The Unneccessary Case for the Importance of Video Marketing


All things point to video marketing, so why aren’t more marketers using video?

ByNiclas Hulting

The jury isn’t still out on video. It’s convened. It’s handed down its verdict. It’s disbanded and moved on to the next case.

Video is the most engaging way to … engage with customers. It’s hard facts or, rather, hard data.

So, if video is the best way to reach your customers, why isn’t every company focusing strictly on video? Shouldn’t they?

Yes and no. As with any medium, it’s all in the execution and in the story you’re trying to tell. There are really good stories, and then there are really bad stories.

Video is the hot medium right now, and there’s really no reason to think that’s going to change. Technology is just making it easier for us to create engaging stories. Videography is getting more affordable, and the tools of the trade are available to the masses at a much lower price.

Live streaming enables marketers to harness the power of the animated selfie.

Heck, one of the best movies of the year, Tangerine, was filmed entirely on an iPhone 5.

We can even create high-flying aerial photography and video that takes the audience for a ride. Affordably. Drones are attacking the mass-market consumer and are affecting the future of not just the distribution and delivery industry, but also the entertainment industry.

We’re pretty sure the best drone pilots are going to be the next generation of hunted talents, in the same way today’s Vine makers and YouTube video bloggers are sought after.

Heck, if you don’t think you could pilot a drone, you can just buy a drone that flies itself.

I sat down with Britton Marketing & Design Group’s director of video marketing, Dennis Balgavy, and discussed the lay of the video marketing land. Balgavy is a passionate content creator whose current passion is visual storytelling. I asked him about why more companies aren’t pursuing video marketing.

He explained: “Despite the low barrier to producing a video (a smartphone and free editing software), it’s still very difficult to achieve a final product that’s an effective marketing piece. A perfect example from a parallel industry, with which everyone is familiar, is Hollywood. If asked, I bet that most people would say they’ve seen as many bad movies as good ones, and many would say they’ve seen more bad movies than good. Surely by now, it seems as though Hollywood would have figured out the magical formula for producing blockbusters. The truth of the matter is that it’s very hard to produce engaging stories. And even if the story is interesting, it has to be well-acted (so they don’t look like they’re acting) and the production value has to be of a certain quality (although independent films have challenged the status quo). All of these elements have to be finely balanced in order to maintain our attention span. The same is true for a 30-second video about your brand or product.”

How to Kick Down the Barriers to Video Production

So we’ve established that everyone understand the importance of video marketing and the accessibility that content producers have to really good tools, but yet not a whole lot of companies are doing video (only 24 percent of companies are using online video to market). Why is that?

“The truth of the matter is that it’s very hard to produce engaging stories.”

The short answer? Producing high-quality visual stories is still more resource-intensive than (most) other mediums.

The long answer? Producing video is still considered to be a newer (I say that lightly) form of media for many companies. Many companies are still getting used to digital marketing, and many are still only used to traditional marketing (outdoor, broadcast, print, etc.). As with anything new, there’s always inherent hesitancy and fear.

Overcoming barriers can be quite difficult. Yet it is also something that can be vital for the relevancy of the brand. Depending on who your target audience is, the expectations might be for video to be used when it engages with your brand. If you aren’t able to meet those expectations, you may be in the precarious position where your customers move on to the next best thing. Numbers show that brand loyalty can be a fleeting luxury that needs to be tended carefully. If not, you fear the risk of losing it, and that can be very, very bad for your brand.

C/O BMDG

According to Balgavy, brand loyalty and being successful in video marketing is all about focusing on the story: “When producing video content, focus on nailing the story. How will it connect with the audience? Will it be informative, fun, emotional, sensational? Will you educate or entertain? With the increasing appetite for quality video content, marketing budgets are being stretched to their limits. Because marketing departments want to produce several videos a week or month, the budget per video is going down. Finding the right blend of high-production-quality videos, lower-production-quality videos, user-generated videos and curated videos is key to any good video marketing strategy. Brands need to understand what’s important to their audience, even if it means asking them. Once they understand what kind of content might resonate with their audience, partner with companies and individuals that are good storytellers. Video production companies are good at producing high-quality videos, but still might not be the best qualified to tell your story. Preproduction planning is critical. Make sure you have an engaging script or storyboard before you start any filming, even if the video will be based solely on interviews.”

Creating a Video Production Process Schedule

Anytime you have the chance to quantify something to the HIPPOs (Highest-Paid Person’s Opinion), you have the opportunity of getting their complete attention. A production schedule that lays out the steps and quantifies the time (and resources) is a great way to convey and justify the investment in video production.

“Video has the potential to be inherently engaging, since we naturally connect with faces, talking, movement and emotion.”

Of course, if your video production process is much more time-consuming and costly than your other content types, then you will have to bring other reasoning as well. At the end of the day, you need to be able to show, empirically, how video is not just a great investment but also the right investment.

Measure Twice. Share With Everyone

The overwhelming data that exist and show the engagement rates of video marketing shouldn’t have to be your ace in the hole, but they can be. The numbers talk and the numbers are big. Your job is to communicate these to the people in decision-making positions. Compare conversion costs — across all channels. Reverse engineer your customer lifetime value and focus on how video isn’t about creating a money pit. Focus on how the investment in video marketing can create new revenue by increasing revenue, brand loyalty and customer engagement. Focus on staying relevant in a hypercompetitive marketing space.

Here’s what Balgavy said on why video is poised for marketing dominance and engagement is (almost) the only thing that matters: “Most of us are exposed to hundreds of brand messages each day. While exposure is an important metric for marketers, engagement with consumers is ultimately what marketers desire. When it comes to engagement, video has many benefits over other mediums. Video has the potential to be inherently engaging, since we naturally connect with faces, talking, movement and emotion. Video also has the ability to deliver more content in a shorter period of time than still images and text. With shortened attention spans, it’s more important than ever to be able to quickly deliver a brand message, and video can be a very successful means to do so.”

Creating visual stories that engage your audience. It sounds easier than it is. If you need more reassurance of why video marketing is more important now than ever, here are some of the most interesting stats about video marketing for 2015:

  • 92% of mobile-video viewers share videos with others.
  • 70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium.
  • When marketers included a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200% — 300%.
  • The average Internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
  • 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
  • Mobile makes up almost 40% of global watch time on YouTube.
  • Only 24% of brands are using online video to market to consumers.

These numbers are big. They’re enticing. They show opportunity. They quantify your investment.

That’s what video can do for you — until the next best thing comes along. …

Oh, Hi. I Am Live-Streaming, AKA the Next Big Thing

Just when you’re getting ready to jump into video marketing, something “better” comes along. Take a deep breath — it’ll be OK.

Live streaming is hot right now. It’s hotter than video. But you can’t live-stream without video, so jumping into live streaming means by default that you’re jumping into video marketing. Live streaming should just be treated as a tactic of your video marketing strategy — a lava-hot tactic. Lava-hot like the inside of a Hot Pocket.

Pioneered by the gaming industry, but now cannibalized by the advertising industry, Meerkat was first in. Twitter-owned Periscope followed shortly behind. Both services have one thing in common: They make it extremely easy to live-stream your video feed.

YouTube lowered our expectations for video quality, while ushering in our more mobile lifestyles.

The “extremely easy” aspect is the reason for their success. It’s not like live streaming hasn’t been around for a while. Ustream, Twitch, Livestream, Google Hangouts and more are all live-streaming video services that have been around for years. Oh, and Facebook just unveiled their own live streaming service. But it’s only for famous people…

What Meerkat and Periscope did to become the two darlings of live streaming is that they prioritized accessibility. They prioritized user experience. They prioritized simplicity. They removed the barriers of existing live streaming and created a way to live-stream to your followers with nothing more than a push.

Shifting Video-Consumption Priorities and Habits

Video consumption (and marketing) has shifted in the last 10 years. Thanks to the emergence of YouTube, customers are (mostly) OK with lower-quality video. In some respects, YouTube lowered our expectations for video quality, while ushering in our more mobile lifestyles.

We have shifted our video-consumption priorities from quality to accessibility. Now we’re all about accessibility. Technology enabled this. Technology enabled us to deliver both quality and accessibility. That wasn’t always the case. But now, that’s the case. We don’t necessarily care if the video we’re watching on our mobile device isn’t HD, we just care about watching it right then and there. Accessibility and immediacy win against quality.

That’s what live streaming is all about. It’s bringing immediacy to video marketing. It’s word of mouth for video marketing. It’s intimate. It’s personal.

Behind the scenes magic.

Live streaming enables marketers to harness the power of the animated selfie.

The main caveat is that the quality of the video production has to reflect the brand. Can certain brands come off OK with lousy resolution, bad audio and average storytelling? Sure, if the video is reflective of the brand voice, but in most cases, accessibility and quality need to be prioritized. A brand such as Burberry can’t afford a low-quality video, because it wouldn’t be conducive of their visual brand.

The bottom line when it comes to prioritizing video, according to Balgavy: “While hundreds of YouTube celebrities have proven that video production quality isn’t always important to the viewer, based on the type of video, your brand may find the opposite to be true. In some cases, a higher production quality is crucial to deliver the right brand message. The more entertaining, funny, sensational, etc., the video, production quality can be less important to the success of the video. Again, it’s important to understand the target audience in order to invest in the right amount of production value. So while it’s easier than ever to produce video content, make sure you work with seasoned storytellers, production companies, freelancers or even internal staff that can demonstrate their ability to efficiently produce engaging marketing content.”

Video Is Already Here

There are plenty of reasons why video is hard to do. But technology isn’t one of them anymore. Technology has made it possible to produce high-quality video without conceding all of your internal human and capital resources. The tools and resources are readily available.

As with anything new, there’s always inherent hesitancy and fear.

The barriers have been weakened. They’ve been primed. They’re ready to come down. So grab your pencil and paper. It’s time to write the story of your brand. Once you’ve done that, grab a camera and create some brand magic.



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Photos/Embeds: BMDG, Instagram

Stats: The Top 15 Video Marketing Statistics for 2015