The article below was written by Alice Wilkinson, Content Manager at Newgate Communications.
The viral video is a well-known – if little understood – phenomenon. But you don’t need to be a ‘digital native’ or even a Millennial to know that video, viral or otherwise, is the future of communications.
But video can do more than attract likes and followers. With 1.5 billion monthly active users, YouTube is now the second largest search engine on the web, after Google. So, appearing in YouTube search results is as important for businesses as appearing on Google.
Nonetheless, businesses regularly fail to include video in their communications strategies.
Using video to engage with consumers
For B2C companies, the advantages of using video for marketing and communications are clear:
- When asked if they would rather read about a product or watch a video, four times as many customers chose video
- Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a shop
- Four out of five consumers believe that video demos are helpful; shoppers that view video are nearly twice as likely to purchase a product than non-viewers
Across almost all industries, video can be used to communicate value in a way that words and images alone cannot. Beauty and pharmaceutical industries can use video to demonstrate the results of their products. In the property sector, video tours can help agents sell or lease a property and is particularly useful for overseas buyers and those looking to purchase off-plan. And animated film can be used effectively by financial services companies to explain complex concepts or regulation to potential or existing customers.
For B2B companies, video also has a key role to play: 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post. So, rather than relying solely on written content, thought leadership campaigns can be enhanced by video.
Video is an excellent means of communicating brand messaging, as well as the all-important company persona. For many B2B businesses, the type of company and its culture can be as integral to attracting new business as the services it provides. Video easily communicates the nuances of corporate culture and personality. This can help companies acquire new clients and communicate their business case to potential investors.
Furthermore, video testimonials boost credibility. Unlike written endorsements, video testimonials can include the viewpoint of multiple people in a short period of time, thus appealing to multiple different customer groups.
As well as boosting Google rankings and dwell time, the strengths of video content lie in its ability to quickly communicate information and messaging. Press releases are increasingly enriched with video content, allowing businesses to grab media attention whilst also pulling more traffic to their website.
Just as customers would prefer to use video to learn about a product, so employees would rather use video to learn about their employer. Through video, company culture and values are made more memorable, whilst senior management gain visibility. Likewise, in a labour market that increasingly prioritises company culture, video – shared via LinkedIn’s Life page – is an effective means of recruitment.
As a training tool, video saves both time and costs. Rather than explaining a process or system on an individual basis, or setting up training sessions, how-to videos allow employees to learn at their own pace. Once created, footage can be shared at scale or stored until needed.
The whole communications package
Rather than thinking of video as just an optional extra to your communications campaign, it’s time to recognise its power.
People love to watch video, so it’s perhaps the most effective way to engage with your target audience. Moreover, it is far easier to recall than written content, making your messages more memorable. And finally, in the digital age, where likes and shares convert into sales, video content does wonders for social media presence and SEO.
As a PR tool, video has it all. If you’re interested in including video in your communications strategy, we’d be happy to speak to you about our experience story-boarding and producing memorable video content.