The number of hours spent watching online videos has grown exponentially in the past few years. Internet users spend nearly a third of their time glued to mobile phones or computer monitors with a video playing. Unbelievably, over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and nearly 5 billion clips are watched every day.

As both new and established businesses relentlessly pursue new leads and customers, a consistent video marketing plan is a powerful way to capture some attention. Companies not keeping up with the trend will likely fall into the internet abyss and struggle to get noticed.

When grappling with a problem, most consumers jump on Facebook or Google and search for answers. The search results will be filled with links to videos and articles that potentially solve that problem. If a product or service is part of the solution, a person is much more likely to buy after watching a video first.

Naturally, a strong, effective video marketing strategy attracts new leads and converts them to customers. High-quality videos also increase visitors to a website or blog. Social media updates containing a video will get liked and shared more often than an image or text post.

To be effective, videos must teach, inform, and entertain, preferably all at the same time. Smart, creative videos not only captivate the audience, but they build trust, credibility, and brand awareness. Essentially, people begin to like and trust a company, which translates to a higher rate of return on investment.

A video helps a potential customer see and hear about a product they are considering. They get a clear-cut description of the features and benefits as well as a demonstration of how it works. Expert interviews and product testimonials can also help sell a product to undecided prospects. Specifically, consumers can make a confident decision whether the product is right for them after viewing a video.

There are numerous platforms for a marketer to get a video in front of an audience. As mentioned, YouTube is the most popular, with Facebook likely a close second. Other platforms include LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Undoubtedly, a company blog, landing page, or website are also key places to publish videos. Putting a video in an email can also boost open and click-through rates.

No matter what type of videos being created, following some simple rules will increase the likelihood of a successful marketing campaign. First, be sure a video’s message does not come across as too salesy or gimmicky. A video that looks and feels like an ad will be a quick turn-off to potential prospects.

Second, keep your videos relatively short. The internet is full of distractions and the majority of video watchers click somewhere else within the first 10 seconds. Keep your message crystal-clear and get it out quickly.

Producing and publishing videos are no longer just for companies with big budgets. Current technology makes producing and publishing videos easy, quick, and affordable. Even home-based entrepreneurs can create influential video content that builds and captivates an audience.

Ideally, the end goal of video marketing is to educate and inform, which ultimately leads to prospect engagement and a purchase. Simply put, there is no better way to introduce your company or product to an eager audience than an effective video strategy.

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