Some say video is the future of content marketing, but we disagree. Firstly, it is just a part of the future of content marketing – albeit an important part. Secondly, when it comes to video, the future is already here, and it’s been here a while. In our ‘Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing’ we dedicate a chapter to this topic, “Why Online Video Should be Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy” , but here we’ve pulled some of the main points to see what makes video such a compelling medium for marketers and why, if video isn’t already a part of your marketing strategy, you may be missing out.

Today, one third of all activity online is spent watching video. Of course, the figure for those watching B2B content will be tiny in proportion to music  or cat videos, but what this figure does do is draw attention to the fact that online video consumption has well and truly become the norm. This shift in content digestion is why 61% more businesses used video in the past year than the year before that. Of course this alone is not a reason to dive in and start producing video content.

Buyer expectation is there… don’t disappoint!

Purchase patterns and expectations have shifted rather dramatically in recent years. Not only are people doing more research online prior to making any kind of direct interaction with the vendor, they now prefer to see some kind of demo or product video first. The good news is that a study by Internet Retailer found that 52% say watching a product video make them more confident in their online purchase decisions. From the perspective of the brand, this not only helps to build trust, but it moves the customer smoothly through the purchase process. While sales may not be speaking to the prospect as early in the buying cycle as they may like, it is clear that video presents a compelling opportunity to engage with buyers online.

Improve your conversion rates

Interestingly the same report by Internet Retailer also identified a significant difference between the average website conversion rates for those using and not using video content – of 4.8% versus 2.9% respectively. Any organisation which gets a reasonable number of website visitors will find this difference to be hugely significant. The bottom line is that it will take far fewer unique users to generate the same marketing response. Brands will want to test and measure results to get the optimum response, but evidence is clear that conversion rates are likely to be higher on a page with video content.

The world is increasingly mobile… and mobile users love video!

Youtube suggests that mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Of course this includes literally billions of views of Justin Bieber videos and not just the ads of the more innovative B2B brands, but as we said earlier these figures represent overarching consumption patterns. One reason for this shift, as Google tells us, is that mobile users are 1.4 times more likely as desktop viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices. This is perhaps why 65% of marketers plan to increase their mobile ad budgets to account for video.

A few moments ago we mentioned conversions and made reference to the fact that video helps to improve campaign response. The metric for a marketing response can vary, but the graph above, which we have ‘borrowed’ from Google’s research, indicates exactly what actions buyers take after seeing a video on a mobile device. This graphic aims to draw comparisons with TV content, but the ‘smartphone’ figures alone (in red) show just how powerful mobile video can be, with over 30% saying they have made a purchase having seen a branded video on a mobile device.

It’s more cost effective than it has ever been…

Producing video is now cheaper than ever – or at least it can be if you want it to be, thanks to the dramatic reduction in the cost of the associated technology. It is now feasible to produce this content in-house with a little expertise. A very recent example comes from an animal shelter commercial which despite being done in-house and not to a Hollywood-finished standard has proved popular. If you prefer to outsource to the very best agencies, the good news is that even they should be able to achieve amazing quality video content whilst sticking to tight content development budgets.

Want more information?

Discover more video marketing insights and tips in the chapter “Why Online Video Should be Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy”.  

For a comprehensive marketing approach, download The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing  which contains this chapter and several others on:

  • The 5 elements of a killer content marketing strategic plan

  • 3 quick wins for improving your content marketing right now

  • How to measure ROI

  • The importance of blogging for your brand

  • Content marketing lessons from the masters