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Beyond Words: Using Video to Boost Your Content Marketing Results

Gregg Litman
Jul 18, 2017 1:54:46 PM

The future of marketing has a play button on it. Of course, I doubt I have to convince you that video is in your future — Cisco already did that with its much-discussed prediction that "online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020." In fact, marketers are always talking about adding video, and YouTube already accounts for a third of all internet users. But if there's all that talk, and all those viewers, why don't we see more video on most websites?

The answer may be money. According to Buffer's annual State of Social Media Report, 83% of marketers say time, resources and budget stand in the way of adding more video. That's understandable, since marketers are always balancing budgets and resources, but it also sounds like a cop out. Why don't marketers see the value of video when the audience clearly does — voting for video every time they click on a link or thumbnail because they just know that video will be worthwhile?

Using Video for Content Marketing Results

What if the issue isn't really about marketers understanding the value of video, and it's really about understanding how to get the value out of video? That's why I'm writing this piece — to connect some of the dots between actions and stats, to help you see how video can boost your content marketing results. 

Getting Started With Video

Let's start with the basics. Video boosts content marketing results because it's just so dynamic. It's more than just words or pictures, it's words and thousands of pictures combined in a way that conveys emotion and personality. Video can show you something (like an instructional video on YouTube), take you somewhere (like a culture video you show prospective employees), or introduce you to somebody (with a testimonial or any other time you're relying on personal credibility). 

I previously wrote an easy step-by-step blog on how to create a quick, affordable video marketing strategy by turning your "about us" video into a series of short, snackable videos that you can sprinkle around your website and social media.  This blog will show you where to put those videos.

How Video Can Boost Your Content Marketing Results 

1. Increase Traffic

The power of the play button is real. We've all been trained to expect video to be better content, so we react to visual cues. Adding a play button to a thumbnail or the word [Video] in brackets to a headline almost always increases traffic - particularly in social media.

When we add video blogs to our clients' regular written blogs at StoryTeller, they almost always perform better. Even though they are about similar topics, released on the same blog platform, and use the same keyword strategy, the video blogs typically get twice the traffic, regardless of client (here's the case study)

The power of the play button tracks all the way to the C-Suite. 59% of executives say that if text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. And 54% of senior executives say they share work-related videos with colleagues weekly.

2. Increase Engagement

One of the best ways to measure stickiness — or engagement — is measuring time on site. And I can tell you a 1-minute video will do that a lot better 500 words of copy. The reality is that we read most web copy by scanning it, taking a fraction of the "official" reading time most folks post on Medium. We only read the full article if we're really, really interested.

Video is different. As long as you find it interesting, you're likely to watch most or all of it. In fact, 65% of video viewers watch at least three-fourths of a video. What does that mean for content marketers who use video? Increased time on site. In fact, people spend an average of 2.6x more time on pages with video than without. 

3. Boost Conversion on Landing Pages

Video performs even better as you move lower in the marketing funnel. The more your prospects want to know about your company or product, the more they will respond to the added dynamics of video. That's why it's so important to add video to landing pages.

Whether it's a video demonstrating the value of the product, or a real person explaining the value of the offer, adding video to a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.

4. Better Email Open Rates

Email is another way we can measure the power of visual cues — or in this case, "video" cues. Simply using the word "video" in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19%.  

It's an easy tip, but the execution is a little tricky. Don't embed a video in your email, because that can trigger spam filters (there's something about content coming from two different servers that sets off all kinds of alarms). Instead, put a thumbnail link to the video in your email. It's a subtle difference, but it will save you some serious headaches. 

5. Social Success

No surprise, but video performs just as well on social networks as it does on other channels. In some ways, it does even better. For example, Facebook videos get 135% more organic reach than Facebook photos. Even more impressive, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. But for your best results, post on the native platform. 

Native videos on Twitter drive 2.5X replies, 2.8X retweets, and 1.9X favorites than third party players and Facebook's native videos drive 10X reach compared to YouTube links.

6. Demo Videos

Finally, video really boosts results at the very bottom of the funnel. Why? Because there's nothing that demos a product better than a demo video. In this case, the stats really do speak for themselves.

The numbers don't lie. Video really does drive results from the top of the sales funnel all the way down to the bottom. The only question is how — and how often — you choose to use it.

Blueprint for Your Video Marketing Success