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Social media marketing is a field that's constantly evolving. New platforms, technologies, and trends force businesses to adjust their approach and meet the latest demands. Video, however, is more than just another passing trend. It's been steadily growing over the last decade and there's no reason to think this will change anytime soon. The fact is, people are addicted to watching videos online. The good news for businesses is that you can turn this addiction into profits.
The popularity of online video has been skyrocketing in recent years. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! According to Wyzowl, in the last two years alone, the percentage of businesses using video marketing increased from 63% to 87%. When you combine YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and other platforms, it's safe to say that the world is obsessed with videos.
Advantages of Video Marketing
Videos have several key advantages over other types of marketing.
- Videos reach multiple senses. Other types of media and platforms are far more limited. People read a blog post, listen to a podcast, or view an image. Only video combines these formats. You can include images, music, text, and even a story within a single short video.
- People think of videos as entertainment. Unless you're close to 100 or grew up in an off-the-grid cabin somewhere, you grew up watching TV. Younger millennials and members of Generation Z, meanwhile, grew up watching YouTube and other online videos. Everyone is used to kicking back and watching a screen for relaxation and entertainment. The same isn't true of reading, which many people consider an effort. This makes it easier to frame even the driest information in a video that includes humor, interesting images, and a storyline.
- Effective for learning. While it's nice to keep people entertained, as a marketer you want to do more than that. You want to engage your audience and have them remember what you've told them. Research indicates that viewers retain 95% of a message they've watched in a video compared to only 10% of what they've read as text. Let that sink in. If you want your audience to remember your message, video is by far the best choice.
- People share videos. Just about everyone is on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram today. When you post content to these sites, you want your followers to share it. Can you guess what kind of content they're most likely to share? That's right, it's videos. As an infographic published by social media expert Jeff Bullas points out, videos are shared 12x more often than links and text posts combined. If you want to get better results from your social media marketing, you should be uploading more videos.
These are some of the leading advantages of videos. In truth, videos are more than the sum of their parts. A well-done video provides viewers with an experience that engages their attention, if only for a few short minutes. Now let's look at some ways to get the most out of video marketing.
Creating Videos That Engage Your Audience
As videos get ever more popular, the field gets more competitive. We already noted that a sizable majority of businesses (close to 90%) use some type of video marketing. In this environment, you can't just slap together any video and hope to get customers flocking to you. You need to learn what makes some videos more compelling than others. It's also important to keep up with the latest trends within video marketing.
What Goes Into a Great Marketing Video?
Why do some videos succeed brilliantly while others flop? Even the biggest Hollywood studios know that it's impossible to predict audience responses with precision. However, there are some reliable guidelines you can use.
- Know your audience. You need to target your videos to a specific kind of viewer. What is your brand's identity and who are you talking to? The answers to these questions will determine if your style is formal, casual, hip, or funny.
- Start off strong. You need to engage viewers in the first 10 seconds of the video.
- Keep it short. People's attention spans get shorter all the time. If you have a lot to say, consider splitting your message into multiple videos.
- Tell a story. What do you find more compelling, your favorite show on Netflix or HBO or a typical TV commercial? If you want viewers to pay attention, take a tip from the world's best storytellers. Consider this video on YouTube that has more than 40 million views: GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten. It's a simple but heartwarming story of, yes, a fireman saving a kitten. Yet it's far more effective at getting you to click on the GoPro link than if it was a boring list of features and benefits.
- Share videos widely. In addition to uploading videos to your own website, share them on YouTube, and social media to get as much exposure as possible.
- Optimize your videos. Just like written content needs to be optimized for the search engines, so do videos. You can improve the SEO of your video with a good title that uses some popular keywords. If you're posting the video on YouTube or another video sharing site, be sure to fill out the description using keywords.
The Latest Trends in Video Marketing
People have been watching videos online for years but the formats and platforms are always changing. For example, for quite a while YouTube was the only big player. Now, Facebook, Vimeo, and other platforms are catching up. Furthermore, there are some new video formats that can help you engage even better with your audience.
Live Streaming Video
Facebook Live and other live video platforms such as YouTube Live and Periscope are quickly capturing viewers' attention. This type of video gives you a chance to interact with your audience in real time. Engadget reported last year that nearly 2 billion people watched Facebook Live broadcasts. By now, that number is even higher. Live streaming is ideal for broadcasting at events, Q & A sessions, announcing new products, or giving customers an inside look at your business.
Stories and Very Short Videos
The Stories feature on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat lets you create short-lived content that's visible for 24 hours. Instagram Stories alone attract more than 500 million daily users. Younger audiences are especially fond of this format.
Podcasting is another significant marketing trend that's grown quickly over the last few years. There are currently more than 700 million podcasts on platforms such as iTunes. One clever strategy is to simultaneously create a podcast and a video. This essentially means simply filming the broadcast so you end up with a video as well as a podcast, reaching an even larger audience. You can also upload podcasts as videos on YouTube and share them on your website.
AR and 360-Degree Videos
Want to give customers a truly immersive experience? Industries such as real estate, hospitality, interior design, and others are finding that 360-degree and AR (Augmented Reality) videos are powerful for making people feel they are right there. For example, NASCAR is using AR and 360-degree videos to give fans an intimate experience of the action on the track.
These are just a few of the latest video marketing trends that can help you engage successfully with your audience. Of course, not every format is ideal for every business. You have to consider your industry, customers, and brand. However, it's always good to stay current with the latest happenings so you can at least consider such options.
Should You Outsource Video Marketing?
If you haven't worked with video, getting started can seem a bit complicated. You also need the right equipment and at least some basic skills using it. If you don't have the experience or resources, there can be a steep learning curve when it comes to finding the right look, tone, and style. If you want to get the best possible results from video marketing, one solution is to outsource it to an agency such as MarComm that can help you create compelling, professional videos that your customers will love.
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