Three ways brands need to approach video

November 16, 2015

“The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up 60 percent year-over-year.”

“Seventy-eight percent of people watch videos online each week.”

“Sixty-eight percent of 18- to 34-year-olds report using smartphones to watch video content.”

“There are 8 billion daily video views on Facebook.”

That’s eight billion. With a “B.”

The stats are quite staggering, really. With the sheer volume of video that exists, marketers have to be more creative than ever before in how they tell their story—and how (and where) they decide to share it.

Video Storytelling.

As video views continue to skyrocket across virtually every distribution platform, brands are redefining video marketing through creative executions that make consumers pause and take action. Interactive video is one of the ways brands are enticing consumers, and many companies are using this approach to tell a story in a way that doesn’t feel salesy. Dos Equis’ approach allows viewers to become part of their story in a memorable way. So memorable, in fact, that viewers come back to interact with the video—with the brand—again and again, further strengthening the brand-consumer connection and giving people a valid reason to come back for more. While interactive video may not be achievable for every brand, the important thing to remember is that quality content is. Make it useful, make it interesting, and make it relevant.  B2C companies aren’t the ones having all the fun with creative video executions. With more than 75 percent of B2B marketers publishing videos on YouTube, they are finding new ways to creatively communicate their brand story to their audience. Product tutorials and customer testimonial videos are being produced in a totally different way than before; today, these B2B companies are adopting a more playful, humorous approach to what had previously been very matter-of-fact. Squarespace’ “How-To” videos turn ho-hum topics into something really interesting and compelling to watch through the use of sound, movement and look-at-me imagery that makes you want to watch until the end.

Video Advertising.

With a solid edge over other digital advertising formats in terms of click-through rate, video ads are something every marketer should consider as part of their mix. New ad options on Facebook give advertisers more control over video placement, quality impressions and conversions. Slideshow video ads on Facebook and Instagram, for example, allow marketers to string together still images to create a short “video”—a great option for small companies without video production capabilities or experience. With the explosion of video, different ad formats (like Facebook’s 360-degree video ads) are being tested and released across myriad platforms. Additionally, video integration into rich media digital display ads has proven to be successful and effective for many advertisers.

Video Viewing.

With consumers watching video on myriad platforms—from YouTube and Vimeo to Facebook and Instagram—companies must approach video with a multi-platform mindset to reach their audience. How are people watching videos? On which platforms; on which devices? Where are they and what are they doing when they’re viewing videos? Each platform is different, and marketers need to develop a video storytelling approach for each channel specific to that channel’s user behavior and best practices, like preferred video length. Building video for mobile will reach more consumers and keep them engaged; studies suggest mobile users are more focused and engaged with video viewed on their mobile device opposed to watching video on TV. Also, conversion rate can be significantly higher for mobile video, as “on the go” consumers are typically searching for something they need at that precise moment in time.

While new data, trends and platforms will continue to emerge, the secret to success lies in the right mix of quality content, distribution and optimization. Start slow and gradually add in different elements as you can—it’s just important that you start, period, so that you’re not left out of the conversation.