We all know that, just as Bill Gates predicted back in 1996, content is king on the Internet, but not all forms of content are created equal. In fact, these days, one kind of content tends to edge out the rest in terms of performance and return on investment (ROI), and that’s video. The reasons why aren’t hard to grasp; videos offer a highly engaging, yet non-challenging way to learn, consume and be entertained. Smart marketers have known this for decades, but in modern marketing, videos have become more of a requirement than a recommendation.
The bottom line is that brands need video for success in an ever-changing digital landscape. But why, exactly? Quite simply, because users demand it. According to the Visual Networking Index by Cisco, Internet video traffic will account for 80 percent of all Internet traffic this year, and video consumption is growing exponentially. The majority of people say they’d rather watch a video than read text and that they want more video content to be available from companies they support.
Naturally, these facts translate to big benefits for businesses. Specifically, small business video marketing can do the following:
- It Can Help You Educate and Inform — As you may know, modern marketing is often categorized by the buyer’s journey, or the process a user goes through as they shop, from awareness to consideration to decision. During all three of these phases, consumers turn to online content to help them make a decision. Buyer’s guides, blogs and articles are great at explaining products and options, but videos are better. And, with tons of smart video accessories available, you can produce affordable, informative videos for a fairly low price.
- It Can Help You Spread the Word on a Budget — Speaking of a low price, the amazing thing about video is that, as it has gone from nice-to-have to expected in the past few years. Many unique and affordable tools, services and video editing solutions have popped up on the scene. The result is a seemingly endless number of resources requiring a relatively small spend. If you’re looking to educate and engage consumers on a budget, you can do it fairly easily, even if all you have is a smartphone and a few basic recording tools.
- It Can Help You Gather Leads — If you have the right strategy in place, you can certainly leverage your video marketing efforts to help with lead generation. Video content can support this goal in many unique ways, from selling specific products through tutorial videos and reviews to using it as “gated content” accessible only by users that sign up for your e-mail list or leave their contact information. You can also embed videos on your landing page and include a call-to-action (CTA) in your videos encouraging users to take the next step.
- It Can Draw Users to Your Site — Getting users to come to your site often means advertising on other platforms, especially on YouTube and social media channels. The fact is this: social media posts with video have 48 percent more views, and 65 percent of people turn to YouTube to help them solve a problem. Making an impact on other platforms often leads back to your site, especially if you properly optimize descriptions and include valuable CTAs in each video.
- It Can Earn You Passive Income —One of the things you probably haven’t considered when strategizing your video marketing campaign is that content can earn you direct, passive income at the same time it helps grow your business. All it takes is creating excellent video content and racking up the views. Small and mid-sized companies should take advantage of their built-in fan base, as platforms will pay content creators if they help generate more ad views. On YouTube, you’ll probably only make $1 to $2 per 1,000 views, but successful channels can nab high-paying sponsorships and collaborations.
- It Can Boost Brand Reputation —We already know that users want more video content, so creating it can certainly lead to an improved perception of your brand. At the same time, surveys show that higher quality videos translate to a better reputation for brands, while low-quality videos cause consumers to adopt a negative perception. What’s more, video marketing can help you improve an already-tarnished reputation by creating personable review videos, question and answer sessions, humorous videos and more to help address any of the negative feedback that may be following your company around.
- It Can Help You Garner New Fans — It probably doesn’t surprise you to know that videos are one of the most shared forms of content, and the vast majority of users (70 percent) say they have shared a branded video with a friend through social media. Effectively, this means that people who follow your company are much more likely to share if you’re posting engaging videos instead of text content. And it helps to know that word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most effective forms out there, so new users are much more likely to listen when your company was shared by a friend.
- It Can Give Your Brand a Voice — Ultimately, there are fewer mediums that help capture your distinct brand spirit quite like video marketing. Through your special aesthetic and messaging, customers will be able to understand what your business is all about without having to do a whole lot of exploring. In just a few seconds of watching a video ad, a live-stream or something your company has posted to YouTube, potential customers will feel a deeper, more personal connection to your company.
Don’t Miss Out on Video If you thought video marketing was just a trend that would come and go, we’re here to tell you that is not the case. Luckily, though, that means you haven’t missed your chance to jump on this highly-effective bandwagon. The sooner you can produce high-quality, attention-grabbing video content, the sooner your brand will reach its marketing goals.
Ethan Long is the business development director for MovoPhoto. Before starting with them, he worked in advertising in NYC where he gained over eight years of experience in content and video marketing. In his free time, he enjoys being outside, learning new photo and videography techniques, and spending time with his wife and their dog, Rory.