Video marketing is tried and true. Television commercials have been around for decades, and many have been elevated to the point of becoming cultural icons. It is safe to say that video as a marketing tool is no fad. But it is evolving, and becoming more crucial than ever in the digital age.
The science behind video marketing
Why is video such an effective marketing tool? Well, science has an answer. According to Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D. (known in some circles simply as the “Brain Lady”), there are some fundamental psychological principles underpinning the success of video marketing. These include:
The fusiform face area
The fusiform face area is the part of the brain which focusses on the human face as a “gathering point for information and believability.” Videos that feature people speaking into the camera tap into this area of the brain.
Voices are full of information
The sound of a human voice triggers a unique process in the human brain. Video as a marketing tool enables you to convert “information into meaningful content” through the sound of the human voice.
Emotions are infectious
Emotions are conveyed through facial features, voice and body language and we are hard wired to find them contagious. Using video as a marketing tool forges an emotional relationship with the viewer who interprets these facial features.
Movement gets attention
Going back to the early stages of evolution, our ability to identify and process movement has been crucial. It allowed early humans to avoid predators and catch food. There may not be a sabretooth tiger lurking nearby, but our brains still react strongly to movement.
Online video – who is holding the number two spot?
What is the world’s biggest search engine? Easy, right? Google has been at the forefront of search engine technology for well over a decade now. But who is in the number two spot? Bing? Yahoo? AOL? The answer is YouTube, and in fact YouTube is now a bigger search engine than Bing, Yahoo and AOL combined, with:
- Over three billion searches per month
- One billion unique visitors every month
- Six billion hours of video viewed monthly
- Roughly 100 hours of video uploaded to the site by users every minute
In fact, more people between the ages of 18 and 34 watch YouTube than any cable network, and according to Brainshark, by 2017, 74 per cent of all Internet traffic will be video.
Of course some may point to the fact that Google bought YouTube back in 2006 (although the two still use different algorithms and are very different sites), but the point remains: online video is bigger than ever.
Other video platforms have exploded as well. Vine, which allows users to post ultra-short videos, is linked to on Twitter five times per second.
‘Tasty,’ a Facebook page that posts simple recipe videos made of stop motion shots and colourful graphics now has 55 million likes. Part of the success of Tasty is Facebook’s new video presentation which auto plays videos without the sound as users scroll down their feed. It allowed Facebook to grow from four billion to eight billion views between April and November of 2015.
Instagram and Snapchat
Facebook’s auto play innovation to video presentation is also being applied on Instagram.
Snapchat, which allows users to send short, disposable videos to their friends, reportedly can demand $15,000 to $1 million for companies to share a 15 second snapchat.
Increase in cord cutting
According to Forbes, in 2014, “audiences engaged with video at a 43 per cent growth rate, and three-fifths of their viewing was on a mobile device.” More significantly, cord cutting, which refers to households with high-speed Internet but not television is a rapidly growing phenomenon, resulting in a drop in traditional viewing of 34 per cent between 2011 and 2015.
Why are more and more people choosing to consume video content online? According to a UK study, online video is far more engaging than written content. Consequently adults were 39 per cent more likely to share, 36 per cent more likely to comment, and 56 per cent more likely to ‘like’ video compared to a text blog.
Video marketing advantages
So there is a psychological basis for the success of video, and online video is reaching more people than ever, but how does it specifically relate to marketing?
Expanding your reach
Videos can be hosted across a number of online platforms. In addition to your own website you can host videos, and ‘channels’ on YouTube, which then link back to your online properties. Red Bull for example, is known for its high-octane stunts and exciting videos, but rather than keep all of their video content on their own site, Red Bull makes it available for free on YouTube in order to reach a wider audience.
It is rare today to visit a website and not be greeted by a video. It is a great medium for brand storytelling – revealing the values, origin, mission and direction of your organisation in a manner that, as the science tells us, connects emotionally with the audience.
Top, middle and bottom of the funnel
Although the traditional marketing funnel is sometimes contested in the digital age, it remains a useful tool for analyzing marketing efforts, and it is particularly apt when discussing video as a marketing tool.
Top of the funnel
Video draws people in and keeps them engaged. According to Unbounce, landing pages that contain videos have conversion rates up to 80 per cent higher than those without them.
Middle of the funnel
Video is a relaxing and easy way for customers to remain involved. According to Brainshark, video boosts click through rates in email marketing by around 20 per cent, open rates by 19 per cent, and simply using the word “video” in the subject line of an email can boost click through rates by 65 per cent.
Bottom of the funnel
When consumers have the choice between two similar products or services the differences can be miniscule. Video builds an emotional attachment, helps define your brand, and puts a face to your product that can help you differentiate your product and close the sale. Consider that today people receive, on average, 10 promotional emails a day and you quickly realise that in order to stand out you need to use video as a marketing tool.