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Does Video Content Make a Difference?

Start talking about your website landing page or customer engagement levels on brand social media and you are guaranteed that someone will mention a video clip they saw recently. In an emerging world of noise and a constant brand battle for attention, video content is on the rise. Does it matter? How important is it? Should it be included in a content strategy for a small business? We took a rummage through the recent facts to find out.

The Impact of Video on Decision Making

The critical factor in any marketing communications plan is sales conversion. Producing video content is often avoided because it can be a costly exercise, it takes resources both in time and money. So, the question is, how does it impact on decision making? According to recent research published by HubSpot, video is the preferred way of consuming information online. The findings state that when video and text are offered to prospects who are interested in a product or service, a whopping 72% of the users they spoke with said they would prefer to get the information from video instead of text.

Do You Need All The Latest Professional Equipment?

A common barrier to investing in video is the fear of the expense. Hiring a professional team with suitcases full of equipment. This is often necessary when creating a 2-3 minute long company video or a cross media platform advertising campaign. However, to include video content in a social media plan or as an addition to a website, the reality is far simpler.

If you offer a consumer product or service and use Facebook to target your audience, then you can produce compelling videos that grab attention without the need to hire a camera crew. Advice from social media service Buffer suggests that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. In the same post Buffer state that less than half will watch for 30 seconds. This surely demonstrates the importance of capturing the audience’s attention immediately, but also proves that creating compelling video content can be done at a reasonable cost.

Technology has moved on at an incredible pace in recent years, to the point where major international brands now shoot their brand adverts on a mobile phone. Luxury car-maker Bentley were one of the first big names by shooting their 2014 campaign for the Bentley Mulsanne on an iPhone 5S. Several other major brands have followed suit. With a little practise, it is more than possible to find the talent within your business to shoot quick simple content to appeal to your target audience.

Most social networks start playing videos automatically to users who do not have the sound turned on, therefore subtitles are a sensible addition when publishing videos on these platforms. It is important to keep your video messaging clear to the audience and consider the timing, e.g. whether they are watching with or without sound, or whether they’re watching during their rush hour commute or at home during the weekend.

Pre-recorded or Live?

More recently, online video has seen an explosion due to the introduction of live videos; with Facebook and Instagram both offering users the ability to stream to an audience in real-time.

According to an article on Facebook newsroom, on average users spend 3 times as much time watching video that is live compared to video that is not. Users also comment 10 times more on live video than they do on video that is not live. With this boost in engagement comes an opportunity for brands to get instant feedback from a live audience who may be more engaged due to the live content being seen as a ‘one-off’.

Predictions For The Rise of Video

Look through the predictions, white papers and reports and there is mounting evidence to suggest that video will continue to play a huge role in personal communications. According to a forecast published by Cisco, video content will account for a staggering 80% of all personal Internet traffic by 2020. This shows that video is at the forefront of content on personal social platforms and favoured by many, so it clearly can’t be ignored.

What Does This All Mean for Small Business Marketing?

Video offers many opportunities for small business owners who want to get their message in front of a captive online audience. The rise in online video has been phenomenal and doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. With emerging platforms such as IGTV, there are more and more opportunities for businesses to reach their audience through video at the places where people spend time online.