast to keep them engaged throughout the entirety of your video.
Today’s consumers typically like their video content short and to the point. Instead of creating one long video, you might choose to break the segment into digestible, bite-sized chunks.
The example above showcases three of Cheddar’s most recent IGTV videos, which have a common thread between them, but also have enough substance to each stand alone.
Unless you know for sure that your audience wants long video content, your best bet is to stick with quick-hitting ‘episodes.’
360-Degree Video and Virtual Reality
In 2016, Magnifyre conducted a case study that compared the performance of a 360-degree video to its static, non-interactive counterpart. Unsurprisingly, the 360-degree video blew its competitor out of the water.
- A CPM of $1.74 (vs. $4.20 for the flat-frame version)
- A CTR of 4.51% (vs. 0.56%)
- A 100% higher completion rate than its flat-frame sibling
Even among those who didn’t end up watching the entire video, viewership went up substantially: the 360-degree video audience watched 28.81% more than those who watched the flat-frame version.
A few brands using 360-degree/VR video creatively:
- BMW M.: Experience the Racing Line 360
- Nat Geo’s 360° Tour of Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls
- Gatorade’s 360° Bryce Harper Virtual Reality Experience
Keep Video Length in Mind
The length of your video has a huge impact on whether your audience watches the whole thing – if at all.
Take a look at this chart from Wistia:
As you can see, videos up to two minutes long generate the most engagement overall. Consumers often check video length before they start watching – and will be more hesitant to invest in watching longer clips. And of course, even if an individual does begin watching, that certainly doesn’t mean they’ll finish.
Remember that your main purpose with the video is to get your viewers to take the next step in their buyer’s journey. If your viewers aren’t watching your entire video, they’re not seeing your call-to-action at the end of it – so they probably aren’t going to do what you want them to do.
When it comes to video, shorter is almost always better. But though you’ll typically want to focus on creating shorter, quick-hitting video clips to engage a wide variety of new prospects, this doesn’t mean you should neglect the ones who want to further engage with your brand. Much of this will depend on your specific product or message, and the level of audience engagement you can thereby expect.
Maintaining Alignment With Overarching Goals
If you’re new to creating branded video content, it’s understandable that you’d want to focus on creating excellent content, experimenting with different formats and making something your audience enjoys. But if your new video content doesn’t have a tangible (and positive) effect on your “metrics that matter,” it’ll have missed its mark.
When setting out to create a piece of content – video or otherwise – make sure you know exactly whom you’re creating the content for and what you want them to do once they’ve absorbed it. Choose a format that works for your brand and adds value to the user’s experience; don’t just use a specific format because it’s trendy.
Most importantly, keep a close eye on your content’s performance metrics. Rather than trying to force a certain approach because you’ve seen other companies use it successfully, figure out what works best for your brand and your audience – and focus on implementing it to perfection.