Humans are emotional, story-driven individuals that love to be emotionally stimulated. Laughter, excitement, and curiosity are all evoked from movies, commercials, short films, and even the tried-and-true cat video.
It’s clear to see we all love video, but why? More importantly, how should you use it in your marketing strategy?
For just a moment, I’d like for you to think about your favorite movie and what it is that you like about it. Do you love the action, the adventure, the humor, the excitement, the drama, or even the scares? These personal experiences are the reason videos reach people at their core, letting them relate to, sympathize for, and even adore the characters and environments.
A core concept to internalize is we all have our own personal brand. We are all individuals who love to express what makes us unique and share that with the world. We aren’t saying “I love sporting videos because they have great action….” but rather “I love sporting videos because I am a sporty person.” It’s not about what the video says, but rather what liking the content says about yourself.
Take this 2016 holiday ad from Temptations which shows a smorgasbord of cat-attracting things like twinkle lights, Christmas trees, moving trains, house slippers, and of course chirping birds. Many cats are released into the arena and go crazy over the enticing scene, but then we hear the shake of Temptations cat treats and all the cats rapidly exit the room to grab a snack. While the video is entertaining on its own, the real reason this video is going viral is that it speaks to cat lovers. Anyone who owns a cat knows what makes them tick, and this video perfectly encapsulates that. Sharing this video speaks more about “you the cat lover” than it does “you the person who shared the video”.
It’s Easily Shared and Consumed
Long ago, ancient people drew on cave walls, sharing the view of their world at that time. Fast forward, and we shared stories through the radio. Soon after, television sets began to rise in popularity and were the exciting new way people shared stories. Then in the early 1990s the internet as we know it emerged, bringing multimedia distribution of all kinds to the masses and with it a new way to share stories with each other.
As the technologies associated with a connected society have continually advanced, so have the preferences of consumers and the way we share and consume stories. Even though video has been around for decades, there has never been more demand for video by consumers than we see today.
One reason for this is the sheer volume of information available to us today. Gone are the days of the exciting “You’ve got mail.” In today’s world with the internet in our pockets, we have access to essentially (and I’ll round up here) the entire world’s content. It’s overwhelming and people have become selective about what they consume and how. Video has the ability to convey much more information in a much quicker period, helping us to digest it in a shorter period of time. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth 1.8 million words.
Let me give you an example of how video can be easily shared and consumed. For one of our clients, Mary Kay, we live-streamed the groundbreaking of their new Manufacturing and Research and Development facility in North Texas. This 30-minute Facebook Live broadcast was viewed by 600 people simultaneously, garnered 80,000 video views, 15,000 instances of post engagement, and has reached almost a quarter million people. The client was pleased to be able to share the exciting event with so many people instantaneously and even more pleased with the response. Within minutes they were getting praise from around the world. Imagine if we had simply uploaded a photo from the event. Would it have gathered as much engagement?
The digital landscape we live in is always changing. Just when you think you’ve mastered the current platform, new features are added or a whole new platform arises altogether. What isn’t going to change is society’s need to share the story of themselves, and today video is king.
Think about the most popular social platforms recently – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Periscope, Snapchat, etc. While most of the top platforms offer consumers a similar feature-set at their core (text, photos, and videos) all of these platforms have realized that people want to share their life as it happens and with high-quality camera phones in all of our pockets, it’s no surprise that video is widely prevalent.
Let’s review some metrics on video in today’s digital landscape. I won’t be comparing the success of individual platforms, but rather illustrating just how large online video is today.
- 8 billion video views per day, up from just 1 million in 2014.
- 100 million hours of video viewed per day.
- 500 million people watch videos every day.
- The number of videos posted per person increased by 75% globally in 2015.
- 5 billion video views per day.
- 3 billion hours of video are watched monthly.
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- 17% of all internet traffic flows through YouTube.
- 10 billion video views per day.
- From May 2015 to May 2016, the daily video views have grown by 400% from 2 billion to 10 billion.
- 500 million Snapchat stories uploaded per day. Fun fact: it would take over 158 years to watch a single day of Snapchat stories.
- 60% of users contribute content daily and spend an average of 25-30 minutes each day on the platform.
Plainly speaking, if you’re not producing videos that showcase your company, team, and/or products to your consumers, you are missing a huge opportunity.
Take some time to analyze your company. What is your mission statement? What are your goals? How are you better than your competitors? Asking yourself some “global” questions like this should get the creative side of your brain moving and shaking.
I promise you there’s always an idea for a great video campaign hidden inside every company – even the boring ones. Anyone can benefit from having videos to support their business, brand, or product.
Alright, we know we want to produce lots of engaging videos, but where do we start? Here are a few suggestions:
- Brand awareness campaigns that showcase your unique company.
- Product demos that illustrate exactly how your product functions and why it’s the best.
- Company commercials that get eyes on your product and sales in the pipeline.
- Crowdfunding advertisements that let the world know about your next great idea.
- App store previews that educate potential customers why your app is best.
- Explainer videos which are great for detailing the nuances of your products clearly and effectively.
Now that you have an idea of what type of video that would benefit your organization, the next step would be to come up with the creative concept. Either you can have a brainstorming session with some of your creative team members, or contact an agency that specializes in video production.
Some videos, like a product demo, are possible to film yourself with just your smartphone. Others, like a larger scale commercial, would definitely require the assistance of a professional agency. Decide what’s best for you, but remember, it’s always a good idea to make the proper investment if you want to see a proper return.
The Future of Video Marketing
What’s on the horizon for the video marketing industry? Without a doubt, the biggest thing now is live video broadcasting. I personally have a background in live production and can attest to the advancements in the field in recent years and the incredible technology now available to the masses.
It used to take a large team of trained technicians to set up a live stream and now you can start it right from your smartphone. The streams were also challenging to view with the limited technology of the time (yes, I’m talking all the way back to 2007). Today with supercomputers in our pockets and high-speed data all around us, live video streaming is primed for explosive growth.
Historically the media belonged to the media. For a moment consider this – in the past, we had television networks airing programming daily, then YouTube premiered in 2005 letting the masses upload their videos to share with the world. Also, in the past there were daily live broadcasts from news organizations, then Facebook Live launched in 2015 letting the masses stream their life in real time.
We are seeing a complete shift in power from a select group of content creators to an entire society who can easily produce and share their life stories. The times have officially changed and the world is poised and ready for people, brands, and companies to share their message, personality, and most importantly their individuality with the world – using video.