Web Video and Content Marketing
With the Internet seeping ever deeper into every pore of modern day life, our consumer habits are drastically changing. As a result, most people have turned their backs on conventional marketing. They skip television ads with the help of various technologies such as DVRs, often ignore magazine marketing, and are proficient in surfing the Internet in such a way as to disregards banners, buttons and pop-ups. In order to reach out to a new consumer, useful content is of paramount importance. A marketing strategy has emerged to address these issues, and it is called content marketing.
The idea is not to simply push a product and make it visible, but rather to provide the target audience with information that will be valuable to them, and that they will enjoy, share and think about. Not only does content marketing create increased visibility and engagement, but it also attracts and retains customers. The focus is on consistently and methodically creating and curating valuable, interesting and relevant content with the goal of enhancing or modifying customer behavior. Rather than having potential customers avoid your ads (the well-known process of channel switching during commercial breaks), the goal is to design your content in such a way that they actively seek it out. If customers enjoy the content, think about it and ultimately learn something from it, they are more likely to buy your product, or at the very least have a positive view of your company. There is a wide array of content marketing tools that you can utilize, just as there are many types of content. The four most frequently used types of content marketing are infographics, web pages, podcasts and videos. This article will deal primarily with web videos, but first a few quick words regarding marketing theory.
The Buying Cycle
According to a well established marketing theory, there are four basic steps in the buying cycle: awareness, research, consideration and, finally, buying. Awareness refers to the first phase when the customer becomes aware that there is an available solution to their need. It is then that they research the desired product and educate themselves on what is available on the market. The consideration stage occurs when the customer begins comparing various products from different competitors in order to ensure a quality product at a reasonable price. After the first three steps are completed, the customer makes a final decision and goes through with the purchase. Conventional marketing and advertising excel at targeting the last two steps, as they increase the awareness of a product and show off its best assets while, in most cases, presenting a competitive price. In contrast to this, content marketing focuses on the first two stages of the buying process: awareness and research. Content marketing aims to educate potential customers. By providing them with valuable and interesting content, content marketing teaches customers about a product that they may not have contemplated buying before.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least a million. Online video content has never been so cheaply and readily available to such a large portion of humanity. Hi-tech personal devices such as tablet computers, smartphones and laptops are everywhere and they make video viewing possible at any time and in almost any place. Videos have many advantages over printed advertising, the most obvious of which is that it is easier and more entertaining to watch a video than to read a long article. And there are solid facts and research to support this. According to a study carried out by Implix in 2010, adding a video to email marketing increases click-through rates by more than 96%. In the same year, Comscore found out that people are 85% more likely to purchase a product if they have first watched a video about it. Another telling fact is that 70% of Google’s top listings include video material of some kind. However, the advantages of videos are not limited to consumers. Forbes Insight found that an impressive 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read a lengthy document. If these figures are not convincing enough, web videos have a number of advantages over other marketing tools.
Advantages of Web Videos
When compared to other (often expensive) types of advertising, such as TV commercials or magazine ads, web videos are far more cost efficient. If you are on a particularly tight budget you can even film a video yourself and upload it to the Internet free of charge. If, however, you would like a higher level and quality of production, there are many professional external production companies that specialize in producing web videos. A well filmed and produced video will undoubtedly go a long way in building trust in your brand. The key is to maintain a personal tone throughout the whole video. Avoid using stock footage at all cost, as using real footage of your business gives potential clients greater insight and builds trust. Another thing to avoid is scripts and direct marketing approaches. If someone is appearing and speaking on camera, the viewer will be put off by a mechanical and calculated approach, coming across as natural is key. Not only are web videos great for capturing the attention and sparking interest in potential buyers, they are also a great tool for search engine optimization. Web videos are a tried and tested way of optimizing your results in search engines such as Google and increase the traffic to your website. They are also versatile as they can be posted on almost any online platform or social media. You can post your video on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and even local online business listing sites. As a result, one single advertising web video has the potential to reach a huge number of future consumers.
Web videos are a powerful method of content marketing featuring great potential for growing your brand and boosting sales. With the significant fall of production costs and a staggering rise in global Internet usage, there has never been a better time for investing in web videos. If done right, a good web video can be a foundation for the expansion and advancement of your business. The key word is value – provide value and everything else will fall into place.