Understanding Your Video Marketing Options

By: Adam K. Allen

It is undeniable that utilizing video in corporate marketing strategies is a must in the modern marketplace. However, while it has created many possibilities, the digital age has also created a variety of problems for marketers. For starters, “the average attention span has shrunk to a mere 8 seconds, ushering in a new era of digital marketing chaos.” (ClickZ, Mastering marketing in the age of the 8-second attention span) This means whatever content an organization creates needs to either 1) be captivating enough to hold a viewer’s attention for more than eight seconds, or 2) convey the desired message in a concise but memorable way. Video has been statistically shown to be capable of achieving both options.

So, what kind of video strategy should an organization use to get their message(s) to their audience? Should they stick to traditional broadcast commercials? Or should they focus on bolstering their online presence with a Brand Story or corporate documentaries? What about on social media, where the sub-10-second video is king? The short answer: all the above. The longer answer really depends on what platforms are already being utilized, and what video style might best suit current needs. Here are some of the most effective approaches to video marketing in use today, along with the pros and cons to be considered when deciding on video marketing strategies.

The Classic: Commercials

The tried-and-true marketing approach, commercials can be used on a variety of platforms, from traditional broadcast networks, to streaming services, to online ad placements. Commercials are quick videos that can convey a company’s desired message: “We care about your needs,” or, “Our product is the best on the market.” They allow for unique, memorable approaches to advertising that thrive in limited viewing parameters (30-to-60 seconds for broadcast, sometimes less with online pre-roll ads). Whether promoting a service, product, or the business as a whole, commercials are great ways to utilize video in marketing.

Commercials are, however, difficult to guarantee when it comes to viewership. According to Variety, “as streaming video continues its ascendancy, cable, satellite and internet TV providers in the U.S. turned in their worst subscriber losses to date in the first quarter of 2023 — collectively shedding 2.3 million customers in the period, according to analyst estimates.” (Spangler, “Cord-Cutting Hits All-Time High…”) This already reduces the potential viewership of a commercial, and according to Forbes, while “99% of all U.S. households pay for at least one or more streaming services…half of the streaming users – 50% - pay for at least one streaming service that offers content without advertisements.” (Durani & Allen, “Top Streaming Statistics in 2024”) All of this means that, while the commercial may be amazing, it has a significantly reduced potential audience. Additionally, commercials are time-restrictive, meaning they do not work well for in-depth messaging.

Social Media: The New(ish) Frontier

Social media platforms continue to dominate the mobile sphere. Whether established sites like Facebook and Instagram, or newer apps like Threads, social media offers a plethora of promotional possibilities. Businesses can leverage that potential to increase their follower base with a healthy balance of visual content. Just look at these user-generated statistics gathered by Sprinklr (Surbhi, “50+ important social media video statistics to know”):

  1. According to Statista, the amount spent on video marketing will reach $92.253 billion in 2023
  2. Over 85% of internet users watch online videos each month 
  3. Research shows that an average person spends about 100 minutes per day watching online videos 
  4. 91% of people prefer online video content over other forms of content from brands 
  5. 96% of video marketers think that video marketing has increased a user's understanding of the product/service 
  6. A staggering 60% of businesses make use of video as a marketing tool  
  7. Social media video has proven to be a successful avenue for customer acquisition, with an impressive 93% of companies reporting the acquisition of new customers through this medium 
  8. 91% of marketers report that video marketing has contributed to a boost in their website traffic  
  9. 90% say that video marketing has helped them generate leads

These numbers show the impact video has in marketing, not just on social media, but across a company’s entire web presence. Social media alone can cover several touchpoints, with cross-posting allowing a single video to cover multiple platforms at once. When the ability to easily direct followers to a desired product or web page is factored in, opting for social media video content is a no-brainer.

As much of a gold mine as social ads might seem, they do still have their drawbacks. For starters, followers can easily scroll right past the ad, and many do. This can partly be attributed to the decrease in attention span mentioned earlier in this article, while the sheer number of social ads users see is also responsible. According to SurveyMonkey, “Nearly 3 out of every 4 users (74%) think there are too many ads. The number grows to 78% for adults 35+ years old.” (Gitlin, “74% of people are tired…”) Users are overwhelmed with ads on their feeds every time they log on, and poorly targeted ads make things worse. In the same poll, SurveyMonkey found that “44% of users find the ads irrelevant to their wants and needs. For those 35 and older, the number balloons to 51%.” Utilizing video in social ads is a fantastic way to maximize a business’s ROI on social marketing, and the studies show how effective social ads are at increasing web traffic and improving SEO, but advertisers should be mindful of ad exhaustion.

Surfing the Web…for Video

At first glance, the term “web-based video” may seem synonymous with Social Media, and while it can be, that is not the case here. In this instance, web-based video can refer to video content used as a design element for web pages, or long-form content – such as Brand Stories or Corporate Documentaries – hosted online. These long-form pieces are great ways to present the history and mission of a company, provide both customer and employee testimonials, and highlight unique projects or initiatives taking place within the organization. Companies that showcase these web videos may also see increased ROI in the execution, as “the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video,” with data showing “using video on landing pages could potentially increase conversion by up to 86%.” (SmallBizGenius.net)

For all its potential benefits, there are still drawbacks to using web-based video content. While the potential for conversion by using video on a website is high, it is contingent on users visiting the site to begin with. In addition, while “69% of people prefer video over text when learning about a product or service” (SmallBizGenius.net), a healthy balance still needs to be found to prevent the overwhelming of customers. Too many videos can be just as bad as too few. Finally, keeping whatever video assets are utilized up-to-date can be both exhausting and expensive, as failing to showcase current products, services, or general information could lead users to distrust the organization in question.

Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be

The various approaches discussed in this article are just the tip of the video iceberg, and like the Titanic, failing to plan and adjust accordingly can cause a marketing strategy to sink. It is imperative that companies find a balance in their video usage. Regular, high-quality posts on social media can help a company build an online following. Direct calls to action can then prompt followers to visit the company’s website, increasing general traffic and opening the door for conversion as the new visitors consume the content presented on the company site. In addition to all of this, an impactful commercial can be great to generate buzz about a business or project, and they can be used for both traditional broadcast and in-tandem with web-based video strategies. The trick is to make sure the content itself is attractive to followers and to not overwhelm them with too much content.

Where Do We Go Now?

With so many options to choose from when looking at video marketing options, it can be overwhelming. Take time to assess what content is already in use, what needs to be updated, and where content may be lacking. From there, decide on the messaging and plan how to best deploy the content. Whether increasing video content on social platforms, working with a production company to create commercials or long-form videos to highlight an organization, or just adding video assets to make a website pop, video is a crucial element in all aspects of a successful marketing strategy.

If you have questions about what videos might benefit your company or future marketing plan, feel free to send me a message or connect via LinkedIn. I’m always more than happy to talk and answer any questions you might have.

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