Television was the original video advertising platform. Instead of reading print ads about products and services, people could watch commercials. And those were mightily effective back in the day. Advertising dollars poured into TV networks and consumers responded by patronizing those brands that were presented to them regularly.
Then, along came the Internet, and advertising took on a whole new look. Instead of direct sales pitches, brands started investing more in storytelling on social media, educating the consumers with the help of content marketing. And as the new cohort of consumers (the millennials) became less prone to ad talk, the competition for consumer loyalty, relationships and trust migrated to another battlefield.
The draw of video marketing
Over time, video once again became the way for brands to connect with consumers on a new level. Websites began to sport videos that explained the value of their products/services. Brands began to utilize the phenomenon of YouTube influencers, piggybacking on popular videos by purchasing advertising and choosing to collaborate with content creators for ambassadorship programs.
And it’s no wonder: 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube every day and over half a billion internet users watch online videos every day on Facebook. And a large portion of them are looking to buy products or services as 90% of online shoppers state that they find videos important as they are making purchasing decisions.
What is more curious though is that the established video platforms like YouTube, Twitch and Vimeo seem to be losing its users to the “new” market entrant – Facebook.
Facebook is now the frontrunner for video marketing
According to a recent survey conducted by the visual content platform Slidely, 47% of consumers state that they now get most of their video content on Facebook, versus 41% who say they usually watch YouTube. And 71% of those who watch marketing videos on Facebook state that the ads they view are relevant.
Even more important to brands is that between 60%-70% of those who view a company’s Facebook video then proceed to visit that company’s website.
And Facebook is really pushing the value for brands to create videos and publish them on their account pages, based on statistics like these.
But creating “Facebook-friendly” videos is not just a matter of creating a marketing video and posting it.
Facebook’s new “rules” of video engagement
Facebook has announced that it is now ranking videos and is placing the highest emphasis on person-to-person interactions. Those videos that will receive high ranking are those that consumers find genuinely interesting and that receive the most likes, comments and shares. And Facebook also likes it when you respond to the comments you get.
The implications for brands
Given the recent statistics and Facebook’s guidelines, it is obvious that brands wishing to connect with a larger consumer base need to create and publish marketing videos on Facebook. And the great thing about doing this is, it is an opportunity to compete with the “big boys” who have huge marketing budgets that you don’t have. Indeed, Facebook is a great equalizer in marketing.
But before you go headlong into this video marketing business, there are some important considerations.
Your videos must capture and engage your target audience. This will take research and lots of viewing of other marketing videos that are popular, especially those of your competition. No dull, boring video will ever receive comments or shares. Make your video as authentic and as personal as possible. Your audience should come to know you, your brand, your team, etc. You might even consider livestreaming company events.
Whatever you do on Facebook, whether it is video or other media, it is obviously important to “connect” with an audience, to interact with that audience and to provide it with a personalized experience. A good example is the motorcycle marketplace, RumbleOn, which does a great job with that. The company’s Facebook page features staff and clients and portrays the authenticity that consumers want and demand.
You should get the right tools for the job. Once you have your script, your props and the “performers,” it really is a matter of finding the right tools to create the video. The latest smartphone cameras and microphones are amazing and you can use just those if you’re just starting out. If you’re a big brand with millions of followers however, consider investing in more sophisticated cameras like the Freevision which eliminates all bumps in footage and helps you capture extremely smooth imagery.
Monitor the success of your videos. You will want to know which of them are getting the most “play” and which are not. This will give you solid insights into the types of videos you should create going forward. Measuring social media ROI may be initially tricky though, so make sure that you do pay attention to the right metrics.
It’s a competitive world, with every brand trying to be noticed, to appeal to its audience and to get its share of the market. Video is a powerful marketing tool, if it is done right. Use it to connect and establish relationships and you will see your audience grow.
More Info: forbes.com