It keeps going up, and it is unlikely to go down. Brands are increasing their video marketing budgets, and not because they think it’s the right thing to do – they are spending more because they see a return on the investment. Businesses that say they can see a good ROI on video has risen 5 percent to a total of 83 percent in the past year alone.
There’s a downside, though. More companies are seeing a measurable cause and effect by adding video to their marketing mix, but 9 out of 10 of them also say that the level of competition has made it difficult to stand out from the competition. Why?
HubSpot reports that more than a quarter of the companies that produced marketing videos in 2018 did so for the first time. It’s not an exaggeration to say that practically everybody’s doing it. Only 1 percent of current videos marketers say they plan to stop, while 74 percent of those aren’t yet using visual storytelling – AKA video marketing – plan to start doing so this year.
There’s nothing left to guess about marketing. Digital platforms have made measuring reach and response a precise science. When used appropriately, you can create an accurate business case for video marketing. It’s why digital marketing has become a $135 billion industry in the United States.
That’s too much money to leave up to a “we get a good feeling about it” approach – and there’s plenty of validation. 93 percent of businesses surveyed said they’ve gained a new customer as a result of a video posted on social media. Companies using video marketing also have measured website traffic increases of up to 76 percent, resulting in conversion rate increases of up to 66 percent.
Video marketing makes dollars and sense. Brands using visual storytelling to engage their customers report growing revenue 49 percent faster than compared to those that still do not use video marketing. Watching video increases purchase intent by 97 percent, and turbocharges brand association by 139 percent.
There’s one big challenge to all this video – and it’s that there is all this video!
More than 5 billion videos are viewed on YouTube alone, every single day. They’re watched by nearly one-third of all the people on the planet that have Internet access – over a billion people. Meanwhile, over on Facebook, people watch 100 million hours of video each day, while 82 percent of Twitter’s users are doing the same thing.
It adds up to the average consumer watching more than 16 minutes of video directly related to marketing each month, or about 4.6 billion views.
These are encouraging statistics. They paint a pleasing picture for video marketing. But there’s trouble afoot. The demand for video is causing an accelerating number of platforms to be created. The United States managed to get by with just three major television networks until the 1980s.
Currently, there are at least 15 video platforms that can deliver at least 5 percent of the viewers in the United States. And while YouTube remains the king of the video platform mountain, a growing number of marketers have expressed their concern about its effectiveness. HubSpot reports that the percentage of marketers who feel that video marketing on YouTube is working for them dropped from 90 percent to 80 percent from 2018 to 2019.
Why? The reason is simple. People don’t just pick a platform to watch a video. They select a specific platform to watch a particular type of video. And that means even the YouTube – the 800-pound gorilla of video – is seeing a percentage of its audience depart for platforms that cater to niche audiences.
Yes, video is an effective marketing tool. The statistics you’ve read so far are proof. Your challenge, however, is knowing where to place your video, and what type of video will work best for that specific slice of your target audience.
You need a plan. And because you are a business, you need a business plan – because somebody somewhere, and it’s likely to be your stockholders, will demand to see a return on the investment that you’re placing to create and place this visual storytelling.
Did you listen to a radio station on your way to work this morning? It currently reaches 93 percent of the population in the United States. Think about the top-rated radio station in your market right now. They didn’t get there by playing a random assortment of music. They have a carefully planned strategy that plays the right content for the right people at the right time.
Alas, you can’t model that concept for video, but the analogy does hold true. YouTube has become much like a radio station. A really popular one. Your videos might work well there, but you’ll fare better by taking a strategic approach.
The common misconception is that video marketing strategy is all about figuring out the creative the resonates with prospects and turns them into customers. Can you strike gold and find your version of the rainbow-pooping SquattyPotty unicorn? Can you catch lightning in a bottle and recreate the 22 million view virality of DollarShaveClub?
You’re putting the cart before the horse – or the rainbow-pooping unicorn. The creative isn’t your strategy. It’s defining your measurable goals. What behavior do you want to occur as a result of your video?
Access to history will help you forecast the future. What is the net profit if a customer purchases a product or service you market in a video? How much will it cost to put your visual storytelling in front of these prospects? There’s a business case to be built. Assembling the information presents the scenario for a profitable return on investment.
You need measurable goals and a clearly defined audience that will exhibit a specific behavior. When you’ve got these three elements in place, now it’s time to take a look at the creative approach. And no matter what your creative approach, it’s going to be powerful because our brains prefer to consume information visually. An astounding 90 percent of information transmitted to our brains is visual – and we retain 80 percent of what we see as opposed to just 20 percent of what we read.
And then there’s the train of thought that a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
Yes, everybody is using video to turbocharge their marketing. But today’s most successful brands that are using video decided what they wanted to achieve with it long before they got around to working on the creative.
They selected a specific target audience. They determined measurable behavioral modification. They researched and identified the optimal place to find this audience. And then they researched the most efficient way to present their visual storytelling in a way that takes advantage of the platform. Every part of this is a strategic effort.
Here’s the additional ROI for these brands. Because they did all this homework before they even reached the point of a creative brief or decision about how to tell the story, they also created a proactive model that will allow them to produce video assets that can be used on other platforms. Efficiency is generated by strategic planning.
Creativity makes you stand out. It is the ultimate objective of good video marketing. How do you know what that creative should be if you haven’t first determined what you want it to do? Start with strategy. It’ll make finding your creative unicorn easier. We can help.