May 16, 2016

The Rise (and Rise) of Online Video Marketing

Written by Top Draw guest contributor Richard Barker.

The use of video in content marketing is no new phenomenon, with a little help from a savvy bunch of people known collectively as ‘vloggers’, online video marketing exploded onto the net some years ago and is a trend that has grown steadily ever since. Despite the strength of video marketing becoming a headline itself, and bigger brands using it to change the way audiences digest content, advertisements and wider brand promises, small brands with more modest budgets are still failing to unlock its potential.

As a marketer I’m often hit by news of weird and wonderful strategies that are would-be ways of captivating a target audience’s gaze, even in the most heavily congested marketplaces, but despite these it appears video marketing has an even bigger role to play for the rest of 2016 and beyond with the power to boost brand awareness, improve lead generation and maximize online engagement greater than ever.

What can the latest statistics tell us?

One sure-fire way of gauging the importance and incomparable rise of online video marketing is to look at the latest statistics, and my do they have a story to tell. According to a white paper compiled by technology multinational Cisco Visual Networking Index, video with be responsible for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, whilst by 2018 this same figure will have risen to 79%, so the future of online video marketing is certainly looking bright, but what of its rise to fame so far?

2015 was officially the year of video marketing, and the above forecast was based on the fact that online video accounted for half of all mobile traffic during this period. Consumers are indeed investing more time in watching the videos that appeal to them, and a recent survey found that 78% of internet users watch videos every week with a further 55% admitting to watching videos every day! Watching videos isn’t just a fleeting activity either, 65% of viewers said they watched more than three quarters of a video, which bodes well for brands big and small looking to get their products or services heard. Video has found an unlikely position in the email marketing world too, with the mere mention of ‘video’ leading to a 19% boost in open rates and 65% increase in click-throughs. Unsubscribing is also reduced by 26% when using video as part of an email campaign.

We couldn’t mention online video marketing without shining the spotlight on the vlogging community and a recent study by Global Web Index found that 12% of viewers learned about new brands or products as a direct result of watching their favourite vloggers, a fact that isn’t lost on the market leaders in multiple industries who are now using popular vlogging personalities as the face of their products or services.

The future of content marketing

In light of the statistics above and recent events, there is no doubt that video is the future of content marketing. With video viewing platform YouTube getting some one billion unique visitors every single month, the need to satisfy viewer requests for getting the latest and greatest information, and to even entertain them, is now being realized by the business world.

We only have to look at big name brands like Android (Friends Furever), Always (#LikeAGirl), Buzzfeed (209 Seconds That Will Make You Question Your Entire Existence) and Adidas (Here’s to the Takers), and their video offerings, to understand why video is a key part of the strategy of an influencer. The inherent sharability of video is what makes its use so poignant and with every share the video is making an impression – good or bad – on a potential customer. Whether used for SEO, social media, email marketing or on-site interaction purposes, the video is one of the best tools in every marketer’s arsenal, and could be one of the best in yours if used correctly to naturally engage with your target audience.

Creating the perfect online video for your brand

As Forrester’s researchers so truthfully put it “if a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million”. The use of video doesn’t just give companies the means to ensure more successful online marketing, better sales and improved communication but can also help manage how your brand is viewed by your audience and shape the reputation of your products or services throughout your target market – according to Axonn Research, 70% of people view brands more positively after watching a video from them. You don’t have to have a big budget to use video marketing as part of a business focused strategy, small and start-up companies can get creative, produce a video and increase opportunity in one fell swoop.

Apps such as Vine and Snapchat have made the distribution of such videos even easier and more effective, and despite the limited recording length allowance, users are sitting up and listening more intently to what businesses have to say. Team this with cross promotion using a variety of social media channels, and the recipe for video marketing success has become relatively simple for many, that is if the video hits the spot.

Your video must be aligned with your brand and even if you are not obviously promoting your wares, the style, pace and quality of your offering should embrace your business’ core values. In addition to brand fluidity and cross channel promotion, being human is one of the golden rules of ensuring your videos get viewed, liked and shared, and better yet you don’t have to involve any cats!

Richard Barker is the Founder of Harrison Mann, a UK digital marketing agency that delivers a range of services, including SEO Leeds, to a multitude of organizations. Richard is a specialist in content marketing, pay-per-click, WordPress and Shopify web design, social media marketing and digital support.

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