9 November 2020

The rise and
rise of video
[Updated for
2021]

The key points...



  • Video content continues to grow in popularity

  • Short-form videos are particularly popular in 2021

Is video marketing effective?

It’s no secret that video is now the most effective way to speak to and engage an audience. Brands are investing in video marketing in recognition of how today’s customers prefer to consume content.

Research shows that video is still gaining momentum with people using devices and more, and the enthusiasm for video is higher than ever. An audience is more likely to remember a video ad on a desktop or mobile device. YouTube has 2 billion active users worldwide. Massive open online courses are surging because video can offer easy engagement that isn’t possible with textbooks. Many meetings are now held virtually via Zoom or Teams.

Why is video so effective for delivering content?

Here are five good reasons…

  1. Video is the path of least resistance – A fundamental advantage of video in content marketing is the way humans are hardwired to process information. The human brain seeks the path of least resistance and is designed to process and respond quickly to moving images and sound — it’s possible you’ve seen the quote of ’humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than we process text’ — so it stands to reason that complex emotions, messages and ideas are more efficiently conveyed through video.

  2. Video builds trust – Humans respond best to other humans; human faces and human voices, it makes us feel at ease. With the exception of in-the-same-room, face-to-face communication, video trumps all other media when it comes to evoking emotions, building trust and delivering authentic content and messaging.

  3. Video tells a story – We know the human brain processes moving pictures and sound much faster than the written word. This enables video to portray much more complex and emotive stories in a simple, engaging way. The audience can more easily become immersed in the story: remember that delivering via the path of least resistance (video), will mean that the story is more memorable, or ‘sticky’.

  4. Video levels the playing field – Up until relatively recently, video was an exclusive tool for big organisations with bigger budgets. This is not the case today. Fast-paced technological advances have ensured lower prices for high-quality equipment, placing the potential for video capabilities firmly in the hands of virtually any business or organization, large or small.

  5. Video is searchable and measurable – It’s been a while now since Google started to include video in their search results — with well over half of all keyword searches returning at least one video — and they reward video content with higher rankings than content without. Video’s popularity means that detailed analytics are readily available via third party services. Measuring and monitoring video performance can help to fine-tune the messaging and marketing efforts.

 

Where to use video marketing

Video is everywhere. No longer just on hosting sites such as YouTube, video is prevalent on social media, landing pages, blogs and ecommerce product pages. They can take many forms. From recruitment videos showcasing company culture to live streams of a product launch. Here are some of the most popular formats of video in 2021:

    • Explainer videos – Often short, often animated with a voiceover, explainer videos are used to educate an audience on a specific product or service. Normally 90 seconds or shorter, these videos are found on landing pages or product pages and can increase conversions by up to 80%.

    • Product videos – Providing visual proof of the effectiveness of your product can play a huge role in encouraging viewers to part with their hard-earned. Having an enthusiastic host or influencer showing off cool elements of your product, or an exaggerated situation that shows off the products key selling point can add to the appeal.

    • Company Culture videos – Talking heads interspersed with clips of your employees in action can show potential clients your company ethos in action, encouraging them that you’re the people to do business with. They also attract new recruits, who can be invited by the work culture.

    • Interviews – Potential customers don’t want you to tell them how good your product or service is, they want someone outside the company to back up your claims. Testimonial interviews are a great way of influencing people.

    • Live videos – Live videos are now easier than ever to do. Live stream to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Twitch and even LinkedIn. Because they’re shot in real-time, broadcasters can communicate on a one-to-one basis with their viewers. Or put another way, you can talk directly to a customer. Live video really is a powerful marketing tool.

 

Is video good for SEO?

Sure, videos look good and have been shown to increase engagement and generate more sales. But more than that, video is also great for boosting your SEO efforts. That’s because video is content, and we all know that Google loves content.

Posting relevant content in whatever medium is a plus point for search engines. So pay attention to the title and description of a video – these can be optimised as you would any other piece of content. Add a transcript of the content of the video to make it as easy as possible for Google’s spiders to crawl.

Other good practices are to add video schema when you upload it to your site and create time stamps so users can find the most relevant parts of your video. This will also help your chances of achieving a Google featured snippet. Indeed the search engine giant announced in October that they’re using an ‘AI-driven approach’ to understand the deep semantics of a video and to automatically identify key moments. By allowing the user to navigate the parts of a video like chapters in a book, it’s now even easier to get the specific information to answer their query.

What are video marketing trends?

While video content continues to grow in popularity, the content we consume is subject to changing fads and trends. While once, videos were all shot horizontally – they were viewed on TV screens and desktop monitors afterall – nowadays, they’re frequently shot vertically. As people now use social media to consume video content and use a phone to check their feeds, vertical video is here to stay.

Another social media trend, TikTok and Instagram Reels style videos will continue to be popular in 2021. These short-form videos can be easily consumed and are especially popular amongst 15-25-year-olds.

As mentioned above, live videos are increasingly used as part of a content marketing strategy – a trend that will continue throughout 2021 and beyond.

Why video marketing is so important in 2021

Given the use of mobile in all these trends, it’s unsurprising that the quality of production is not as important as it once was. Nowadays, there’s no barrier to entry, anyone with a phone can shoot a decent quality video.

This means your competitors can shoot decent quality video. Which means you need to be shooting video too.

In summary…

Video is an accessible, powerful content marketing tool that can embody a brand’s voice, engage audiences, evoke emotions, create powerful memories, and unify a company — all in less than the time it takes to make a coffee.

Given the ease with which video can now be created on smartphones, it’s a part of your marketing mix you can’t afford to be without in 2021.

Note: This article was originally published in October 2017, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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