In 2018, use of video among small business owners will mature and solidify into a “must have” marketing component. Businesses able to make strategic use of video will seize critical opportunities for sales lift and market share.
Many marketers hailed 2017 as “the year of video,” and with good reason. Video marketing, video advertising and overall video consumption boomed in the past 10 months.
All of these developments foretell a new year where digital video will be more important than ever for business owners’ success. Those who take advantage of the following four video marketing trends in 2018 will likely be in for a great year ahead.
Video Content Marketing Becomes a Must-Have for Small Businesses
Consumers’ preference for video has steered most content strategies towards a video-heavy portfolio. Business owners who steer towards video find tremendous value in the form of boosted returns.
For one, people complete video content more frequently than the average non-visual, text-based blog article. According to Vidyard, over a third of all video viewers (37%) make it to the end of the video’s run time.
Nearly all of mobile users who watch video (92%) have a tendency to share video content with others. Simply Measured also says that video gets shared around 12x more frequently than content links or text.
Other studies show that audiences retain video in messaging better than text.
With all of these advantages, businesses putting video content out there will see higher levels of engagement, shares and conversions into their marketing funnel. Having a video component to your digital marketing strategy will therefore become a competitive differentiator in the months ahead.
Business owners looking to get into video can start by transforming existing content assets into a short (around 2.5 minutes or less) summary. Look to the assets with the most views and shares for inspiration.
Video Becomes an Integral Part of the Sales Pipeline
Offering video content helps turn what could be a pushy and person-intensive sales process into a self-service nurturing pipeline. Interested prospects can view video content hosted on websites or shared via social to learn more about products and features. As they educate themselves, they move towards the end of the sales funnel with minimal person-to-person contact.
Self-guided lead nurturing not only reduces employee overhead, it also results in a more pleasant experience for leads. 19% of prospects claim they only want to hear from a company rep when they are actively considering a purchase. 40% of prospects want to be able to buy without talking to anyone at all.
Meeting this need involves considering how video assets can provide value at every stage of the sales/marketing funnel.
For instance, business owners can cultivate awareness by creating emotional or intriguing video advertising assets.
Video content marketing assets provided on their website next to text content can help buyers at the nurturing stage. In-depth explainer videos can help lay out different buying options or the final steps in the procurement process for those ready to close the deal.
“When you incorporate video into your sales processes, customers get what they want: a frictionless, self-serve experience on their time, and on their terms,” says WireBuzz.
Think about buyer needs that were once traditionally met with person-to-person interactions and imagine how video can replace these needs with a self-service, video-heavy customer journey.
Websites Expand Use of Product and Explainer Videos
Vamping off the point above, even retail consumers expect video content during their sales journey.
According to Business2Community, “25% of consumers will lose interest in your brand if you don’t have a video explaining your product or service.”
If you sell retail goods online or even exclusively in-store, your customers will want to see live demonstrations and rundowns of product features.
For a good example of how you can showcase product videos on your ecommerce or business website, take a look at RevZilla. They include a video summary with most new products and all of their best sellers to keep buyers informed and engaged.
Live Video, 360° Video, Slideshows and Other Video Formats Gain Traction
Live video presents an easy, low-budget and low-concept way to create more video content for audiences. Brands can engage with audiences in a way that feels authentic and like a 1:1 conversation.
Peppering live video into your content marketing and social engagement strategy can therefore quickly round out your assets without a massive up-front investment.
On the other end of the spectrum is 360° video. These assets use a special camera setup to capture a full spherical range of images. Audiences can then use a smartphone headset like the Google Daydream to tilt and move their head as the video plays, changing their viewpoint as one might in real life.
360° video results in a truly immersive and memorable experience. But the high cost of equipment and production means businesses require an airtight strategy for converting 360° videos into measurable returns.
Somewhere in between live video and 360° are alternative video formats:
Slideshow video — A series of connected images played in a sequence to convey motion or a story
6-second video — Taking a page from the Vine format, these short videos communicate messages quicker than text and in a more-engaging way than static images
Formats like these lower production costs for video — especially video ads — while still providing higher levels of engagement. Best of all, they can communicate well even without sound.