Video: A Content Marketing Necessity

In a recent Think with Google article, the tech giant called out the following:

  • Online video ad spend is predicted to hit $7.77B in 2015, up from $5.96B last year
  • Watch time on YouTube is up 50% year-over-year

Then Google made this statement:

Online video is no longer a nice-to-have in your media plan.

It’s a marketing necessity.

In Wired’s recent article We’re All Video Companies Now, author Julia Greenberg discusses the ubiquity of video—one of the most popular and powerful types of content.

In the article, she reports how video isn’t limited to YouTube or Vimeo. “The simple fact is, people love watching movies and videos,” Greenberg writes. “Last month, Facebook announced that its users view four billion videos a day, up from just one billion in September.”

Even more surprising, 75% of those views are on mobile devices, according to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO.

Other new statistics about online video are equally interesting. According to a recent AdWeek article:

  • Digital video consumption is up 13% since 2014
  • 55% of households have four or more devices and 40% have access to video streaming services
  • The number of consumers who watch at least one original video once per month is up 22% since 2014

What this tells us:

This, of course, begs the question:

What kinds of video should you produce?

And the answer is…

It depends.

The answer is determined by your business, your culture, your goals and, ultimately, your target audience.

Knowing Your Business

Different businesses carry themselves differently. Financial firms, for example, are traditionally stodgier and conservative, versus, say, a company in the tourism industry.

It’s important to keep those standards and expectations in mind. We’re not saying you should never break the mold—but we are advising caution whenever you start to stray too far away from general expectations.

Consider Microsoft’s 2013 campaign to reintroduce its Internet Explorer browser. Microsoft needed something to revitalize its dying browser. But videos like Child of the ‘90s and Things Aren’t Always What They Seem came off as empty mad grabs for a younger audience—they felt off and did more harm than good.

Forbes ran an article about the “Child of the ‘90s” effort and remarked, “When the ad conclude though, it’s hard not to wish it stopped 15 seconds earlier…The emotion the ad stirs feels disjointed from the concluding pitch for a browser which recently told us it ‘sucks…less.’”

 Know Your Culture

Your videos should be a representation of your company culture and the values you stand for.

Let’s use an easy example: Coca-Cola. They’re a beverage company, so they have a lot of leeway when it comes to staying within their business’s expectations. But at the heart of their company culture is the notion of refreshment. Their central promise is “to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit, and inspire moments of optimism; to create value and make a difference.”

How does their video content stack up? Pretty well. Here’s a recent video celebrating Team Canada’s Women’s National Team at the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup:

The video is positive, uplifting, and a little funny— in a word, refreshing and “on brand.”

 Know Your Goals

Like any marketing effort, your videos should further a particular marketing goal or objective. Here are some common objectives:

  • Educating Your Audience. If part of your strategy is to position yourself as a resource or a thought leader in the industry, videos that educate or inform your audience can help.
  • Building Brand Awareness. A video is a great tool for communicating your brand mission statement, and the values you stand for.
  • Promoting New Products or Services. Promotional videos are a timeless stalwart.
  • Generating Leads. Videos as short teasers can drive your audience toward a form fill.

 Know Your Target Audience

Last on our list: the importance of creating a video to meet the needs of your target audience.

Below is a video we produced for Field Trip Zoom, a startup that connects schools with premium educational content providers like museums and zoos to enable students to go on virtual field trips. Here’s the video:

Knowing Field Trip Zoom’s intended audiences (schools and content providers), it was important that we captured what makes Field Trip Zoom so unique: how engaged the students get and how easy it is to use Field Trip Zoom. Our videographer, Rob, spent time in an actual classroom and captured their reactions live. Then we put it through our video process and off we went.

We like the result, but we’re obviously biased. What did you guys think?

Creating Your Videos

As the need for this type of content increases, are you prepared to provide it to your consumers? They’ll be expecting it. If you haven’t given video a serious thought, now is a great time to start.