It seems that online marketing, search engine optimization and web development have been swept up by a tidal wave of mediocre providers. Desperate to salvage market share after the internet made their business models or corporate jobs obsolete, many are barging with wreckless abandon into the wild, wild west of online communications.
Corporate middle managers, phone book companies, newspapers, event companies and physical media suppliers are saying they provide everything a business needs in the world of online marketing communications, including SEO, Social Media, web development and even web video.
The problem is, they don’t have any experience, education or background in these areas, so they’re just marking it up and farming it out. Or worse, learning how to do it on your dime and your time. In business, you want to work directly with the experts because nothing beats their experience and who needs a middle man? Before considering these snake oil sales people, make sure to check their track record: How long have they been in the industry? How many companies are they working with in this capacity? Who does the actual work? With a few pointed questions, you can find out if they are truly experts or just jumping in on the latest trend.
Video can help your business in many ways: by educating prospects, increasing brand awareness, demonstrating expertise in your field, illustrating key differentiators, etc. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the research says:
- Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. (Internet Retailer, April 2010)
- Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors. (Comscore, August 2010)
- Video results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings, the type of content most often displayed in universal or blended search results. (Marketingweek, 2011)
- Zappos reports a 6% to 30% increase in sales for products with video. (ReelSEO, December 2009)
- With proper optimization, video increases the chance of a front-page Google result by 53x. (Forrester, January 2010)
- Affluent consumers prefer video and search to other digital advertising formats, as 41% of affluent online shoppers reported to eMarketer that they took an action after seeing one of these two ad formats. (eMarketer, August 2011)
- 46% of frequent online shoppers prefer shopping on sites with video, compared with 30% of infrequent online shoppers. (Internet Retailer, November 2010)
- Video and other multi-media product viewing options were rated more effective than any other site initiatives in an Adobe survey of almost 2,000 interactive marketers. (Adobe, May 2011)
The bottom line? If you’re not using video, you’re missing opportunities to create more compelling messages, more customers and more conversion.
Social media has really received all the attention from marketers for some time now, and rightly so. But video actually trumps social media in a number of important ways:
- First, more internet users watch online videos – 62 percent –than use social media networking sites – 46 percent according to research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
- Also, YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. That tells you how most people prefer to receive information – through a visual story. And online video is much more likely to be discovered via search engines than social media posts.
- Video provides more analytical data on who is watching and how long. Social media sites provide very little data on who is reading posts and how long they are engaged.
- Video is a passive, visceral experience, so people are more likely to view ads or be motivated to do something. When they are engaged in social media, they are immersed in social dialogue so advertising is an interruption.
- And finally, with video, you can more easily control your message.
These are just a few reasons video trumps social media for marketing.
A recent article in Entrepreneur explains why content marketing is king. The article quotes research by HiveFire that found that an impressive 82 percent of B2B marketers now employ content marketing as a strategy in their marketing programs. Coming in at a distant second place is search engine marketing at 70 percent, followed by events at 68 percent, public relations at 64 percent and print/TV/radio advertising at 32 percent.
The article goes on to say that “part of the popularity of content marketing is its ability to generate qualified leads while engaging prospects in a branded environment without busting the budget.”
Further proof that content marketing is an important component in a B2B marketing strategy.