People using video

by Kristen Lunman

Video is now the preferred medium for consuming and sharing ideas. Thanks to advancements in technology, an increase in the quality of consumer cameras, and the speed of the internet, individuals, companies and governments are increasingly using video to educate, entertain or inspire. Globally, IP video traffic will be 79 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013. Visual content is the most powerful medium to cut through web clutter. Here are seven reasons why video is the king of content.

1. Exponential growth in consumer consumption

Video is not going away. 85% of internet users in the United States watch online video. Not only have large companies such as Nike, Virgin Mobile and American Express capitalized on the explosion in this medium, but smaller companies such as Etsy and Shoes of Prey understand that they must deliver content in the way their customers want it. Video consumption is also the fastest growing activity on mobile channels; every day 6.5 million smartphone users around the world watch online videos on their devices.

2. Power of storytelling

Video has educational and entertainment merits. Video can easily teach a new idea or concept, or it can be purely instructional. It can also be the most powerful way to tell a story and to stimulate an emotional reaction. At a loss of what to use video for? How about testimonials, training, internal communications, external communications, social media ads, PR, new feature announcements, product demonstrations, product reviews, recruitment…

3. Viral and disruptive nature

Video has the most viral potential of any content medium. What happens when you are able to stimulate an emotional reaction (positive or negative)? Your viewers share the experience. Video is palatable and easily passed on, thanks to social media share buttons and embedding functionality. It can be the most effective way to increase your reach and exposure and it breaks through the mundane clutter of words, words and more words.

4. SEO

Search engines love video. 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute; it is no surprise that YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. Search engines reward relevant and engaging content, and video can be highly relevant, keeping visitors on your site for longer than text only. Social shares of your video further increase engagement, all helping to get your content ranked higher on search engine results pages.

5. Entry barriers are low

Video is not as expensive as you think. For certain videos, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money. High-production-quality equipment is now in everyone’s hands, and can be as cheap as $500 yet still last 7–8 years. Nowadays, anyone can shoot a video on an iPhone and thanks to apps such as Vine, Viddy and Klip, making video can be a fun and creative process. For those who require a more polished feel, freelancers are increasingly generalists who can often produce an entire video from storyboarding to post production in a few days.

6. Persuasive

Video influences buying decisions. Videos allow people to see what you are offering, allowing them to evaluate product merits without a hard sell. The brain is wired to decode visual cues up to 60,000 times faster than text so it is no wonder that people grasp concepts in a video much more easily. Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86% and more than half of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident when making online purchases.

7. Humanizes your brand

Video fosters trust. Video has the ability to break down boundaries by making communication more personal and human. Most people would rather communicate to a person face to face; the same rings true for developing a relationship with a brand or product.

Video content consumption will be spurred on by more companies understanding how to use it, and creating more of it. Video is going to be the preferred method to share everything, from hiring people, to sending updates to customers, to running board meetings and sharing the corporate vision. Increasingly, video will dominate marketing content, and marketers will need to get creative to integrate their content into more online videos. 64 percent of marketers expect video will dominate their content strategies in the near future, making it a higher priority than all traditional outbound tactics. This is highly exciting, though it does beg the question, what are the other 36% up to?