In the 1960s classic “The Graduate,” a young Dustin Hoffman is comically “enlightened” about the future with one infamous word: “plastics.” Today, I suspect that same smarmy grownup might proclaim “video” as the key to unlocking a successful future. And like he was back then, I’d judge him to be half-right.
Video is going to play an increasingly important role in marketing, and here are six seriously enlightening reasons why.
1. Facebook Prefers Video
As the fastest growing and arguably the most powerful ad platform in the world, what happens on Facebook is of critical importance to most brands. And as things stand now, Facebook gives preferential treatment to video, allowing them to deliver more than twice the reach of photo-based posts, which contributes to a whopping 8 billion video views a day. This is not an accident, as Facebook is competing with YouTube and Snapchat for share of global eyeballs, and thus its algorithm heavily favors videos.
2. Facebook Live is Zuck’s Golden Child
Sticking with Zuckerberg’s Goliath for a moment, we call your attention to Facebook Live, its newish live-streaming app. Here, Facebook is not only favoring video but pushing Facebook Live videos higher in Newsfeeds when they are live.
The results are eye-popping: people are spending three times the amount of time watching live videos compared to regular ones. It’s little wonder then that Facebook soon will be integrating live streaming into groups and events.
3. Snapchat Aspires to Be THE Video Channel
Snapchat, the latest social media darling, has more than 100 million daily users who are currently gobbling up 10 billion videos during their 25-30 minutes per day on the app. Admittedly, these are mostly bite-sized snaps, BUT the impact is not lost on millennials.
Not surprisingly, early adopter brands like Audi, Red Bull and GrubHub are finding entertaining ways to integrate their content into the platform to not just engage a younger audience but also to inspire them to take action.
4. Millennials Buy Into Video
As the generation with the second-biggest buying power, millennials are being actively courted by brands. Here, again, video will be critical, especially when you take into account these stats:
- 70% of millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online
- 80% consider video content when researching a purchase decision
- 76% follow brands on YouTube
- 60% prefer to watch a company video over reading a company newsletter
- 85% find a video demo helpful
5. Video Plays Nice on Mobile
Let’s start with a few facts about the 4.8 billion mobile device owners that marketers simply can’t ignore. First, 73% of people (in the US) have their mobile devices with them all of the time. Second, we pick up these devices 150 to 200 times a day. Third and more to the point, in Q4 2015, mobile actually exceeded desktop when it came to video views. In sum, increasing your investment in video will translate nicely even as you shift your focus from the big screen to the small one.
6. Video on TV Isn’t Dead Yet
As it turns out, rumors of the death of TV are greatly exaggerated, and in case you needed fresh evidence, take a peek at Drew’s interview with former Renegade Tad Kittredge, who is now a senior marketer at Clorox. Tad shares the details behind the relaunch of Burt’s Bees and how a big bet on TV led to a double digit increase in sales both offline and online. You would also find Tad among the 52% of marketing professionals worldwide who believe that video has the best ROI of any type of content.
Final Note: Having said all of the above, I return to the smarmy prognosticator and caution marketers about rushing to video without considering these key concerns. First, you must have a sound strategic foundation, ideally informed by a story framework (see my AdAge CMO Spotlight on storyteller Douwe Bergsma of Georgia Pacific). Second, you need to set a high standard for all of your content, video or otherwise; nothing but great will cut through. Finally, consider bringing on a partner that can guide you to success.