December 5th, 2017
We all know video content is rampant, and consumption is on the rise (again, this year). That trend won’t be reversing any time soon. In fact, it’s accelerating, and successful marketers need to get out in front of it. All the content you currently have deployed and all that you will deploy next year is at risk of being completely ignored because of all the other video content coming onto the worldwide stage. Marketers must embrace three specific video content strategies to capitalize on their audiences’ new favorite content format.
We’ve pulled together research data from multiple studies. In this article, I’m going to show you exactly where you need to be from a video content positioning perspective, and I’ll do it without regurgitating dozens of statistics. I am going to include a few—not to impress you with a bunch of numbers, but to help you grasp the magnitude of the shift that is already well underway.
Big Video Thing 1: Consumers Prefer Video
Video is simply more compelling and engaging than text. Video consumption is on the rise, while text consumption is on the decline. It’s no surprise the marketplace has responded with an ever-increasing output of video covering every topic imaginable. What is interesting, though, is the insatiable desire for more video is driven largely by shorter attention spans and the continual rise of mobile device usage over desktop usage.
This year, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic. (Source: KPCN Internet Trends 2017 Code Conference)
B2C and B2B buyers today are looking for mobile-optimized, well-organized, and easily discoverable content. Video optimized for mobile is much easier to consume on a smartphone than text. Buyers also want content that, rather than dead-ending, suggests relevant follow-up content. Short, digestible nuggets are the sweet spot—56 percent of videos created by businesses today are two minutes or less. And audiences are responding to this: 53 percent of videos that are 90 seconds or less are watched to completion.
Converting existing text content and creating new video content isn’t the massive undertaking it used to be. Consumers today prefer authentic, useful information over high-production glitz and polish. That removes huge barriers to cost and production time in expanding your video asset library.
76% of small businesses say they can measure marked results from their video content. (Source: Animoto)
In response to this trend of shorter attention spans, this past year Convince & Convert rolled out a series of informative webinars—not in the typical 45- to 60-minute variety, but webinines, a video webinar in nine minutes. They’re easier to produce, easier for participants to squeeze into their calendars, and easier for audiences to consume.
Big Video Thing 2: Live Streaming
You’ve heard about it, probably experienced it, but are you exploiting it? If your content team doesn’t yet have someone responsible for the live stream content calendar, or even a dedicated person for it, you probably should. Live streaming is too important to rely on happenstance or when it’s convenient. Granted, one of the most attractive aspects of live streaming is its immediacy and spontaneity. But neither immediacy nor spontaneity precludes us from proactively determining when and where a live stream can bring value to our audiences.
63% of people ages 18-34 watch live-streaming content regularly. (Source: eMarketer, UBS, 2017)
Now is the time to ramp up the skills and processes of your content team members, subject matter experts, and influencers, and arm them with the training and guidelines to capitalize on this rapidly accelerating video off-shoot. They’ll need to know what type of live stream content is useful, so spell it out for them. Live streaming does not equal flying by the seat of your selfie pants. Have a plan for each and every event, know who’s responsible for capturing and creating content, and know in advance what the objectives are for that content.
Already a more than $30 billion industry, video streaming projected to more than double in growth by 2021 to a more than $70 billion industry. (Source: PR Newswire, 2016)
Consider this example: At an upcoming industry trade show, your CMO will interview one of the key presenters after her presentation. The content team should know the plan for that live stream interview, its intended audience, and the plan for repurposing the interview afterward. Your CMO should have a well-crafted list of questions in advance, ones that are relevant to that audience.
Keep in mind, a live stream does not necessarily experience a sudden death once the event concludes—it’s still a video content asset that can and usually should be repurposed and redistributed to extend the longevity of the content. (As an aside, I firmly believe live streaming from the masses will be the nail in the coffins of traditional mass market news reporting channels.) Back to marketing.
Big Video Thing 3: Personalized, One-to-One Video
The sweetest sound to the human ear is the sound of someone saying your name. So do it! Face-to-face meetings aren’t scalable or necessarily desired. A phone call is always in interruption—no one is sitting idly, waiting for the phone to ring. In contrast, email is non-intrusive; we check email when we decide to check email. It’s one of several conduits for delivering one-to-one video, without intrusion.
When you send a personalized, one-to-one video to your recipient, you immediately convey a level of interest and commitment that surpasses most any other medium. Cards, flowers, and gifts can’t compete. (Dating sites will latch onto this.) We don’t often receive a one-to-one video because, well, it just wasn’t feasible.
Today it is feasible, affordable, and in many cases, free. This past year at Convince & Convert, Jay Baer has used personalized video to send updates, messages of support, and praise via video to his extended team. These videos are genuine, thoughtful, relevant, and always appreciated. The recipient can’t not view it. Oh, and they’re quick and easy to produce too. Other team members have also adopted the format to communicate intra-company as well.
A company-wide video message from the CEO is nothing new, but that is a one-to-many tactic. Imagine that each of your sales representatives, as part of their lead follow-up communication plan, had a series of planned, one-to-one video messages. These personalized videos would be useful to the recipient, intentional, and delivered specifically for each prospect in the sales funnel. Powerful—and doable.
Win by Being at the Convergence of These Three Unstoppable Consumer Mandates
If you accept that increasing video demand is being driven by consumer preferences, live video is the fastest growing video medium, and personalized or one-to-one video can resonate with your audiences like no written text on a webpage can, then you have a clear roadmap to:
- Improved lead-generation effectiveness
- Better audience engagement and conversion
- More customer retention
- Better customer service
- Stronger customer advocacy (that means free business from referrals!)
That’s five irrefutable “wins” on the marketing scoreboard simply by aligning three video strategies and a plan for technical execution.
I know what many of you are thinking: “How is it even possible to deliver mobile-optimized video that is useful, personalized, live-streamed content?”
I have good news. If you can incorporate the intersection of any two of these three strategies listed above into your content plans for 2018, you’ll have an advantage over your competition. And if you are able to implement some aspect that meets the intersection of all three, you will absolutely exceed the expectations of your prospects and customers.
At least, for now.