Remember last year, when many of us marketers said: yep, 2017 is for sure going to be the “year of video.” There was good reason for that. Video marketing, advertising, and overall video consumption grew like crazy.
But in 2018, the use of video among small businesses is going to hit its stride and solidify into a “must have” marketing tactic. If you as a business can make strategic use of video, you’ll be able to seize critical opportunities for sales and market share.
It may be surprising to hear, but 61% of all businesses now use video content in their digital marketing plans. Two out of every three of these businesses are newcomers to video.
Those aren’t the only numbers going up. More people are watching video as well. Estimates from this summer predict that overall video consumption via mobile will increase by 35% by the end of this year.
All of these developments foretell a new year where digital video will be more important than ever for your small business success. Take advantage of the following four video marketing trends next year and you’ll likely be in for a great year ahead.
Because so many people seem to prefer video over text, many content strategies are now heavily reliant on video. And business owners who focus on this type of content find tremendous value and ROI on these efforts.
For one, people finish watching a video more frequently than they finish reading an average non-visual, copy-heavy blog. According to Vidyard, over a third of all video viewers (37%) make it to the end of the video’s run time.
Nearly all of mobile users who watch video (92%) have a tendency to share that video content with their friends. Simply Measured also says that video gets shared about 12x more frequently than content links or text.
Even more fascinating.. other studies show that viewers retain messaging better if it’s delivered via video rather than text.
The advantages of video are clear: you’ll get higher levels of engagement, shares and conversions in your marketing funnel. Plus, adding a video component to your digital marketing strategy will become a clear competitive differentiator in the months ahead.
If you’re looking to get started, just try transforming some of your existing content into a short (2.5 minutes or less) video. Look to your blog posts that got the most views and shares for inspiration.
The advantages of video are clear: you’ll get higher levels of engagement, shares and conversions in your marketing funnel.
Video not only generates awareness, it can help nurture sales in both B2C and B2B industries. You know – build know, like and trust with a prospect long before they ever come into contact with a real person in your company.
65% of business decision-makers will visit a startup’s website, claims ComScore.
Offering video content helps turn what could be a pushy and person-intensive sales process into a self-service nurturing pipeline. Interested prospects can view video content hosted on websites or shared via social to learn more about products and features. As they educate themselves, they move towards the end of the sales funnel with minimal person-to-person contact.
Self-guided lead nurturing not only reduces employee overhead, it also results in a more pleasant experience for leads. 19% of prospects claim they only want to hear from a company rep when they are actively considering a purchase. 40% of prospects want to be able to buy without talking to anyone at all.
In order to meet this need, you need to consider how your video assets can provide value at every stage of the sales/marketing funnel.
Start with awareness…. Cultivate it by creating emotional or intriguing video ads.
Then once the prospect is on your site, make sure there’s video that can help nurture them further. In-depth explainer videos can help lay out different buying options or the final steps in the process for those ready to close the deal.
“When you incorporate video into your sales processes, customers get what they want: a frictionless, self-serve experience on their time, and on their terms,” says WireBuzz.
Think about buyer needs that were once traditionally met with person-to-person interactions and imagine how video can replace these needs with a self-service, video-heavy customer journey.
Retail customers are not exempt from the video nurturing process – even they expect video content during their sales journey.
According to Business2Community, “25% of consumers will lose interest in your brand if you don’t have a video explaining your product or service.”
If you sell retail goods online or even exclusively in-store, your customers will want to see live demonstrations and rundowns of product features.
For a good example of how you can showcase product videos on your ecommerce or business website, take a look at RevZilla. They include a video summary with most new products and all of their best sellers to keep buyers informed and engaged.
Live video presents an easy, low-budget and low-concept way to create more video content for your fans and potential customers. Live video allows you the opportunity to engage with audiences in a way that feels authentic and like a 1:1 conversation.
Sprinkling live video into your content marketing and social engagement strategy really helps diversify your video portfolio without a massive up-front investment.
On the other end of the spectrum is 360° video. These videos use a special camera setup to capture a full spherical range of images. Audiences can then use a smartphone headset like the Google Daydream to tilt and move their head as the video plays, changing their viewpoint as one might in real life.
360° video results in a truly immersive and memorable experience. But the high cost of equipment and production means businesses require an airtight strategy for converting 360° videos into measurable returns.
Somewhere in between live video and 360° are a couple alternative video formats:
Formats like these lower production costs for video — especially video ads — while still providing higher levels of engagement. Best of all, they can communicate well even without sound.
Since 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, slideshow and short-form video assets provide substantial returns with a relatively minimal investment.
If 2017 was a year of pioneering growth for video, 2018 will be the year people expect business owners to give their video marketing campaigns some structure.
By focusing on the above trends, combing them with an intelligent strategy (which of course includes goals and measurement),business owners will be on the path to bringing in bigger audiences than ever before.