Total Business Magazine

Can You Afford to Ignore Video Marketing?

By Alexei Lee, head of social and PR at Fat Media


In this age of pay-per-click, for many businesses, video is often thought of as a costly method of getting a message across and that only big brands have pockets deep enough to take advantage of such an extravagant form of advertising.  You can reach people through other methods such as paid search, or email marketing these days, so why bother fork out for a video?

But, if you include what’s being streamed daily from traditional TV broadcasters, video remains the dominant entertainment medium, and the amount of time that we all spend viewing this content online continues to increase exponentially year-on-year.

We recently delivered a focus group for a wine retailer, who was looking to find out more about the lifestyle of a typical millennial (if there is such a thing). When we asked how many watched TV, only a few gingerly raised their hands. Many of them didn’t even own one. In fact, 55% of UK adults now use a laptop to access TV and films. When you look specifically at 16-24-year olds, this proportion increases to 77%.

On average, UK adults watch over 4.5 hours of video a day, which is roughly the same chunk of our day we dedicated to watching TV 20 years ago. The big change is that approximately 25% of this viewing is now done through online providers such as Facebook and YouTube.

People are now used to having instant access to video content, across any of their devices, anywhere they go. With an average of nearly 8 connected devices now found in every home, the odds that you will be able to reach the whole household through just one advertising channel, have been greatly reduced. Unless you are one of the few parents with a will strong enough to snatch away the tablet from their vice-like grip!

But for most businesses, this is a blessing, not a curse. If you step back and consider this massive trend towards online viewing, and the level of access that VoD and YouTube advertising can offer, without necessarily needing Unilever-level buying power, suddenly the cost of delivering a video ad campaign starts to pale in comparison to the return.

In fact, with video going digital, and software replacing hardware, the production costs won’t break the bank these days either, and you can do some quite fancy stuff without a big budget.

Polished corporate video is so last century. Thanks to mega-vloggers like Zoella, people are quite used to seeing confessionals to camera. Obviously, that wouldn’t suit every business, but you get my point.

And it’s not just entertainment that people seek out. The most popular category on YouTube? No, not cats. It’s DIY.

YouTube is a go-to place for people to learn new things, because they can do it quicker, and with less effort, compared to the arduous task of sifting through lots of words on a website.

Video can convey complex ideas quickly, with little effort needed from the viewer. Video can evoke feelings and tug on deep-seated desires, in a way that would be much harder to achieve through a blog post.

In this brave new world of the endless scroll, video also over-achieves when it comes to creating that coveted ‘thumb-stop’ moment on social media. There’s a reason it’s the most popular type of content on Facebook. It commands attention, if even for a few seconds, it helps your post stand out amongst the sea of baby pictures, selfies, and holiday snaps.

We recently delivered a campaign for BeGambleAware to promote Responsible Gambling Week. Our mission was to reach young gamblers in the UK, and make them aware of the support they can access if they are worried about problem gambling. We knew that we needed to speak to our audience ‘in the moment’ whilst they were online and thinking about gambling, and about an emotive subject. Snapchat was our golden ticket, and we managed to reach 1.3million in just a few days, generating 86,000 engagements. Video was absolutely crucial to the success of this campaign. Serving up a banner ad to Snapchat users simply wouldn’t have worked.

But, does video actually sell stuff?

Well, despite all the bluster about the rise of digital, TV (i.e. an ad that you watch) still emerges as the most effective advertising medium to drive business growth.

Thanks to research we now have solid empirical evidence to explain why businesses that use a mixture of long-term brand-building and direct response tactics will grow bigger and faster than their competitors.

Even if you ignore the long-term value that video can bring by getting your brand thought about and talked about, there are also now lots of interactive video formats that can be used to encourage a direct action from the viewer.

Most advertising networks now offer clickable video ads, and there are plenty of interactive video services popping up that allow the viewer to interact with the video by exploring the items within it.

Could you afford to avoid video marketing?

Yes, you probably could.

You may even save a bit of money in the short term.

But don’t be surprised if you look back in 3 years, and find the competitors that invested in video this year, have grown much bigger, much faster.

Because what the most successful brands know, is that giving people something interesting to watch is still the most effective way to win new customers, and keep them.

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