Video Content: Even More Essential Than You Think in 2018

A few years ago, tech observers and marketers predicted that mobile would explode — and they were right. Today, mobile development and optimization are critical priorities.

Video is following the same path, as companies scramble to ramp up their content and deploy new technology and approaches. Facebook, which turned its mobile app from a relative afterthought into a company strength, is now doing the same with video. AdAge reports that the company has “TV-like” ambitions, and is busy developing new channels and applications for its users to consume video.

Facebook’s ambitions are familiar to anyone plugged into trends in entrepreneurship or marketing. Video is the new mantra, and companies that maximize their offerings through this medium in 2018 are poised to reap the benefits.

The Importance Of Video In Marketing.

Studies have shown that video is a particularly effective form of marketing. Consider this:

  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line can boost open rates by nearly 20-percent, according to Syndacast
  • Numbers from Animoto show that four times as many consumers say they would rather watch a product video rather than read an ad
  • According to KCPB, video now accounts for nearly 75-percent of all online traffic
  • Viewers are ten times more likely to engage with video content

Those are just a handful of the statistics illustrating both the primacy and growing influence of video in the consumer market. Consumers prefer the dynamic and seamless presentation of video over the static experience of reading ads. This creates higher conversion rates and more leads, better brand awareness and greater recall.

Marketers and businesses are well aware of this, and are busy formulating new strategies to leverage this preference. Additionally, new advances and innovations in technology are enabling exciting new creative approaches.

Emerging Trends In Video.

One of the most intriguing innovations in video is projection mapping, where a 3D image or video is displayed in a new context, such as the outside of a building. Interactive video marketing is also seeing exciting new developments; consider the example of the brewer Amstel, which created an interactive Facebook Live video that allowed viewers to “choose their own adventure” based on manipulation of feedback buttons. Live video as a market is expected to quadruple in growth by 2021, according to Cisco.

Virtual or augmented reality marketing is also poised for big things in 2018. Marketing videos offering panoramic, 360-degree views are already popular. While panoramic videos are certainly exciting, they pale in comparison to the far more immersive VR experiences that will soon become available. As VR headsets grow in adoption and become more refined, companies and marketers will be able to transport their customers into fully-realized virtual worlds. This will take experiential marketing to an entirely new level, as companies will use the power of immersion to forge deep emotional connections with viewers.

Content development, of course, presents a significant challenge. Great marketing can succeed almost regardless of medium, but when paired with transformative technology great content has the potential to utterly transport the viewer. Crafting stellar brand narratives that take full advantage of video, 3D and VR capabilities will continue to be a top priority for brands and marketers in 2018.

Another fascinating new trend involves personalized video ads. According to Business Insider, companies are seeking new ways to reduce the odds of consumers ignoring a video through personalized delivery. By using data to intuit consumer preferences, buying history, demographics and other variables, marketers can serve up highly tailored video experiences.

This benefits consumers as well, as they are presented advertising that is far more relevant to their current needs or desires. By taking a surgical rather than a scattershot approach to video, businesses can streamline their efforts and earn a much greater return on investment.

Clothing retailer Forever 21 used this approach to video and earned a 50-percent conversion rate boost and an impressive 132-percent hike in click-through rates. As AI grows more refined and user-friendly and the power of data analysis grows, customization will become even more accessible and easy to deploy. It’s possible that in the near-term future personalized video ads will be the default, with non-targeted ads being regarded as a curious relic of the past.

The Takeaway.

Video has joined mobile as the apple of most marketer’s eyes — and for good reason. The numbers show that video is simply more effective at gaining and sustaining consumer interest and increasing conversions.

That means that in 2018, companies making an effort to stay perched at the far edge of these trends are in the best position to prosper.

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