Video Content Takes Center Stage
Marketing Video Marketing

Two Content Types to Master Before Investing In Video Marketing Services

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Today, we see brands becoming publishers, and journalists becoming marketers. Respectable brands have invested time and money in developing content marketing strategies, and they’re willing to fail time and again to learn more about their audience. While I like to see chief marketing officers eager to explore and experiment with original content creation, many brands come up empty-handed because they’re not sure where to direct their creativity.

A great example of this is video marketing. It’s recently emerged as a hot content type, and many businesses are investing time, effort, and money into making video work. But is an investment in video content services worthwhile? A 2013 forecast from eMarketer suggests digital video ad spending in the United States will grow from $4.1 billion in 2013 to approximately $9 billion in 2017. The steady surge in video spend highlights consumers’ growing demand for interactive media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should create video for video’s sake. Make sure your strategy has a purpose before you spend on expensive equipment and service fees.

That’s not to say video doesn’t generate significant ROI. According to a report from Web Video Marketing Council, 82% of surveyed marketers report online video having a positive impact on their business or organization. More, 93% of respondents indicate that they use video in their online communication efforts. Clearly, this medium has become a crucial component to engaging audiences, but I wonder if there are other ways for marketers to explore visual content marketing without the huge upfront cost associated with video? I’m always in favor of the “try-before-you-buy” mentality, and I suggest brands consider bringing new life and color into their content marketing mix with these two content types before investing in video creation.

Infographics: Better Than Video?

People respond well to visual content. The brain responds better to information displayed in a visual way, making a case for more infographic content and fewer long-form featured articles. While video content certainly falls in the visual media category, short clips cost significantly more than a single infographic, and the impact of each may be comparable.

According to an infographic by Customer Magnetism, publishers who use infographics in their content marketing strategies grow web traffic an average of 12 percent more than those organizations that do not. More traffic means more opportunities to acquire, nurture, and convert leads. Now all you have to do is figure out what story you want to tell in your infographic.

If you’re in health insurance, use imagery to explain why it’s so important to not only have an extensive contingency plan, but what makes your offering stand out from other options. For software companies, use infographics to demystify complex processes like why chief technology officers should choose your digital data center over a more traditional solutions provider. Businesses across almost every industry can use infographic marketing as a way to diversify their content portfolios without putting too much cash toward a single type of media.

Social Video: The Merger of Video and Social Media Marketing

The idea of producing branded video content may be too enticing for some marketers to pass up, but it’s important to put the process into perspective. YouTube may be the first hosting site that comes to mind when you think of viral videos, but the convergence of video and social media has entrenched itself in the proliferation of mobile technology. Social applications Instagram and Vine offer brands new opportunities to engage audiences face-to-face via their smartphones or tablets.

In August 2013, Vine announced it had surpassed 40 million monthly active users, and that number has probably grown since then. Instagram, with its 150 million monthly active user base, has continued to innovate and attract enterprise-level marketers to its newly launched ad option. In fact, Unruly Media revealed research that showed 40 percent of Instagram’s 1,000 most-shared videos were created by major brands.

These social networks attract an array of consumers, and while they lack a specific targeting function, they do allow for cost-effective marketing measures and they can contribute to marketing programs. A Pixability report showed that most videos uploaded to YouTube generate fewer than a thousand views per clip. Marketers can produce dozens of six- or 15-second clips for a fraction of the cost associated with big-budget video, and reach a more concentrated and active audience through Vine and Instagram. Weigh the pros and cons. If you’re not sold on video overall, experiment with the content type on Instagram or Vine first.

Video Works—It’s Just Immature

Video does offer its benefits, and brands have seen their visual media go viral on networks like YouTube. However, the vast majority of companies see their video content sit online because they haven’t taken the time to understand what types of video their audience watches online. It’s hard to deny the power of video, but take the time to experiment with cheaper alternatives first, so when it comes time to broadcast your brand to the world, you’ll know exactly what to say and where to say it on the web.

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