Digital video marketing is an ever changing segment of the marketing world. As such related trends are always evolving. However, one thing remains clear, for the foreseeable future, digital video marketing is here to stay
In a survey conducted by Demand Metric in partnership with Ascend2 of 398 marketing, sales, and business professionals in June 2014, 69% stated that they have used video marketing. More still were interested in using it in the future.
These professionals highlighted brand awareness as their most significant goal for video marketing, followed by lead generation, and engagement.
Video First Marketing
Increasingly, video content is becoming the centerpiece of marketers’ efforts. This is a result of the multi-sensory nature of video. Since it can engage viewers with audio, graphics, and motion simultaneously, video is a substantially more immersive experience. This results in better retention of content, greater engagement, and ultimately improved viewer response. In fact, brands presented in video are generally perceived better than those presented in other media. One study revealed that websites using video content had a conversion rate of around 4.8%. Compared to the 2.9% achieved by websites no using video content, this is a significant indication of high return on investment.
The most common channel for sharing digital video marketing is through company or brand websites. However, despite this it is not as effective in terms of generating action by viewers as video sharing websites such as YouTube. Other common channel include email marketing, the third most used and third most effective channel, social networks, campaigns specific landing pages, and professional networks such as LinkedIn.
Despite their popularity and perceived efficacy, social networks such as Facebook were only about 8% effective. This left them behind campaign landing pages despite being more popular.
More Native Video
Increasingly, channels are opting to allow streaming through native video players. This is a win-win-win for platforms, advertisers, and consumers. Thanks to standards set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, it require very little additional work for marketers to distribute video content through multiple channels. Native video players allow publishers to customize player behavior to fit their medium precisely. For example, Facebook has added an auto-play functionality that engages users more in videos as they scroll through their news feeds. More native video options also allows for even better targeting of content on social networks. Finally, native player means that video content is more streamlined for users. As such, consumers will have a better experience than with externally hosted video.
As internet users browse more and more, marketers are gaining increasing amounts of data on each individual. This means that not only can marketers display their video content exclusively to the most receptive viewers but also those viewers are only being displayed content that is relevant to them. Thanks to this trend, even statistical outliers can be targeted based on their shopping and browsing preferences.
As promotional platforms become more advanced, so can digital video marketing content. While online video advertising used to be restricted to primarily linear in-stream ads – those that come before, in between, or after content – it has now flourished to included companion ads, in-banner video, and non-linear ads played concurrently with video content. Furthermore, the IAB’s VPAID protocol allows for more interactive content. This significantly improves the ability of markets to call their audiences to action.
Screen agnosticism refers to the concept that users will increasingly be consuming content from a variety of different device types. This means that marketers must create content that works for mobile as well as it does for a laptop. Fortunately a number of technological standards make the logistical transference of video content easy. However, advertisers still need to remember to create their interactive content and calls to action in such a way to make it easy for all user types. Mobile users struggle with small, hidden links and typing in URLs manually. Desktop users on the other hand do not want to be bothered by overly prominent buttons and links.
Beyond just mobile devices, gaming consoles, and internet connected televisions, there will also be more and more wearable screens. These especially tiny viewing ports mean that video content needs to be flexible enough to be impactful on a screen measured in centimeters, as well as on a big screen television.
There is also an increasing number of non-personal screens. For example, many taxis now have touch screens for passengers to watch while they ride. This creates impression points that previously did not exist. However, it also presents a challenge for marketers. If a user watches a video during a five minute taxi ride, it is unlikely that they would be able to consume follow-up content on that device. Transference between multiple screens is also an important part of screen agnosticism.
New video platforms such as Vine and Instagram Video have created a new trend: micro video. These short (Vines are limited to 6 seconds) videos are an excellent way for viewers to consume content quickly. This helps to improve engagement because it avoids drop off from excessive length and forces marketers to be more economical with their message.
The key to effective micro video is creating a story that can be told quickly by stripping away almost all unnecessary information. One of the major pitfalls of micro video is brand integration.
Metrics and Measurement
As content marketing becomes all the more common and with an increasing number of brands creating online video, knowing what works and what doesn’t will be extremely important. This means measuring impact and effectiveness of all content. Metrics can’t be limited to the basics like number of impressions, instead, marketers will be turning to more in-depth number such as click through rate, completion rate, perceptive skipped/closed, and others to build a more complete picture.
Story Telling, Empathy, and Humanity
The increase in brands promoting themselves through digital video marketing has resulted in some cynical consumers. In response to this, marketers are creating content with a more human voice, focusing on telling stories, empathizing with customers, and using humor to engage viewers. This will be a major differentiating factor for success, especially in 2015.