Is something weird happening to video marketing?

by JoDuncan May 23, 2019

Before we start. Yes, I’m biased. I write content for a living.

Another disclaimer, I love video content. I watch all sorts of video content; DIY guides, Netflix, gardening tips, hairstyles, cat videos, TED talks, history lectures. The whole shebang.

But something is off with video marketing right now.

To view, or not to view?

Video marketing is the spoilt middle child of marketing. It gets fussed over like no other type of content. Is it really better?

Our yardstick for measuring video success has become the viral video: an internet sensation that only .01% of all videos reach. (Most of which are made by individuals, not brands.)

What is a view, anyway? According to the Media Rating Council (MRC) viewability standard, if 50% of the video pixels show on screen for two consecutive seconds, it counts as a view. If I scroll past your video on my Twitter feed it also counts as a view.

The age of auto-play created amplified stats around video views, which gave marketers an unrealistic picture of how successful their video actually was. Although Facebook and other platforms have stopped auto-play, there’s still some unhealthy expectations of what video can achieve.

Misconceptions about mugshotting yourself:

The other beef I have with video is this: it’s led lots of normal, interesting people to record themselves talking to the camera about, er, nothing much at all.

This type of video content screams ‘look at me’, which isn’t always the message you want to send.

Is there a place for video in marketing? 

Absolutely, yes. Video can be amazingly effective. But you also have to respect what your audience wants. Reach out to them, measure what works, but don’t think you have to do video for the sake of video.

How could video be used more effectively? Here’s some ideas:

  • Create a webinar series (one that’s useful)

Webinars are the best marketing tool for business leads, especially for B2B companies. I’d say, don’t gate your webinars, publish them on-demand on your website so people can watch when they choose to.

Webinars work when you’re dealing with a tricky subject like law, finance and manufacturing. Webinars put the needs of your user first. By offering something of real value, a webinar becomes a useful training vehicle as well as a video marketing asset.

  • Record live footage from events

If you’re attending an event, better still if you’re an event speaker, ask someone to record it for you to share later. This type of video is authentic, sincere and generally helpful.

You could ditch video all together for audio and start a podcast, as long as make sure it’s valuable.

  • Making a case for written content

Of course I would say this, but I believe that written content lasts longer and is more cost effective than video. Shoot me if you like.

Written content is useful, usable, reusable and easy to maintain.

Unlike video that demands your attention, written content doesn’t require you to STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW. You decide when to read it, and most online publications allow you to ‘save for later’.

Content marketing is a long (slow) game. Impressions and clicks are not the same as real ROI. When it comes to solid leads and sales funnel targets, nothing beats written content.

Lean Content is my B2B marketing agency. We do all sorts of cool (written) stuff. Find out more about that here.

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