This article originally appeared in Digital Marketing Magazine.
As the old adage goes: "a picture tells a thousand words" - a mantra that has never been truer than in today's world of instantly accessible information. Our society has bred consumers who want to receive maximum information with minimal effort. So it's no surprise that videos telling snappy and engaging stories - at approximately 24 frames (images) per second - are quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to engage customers with a brand.
Rather than speculate about the value video can bring, earlier this year we commissioned a study with Aberdeen Group to help us get a better grasp on the return on investment (ROI) in video marketing. The good news for marketers is that this study proves how the use of video content generates a more cost effective marketing effort. Below I'm going to take you through some of the most interesting facts and figures but you can access the full report online here.
The power of conversion
We found the difference between the average website conversion rates for video content users was 4.8% versus non-using firms of 2.9%. While at first glance the significance of this return may not be clear, let's put this into perspective.
The figures behind the difference in website conversion rate mean that companies using video require 37% fewer unique site visitors to generate a marketing response. This means websites without video will have to generate 137,000 unique visitors for every 100,000 visitors a website with video needs to generate the same amount of leads. The facts speak for themselves.
Cutting the bottom line
Video as a communications channel, though, is not new. So why, over the past five years have marketing professionals started investing so much time and so many resources in creating their own video portals?
A dramatic reduction in the cost of producing high quality video is likely a driving force behind its popularity. Until recently, filming required a high-tech camera and expensive sound equipment. But thanks to today's ever-advancing technology, these items have transformed into a luxury rather than a necessity for sophisticated video capture.
As a result, overheads are much lower, allowing freelancers and regional agencies to achieve professional-quality video content whilst sticking to tight content development budgets. Now, good video is less expensive to make, helping that ever-important bottom line.
ROI is becoming easier to calculate
As with all areas of marketing spend, when investments are made, results need to be calculated. Video marketing is no exception. Metrics are critical to understanding the level of engagement with particular content assets, both to evaluate the content marketing version of 'return on assets', and, perhaps more importantly, to understand how customer interaction can inform the business about buying intentions.
The good news for marketers is that video marketing offers unique benefits in this respect, which should make it easier to get buy-in from the board.
1) Video has a temporal element: Specific metrics will allow brands to capture how many times their video has been viewed and the duration of each viewing. If the data indicates footage is being watched until the end, they're likely on to a winner. But if viewers are cutting off mid-way through the content, then it is likely time to go back to the drawing board.
2) Video is portable: With more than 40% of the UK's top brand websites still not optimised for mobile devices (Advertising Bureau), the portability of video content makes it a great asset for marketers. Unlike other digital assets, video can be shared across multiple media channels whilst maintaining integrity in terms of measurable tracking.
Investment vs. return
Although creating video content often requires more time and investment up front than other digital marketing assets, the results from a marketing and sales generation perspective are often easier to measure and evaluate. The research results show that best-in-class companies – the top 20% based on aggregate performers from the industry average (see report for further details) – have already cottoned onto this and 95% are currently using video content. In fact the majority are more likely to invest in video marketing than any other form of digital media.
With the pressure on for marketers to show how content is performing, increasing conversion rates is the main priority and video will be key to showcasing the value of content marketing as we move forward. Whatever your customer demographic, connected devices have opened the floodgates of opportunity for brands and it's important that marketers are engaging consumers through multiple communications tactics.
If you are unsure where to start, why not take a look at our top tips below:
1) Get buy-in from the board
As video content requires a level of investment it's important to get buy-in from the top early on in the process. Invite decision-makers into the initial meetings about the 'value add' - in terms of audience engagement and lead generations – that video marketing will bring to your business.
2) Optimize your content
Consumers are now coming at brands 24 hours a day 7 days a week from multiple devices. It’s important that your content is optimized for tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Think about the different experiences the viewer will have on each device and how you can optimize the design to improve their viewing experience.
3) Take advantage of video management solutions
Consider a video management solution to improve video quality and support ease of use. After all, there's no use spending time and money to perfect your video-content if consumers can't access it!