Way, way back in the good old days of 2005, what we call branded video content was then called commercials, showed on a thing called a TV. Then, on April 23, 2005, YouTube launched, and the broadcast dinosaurs looked up into the sky and gulped.
Fast-forward to today, and video content is everywhere. YouTube, the 800 lb. gorilla in video content, had 188.6 million American viewers just last month, watching billions of hours of content. Facebook and Instagram are becoming more dominated by video, and live-streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope make it possible to not just share video, but to broadcast it live. And with half of all video traffic being sent to a mobile device, video isn’t just being watched at a desk, but at the store, on the bus, during a commute, at the coffee shop and on the toilet.
For brands, this means results. Marketers of all sizes report lifts in brand awareness, lead generation and engagement when incorporating video into their marketing mix. One study found that just using the word “Video” in an email subject line boosted open rates by 19%, increased click-through rates by 65% and reduced unsubscribes by 26%.
For B2B marketers, video brings your elevator pitch to life. Many B2B companies, particularly professional services, think video won’t work for them because they don’t have a product to show. But for an industry like professional services that’s based on personality and relationships, video is the perfect way to humanize the company and move prospects down the funnel before they even read the first word of your website.
We walked the walk, and have the footage to prove it. Our clients love the laid-back, creative vibe of our office and people, but in our previous website design we only featured client work, losing an opportunity to share one of our key differentiators with prospective clients. As part of our new website, we highlighted a branded video showcasing the office and people at work, highlighting our cool space, our sparkling personalities and impeccable dart-throwing skills. Will it go viral on YouTube? Definitely not. But it does give prospective clients a chance to put a face behind the name on the RFP or email, personalize the agency, and help us stand out from the countless portfolio-based websites of our competitors.
Without a doubt, 2015 will be the year of video marketing. Unlike the broadcast spots of years gone by, brands are no longer limited by time formats, media buys or Hollywood production budgets. All it takes is an idea.