Video is all or nothing.

You’re either watching and listening, or you’re not – there’s no inbetween. Plus, visitors watching a video on your website are are tied in for the duration – it’s much harder to skip ahead and miss an important point than it is with text.

Users get more information more quickly in a video and it can be much easier and quicker to generate an emotional response from your audience.

Videos can leave lasting memories too. They can also change the way your users interact with your content and your brand.

Improved engagement

SEO consultancy found that its blog posts with videos see an average time on site of 5 minutes 29 seconds, while posts without videos see an average time on site of nearly 5 minutes. It also found posts with video had more Facebook likes, were tweeted about more often and were given more Google +1s. Users spent 88% more time on a website with video.

Improved brand awareness

Adding video to rich media ads produces a 1.7% lift in brand awareness and increases brand favourability 5 times over.

Increasing conversions

Video is a powerful tool, as you can see seen in our infographic – How can online video increase conversions?

Here are some of the key stats that show how powerful it is:

  • 96.3% increase in clickthrough rates for emails that include videos
  • 80% increase in conversion for landing pages that include video
  • Landing pages with video are 53% more likely to show up on Google’s first page

Business growth

When trying to work out what made the difference between high-growth and average professional firms, a study of 500 companies found that the high growth firms were using online marketing tools far more effectively.

In Premium content categories like white papers and videos, the high growth firms were using these tactics better, with an effectiveness score of 5.5 against a 4 for average firms.

As well as generating new leads, they also helped to educate potential clients and show that the business could help them deal with their challenges.2

What the big brands are doing

Big brands have been quick to realise the opportunities. Around 99% of the top 100 global brands have adopted YouTube –  there’s only one major brand that doesn’t have a YouTube channel.

Between them they have invested around $5.1bn in creating video assets. Since the launch of YouTube these brands have published 258,000 videos across 1,378 YouTube channels, garnering 9.5bn views.

There is a strong correlation between those who produce the most videos and those who get the most views.

But, warns the Pixability report these stats come from, many of the brands fail to reach their audience because they concentrate more on making the videos and not enough on marketing them.

Social and sharing

Sharing has become a new online currency. Around 25% of US internet users share or repost videos they have found on social sites.

Facebook and Twitter are among the most important sources of traffic on YouTube within the Top 100 Global Brands. So if you’re uploading videos you should be promoting them clearly on social platforms.

SEO benefits

In the Google search engine results page, thumbnail images from your video can help boost click-through rates. These are known as rich snippets and they display if you have included video on your site in the right way with the correct technical mark-up.

Also, it’s worth remembering that YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine after Google. If you aren’t on there you won’t be found – and video will help drive brand awareness, referrals and potentially conversions and sales.

Long term advantages

Video has a long tail too. YouTube has a longer-lasting marketing impact than other forms of social media for the Top 100 Global Brands. While 40% of views come in the first three weeks of availability, more than 30% of the total aggregate video views occur 12 weeks after publication.

Why and when to use video

The rule of thumb for video is show don’t tell. It works best where it’s easier to see something rather than describe it in text. It’s easier to teach a child how to tie their shoelaces by showing them rather than just telling them how to do it.

To make the most of video you have to understand how this principle applies you your brand – watching and listening to a band performing their new song, seeing highlights from a new video game or getting a look at a new car are all obvious uses.

But how can you apply this for your product or service? Walking a potential new user through operating your system, showing a before and after, highlighting the features and benefits of your product or service all work well as videos.

It’s a good way of helping users understand complex products – such as technology.

But you can also be funny or quirky. Blendtec is famous for its series of videos ‘Will It Blend?’. The videos show what a powerful machine the blender is, giving the user confidence about how it would perform when being used normally in the kitchen in the normal way. They also encourage interaction by asking for suggestions for things to try blending.

How could you use video?

Think about how you could use video in your own situation. Weigh up your idea for the content – would it lose something if it was only words and pictures? If it does then video is likely to be the right medium. The top industries that are most active on YouTube are:

  • media
  • technology – both B2C and B2B
  • automotive

You should also think about the audience you are producing your video for and where they are in the conversion funnel.  According to Pixability’s study, short form content was best targeted at consumers closer to the top of the marketing funnel while longer form content scored best with those farther along in the buying journey.

Get the facts and figures about the benefits of using video in our infographic.

To browse Getty Images video collection across a wide range of editorial, archival and creative categories, click here

Read more articles from our Content Marketing issue – here

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