Video may not have quite killed the radio star, but the rise of digital video content certainly demands marketers reconfigure their operations to seize the opportunity.
And that opportunity is significant. More than simply being visually appealing, video boosts search visibility, fuels social sharing and appeals particularly to mobile users.
Consumers love it – by 2020, the average person is forecast to spend 84 minutes a day watching online video, according to Zenith. Savvy marketers are rushing to meet that demand, with 87% of businesses now using video as a marketing tool and 83% of them saying video brings good return on investment, according to Wyzowl.
But, if that leaves a large proportion of brands which are yet to catch up, it also overlooks the many companies which have dipped their toe in to video, only to find it a struggle.
So, what are the ingredients of a successful video marketing strategy? Let’s look at these three key pillars…
According to research by HubSpot, 54% of audiences prefer to see videos over other marketing content. If we know video works then there is every reason to lean in.
In fact, a successful video strategy dictates that you don’t just dip your toe in but that you dive in head-first. No-one ever made an overnight impact for their brand with a single video, no company has ever found fame from embarking on a video strategy that lasted just a few weeks or a quarter.
Short-termism is counterproductive. Video, just like social itself, requires a long-term commitment including a regular, thoughtful cadence of planning, production and beyond.
This is the way to build audience and competence, hand-in-hand.
Meeting that level of commitment can be challenging. To sustain a consistent level of quality video, planning and production requires a brand to invest in embedding video culture in to their organisations.
Normalising this culture means a company developing a strategy around who commissions video, when and how it gets made.
This is where a lot of brands can break because unlike text and audio, video has always been seen as the most burdensome of media content to make. Times are changing, however – now a new wave of software is making point-and-click video planning and editing easy and less resource-intensive. Now brands need not employ teams of video specialists in order to embrace the opportunity – but they do need to be thoughtful and strategic about what kind of content they schedule from week to week.
You can’t divorce your audience strategy from your content strategy; you shouldn’t leave distribution as an afterthought. After all if a tree fell in a forest and no-one was there to hear it, did it really make a sound?
It’s important to remember that video is not a single media channel, and your video strategy does not have to be wedded to a single platform. Just as you may post the same messaging to different social platforms albeit in custom formats, video can also exist in multiple dimensions. It fits well in mobile, social, websites and even television; it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
However those unique channel environments create distinct format imperatives – like player size, metadata and embed-ability – that may all need to be baked-in at production. So even when considering the end step of distribution brands need to factor it in at the start.
In the post-advertising age, we’re now already in an era in which brands can communicate on their own terms. All the indicators show video can do that communication better than all media before it.
But, for that communication to be effective, content must be compelling. The best way to embark on that journey is to be mindful about what makes great video – and how to make it.
Diving in, making it easy and considering how to achieve maximum reach are the key planks to consider. I can’t wait to see how many brands fast-forward to video in the months ahead.