Video is Vital for Digital Marketing


The future of content marketing is video.

It started with cave paintings. Then we learned that the paint looks better on a canvas than rock. Then we figured out how to harness light to capture a still image. After that, we toiled relentlessly at the task of getting those images to move. Why all the fuss? Because visual storytelling is the best kind of storytelling. Would you rather have someone describe a sunset in an essay or watch it slowly sink and disappear behind the horizon yourself, observing every subtle change in the evening sky? There’s no contest. And that’s why the motion picture business is a multi-billion dollar industry, YouTube is the 3rd most visited site in the world, and GIFs are populating every corner of the internet.

If a picture is worth a thousand words…

Social media is all about sharing experiences, opinions, and discoveries. The goal of digital marketing is to reach your audience. With these objectives, video is the clear frontrunner for the MVP of your technology tool belt. There’s more content on the internet than any person could hope to consume, even if they had a hundred lifetimes. This has resulted in shorter attention spans and a high bar for what qualifies as worthy of one’s time. To successfully engage your audience, you need to do something impressive and memorable, and you need to do it quickly. Video is the most effective way to accomplish that. Not only is it the obvious choice from an entertainment perspective when presented with the options of video vs. photo vs. text, but the Google algorithm grants prime real estate to sites with YouTube embedded links and the content will take up more space on SERPs. The decision of which link to choose from is simplified even further when you consider that your competitors’ efforts have been pushed to the bottom of the barrel as your post floats to the top. Even if the two were side by side, the modern consumer will prefer to have information presented to them in a concise 60 second video as opposed to a 500 word article. In a brief amount of time, you can pose a question and answer it, demonstrate a product or service, establish a relationship with your viewer, or all of the above. They’ll select your content so they can quickly move on to the rest of the internet, which is tempting to explore.

Getting the consumer’s attention is only half the battle. Once that’s won, you have the task of introducing your brand to them or getting your specific campaign across. Video offers you a combination of elements that capitalizes on multiple fronts of the attention span. The audience member is watching the video, listening to the audio, and absorbing any text or graphics you present. Studies prove that although visual stimulus improves memory, the most effective form of learning is presenting audio and visual cues at the same time. What you teach them in that time is up to you.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Keep in mind that colors and music are powerful players when it comes to evoking an emotional response from your viewer. The soundtrack and color scheme of your footage help dictate the difference between your brand establishing its voice as professional or zany, detached or warm, laid back or lively, serious or humorous, etc. Take a clip from a thriller film, where the director relied on ominous musical tones in the background that spike at key moments to elicit fear in the viewer, and mute the video. Then play an audio recording of a high school marching band playing your favorite tune. The suspense just went out the window. Video offers the most ingredients for you to cook with, and if you get the recipe right, you can put a clearly defined face on your brand which the viewer will be able to quickly identify with and ultimately trust.

Show, don’t tell. Talk is cheap.

With searchable platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, marketers can upload a video free of charge and direct it towards an acutely precise target audience, thanks to analytical data and tagging, which has the potential to garner billions of views. Meanwhile, a TV ad is aimed using weak demographics and can cost upwards to millions of dollars for a prime time spot. Even during the Super Bowl, an ad might only get 100 million viewers. YouTube has 1 billion visitors per month and 100 million people view videos daily. Why spend the money? Another benefit to not breaking the bank for air time is that the boatload of money you save can be invested in the production value of your video content. The end result is a superior quality finished product that will reach more people. Not to mention the potential for the holy grail of digital marketing: Going Viral. After Old Spice ran its “The Man You Could Smell Like” campaign, they saw 107%  increase in sales in a single month. Don’t act like you’re not jealous.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, then the digital video camera has the power to conquer the world.

The potential for video is only going to continue to strengthen and thrive. According to a Cisco prediction, we can expect internet video traffic to increase from 64% to greater than 80% in the next 4 years. Integrated videos on sites like Facebook and Twitter are already auto playing, so the viewer is immersed in the content just by scrolling across it. Digital marketers are catching on already. The Interactive Advertising Bureau stated that out of 300 brand marketers they polled, two thirds are moving their budgets into online video and out of television. Yet due to the abundance of cheap HD video recording equipment available to so many, the playing field is still level when it comes to big firms with deep pockets and new comers with small, dedicated teams. Over 1,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every month, but if you manage to produce that one diamond in the rough, you’ll find your client’s brand becoming a household name. The video train isn’t leaving the station. It’s already charging down the track and preparing to receive a nitrous oxide boost that will hurtle it forward at a lightning speed. All aboard.