One, one thousand… two, one thousand… three, one thousand: Time’s up. If you have not bonded with your audience in the first three seconds of social media viewing, you regrettably may have surrendered your immediate advantage to sway consumers’ hearts and minds. Local marketing experts recommend integrating video as your best play for attaining optimal impact on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other web platforms.
“Video is the easiest and most consumable type of content on social media,” explained Donna Working, owner of Northern AZ Social. “A marketer has one to three seconds to capture the attention of a consumer. By stimulating a user with video, the odds are much greater to effectively deliver your message.”
Statistics from sources such as SmallBiz Trends and Hubspot demonstrate the pervasiveness and reach of internet video. According to the former, social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined; companies employing video receive 41 percent more internet traffic from searches; and global consumer internet video traffic will represent 80 percent of all consumer web traffic by 2019.
From a purchase perspective, Hubspot reports that 90 percent of viewers say product videos are helpful in the decision-making process; 80 percent of viewers recall a video ad they saw in the past 30 days; and 64 percent of viewers who have watched a video are more likely to buy a product online.
The very nature of video ensures that it is “obtrusive, easy to consume and has the ability to quickly and effectively tell a story with sight, sound, motion and emotion,” according to Kurt Greves, Arizona regional manager for Cable ONE advertising, in collaboration with Vikki Heddens, the company’s regional sales coordinator.
“In today’s world, most people don’t have the time to spend reading lengthy articles or tutorials,” Greves stated. “So, it’s more important than ever to convey a message or story as quickly as possible while successfully standing out amongst everyone else.”
Social media video has become the tool of choice for brand awareness and calls to action for many marketers in the Quad Cities and around the globe.
“Our video business has skyrocketed over the past three years,” Greves explained. “Similar to the majority of businesses across the country, we have changed our focus to remain relevant in an environment that has become primarily web-based. That shift has been to produce more short and long form videos for our clients for websites and social media.”
Likewise, expanded video production is underway for the School of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Interim Chair Thomas Drape portrays video on social media as “an extremely effective communication tool to reach a wide audience, yet in a more personal, story-telling manner. We are in the process of producing more short videos from students telling their stories and experiences from study abroad, internships, industry-consulting activities, a typical day on campus and other School of Business competitions and clubs.”
Greves characterized video as one of the most effective forms of marketing in today’s fast-paced society, remarking that Facebook Live videos became an overnight success; Instagram increased its video length from 30 to 60 seconds; and both LinkedIn and Twitter now offer video.
“The market is significant and growing,” Greves stated. “Clients in the Quad Cities are starting to realize, with the onslaught of broadband expansion, that video can run quite well [without buffering] and that they can tell their story in an impactful, comprehensive way.”
Key is conveying a solid narrative that clicks with viewers.
“When consumers feel emotion, they are more likely to remember the product, services or company,” Werking explained. “Video is still the number one choice of media on social media. It’s accepted on almost every type of social media platform. And on some platforms, like Facebook, video content can live forever.”
Important also are the design and delivery of video, “especially the opening segment to capture the user’s attention and to richly communicate experience and story,” Drape advised.
Werking relayed a success story from Prescott Frontier Days, which in 2017 decided to establish a stronger digital presence. “The theme was ‘Legends Live Among Us’ so we rolled out a video featuring old photos of rodeo legends. The video was a huge success with the audience on Facebook and was shared hundreds of times to extended audiences. The video was also repurposed for monthly e-blasts [email], ultimately aiding in increased ticket sales.”
The good news is that “capturing quality video and placing it onto social media platforms has become an easier process today from even five years ago,” Werking said. “There are editing tools and apps you can use. Also, smart phone technology is at your fingertips. There are no longer excuses to avoid video content for your company.”
Besides watching for software advancements, Werking also advises businesses to “be sure to keep the video short, preferably 30 seconds or less; some savvy marketers have found a way to deliver a message in under eight seconds. Remember when you are producing video to keep it witty, fun or interesting. But most importantly, it must be a reflection of your brand.”
Specific goals for social media video are business-dependent, according to Greves, and include brand awareness, promotion of new products, job or volunteer recruitment, or showcasing an organization. He identified increased exposure, drawing traffic to a website, engagement, leads, sales and creating a base of followers as potential video outcomes.
Greves clarified that “to be heard over the white noise on the internet, businesses need to create a strategy that makes sense and that will create return on investment. One of those tactics to take business growth to the next level is video. The world is moving quickly and so are consumers, so catching their attention in a minute or less is crucial.
“With that said, it is difficult to predict the next big thing because social media is rapidly evolving, so only time will tell. I do think, however, that video is only going to continue to grow and that businesses interested in increased exposure for their product or service should consider video as their primary tool for success.”
For the future, Drape predicts enhanced personalization and customization of videos based on individual preferences. Werking anticipates more apps to shoot and edit quality video.
Video “includes the audio and visuals people need to learn, to retain information and to stay engaged,” Greves summarized. “With a better understanding of information, people are more willing to share with others so your audience reach is much larger. I don’t think it will replace other mediums, but if you had to choose only one, the smart, easy choice is video.” QCBN
By Sue Marceau, QCBN