If you’re anything like the majority of B2B marketers and businesses, you’ve already sunk your teeth into a content marketing strategy. And if you’re like more than half of that group, you’re so impressed with the results that you plan to increase your investment this year.
But here’s a bit of news: If you invest your time and money in content marketing without planning for video, you’ll be missing out on a substantial opportunity to engage and convert potential customers.
Let’s start with the obvious: Most of us — as humans and as consumers — put a huge premium on authenticity. And while content-heavy marketing is effective and relatively low-cost, it often fails to create an authentic connection between a brand and its customer base. Video marketing, on the other hand, bridges the gap between your brand’s message and your customers’ genuine interest.
Here’s a perfect — and emotionally moving — example:
Start With Content, and Grow With Video
If you’re already reaping the benefits of a well-polished content marketing strategy, you might wonder why you need to change anything. But here are four unique benefits of adding a video component to your digital marketing strategy that content alone simply can’t deliver:
1. Robust, Trackable Data
Traditional content marketing allows you to track a number of key performance indicators, but the data you track is comprised of after-the-fact insights, not proactive, targeted insights.
Rather than assess how effective your efforts were, enhanced targeting tools on video platforms allow you to tailor specific content toward demographic and psychographic personas interested in your message from the outset. The result is highly targeted content that proactively seeks out the right audience.
2. Higher Audience Engagement Rates
Ever-increasing ad-space competition means that every kind of advertising method must continually prove its viability. And native advertising? It’s consistently ranked on top.
In fact, consumers are25 percent more likely to look at a native ad than a banner, and they look at native ads 53 percent more often. What’s more, the native advertising market is set to hit$2.36 billion this year, which totals 38.9 percent of paid social ad expenditures in the U.S.
3. Access to a Large, Young Demographic Base
Looking to engage the 18- to 35-year-old market? YouTube marketing will give you a distinct advantage. Original online video content reaches 52 million American adults per month — with 39 percent of that audience composed of the young demographic range. This should come as no surprise, given reports that digital content has quickly become just as popular as prime-time TV.
4. A Built-In Mobile Strategy
Do you have a mobile strategy, or is that something you’re planning to tackle later? Well, “later” is now: 189 million of Facebook’s users are mobile-only, and mobile makes up almost 40 percent of YouTube’s total global watch time. Video marketing allows you to represent your brand on mobile as a natural conduit between your customers and your digital marketing assets.
Complement Content With Video
While these numbers and facts are exciting, don’t rush in and reinvent your strategy overnight. Here are three ways you can use video content to complement your existing content marketing strategies and build a strong foundation for the changes:
- Plan video content with YouTube in mind. In the U.S. alone, digital advertising is set to hit $10 billion by 2015 and surpass $17 billion by 2017. YouTube has proven itself a worthy candidate for a good portion of this spending. The platform was up 51 percent in revenue for 2013 and earned more than $5 billion in earnings. Maximize your opportunities in the video marketing space by starting the planning process with the YouTube platform in mind.
- Embrace collaboration. When you launch your video content, it’s important to view work with YouTube influencers as collaborations rather than outright ownership over the content and idea. By fostering a dynamic relationship with these content creators, you won’t limit yourself to a one-time partnership or limited campaign.
- Use verticals to your advantage. A good video strategy will enable your brand to complement its existing marketing efforts and target content toward certain verticals. This function allows you to focus on groups of people that already have something in common with your brand, increasing the likelihood that they will engage or convert as a result of your call to action.
As satisfied as you might be with the results of your traditional content marketing strategy, video is too important (and effective) to ignore. Step forward into this medium with the right tools and attitude toward collaboration to take your content marketing efforts to a whole new level.