Marketing professionals are finally listening to what communications and PR specialists have been shouting all along: content is king. For a while, popular content was mostly funny memes and informative blog posts. Recently, however, video marketing has become a more popular strategy. The reason is simple: it works.
To be fair, marketing teams weren’t too far from the mark all along. While bloggers were writing about the top 10 ways to succeed at everything from potty training to programming, marketers stuck to their guns and pushed out cable ad after cable ad. A cable ad is, after all, a video.
However, this new age of video marketing is much different from the one that preceded it. These videos are not blatant ads you would find on cable TV. The new era of videos is as often made by fourteen-year-olds with a GoPro strapped to their heads, as they are by production companies with decades of experience. But how popular are these, anyway?
The simple answer is “very popular.” After all, how many viral blog posts have you seen lately, compared to videos? In fact, the sad reality is that Americans don’t read much anymore. According to an article published on the New Yorker, the amount of time Americans spend reading for fun declined to less than 18 minutes per day in 2016, compared with less than 22 minutes in 2013.
Meanwhile, video stats continued to soar. According to a study published by Nielsen, a data analytics company, Americans spend almost six hours per day watching videos. Is it any wonder that written content has slowly slipped into the shadows, while audiovisual ads have moved to the forefront?
In addition to this, the same study found that adults were spending about 45 minutes per day on social media. The most popular platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube. In total, users watch more than 500 million hours of YouTube videos per day. Also, almost half the population spends more than an hour per day watching videos on Facebook. Even Twitter boasts that 82 percent of its users log in to watch videos.
With figures like these, marketers and PR specialists alike have taken advantage of the opportunity to get their logos and products as much screen-time as possible. Not surprisingly then, 87 percent of marketing specialists all around the world utilize videos as part of their strategy.
This prevalence contributes to even more videos published on TV and online. Thus, the cycle repeats itself. One can hardly watch a Facebook video without being interrupted by an ad, and almost every YouTube video seems to be preceded by ads for viewers without premium accounts.
While video ads are now as pervasive, and some would say annoying, as it was back in the days of cable TV, the publishers have changed. The economic recession combined with several organizational scandals undermined the trust many millennials placed in large companies who had at first commanded respect. Millennials no longer blindly listen to corporation’s claims.
They do, however, listen to the claims, and often seek validation from, their peers. This has opened up a new and more cost-effective source of video marketing. YouTube vloggers and Instagram influencers have stepped to the forefront. They use the trust they have cultivated with their own audience to convince this audience to support causes, brands and political candidates via their own platforms.
It may sound otherwise, but this is not a marketing strategy only employed by small brands with tight marketing budgets. This strategy has been used by household names like Disney, Microsoft, and Subaru.
At the end of the day, however, a popular marketing strategy isn’t necessarily a good one. So, what’s the return on investment for videos? After all, it costs a lot less money to hire a writer than to hire an actor, and writing an article takes a lot less time than creating videos. Even so, most people are more easily moved by what they see than what they imagine, and that might mean moving them to purchase, vote or donate.
With that in mind, consider the following findings produced by several studies conducted by data analytics, marketing and social media companies around the world.
Marketing tactics come and go, some lasting longer than others. So, what does the potential for longevity look like for video marketing? It seems this marketing tactic isn’t about to disappear anytime soon. In fact, experts around the world estimate that by 2021 at the latest, video content will account for 80 percent of traffic online, so don’t let this pass you by. Seize the opportunity to grow your audience, customers and profits.