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For many of us in the online marketing industry, each year we wait with bated breath for Mary Meeker to release her annual Internet Trends report. We can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon, what new trends we need to be aware of, and of course, what’s old news. And each year, the report grows larger and new stats arise to surprise us. One of the most important trends concerns video content marketing.
This year, one of the other areas that stood out to me was around user-generated content and specifically, how big brands are finally figuring out how to utilize images and videos to drive engagement. As a big believer in the customer experience, it’s cool to see some of these brands jumping in:
The report also looked at interactive video, image recognition, path to purchase tracking, and much more. I highly suggest taking a look at the full deck.
Anyway, what I really wanted to see was where video stood in this year’s report following the 2015 takeaway that by 2017, online video will account for 74 percent of all online traffic. Did we do it? Are we there yet?
I’ll be honest—I couldn’t find an update in the report. But a more recent Cisco report puts it at 82 percent of all traffic by 2020, so it seems we are on our way.
For marketers, these gigantic numbers mean it’s time to step up our own efforts around video and take advantage of this channel. Let’s look at how.
Start With Product Videos
According to Wyzowl’s 2017 State of Video Marketing report, 97 percent of businesses using explainer videos say it helps users understand their business better. And 73 percent of consumers say they’ve bought a product after watching a video.
Explainer video for Curata’s content marketing software
It makes sense. With the continued evolution of technology and new acronyms like IoT (the Internet of Things) taking over our lives, it can be hard for consumers to really understand what a product does, especially if that product is software. On top of that, we often to want to see how something works versus just read about it.
What’s important to note here is product videos don’t have to be boring. And you don’t have to become the next BlendTec or Dollar Shave Club to make it interesting. Take Coleman for example. They make things like grills, coolers, campaign equipment, and of course, tents.
Tent buying isn’t something many people do often. If you’re in the market, you just want to figure out which tent best fits your needs, budget, and style. Coleman does a nice job showcasing videos of tents—particularly their pop-up tents, which are much cooler to see on video.
Whether you sell tents or software, product videos help show potential customers what your product actually does. This helps them to take the next step in the buyer journey. (Read The Secret Behind Content That Attracts, Converts, and Nurtures at Each Stage of the Sales Funnel for more.)
Take Your Webinars Further
For anyone who’s ever attended a webinar, you know how it usually goes. You receive 10+ emails leading up to the webinar, and then you never hear about it again. What a waste! Especially when you consider how much time and effort goes into organization and promotion. (Check out Content Promotion, Distribution, and You: A Marketer’s Guide.)
As a company, don’t just set it and forget it. Take your webinars a step further.
Evariant, a leading healthcare CRM solution, runs webinars on a monthly basis. Their webinars are then cut up into clips and added into YouTube playlists, turned into blog posts, and added to emails and social.
One video asset allows the company to create a unified campaign across multiple channels and gives customers another way to get information about the company.
Does your company offer webinars? Don’t let them fall to the wayside. Turn them into snackable video content marketing your audience can enjoy elsewhere.
Capitalize on Social Trends
I like to tell people I’m “Not very hip to what the kids are doing these days.” So when the whole mannequin challenge came about, I thought it was pretty pointless. But sure enough, star after star and brand after brand hopped on board, and now there are over 4.5 million YouTube results. My employer KoMarketing’s mannequin challenge also happens to be one of their top Facebook posts of all time. Who would’ve thought?
The mannequin challenge in itself was nothing groundbreaking. But like the Harlem Shake that preceded it, these social trends allow brands to show a different side of themselves. It’s an easy way to make a video that can be shared across a variety of channels.
The other thing to consider? It’s cheap! This type of video content marketing is typically made on phones and therefore doesn’t require a budget. It simply requires buy-in from key stakeholders and a few employees willing to look silly.
Give Your Email a Voice
I attend a number of conferences throughout the year and as a result, I get a lot of email. (Read The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Conferences for the top conferences to attend.) From the conference organizers, from the sponsors, from the exhibitors, and even from people I didn’t meet but who still want to “connect.” It can be overwhelming. And do you know where 99 percent of those emails go? The trash. Don’t be the trash email.
According to Syndacast, using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent. Even better, eMarketer says half of the marketers who used video in email campaigns saw increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding.
When I returned from the SMX Advanced conference in June, I was greeted by an email thanking me for attending. It featured a video from one of the company’s Senior VPs.
The video isn’t long but it stood out among the rest of the emails. I not only read the email but also watched the video.
Is your brand engaging in email marketing? Think about how you can integrate video content marketing into your efforts and better capture your audience’s attention.
Answer Questions Your Customers Are Asking
When I moved out of my parents’ house I had to learn a whole lot about life, including where to take my car to get fixed and have the oil changed. Growing up, my dad took care of the car when issues occurred. So the idea of taking it somewhere to have the oil changed was preposterous. Imagine my surprise when he told me a few months ago he had to take his RV in to get the oil changed. His explanation—an RV is different. And more importantly, he couldn’t find out how to do it on YouTube.
Like my dad, many of us turn to YouTube to learn how to do things. In 2015, according to Google, searches related to “how to” on YouTube grew at 70 percent year over year. More than 100 million hours of how-to content had been watched in North America alone. That number has only grown as people continually turn to the web, and YouTube in particular, to give them answers.
Give your customers the answers to the questions they are asking. Not sure where to find those questions? Check out tools like Answer the Public, Keywordtool.io, and Bloomberry. Each of these tools scour the web to find the most common questions around specific keyword themes. (Read Content Marketing Tools: The Ultimate List for all the tools you’ll ever need.) Identify top questions related to your business, and instead of answering in writing, make a video.
Lowes does a really nice job of video content marketing. They’ve created a series of videos to answer questions like “How To Build a Deck” or “How to Build a Christmas Tree Stand.”
These videos not only address the needs of buyers, but also help them make their home a better place. The next time someone needs a tool, gardening equipment, paint, or anything else, they’ll likely think of Lowes.
Video Content Marketing: Final Thoughts
Video isn’t new and isn’t going away. As Mary Meeker’s report showed, more brands than ever are engaging with video content marketing, and buyers are consuming it at a significant rate.
Not sure your brand is ready? The good news is you don’t have to jump in head first, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Start small and go from there. There are plenty of free tools that make video editing easy. And if you can prove success with one video, you open the door to company buy-in and increased budgets. You might even become (or create) a video star.
Once you’ve started with video, measure how well your efforts are working. Download The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics and Metrics eBook for everything you need to assess the effectiveness of all your content marketing efforts.