In 2018, video is an integral and necessary component of your marketing plan, whether you’re a sole proprietor, small startup or a global corporation. While video has long been one of the most popular types of online content, wide access to video cameras on smartphones has helped to push this medium to the forefront. From my perspective, video is the future of marketing and communications.
Whether you’re comfortable with video or not, it’s time to add it to your marketing toolkit. The good news is that there are apps and tools available to make video marketing accessible, even for small businesses with modest marketing budgets.
The Future Will Be On Video
In addition to its YouTube channel, Zappos includes a short video for many of its shoes. Freelancing platform Upwork, once the site of faceless work for hire, now encourages its freelancers to add video to their profiles to attract potential clients. Someday soon, the video resume may replace the traditional written version.
There’s a good reason why everyone — from huge brands to individuals — is reaching for video marketing. A 2017 survey of 1,000 consumers, conducted by gen.video and Geometry Global, found that 86% of online consumers have been swayed by a video to purchase a product.
It’s no secret that if your landing page includes an optimized video, it is more likely to rank higher search engine results. In marketing emails, video thumbnails have been shown to improve click-through rates by more than 20%, compared to image thumbnails. And by 2021, 82% of online consumer traffic is expected to be video traffic.
These facts likely contribute to the results of a 2017 survey by Wyzowl, which found that video is being used by 81% of businesses and, of those that don’t currently use video, 65% plan to start doing so in 2018. It’s also likely why one-quarter of Instagram ads are video. And it’s why you need to give video a prominent place in your marketing plan, no matter the size of your business.
Video marketing is even changing political advertising. Some political newcomers in 2018 have used videos to introduce themselves to voters. Video is bringing storytelling in marketing to a whole new level.
Tips For Adding Video To Your Marketing Plan
More and more platforms encourage or demand video. Your video marketing plan needs to go beyond a few videos on your website or a YouTube channel. Your business’ presence on every social channel should include a video component.
Here’s one number that’s useful to know as you make your video marketing plan: two minutes. That’s the maximum length of more than half of the videos produced, according to the “2018 Video in Business Benchmark Report,” by Vidyard, which analyzed more than 250,000 videos from 600 businesses.
Aim for as long as two minutes for YouTube marketing videos and as short as 30 seconds for other social media platforms. Be sure to include titles in your video. On Facebook, most viewers play video with the sound off. That trend surely holds true on other platforms, as consumers often watch video on the fly, in places where sound would be inappropriate, such as the office.
If humor fits with your brand voice, then video marketing is a great vehicle to engage and amuse potential customers. When my company, Red Stag Fulfillment, started to get a lot of questions from customers about drop shipping, we created a short explainer and used a Game of Thrones theme to give a light touch to a dry subject. Companies like Purple Mattress and PooPourri have used viral videos to expand brand awareness and educate potential customers about their products.
While you will want to keep your initial approach to customers fairly short, longer-form video content can provide important information for interested customers further down the sales funnel. Product demonstrations, webinars and longer explainers help move consumers into and through your onboarding process.
Video Marketing Tools
An explosion of technological innovation in video creation means that there are lots of great tools and apps to help you promote your business through video. You don’t need a film crew or animation studio, though you should definitely turn to the professionals if you have the budget.
If you’re small and bootstrapping, you can take advantage of free apps to give simple video presentations a professional polish. Try Slidely or VideoScribe for slideshows that pop.
For animated video, start with Animoto, Vyond, Stop Motion Studio or Powtoon. Add flames, explosions and other eye-catching special effects to live action video with Action Movie FX or FXGuru. And add colors, filters and video distortion with VideoFX Live or LumaFX. Most of these apps are inexpensive or have a free version; you can often buy a broader array of video editing features in the app for a modest fee.
You don’t have to buy a fancy camera, either — you can create good, short videos on a smartphone or tablet.
The abundance of inexpensive tools makes it easier than ever to add video to your marketing plan. The primacy of video in online communications makes it essential.