Online Videos: Not Just for Dancing Cats

Online Videos: Not Just for Dancing CatsA growing number of people are turning to video for more than tutorials on DIY home projects or viewing the latest cat video compilation. With a growing number of tech savvy millennials becoming consumers and harried executives using their smartphones more than computers/laptops, videos are being sought after for information that will help them make more informed decisions on everything from which house to buy to where might be a good place to invest their retirement funds. This is a prime time for financial companies to explore the benefits of video marketing.

According to the Online Publishers Association, 80 percent of Internet users remember watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days. Another survey shows that visitors who view videos stay on the site an average of two minutes longer than those who do not view videos, according to comScore. Essentially, it is safe to conclude that the use of video in marketing is drawing more attention from more people. There are many other benefits for companies in using video and here are a few to consider:

Convey complex information easily and quickly. It might be easier to share the features of your products visually instead of having someone read through several detailed web pages. In this fast-paced society, providing information via video may enable your company to target various audiences, including those who are more informed and technically savvy. Compare this to a shrinking audience of people willing to read large amounts of text.

Credibility. Being able to associate a face with a company substantiates the company and its brand and gives viewers a better sense of connectivity and more confidence in the company’s validity. As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Improve search engine hits and site traffic. Videos improve the chance that a company will be on the first page of search engines. This increases if a company puts the video on YouTube in addition to their own website. An email marketing survey from GetResponse, formerly Implix, found that including a video in an introductory email increased the click-through rate by 96 percent.

Expanded audience. Most decision makers have limited time, and videos are more likely to attract them to your company. According to Forbes Insight, 59 percent of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. About 65 percent of those who view a video click through to visit the vendor’s website; 45 percent say they contacted a vendor after seeing an online video and about 50 percent of those who viewed an online marketing video made a purchase. Having a polished video also will draw the attention of people who appreciate the use of technology, and they are more likely to share the link as well after watching.

To enjoy these benefits, companies can implement a successful video campaign without having to spend a great deal of money. However, before embarking on this venture, here are factors to consider:

In-House or Outsource – Your company has to decide whether it wants to produce videos in-house or outsource the project. When considering this decision, companies should discuss how often videos will be used and through what medium. This will help determine which production avenue would be most financially feasible.

Counsel – Instead of going out and buying the latest and greatest equipment for an in-house project, seek the advice of a firm that has experience in video production and marketing. Share what your needs are and your company’s goals for the campaign. The firm can help you determine if producing it yourself would accomplish your goals or if using a company that specializes in that service would be more prudent. Then together you can decide how to best achieve those goals. They can also provide insight on the best medium to reach your audience (posting on your website, YouTube, email blasts, etc.) that you may not have considered.

Equipment – If you decide to purchase equipment and produce the video in house, it is important to thoroughly research your options to ensure it is a wise investment. There are hundreds of cameras and plenty of sound equipment on the market and making a selection can be overwhelming. Again this is where suggestions from a knowledgeable firm can come in handy. Depending on your campaign, it might be more economical to enlist the services of a video production firm. If your campaign is going to include frequent recordings, investing in basic equipment may be the better choice.

Script and training – Once your company makes the critical decision about what your video campaign should accomplish, and how it is going to be produced, a spokesperson must be identified and the script written. Scripts should capture the attention of the viewer and hold their attention for the duration of the video. Your PR or marketing agency can often assist with these scripts.

Video marketing does not have to be limited to large companies with tech-minded people. Any company, once it has truly become committed to video, can take advantage of the medium to improve branding and sales efforts. And if you include a cat, your video will go viral in no time.

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