The year of the brand video

Feb 21, 2017

Video has become a potent content marketing tactic for generating sales leads. Narrative CEO Neal Farrell explains.

The year of the brand video

One of my most memorable ’80s music flashbacks is the rock song “Video killed the radio star” released in 1980 by The Buggles – though I don’t remember the band as well as the song. When I think about how the media landscape is changing, these lyrics ring true even today. There are a few interpretations, but the one I’ve bought into is that long before television (video) there was radio. Radio shows were prolific and the voice actors in these shows were stars, similar to the TV stars of today. As TV became more popular, radio stars became less so; in a word, obsolete.

Consumption trends

To some extent it feels like history is repeating itself. I find myself watching far more and reading less. And when I can’t watch something, but rather have to read, I sometimes look for another search result where I can just watch the video. Consider how our Facebook and Instagram feeds have changed in content type to include much more of the new social media star – video. And Facebook is jumping onto the bandwagon by looking to monetise these videos with advert breaks. Oh dear…

For brands

What inspired me to write this piece was the research findings of Wyzowl’s 2016 global report on video. Of the businesses surveyed, 61% said they had started to use video in their brand communication. Of these, 66% said they were not using video a year ago. And 91% said they planned to either maintain or increase their spend in 2017. Wow!

But here is the kicker. 93% said that video had improved their sales-lead conversion rate.

For consumers

So let’s look at it from a user’s perspective. In the same research survey 98% of respondents said they had watched a brand-owned explainer video. Some 70% then shared the video – building the brand’s audience through referrals. And 74% of those users who watched the video claimed they then bought the product or service being offered. Epic! Video also delivers higher unpromoted engagement rates than long-form content or even photographs – and that shows the potential to supercharge communication objectives if applied correctly.

Next steps

So where does that leave brands? Video content marketing is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. It is an effective and engaging way to tell your company stories. Video has limitless potential to surprise and delight consumers, who aren’t wanting content only to read, they’re actively looking for video online.

While I still believe the written word has a long and healthy future in content marketing, video has definitely arrived. The challenge is not when, but rather how, to get started and reap the rewards. The last thing you want is for other brands’ video to kill your star.

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