Video is one of the most engaging, entertaining, and versatile mediums that you can use to tell a compelling brand story, strike an emotional cord with consumers, and influence buying decisions. It combines movement, sound, colour, and storytelling to deliver a message with impact. In contrast, text relies on visual cues, punctuation, and figurative language to create the mood of a story.
Why Video Content Brings More Traction than Textual Content?
Video is quick to capture attention because we are hardwired to process visual cues better than written text. From birth to early adulthood, we use our senses to explore the world and make sense of our surroundings. By hearing, moving, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching, our powers of observation grow. Children and even adults learn and process information more effectively by engaging their senses. Because of this, parents are advised to take little babies on frequent outings in diverse environments, and bassinets, cribs, and strollers are fitted with toys in bright and contrasting colors. We are sensory learners from birth.
Visual and hearing perceptions have a key role in most societies because there are more opportunities for them than, for instance, olfactory or tactile experiences. Sight and hearing also give us the biggest amount of information about our environment and enable us to sense things from a distance. For hundreds of thousands of years, visual and audio clues were crucial for survival. And even today, if all of our other senses stop working, it is our eyesight and hearing that will protect us best.
And while unpleasant stimuli either makes us get into a fight mode or elicit withdrawal behavior, pleasant stimuli are associated with approach behavior. Pleasant audiovisual stimuli evoke memories and positive emotions. A song may remind you of someone special, a first date, a first kiss. A picture of an old house may evoke memories of your childhood, playing games together on a rainy day and enjoying a tasty dinner.
Video combines both audio and visual stimuli which are our most emotion-sensitive senses. Filmmakers and marketers evoke specific reactions through their choice of sound and images. Videos that trigger desire, personal interest, humor, excitement, or exhilaration are memorable as they evoke emotions that people can relate to.
Visual content with authentic voices and a mindful approach to movement and color has the power to communicate an array of emotions, allowing brands to stay connected with viewers in a memorable and meaningful way. Videos that are touching and emotional attract more attention, boost engagement, and influence buying decisions.
If you are like most marketers, you probably already jumped on the video marketing bandwagon and are reaping all the benefits. And if you still need some convincing how powerful visuals can be, here are 11 benefits of using captivating video content as a great addition to your marketing strategy.
1. Targeting Emotions Influences Buying Behavior
Videos trigger subconscious impulses that drive purchase decisions. This idea is in keeping with the findings of Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman who argues that 95 percent of customers make buying decisions at the subconscious level. Emotion is what influences purchasing behaviour and decision-making in general.
In his book How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, Zaltman advances the idea that all behavior is emotion-driven, which has important implications for branding and marketing. As consumers are emotional beings, they are more likely to identify with brands that make them feel engaged, intrigued, and impassioned. Athletic brands, for example, target our competitive side by offering action, thrill, and adventure. Luxury brands focus on feelings of status, self-worth, prestige, and luster. Mobile device manufacturers engage with consumers by offering a way to connect with family and friends. Rather than focusing on specific features, brands strive to achieve an emotional response through videos that sell the feeling.
2. Consumers Want to See More Visual Content
People like to watch videos, it is as simple as that. And as a report by HubSpot shows, when asked what they want to see from brands, 54 percent of consumers choose videos over emails and newsletters (46 percent), social images (41 percent), social videos (34 percent), and blog articles (17 percent).
The poll also asked consumers what type of branded content they find the most memorable. Again, more consumers voted in favor of video content (43 percent), followed by branded photos (36 percent) and written text (18 percent). The majority of respondents оr 73 percent want to see entertaining content, and only 18 percent show preference for live videos.
And that’s the bottom line for brands. Consumers not only like videos but what they want to see is engaging and entertaining content that is easy to digest.
3. Grow Revenue
Brands that use video marketing grow their revenue 49 percent faster on a yearly basis, according to analysis by Aberdeen Group. The State of Video Marketing 2020 Report also shows that visual content helps drive sales. An overwhelming majority of consumers or 80 percent share that video content helps increase sales. Most respondents (95 percent) said they plan to increase their video marketing budget in 2020.
4. Video Can Improve Your Email Marketing Performance
We all get bombarded with junk mail and for most of us, getting messages from brands we never heard of is simply annoying. So what you do? Hit the unsubscribe button.
The reasons why people unsubscribe are many, including cluttered inbox, repetitive or boring content, and marketing frequency. Video content can help reduce unsubscribe rates and according to Brainshark, simply using “video” in the subject line helps decrease unsubscribes by 26 percent and increases click-through rates by 65 percent and open rates by 19 percent. In addition to higher retention rates, marketers also get a better idea of how much their content is being viewed.
5. Boost Online Visibility
Sharing content on social media helps increase brand visibility as this is where users actually watch video.
An online survey by HubSpot shows that it is precisely networking sites where visitors catch up on lifestyle, business, and news stories. While Google is still the top content channel for 52 percent of viewers, about half or 48 percent of respondents say they read their Facebook feed to stay current on different topics.
6. Increase Customer Engagement
A good video should tell a story with an emotional trigger that people can relate to. Stories that are emotionally-engaging alter brain chemistry, as one study by Paul Zak, Director of the Center of Neuroeconomics at the Claremont Graduate University suggests.
His team exposed viewers to two videos – one has a father of a terminally ill child who tells how difficult it is to enjoy time with his son knowing that he has just a few months to live. His two-years-old son plays in the background. The second version shows the father and little Ben spending a day in the zoo.
There is no mention of death or cancer but Ben is bald as a result of chemotherapy. After watching each video, the participants were offered the opportunity to donate to a charity, and those who watched the first video were more empathetic and generous. Studying brain activity among both groups, the research team discovered that while watching the first video, participants’ brains produced increased levels of oxytocin – the hormone that makes us feel empathy, compassion, and trust. The second version did not trigger the same response, and participants were less willing to donate.
According to lead researcher Paul Zak, we love stories because they allow us to share values and information that are important to us. Emotionally engaging stories unite and connect us, form meanings, and are better remembered. While events, characters, and plot are usually the first thing that comes to mind, a story is much more than that. It can be anything that holds meaning for us – desires, values, dreams, passions, or memories of things past.
Today, stories are told in contemporary mediums such as television, video gaming, and social networking sites. As we are increasingly becoming digital creatures, we’ve discovered the ability to relate and engage with stories remotely. Marketers have also become adept at telling stories that build connections, raise awareness, and bring audiences into a state of primal listening. They create compelling videos by using ingredients like suspense, drama, relatable humor, emotional tension, and conflict to make their stories inspiring and more memorable.
Google’s Reunion Video
In the world of marketing, storytelling enables brands to engage with customers by providing an intimate glimpse into the company’s values, culture, and guiding principles. It is a way for businesses to communicate their commitment to values like quality, innovation, diversity, continuous learning, accountability, and integrity. Brand storytelling enables companies to develop human connections by showing people why they do what they do.
As business consultant Rodger Dean Duncan suggests in a Forbes article, “Why” should come before the “When”, “How”, “Who”, and “What” for brands to be able to tell compelling stories.
7. Build Trust
Video marketing can help humanize a brand and create trust with viewers. The way to go about this is show customers that you know their problems and needs, and your company is committed to offering the best possible service or product. Being authentic is essential as people genuinely dislike made-up stories and scripted content.
When it comes to format, there are plenty of options to choose from, depending on your product, message, and goal. Examples include testimonial, product, company story, and explainer videos. A company story video, for instance, enables businesses to tell customers about their values, purpose, mission, and how they benefit others. Short explainers, on the other hand, allow companies to present a product or service in a simple, informative, and engaging way.
8. Get Your Business Noticed
Video is a powerful tool to increase brand awareness and achieve a range of objectives such as cultivating leads, building customer loyalty, expanding online audiences, and increasing market share. To get your business noticed and achieve your business goals, it is best to use short, snackable bits of content. A study by LinkedIn found, for example, that videos under 30 seconds saw an increase of 200 percent in completion rates.
9. Connect to Potential Business Partners
Video marketing is not just about building brand awareness, ranking higher in search, influencing buying decisions, and growing revenue. It also offers a fantastic opportunity to get your content in front of the right eyes – executive-level managers.
Executives are increasingly using video as an important source of information, a study by Forbes shows. Overall, 75 percent of senior-level managers say they view business-related websites and watch work-related videos at least once a week. 65 percent of executives who watched a video also visited the company’s website. Younger managers were found to be more likely to take action, either contacting a vendor or making a purchase. They are also more willing to share visual content on social media.
While senior executives still show preference for text, 30 percent of young managers under 40 say they would choose video. Across all age categories, 53 percent of executives say they conducted a search for a service, product, or vendor after watching a video, with 51 percent of managers under 40 having made a business-related purchase.
Visual content undoubtedly sells but a major question to ask is – What is the right marketing strategy to catch and keep attention? The fact that 59 percent of executives would choose video if offered visual and written content has important implications for marketers. When developing promotional materials that target managers, offering both video and text looks like an optimal strategy.
10. Warm up Cold Audience
Consumers generally fall into three categories – cold and warm traffic and loyal customers.
Cold audiences include all those who haven’t engaged with your brand and have no interest in buying a specific product that you offer.
Warm audiences, on the other hand, have interacted with your business, website, services, or products. A more direct approach may be appropriate when targeting warm traffic, like featuring free trial signup pages, offers, and product demos.
To sell to cold traffic, however, you will need to offer something of value, be it a guide, video, or podcast. Video content, in particular, can be a great tool to show customers that you understand their needs and the problems they encounter. It is also an excellent opportunity to introduce your brand and explain how your product can work for consumers.
11. Better ROI
Return on investment (ROI) shows you how much money you will make after deducting all costs for creating and promoting content. While video marketing can be costly and time-consuming, most businesses think that it offers a good return on their investment. A 2021 survey by Wyzowl shows that in the opinion of 78 percent of marketers, using video has helped boost sales. The majority of respondents (84 percent) also say that visual content has helped them generate more leads while 83 percent shared that video has helped improve their website’s bounce rate.
When evaluating content performance, ROI is just one of the factors to look into. Other indicators include conversions, click-through-rate, view count, and engagement in the form of social sharing, likes and dislikes, and comments. Tracking the right metrics for your video can mean the difference between blowing your advertising budget and learning through experience.
Using video marketing to grow your business is of undoubted benefit, from building trust and boosting online visibility to generating an increased ROI and more sales. Brands use visual content to capture attention, reach more people, and showcase features and benefits in compelling and creative ways. Video can be a powerful tool to convey a message and illustrate your point clearly and quickly using sound, movement, sketches, storytelling, and emotion. Narrating visualized feelings allows brands to connect with consumers more personally and not just intellectually. Emotional trust is harder to gain in any relationship but is well worth the effort.
Visuals allow brands to tell stories that evoke certain feelings – red indicates danger and a smile suggests happiness, thus helping us identify what and who we can trust. An emotional narrative can help you, as a brand, to present yourself as approachable by communicating who you are and why you deserve to be trusted. And as best-selling author Seth Godin brilliantly formulated it: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”