Video marketing has become a highly effective way to engage consumers, inform a target audience about a product or service and create new customers.
Research by comScore, a technology company that measures digital engagement, found that Americans watched 38.8 billion videos online in April 2013. That same month, 13.2 billion video ads were viewed, a record number of views.
User engagement is one of the primary benefits of successful video marketing. Marketers can make an emotional connection with consumers faster with video than with simple text. That’s important, since emotion typically influences purchasing decisions. Gallup research has shown that customers who are emotionally engaged have a higher level of satisfaction, which leads to increased conversion rates.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital element of an impactful online marketing strategy – a high ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs) significantly increases the likelihood of users clicking on the link. Relevant video links are often displayed high on the SERPs, meaning video marketing can potentially improve the click-through-rate (CTR) of a website. Using video-rich snippets, which are small previews of the video located within the search results, can also lead to a higher CTR.
Videos can help other areas of SEO, as well. Social shares of videos can impact search results, especially if the video goes viral, and search engine robots look for videos as evidence of a well-rounded website.
In addition, YouTube provides marketers with access to an immense audience – more than 1 billion unique visitors and 6 billion hours of video viewed each month, according to the social network. A growing number of brands are creating YouTube channels in order to post videos to spread awareness of their employees, products or services and community contributions.
Improving SEO through video marketing is most likely when a thoughtful plan is in place. The first step for marketers is to determine what they want to achieve via video. For example, a video that seeks to build brand awareness would likely be produced in a different manner than one that aims to directly pitch a product. Identifying the goal at the outset will help shape the rest of the strategy.
With so much vying for people’s attention online, engaging viewers requires creative and informative content. Viewers will waste little time clicking out of a video that fails to grab their attention. So, marketers must create something that entertains, informs and/or produces an emotional response.
It’s also important to ensure that the video aligns with the overall branding of the company or organization. Video marketing should be part of the larger marketing strategy; keeping messages consistent will help viewers to easily make the connection with other brand outreach efforts.
It’s no secret that visual elements are an essential component of effective marketing campaigns. The growth of video-based social networks such as YouTube and Twitter’s new mini-video service, Vine, is giving online marketers a powerful tool for increasing their click-through-rates and conversions.