In 2017, video will officially supplant text as the number one communications strategy on the Internet. As a brand building and recognition strategy, video is no longer a business luxury. Either you have your video marketing program up and running, or you are losing market share!
The Important Stats
The writing was on the wall by 2014, when all of the forward thinking marketing watchdogs and research companies began taking video seriously and posting some very telling statistics about the trends that video was causing. Among them, the fact that visuals increase a prospect’s propensity to read any small business content marketing piece by up to 80%, visuals improve buyer retention on social media by up to 65%, and content with some sort of imagery gets more than 94% more views than pure text.
Every one of these statistics is trending towards the use of more video – there is no fluctuation in the assessment, as you would expect from a fad. In a visual world, video simply speaks to us more, engaging multiple senses at once and allowing for a more robust and compact transfer of information.
The Shortcomings Have Been Overcome
The few disadvantages that video suffered in the past have been removed from the landscape. For one, the major search engines, drivers of more than 90% of all web traffic, only recently perfected their ability to index video content. Before this 2015-2016 breakthrough, consumers could not search for videos in an organized fashion, meaning that webmasters still had to focus their customer acquisition strategies around text. Today, not only can video be indexed, but you put yourself in a much shorter line when you utilize video (at least until everyone catches on fully). The bottom line: You end up with less SEO competition for keywords when you compete through video.
The ability of the average consumer to locate an online location through a video is central to all of the other strategies that video now stands to dominate. Video reviews are now legitimately in play as a reputation marketing strategy and as a customer acquisition strategy. Instead of text based indirect marketing content sneaking a potential prospect onto a sales page via a link, companies can now advertise themselves more forwardly, combining direct sales and visual stimulation through video testimonies. Direct sales already cut a great deal of time from initial contact to conversion. However, there is an additional advantage.
All three major search engines now have a partnership with Yelp, the world’s leading review platform. This partnership pushes up Yelp reviews in search results, making them easier for the average person to find. In many cases, a Yelp review is the first thing that a person will see when researching a company – one bad review can lose a company tons of business. If a company hopes to overcome a bad review from a Yelp customer, video reviews hosted on its own site with a chance to rank in search results and counter the narrative may be the only viable recourse.
Video Cost and Distribution
Video can now be distributed via Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at no direct cost to a business. Each of these platforms has its own indexing system, meaning that every company has the ability to profit from a well produce, informative and entertaining viral video with unlimited staying power ( YouTube video campaign stays up indefinitely, unlike a TV campaign, which must be renewed every two weeks or so).
The cost of video has also been reduced to the point where even the newest start up company can produce its own professional marketing materials for an initial cost of hundreds of dollars, and an ongoing cost of virtually nil. With little more than a DSLR camera and a YouTube set up, thousands of businesses from Boho Beautiful’s fitness and yoga store to 3PL services from Detroit’s warehousing giant Maverick Storage have been able to increase visibility while reducing production costs.
The business landscape is moving into a world of completely self-contained marketing programs. You now have the same opportunity as Apple or Amazon to promote yourself across the world with the right video. It is quickly becoming essential that you take advantage of this new and wide open opportunity!