In Jurassic Park, there’s a famous line ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ and for digital marketers, that has too often been the case when it comes to using videos. It certainly was for Twitter with Vine, the video service it recently announced it was shutting down, having failed to convince brands that it was a worthwhile platform. So, with Vine heading towards digital extinction, what is the future of video marketing?
Vine’s failure was tied in with Twitter’s problems, and the announcement came as it became clear that no lucrative buy-out was going to happen to reverse years of financial underachievement. Something had to give and Vine had made itself expendable by falling far behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat when it came to video content marketing. Its unique brevity made for some impressive creativity, but also limited its appeal for marketers.
When Instagram began competing with Vine but with video lengths twice as long and the added bonus of having it within an already established platform, its brief time in the spotlight began to fade quickly. Both Vine stars and advertisers began to see that there was more potential for raising profile and making money by switching to other platforms. All of which left Vine becoming increasingly irrelevant in a saturated market, so it’s no real surprise Twitter has found it surplus to requirements.
However, while Vine has fallen by the wayside, video marketing is here to stay, having long established itself as more than a gimmick. In the early days of digital marketing, when the technology wasn’t up to scratch, too many videos were a waste of effort and money, but smartphones have put the ability to watch, film, edit and upload videos in the palm of our hands. YouTube has created legions of superstars (many of them having migrated from Vine) who have gone onto write books, appear in apps and star in their own TV shows.
According to Cisco, video content will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by next year while Nielsen says 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future, something that is easy to imagine at a time when Christmas TV ads are dominating the marketing agenda. Brands like John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Argos and Burberry don’t just create their expensive adverts for TV and rely on them doing good business in ad breaks for The X-Factor, they shape their digital strategies around them too. There’s a reason the John Lewis ad is always on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook before the grand TV unveiling.
Longer versions of adverts are being created for YouTube than you get on TV, with consumers being told to ‘continue the journey’ online. This journey runs both ways, of course, with teaser videos for TV ads running on social media, and that offline-online and online-offline fluidity is the hallmark of any good campaign and will be even more so as video becomes more a part of our day-to-day lives as both marketers and consumers. For millennials, video has arguably already replaced text as their prefered way of consuming content, as they are the generation that has grown up with it. Whether this means the end of the written word is far less clear cut, but what is obvious is that an integrated approach is currently the way forward, optimising the text, the video and the marketing of the content for maximum SEO and viral potential.
There’s certainly plenty of video content marketing stats out there to back up any marketer trying to convince their boss to increase their budgets. One interesting stat for the B2B market is included in an infographic published by HubSpot earlier this year, claiming that 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text, while 75% watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. Given that the most prominent examples of video content marketing are often B2C, it’s interesting to see that it is growing in importance for the business market as well.
Other video content marketing trends worth engaging with include Facebook’s 360 degree videos, which have been around for a little while but are still very much in their infancy when it comes to how brands are utilising them, while Snapchat’s continued growth and importance to the millennial market cannot be underestimated. When it comes to eCommerce, the boost to conversion rates that video brings is well-documented, with HubSpot’s infographic saying that 64% of users are more likely to buy a product after watching a video.
All of this is why video marketing needs to factor into your plans for 2017 and beyond, because video offers so much. There are pitfalls of course. Budgets for video production will always be higher than text content and many marketers still lack the skills or confidence to do it themselves or to know how to successfully plan video campaigns. The added cost and production time makes video a more risky proposition too, and that’s where that line from Jurassic Park comes back into the minds of marketers. But the stats are clear, the future is video, so if you can, you definitely must.
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