Why video marketing might be the next big marketing trend

Video marketing is considered one of the hottest trends of 2014.

Today we’re going to look at the rise of video marketing and why it can no longer be ignored as a viable marketing channel. We’ll start back in 2012, when the marketing channel was quite new, take a look at its relevance in present times and continue on to what I predict will happen with video marketing in 2015.

As we go through the factors that are driving the growth of video marketing, I will be comparing it to the uptick in growth that AdWords began to experience four years ago. Remember when AdWords was new and everyone jumped on it? Now it’s hit its saturation point and is becoming harder and harder to see positive results. Presently, video marketing is following the same trend path.

This will make more sense as we touch on the important aspects of the technique.

In 2012, video marketing was cool, but you didn’t need to do it.

Back in 2012, video was still a new concept. Only innovative Australian businesses were exploring the uses of video, primarily through their own websites. You might have seen video used on their ‘About Us’ pages or on specific product pages.

At the time, the average business wouldn’t have dreamed of running a video advertising campaign on YouTube. It was practically unheard of. There were a few digital agencies that were experimenting with YouTube ads, but that was about it.

I remember when I presented at The Internet Show in 2012, I showed the crowd a case study of how we added a video to a clients website and it helped increase sales by 400%. They were astonished, they couldn’t believe a video was that powerful. In 2012, marketers and business owners didn’t understand the benefits of video. It wasn’t until they saw customer success stories that they really considered video a viable option.

Video marketing in 2012 was like AdWords in 2010. Businesses knew that AdWords was a hot topic, but they didn’t consider it a necessary channel in which they needed to invest. The innovative businesses that did start using AdWords certainly reaped big rewards because there were very few, if any, of their competitors who were doing the same.

In 2013, video marketing was gaining popularity and businesses wanted to explore it.

As 2013 rolled around, we saw more businesses trying their hand at video marketing. There were a couple of factors at play here that fueled this increase in adoption. Firstly, according to a report by Akamai Technologies, average internet speeds in Australia increased by 27%, enabling more consumers to access the high-speed bandwidth needed for video.

Next, we all saw a big shift in the media landscape. Popular media sites started reporting and distributing their news via video a lot more. They had worked out a way to integrate advertising into the videos, which is what had previously held back video on media sites. So now, instead of the big sites just having text content, they were also incorporating more video. Why? Because consumers say video brings a news story to life. In fact, a study by Deloitte and Gfk found that 77% of UK consumers feel video helps improve their understanding of a news story. And it wasn’t just media sites: we also saw more and more video inside our Facebook newsfeeds. Facebook rolled out video advertising in 2013 — again a strong sign that video marketing was becoming a preferred medium for advertisers.

We saw a big fundamental shift in the way we all consumed media. Video started to become the norm, and as a marketing channel, video advertising increased significantly. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, video advertising revenue reached $2.8 billion in 2013, growing 100% since 2010.

The third factor is that video production has become increasingly more affordable. In the past, you might have had to pay a video production firm tens of thousands of dollars to produce a good series of videos or a video ad. Now there are video courses and tutorials to help you create these yourself or there are niche video production firms that will help you for under $10,000. This increase in competition and easier access to high-quality equipment meant that 2013 was the first time video became an affordable option for small businesses.

At Creativa, we personally saw a 71% increase in new enquiries from 2012 to 2013. We knew that video was here, and 2014 was going to be the year of the Video.

Comparing the uprising of video usage in 2013 to the success of AdWords beginning in 2011, we can see some similarities. When we think about AdWords in 2011, we remember that it was certainly gaining popularity. More likely than not, 2011 was the first year you, as a business owner or marketer, tried AdWords. If you did try it back then, you probably noticed that there was an increasing amount of competitors using the platform and your costs increased accordingly. For our company, we saw some of our campaigns increase in cost by 100% from 2010 to 2011.

This really reflected the way AdWords was moving and is very similar to video marketing in 2013. It had become widely accessible to the average business owner and was becoming easier to get started.

In 2014, your competitors are using video marketing and you can’t afford to be left behind.

This year is certainly the year of video. Every marketer in every company has been looking at video marketing as a means to better communicate their brand’s message.

Think about it. How many of your competitors are now using video?

Video marketing has proven to be a viable marketing channel. Businesses that incorporate video marketing into their overall marketing strategy will see increased engagement. With more people engaging with your brand and your content, video marketing will help you attract more leads and close more sales.

If a picture tells a thousand words, how many does a video tell?

Let’s take a look at how Safety Dave, an importer and wholesaler of rear vision equipment, uses video to communicate a better story. Here’s a video they produced which gives some tips on how to choose the right reverse camera:

You can see in the video that the company makes use of their product and shows the audience some of the important things to look out for when purchasing a reverse camera. Those useful tips would have been a lot harder to communicate in a blog post or photo.

In 2014, marketers and business owners are using video more creatively. They aren’t just using video to tell their brand’s story, but they are also using it to sell their services on landing pages, give advice through education content and attract new visitors with video advertising on sites like YouTube and through social media.

Educational content in particular has seen a big increase this year. Video is seen as an important component of any content marketing campaign. A report by Custom Content Council found that 62% of marketers use video in their content marketing.  Lori Rosen, Executive Director at Custom Content Council said, “Video has been the fastest and most consistently growing medium for content marketing… Branded video is closing in on web and print as one of content marketing’s most common form.”

Related: Why online video is the future of content marketing

Video is presently experiencing what AdWords was experiencing in 2012. Back then, we saw a spike in the number of businesses using AdWords. Any business that saw their competition using AdWords wanted to as well. There was an increase in AdWords-related software and tools to help marketers manage their campaigns and, as a result, marketers started to become more strategic about their campaigns.

For example, no longer was it good enough to set up a basic AdWords campaign and send everybody to the homepage. Marketers needed to optimise landing pages and continually test variations to ensure that they were converting clicks into customers.  This is exactly what is happening with video in 2014. We are seeing marketers become more strategic about the types of video being created and where the video is to be distributed. Marketers are also being asked by their managers to provide metrics and ROI from their video — data that use to be ‘nice to have’ but is now a ‘must have’.

Here’s a look at some video marketing trends in 2014:

In 2015, video marketing will become more competitive and businesses will need an effective strategy to succeed.

Looking to 2015, video marketing will become increasingly more competitive and marketers will need to refine their strategies to ensure success. It will no longer be sufficient to simply use video marketing as one of your channels — you will need an effective strategy that guides your actions.

Whether it’s a strategy around the videos you use on marketing pages, the video content you produce for content marketing, or the videos you produce for advertising, all will need a good strategy in order to stand out from the rest.

We see the popularity of video advertising really spiking in 2015. As the majority of publishers start offering video ads to all businesses and sites like YouTube become a viable channel, we’ll see competition increase and prices go up.

Similar to how competition with AdWords started to increase in 2013, we anticipate that video advertising will go the same way. In 2013, AdWords got to a point where it was no longer viable for some businesses because they simply didn’t have the resources – expertise and money – to compete against the bigger businesses. Video will probably go down a similar track. If you don’t have the expertise to create amazing videos, your message will not stand out and your video marketing may not succeed. Furthermore, if you don’t have a solid strategy behind the videos and the campaigns you are running, you’ll likely find it hard to compete against businesses that do have an effective strategy and more resources to leverage.

Related: See how we helped Safety Dave increase traffic and sales with video marketing

Start experimenting with video marketing

The goal of this article is to highlight that video marketing is a big trend that is changing the way we market to customers. There are signs video marketing is here to stay and it will only get more competitive in 2015. Now is the best time to start experimenting with video and see if it can be a profitable channel for your business. I suggest you start developing a plan and strategy to take advantage of video in 2015.

But remember – to really stand out from the other videos, you need to make sure your video quality is top-notch. If you have someone in-house with expertise, or if you want to take a video course, by all means, go ahead and do it yourself. If you don’t have the resources or time to do that, you’ll likely need to look at hiring a video production firm.

Don’t just hire any video production firm, though. Hire one that has experience creating and marketing web videos. They are a different breed to the traditional videos that many of the older production companies produce. Make sure the company you go with knows what it takes to create a great video for a website and/or advertising campaign.

Your thoughts?

Where do you see video marketing going in 2015? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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