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The video starts with a man in the center of a bustling Indian street, recalling the tale of how he got separated from his family 26 years earlier. Images flash between his current life in Australia and his shaky memories of India, with only one concrete link binding the two – Google Earth. Somehow, despite the lack of a proper address, he finds his way back home, using the pictures in his mind and the maps on his screen to get there.
In the three minutes that the ad plays, it’s hard to not feel moved. By the real life application of a seemingly robotic product. By the look in his mother’s eyes. The crack in his voice when he recounts his reunion. The maps.
That’s the power of video marketing.
By now, you’ve definitely seen this in action. Hundreds of powerful video campaigns have spread through social media like wildfire. They’ve garnered brand awareness, media acclamation and product transactions. The medium has grown to outshine all other forms of advertising, making it an essential element of any campaign.
Here’s why you should add videos to your marketing repertoire.
Videos mean business. Whatever story a video is explicitly telling, it’s implicitly tying it back to your brand. That connection between content and company distinguishes a business in ways that can’t be pinned down to print. According to Wyozowl, 72% of businesses say that videos have improved their conversion rates.
In the fiercely competitive marketing field, videos can do two things: help you keep up with the competition or stand out from it. If your competitors have created powerful video campaigns while your ads sit silent and still, you’re going to miss out on many potential clients. The kinetic energy that videos possess is almost contagious. It causes people to click more links, perform more actions, and eventually, convert.
Since videos expand the amount of time that people spend on a website, Google grants that page special attention in its search engines. Not only do videos increase one’s stay, but they create a high-quality experience that translates into an eventual SEO boost.
You can do your part by optimizing your video for SEO. Use keywords in your titles, link your website in the description and create a strong YouTube presence. It doesn’t hurt that Google owns YouTube.
Videos can inspire tears, laughter, curiosity, hope and even anger. Something about the way that scenes and stories are strewn together on a screen makes people prone to react. In fact, some of the most successful marketing campaigns have gone viral simply because of their heartwarming notes and inspiring undercurrents.
Take Always, for example. The feminine hygiene product company released a video last year that posed a simple question: what does it mean to do something like a girl? To run like a girl, fight like a girl, and play like a girl? The response was split: older girls and males replied with flimsy, halfhearted sprints and punches, while younger girls gave it their all. The campaign was mean to install confidence in women and redefine the concept of doing something like a girl. It was met with virtual fame and applause.
GoPro joined the pathos bandwagon with a video of a firefighter saving a kitten from a burning house, rewriting the action-packed lifestyle typically associated with the brand into something more heartfelt and adorable.
Taco Bell chose to go the humorous route by creating a video series dubbed “Taco Tales,” which shows people’s hilarious experiences at the fast food chain. “The crazy, unexpected things fans have done in pursuit of Taco Bell,” says the series’ description.
You can use videos to tell a story that words can’t fully capture. Think about the values your brand represents, and the way you want people to feel when they think about you. Then put that into film.
According to Google, mobile users are 1.4 times more likely than desktop users to feel connected to brands that feature videos. Since 90% of consumers watch videos on their cell phones, that’s an important statistic to take advantage of.
This connection translates into everything from purchases to shares to overall brand awareness.
You can use a video to forge a personal relationship and diminish barriers. Many brand CEOs do this. Susan Wojcicki, Youtube’s CEO, confessed in a video that she never scheduled anything between 6 and 9 p.m. so she can have dinner with her family. This unveiled a warmer aspect of Youtube’s culture that would be hard to otherwise convey.
Videos can also lure more people into your clan when they’re used for testimonials. It’s one thing to read a review, but seeing it in action humanizes a brand so much more.
Videos can also help tamper down complicated concepts.
They can refine vague points or explain complex systems.
Explainer videos, which are like digital how-to-manuals of a product’s function, condense the complex into a quick clip.
An explainer video will usually accompany the launch of any new startup, especially those related to the tech industry.
Even a quick tutorial from an affluent company on how to use a product can boost awareness and buying behavior. MAC frequently does with DIY makeup looks and pro tips. It doesn’t hurt when this information comes from someone with an already-loyal fan base, such as beauty blogger Desi Perkins.
The human brain processes videos faster than text, thanks to evolution. Moving images stimulate it more than stagnant ones. That’s why we respond best to videos.
Videos put you right into the heart of the action. They are engaging to a wide audience, encouraging social shares more than any other medium.
Dove has been playing on this for years with its “Real Beauty” campaign, which rejects a narrow-minded perspective on beauty. Instead, it focuses on beauty of all sizes, ages and ethnicities.
Their videos often feature a wide assortment of women challenging notions on what defines beauty.
It’s not just large companies using video marketing. Given people’s quick-shifting attention spans, many local businesses are adopting videos as well. Better From Scratch, a bakery based in Beirut, Lebanon, sprinkles their Instagram feed with engaging videos of all their delicacies. This includes cookie dough-shaped hearts oozing Nutella, piñata cakes overflowing with candies, velvety cookies dripping with peanut butter. Their posts gained so much traction that their three-layer cereal cake video was featured on Insider.
Videos are also the quick-fix cure to high bounce rates, which is when people leave your website without performing any actions. If you’re noticing that people are landing on your websites only to leave right after, try adding a video. The engaging content can lower bounce rates.
At the same time, videos can be passive. They don’t require any effort. In general, users find it easier to process videos than any other type of media. They can sit back and let someone else do the work for them. They can even get up from their seats and still retain a video’s essential elements.
Facebook makes it pretty difficult to ignore a video. Since the platform automatically plays them, the brain can’t resist finishing what’s right in front of it. In this case, curiosity aids the campaign.
Plus, video click-through-rates are the highest of all ad types. And 92% of people finish watching YouTube videos. As of June 2017, there was a 258% in increase views on branded videos on Facebook, and 99 percent on YouTube, according to WordStream. The data doesn’t lie – people watch video ads.
One reason this occurs is because of how creative video ads can be. Recently, brands have shifted from the self-explanatory to the bold and unique. They’ve started focusing on fresh storylines and newer angles. This causes more engagement, more refreshes, and more shares.