If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. And there is a reason why the old English saying has been modified to reflect the reality of today’s digital world.
The recent B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey for 2014 indicates that video has fully gained strength and became the #1 source for marketing. The study found that videos were the most commonly leveraged type of content used by 92% of marketing professionals. The take-away of this is that most marketers prefer video over surveys, white papers, case studies, and demos. The question is – why?
A word-of-mouth phenomenon
I would not like to dwell upon the obvious advantages of video over other types of content such as video can convey emotional information that connects with the viewer. Nor would I like to tell you that visuals are processed a few thousand times faster than text therefore quickly affecting our decision making.
What is important is that in the 21st century of digital content video has become a modern type of word-of mouth marketing which as some of the researchers believe may be among the most effective of marketing communication strategies. In today's gadget-friendly world, word-of-mouth advertising – personal recommendations from your industry peers – influence most of purchasing decisions.
The Digital Age
The world has gone digital rapidly within the last decade and it’s evident that marketing had no option but to adjust to the changes. Trade shows are still very effective when it comes to generating high-end quality leads, but in the flowering of social media vendors are just not allowed to miss the opportunity to leverage those channels and help company increase its online visibility.
Social media often implies a specific type of content – it should be easy to comprehend and digest, otherwise the leads will simply move on. Video does this very well. Videos are self-explanatory and can communicate a message. Done well, video can go viral and enormously increase the traffic.
What is also very attractive about videos is that the Digital Age has provided us with all necessary tools and technologies to make a video right at the desk. You don’t need a studio, a cameraman, actors (unless you plan to go for the Oscars) any more to produce a video. There are a lot of user-friendly tools on the web that allow you to design animation, without being a pro. As the living proof, the short animation for this post was created by me and it was the first time I made a video (not bad, huh?). I used a free browser-based tool called Animatron which lets you create your own motion graphics or just select from a large number of animation presets.
It’s all about relationship
There is another very appealing point about video that I’m sure will convince any marketer to use it right away. When prospective customers are dissatisfied with the product they are using they start the information search to identify the best possible choices to replace the current vendor, and this is called a pre-relationship phase. This is by default a no-interaction stage because the lead has not yet became known to be contacted by the vendor. And here goes the most brilliant feature of video – although there is no interaction at this point, video actually makes it possible to already communicate with the leads.
Video helps building virtual client-vendor pre-relationship in the simplest way. Because video is still a one-way talk, a monologue if I can call it so, it becomes an extremely powerful tool to be leveraged. Just imagine – you are talking to a lead and you are allowed to say everything you want to persuade them without being interrupted. An easy yet very influential way to start your client-vendor relationship.
Top 3 types of video for your future content marketing strategy
There are a lot of types of video that can be used in marketing, like tutorials, webinars, event videos, series, etc. However, if you are just starting your journey in the miscellaneous world of video marketing, I have put together a list of the top 3 videos that are used by most companies in their marketing strategies:
- About Us/Company Culture Video. This type of video is a great tool for introducing organization to the audience. It can tell visitors what the company is about and what it has to offer and it can do it quickly, in a highly engaging manner. These videos are great as elements on the homepage, they can be embedded to the About Us page on the website, published on the YouTube channel or used in the presentations sales reps are making.
- Product Demo Video. After the company has been introduced to its audience, logically it should start demonstrating its products and/or services (then why it’s all about?). A product demo allows current customers and leads to see the products in action at their own convenience. Of course, videos like these are also effective selling tools, as sales reps can send them along to prospects before or after meetings.
- Customer Testimonial Video. Finally, when a customer is aware of what and who the company is and what products and/or services it offers, by intuition they will look for a proof of everything the company promised. The advantage of the video testimonials is that they don’t just tell a great story, they present customers telling the stories themselves, in their own words and voices. This creates a much more powerful resource for both marketing and sales purposes.
In the end, what makes a great marketing tool? Correct – low production costs and high ROI. Video has it all. Today you don’t need a crew to produce catchy visual content and you are the only one responsible for how long it will take to pay off and how many leads it will generate. You have free tools at your disposal, you know which types of video work best, so you have everything to run your own on-site video production company and leverage the most widely used type of content. Because truly, a video is worth a million words.