Video Content – Why is everyone using it?
12,000 customers in 48 hours?
The social media giants know it, psychologists have long known it, and so we all should be paying attention to what makes us pay attention
Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter…they’ve all turned their attentions to video content of late and for good reason. They aren’t just doing this to keep up with each other; decisions like this one, to focus on video, are based on sound understandings of their users and is of particular interest to brands trying to engage with their customers.
We have very recently updated the ECB Cricket app, that has always incorporated video as a principal component, to now vivify the score screens with congruent video clips of the action:
So what is it about this particular medium that makes it such a powerful tool? Videos offer a compelling combination of:
- Density of information
- Subconscious processing and retention of information
- A conscious will to engage with content
- Conversion (it works)
1. Density of information
If a picture speaks a thousand words then what must a video do? In a report that, whilst written some time ago (in the distant past of 2009), identified what we are now seeing: Forrester’s Dr James McQuivey estimated that one minute of video is worth 1.8million words in “How Video Will Take Over the World”.
2. Subconscious processing and retention of information
Aside from the volume of content it is possible to convey in a video, much value lies in the information being remembered and acted upon.
The way we process and remember information differs from person to person. A useful model to understand how people learn (an indicator of their preference for taking in information) is the “VARK” model. This is not, as it may sound, an utterance of disgust, but an acronym standing for “visual”, “aural”, “read/write” and “kinaesthetic”. These are the styles of learning identified by Neil Fleming and designated by his VARK questionnaire.
The graphic above shows how each style takes in information (see it, hear/say it, read/write it, do it) and the spread of styles in the latest database of over 100,00 responses surveyed is fairly even.
Video content has the potential to cater for all of these styles, making it a powerful tool for conveying information that you want to be noticed by a wide audience.
3. A conscious will to engage with content
Marketing software company, Hubspot, talked to over 1000 internet users for their 2016 Consumer Behaviour Survey and found that video was cited as the top content type that they pay close attention to (rather than skim), followed closely by social media posts and news articles. 43% of respondents wanted to see more video content (trumped only by social media posts and news articles cited by 45% and 44% of respondents respectively).
A Cisco report published in 2014 highlighted how video content accounted for 64% of internet traffic and projected that this will increase to over 80% by 2019. Employment of video by social media is certainly helping towards realising that projection.
4. Conversion (it works)
In terms of directly generating sales a well-known example of the incredibly successful use of video is that of Dollar Shave Club’s promotion that went viral. The video cost $4,500 and within 48 hours, over 12,000 people had signed up for the service. The video had 4.75 million views within 3 months of being launched. That was a few years ago now and today it has over 20 million views. Of course, this is an exceptional example, but it demonstrates what is possible.
More recently, a survey by Animoto (0f 1,000 professional marketers and 1,012 small- and medium-sized business owners) confirmed that video marketing is gaining more than a foothold. They found that 76.5% of those surveyed that used video marketing reported a direct impact on their business.
I could share many more stats about how users engage with visual content and the conversion rates etc. but I think you get the picture (plus I need to spend more time polishing my one-liners).
It is also worth noting that videos can have a positive contribution to SEO efforts, but should be part of a well-honed content plan.
So we know people want video, we know it is effective in engaging us, but where should we serve up this craved content? Well, wherever it naturally fits. A disjointed customer experience that is stilted by inappropriate videos is not going to garner you any fans or business. Well-placed, relevant video content though, can enhance the experience and elevate your brand. This could be on your website, your app, your social media feed. Evaluate where video content would add value and make it feel like it should be there. To get a feel for one way that video could fit into your digital offering, read on for a sports focus on the matter.