By Kate Harron
As program marketers, we are constantly monitoring the practices and trends that are most effective at driving customers toward energy efficiency. With an ever-expanding marketing toolbox, video is holding its place as one of the most powerful techniques available.
So, what’s the big deal with video?
Here are ten reasons why video marketing has an edge on other marketing tactics, and why it is essential to include in almost any marketing strategy.
On average, our attention span has been reduced to just 8.25 seconds. That means we are more easily distracted than goldfish (they clock in at 9-seconds). With scripts for 10-second videos averaging 23 words, short videos contain nearly double the information of the average article headline when working to engage and hold attention of a viewer. With 30-second scripts averaging 70 words and 60-second scripts at 140, there is a lot that can be communicated in a very short period of time.
Search engines love video content. Including video on websites can help to improve the page ranking in search engine results, increase click through rates from searches, lower bounce rates and build links to your site. Videos that utilize custom tags, titles, and descriptions are the most likely to send relevancy signals and drive users to the content. Given that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, posting videos on YouTube can help to increase a website’s searchable footprint while boosting brand visibility.
Instead of simply linking to YouTube, embedding the original video content within a page sends a strong indicator of a website’s relevance to search engines. Embedding video across platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can have even greater impact, depending on the audience.
Website visitors are more likely to spend time watching video content than they would spend reading the same exact information. Why? Watching is easier and more engaging than reading. The content cannot simply be a sales pitch to hold viewers attention. Great videos will share information and include a clear call to action that encourages the viewer to take the next step, ideally driving users to additional pages on the website, increasing time on site and decreasing bounce rate.
From informational overviews to webinars to educational tutorials, video can be used to reach customers at any point in the decision process. But these business decisions are rarely made based on pure logic. Videos help create the sort of emotional connections that are often needed for us to learn more, purchase or participate in energy efficiency.
Marketing videos harness the power of visuals to educate and entice viewers to action. Visuals transmit information faster and improve comprehension. They stick around in our long-term memory and motivate learning. In medical terms, visual perception, auditory processing and emotional response processing all occur in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. The result is that visual stimuli and emotional response are easily linked.
Email marketing is one of the most effective tactics for sending targeted and personalized marketing campaigns, especially when video is involved. BrainShark reports that incorporating the word “video” in an email subject can increase open rates by as much as 19%, improve click through rates by as much as 65% and reduce the number of unsubscribes by as much as 26%. Video has become such a powerful and preferred communication medium that simply mentioning the word has a clear impact.
Video has exploded over the last few years in both mobile and social media communications, giving video marketers the ability to engage and develop relationships across multiple channels and devices. According to SilverPOP, in 2015 YouTube viewing hours were up 60% over 2014, with mobile viewing hours increasing by 100%. On Facebook, 50% of users watched at least one video per day last year.
With faster Internet speeds, video can be streamed anywhere at anytime. Longer informational videos can be clipped and used as teasers to accommodate platform restrictions, expanding the reach of each video to drive views and, eventually, conversions.
Video on social media is not just for the business-to-customer (B2C) market. Video provides the opportunity to engage a customer whether they are considering personal or business decisions. Last year, the Content Marketing Institute reported that 79% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers now utilize video as a marketing tactic, with 74% publishing video content on YouTube.
Creating video no longer requires a massive effort by a huge production team. The recording capabilities of point-and-shoot cameras and mobile devices are growing more sophisticated every day. Plus, video-editing software is pre-installed on many computers, making it easier to put together high-quality videos in-house. Lower production costs increases the number of videos that can be produced.
So far, 2016 is all about personalization and context marketing. Marketers are focused on sending the most relevant and targeted messages to the most relevant recipient at the ideal time in their decision process. By nurturing leads instead of simply timing the content, we’re building relationships – and that’s what customers expect. Thanks to new real-time personalization technologies, video content can be a truly tailored experience. Personalization tags can work to tailor video content to include such information as a contact’s name, LinkedIn image, title and company. It’s a great way to get and hold attention while sending personally relevant messaging.
People like watching videos, especially when they manage to offer a bit of humor. Adding some laughter to marketing energy efficiency is an excellent strategy for gaining viewer attention while engaging viewers with valuable information. It can be difficult to strike a balance between a video’s message, the interests of the target market and clever humor. But when done well, it is extremely effective. Here’s one of our favorites:
Kate Harron is a Marketing Manager for Clean Markets. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.