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It’s no secret that video is quickly becoming an essential part of any content strategy, and the 2013 video marketing trends report only serves to concretise this.
This year has been fantastic for video, with the emergence of new, social video platforms like Vine and Instagram video soaring in popularity amongst consumers, making it easy for anyone to create a video and share it.
But why is video so important to marketers?
For starters, all marketers know that they need to be present in the same places as their audience. And, if the rocketing numbers of users on these new social video sites are anything to go by, some of the hottest seats in town can be found there.
It expands your reach
Being visible on these channels opens your brand up to new audiences and, therefore, new potential customers. Platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo have a staggering amount of users (YouTube has over 1bn unique users and is the second biggest search engine in the world), too, and by not reaching out to them you are cutting yourself off from a huge portion of the internet.
Video embraces cross-platform marketing, allowing brands to create a sought after integrated approach with their strategy. It thrives on any channel, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, or Instagram, because it’s so easily shareable.
In fact, five tweets per second contain a Vine link. That’s hard to ignore.
Red Bull's YouTube page is a good example here. The website is populated with rich content, including a number of videos of events and extreme sports. So why didn't Red Bull just leave the videos on its own site, in one hub?
Because by creating another equally rich platform of content, the brand is reaching an audience who might not visit its site, but who instead hang out on YouTube searching for videos of crazy sports and adrenalin-based activities.
It puts you in favour with Google
It’s not just your audience that will appreciate the implementation of video, Google will too. The number one search engine no longer favours static websites. Instead, it places more emphasis on sites that produce consistently fresh, quality content, particularly rich content like video.
These days, sites have to be dynamic and interactive to stand any chance of being heard above the noise.
It’s true; there’s so much content out there that marketers run the risk of overwhelming potential customers. It’s all well and good churning out regular content, but if it doesn't speak to your audience or resonate with them it’s just adding to the noise.
In addition, videos are often given preference over image and text results in Google search, which means you could earn a high-ranking spot within your desired search term. Amongst all the text results, your visually alluring video will catch the eye of most users who are scrolling through.
For example, here we can see that Study Group's video is ranking on the first page of Google for the competitive search term "study in Dublin", but their actual website is not. It stands out because it is the only visual offering on the page, and the high quality screen shot encourages users to click on it to find out more.
Think about it this way: which option are you more inclined to choose?
It’s easily digestible
Content today needs to be quickly and easily digestible, where the consumer has to put in minimal effort. People are hungry for information, but they don’t want to have to work too hard to get it.
Think about it this way: are you more likely to read a 2,000 word piece to find out the answer to your question, or watch a two minute video that does the same?
More often than not, consumers will choose the latter because all they have to do is click the play button. Not too taxing a task.
DIY company Lowe's "Fix in Six" series is a great example of using Vine successfully. Each six second clip features a useful tip for DIYers - much more visually interesting and easier to understand than a 500 word blog post about the same topic.
It’s being used by your competitors
This was a good year for video, but it's set to get even bigger next year. The 2013 video marketing trends report found that 93% of marketing professionals used online video in their strategies this year, with even more implementing it in 2014.
This means it’s more than likely that your competitors are using video or will be using it next year. And they’ll be all over the platforms that you are not, reaching out to potential customers that could be yours.
It’s vital for marketers to stay ahead of the times, to be one step ahead of their competitors, and this means that you need to start integrating video into your content strategy as soon as possible.
It makes a positive impact on your brand
If the points above haven’t persuaded you to start playing with video, then this certainly will. The video marketing trends report states that 82% of the marketers surveyed said that implementing video content in their marketing strategy had a positive impact on their business or organisation.
We only have to look at WestJet's recent 'Christmas Miracle' video that garnered more than 12m views in the first three days. Take a peek at the comments section and you'll see how much good this has done the company's reputation, with comments ranging from "such an amazing thing for a company to do" to "they seem like a very cool airline".
So, it seems that whatever your business goal is, video can help you get there; it reaches new audiences, puts you on good terms with Google, and provides snippets of useful content to your audience.
Perhaps most importantly, though, it adds another dimension to your content strategy, keeping things fresh, interesting, and memorable so that people keep returning. Not to mention you don’t want to be left behind your competition.