With rapid changes in technology and greater online access, targeted video is proving to be the most effective way to reach more people, engage the audience and convert buyers. Let’s have a look at the six smart ways marketers are using video to create a competitive advantage in 2015.

1 – Tapping into the Zeitgeist
Whether it’s cats, sporting fails, pop idols or business presentations, there’s no doubt that we watch a lot of video. But what exactly is a lot and how does it increase revenue?

An estimated 750 million people consumed video content worldwide in 2014, and this number is expected to double to 1.5 billion users by 2016. In Australia we spend an average of 17 hours online per month, with 11 hours or 65% of that time streaming video. We do it across multiple devices, often simultaneously.

How does this increase the bottom line?
Think about the middle of 2014, when the internet was ‘awash’ with the ALS ice bucket challenge (sorry, we couldn’t resist). This left-of-field viral method for raising money for the disease ALS resulted in a remarkable 2.4m challenge videos shared on Facebook. Not only did these videos raise awareness, they helped raise an additional $100 million in funding for ALS – a year on year increase of 400%.

Then there was the ‘Epic Split’ campaign for Volvo that featured the legendary action superstar Jean Claude Van Damme. To date, 76 million people have watched in amazement as he did the splits between the wing mirrors of two reversing trucks to demonstrate their Dynamic Steering system.

With an estimated $70 million worth of media exposure from the video, there was a 31% increase of year on year truck sales following the video. If these two campaigns demonstrate anything, it is firstly that video works. Secondly, it’s a sign that marketers should go out on a limb (sorry, we’re on a roll here) for their creative briefs if they want to capture large scale audiences.

So how do we watch and where?
Google, through its YouTube platform, captures an estimated 26% of the internet video market share, with Facebook coming in second at 13%. Major video advertising platforms like AOL, TubeMogul, Videology and LifeRail account for another 12%, with the remaining 49% a combination of everyone else.

Inside information…
Topping 1 billion daily views from an approximate 1.35 billion monthly users, it’s no surprise that Facebook are seeking to leverage their audience to become the number one video platform, and as such, they’ve recently added ‘YouTube-like’ features to its software. Rumour suggests that LinkedIn is likely to follow suit in 2015.

2 – Getting Reach
When it comes to exposure, it’s not just Van Damme spreadeagled on a truck that we’re talking about.

What’s the best way to get better SEO? Go to the front of the class if you said ‘video’. Sure, YouTube is great if you want to rank your video, but it’s a different story if you want high rankings on search engines. With video professionally embedded into your site, there’s an approximately 150% increased likelihood of a front page ranking on Google.

What about video in email campaigns?
It can be hard to be heard inside people’s cluttered inboxes, but a clever choice of words creates greater visibility, and the word ‘video’ in your subject line can increase open rates between 7%-13%. Add to this a video image in the email itself and CTR is increased by 21%. That’s a pretty significant return by anyone’s standards. If you need guidance to increase the reach of your brand, contact Viocorp for professional support.

3 – Maximising Engagement
Once you have an audience, the next step is to get them to stay. This is where video comes into its own. Using video increases the time spent on a web page by a remarkable 243%. Not only that, but the use of videos increases audience understanding of your product or service by a whopping 74%.

A perfect example of this greater understanding is the furniture retailer Matt Blatt. By embedding Viocorp video content into their site, audience engagement increased by an extraordinary 350%. The conversion rate to sales went up by 183%, with a corresponding increase of 6.4% in the average sales order. That’s a lot of bums on seats (again, we’re sorry).

With these statistics in mind, it stands to reason that brands are now seeking to be providers of their own unique content. The Marriott hotel chain, for instance, are releasing three separate ‘webisodes’ in the next 12 months, including a travel show and a comedy based on the daily lives of two bellhops. Created within their own content marketing studio, this global creative project aims to make Marriott the go-to brand for travel entertainment.

A well designed video resource section will go a long way to make this happen. Creating such an online portal – a ‘branded YouTube’ essentially – helps engage your audience and get them to stick around. Stats show that live content increases viewer engagement by up to 10 times across connected TV, desktop, tablet and mobile platforms.

4 – Driving Conversion
While it’s often said that a picture speaks a thousand words, video is the key to increasing customer purchases. If your video is tailored to explaining a specific product or service, 73% of all customers are more likely to make a purchase after viewing it.

Apple once again shows the way in their marketing for the iPhone 6. Simple and stylish with the trademark Apple aesthetic and strong calls to action, Apple uses video to drive home its competitive advantage.

Conversion content is in many ways the easiest and best way to truly reflect what you have to offer. In a survey earlier this year, 71% of marketers confirmed that video converts better than any other type of content.

5 – Getting Personal
In an increasingly crowded marketplace, it’s the personal touch that can really connect you with your audience. Cloud telephony company Nextiva has taken an innovative approach to this with their targeted Nextiva Cares videos and tweets. With an average length of 10 seconds, each video involves a personalised thank you video from a Nextiva‘s customer support representative to their clients.

6 – Disrupting Traditional Production
It wasn’t that long ago that producing a video was a costly, complicated and drawn out process. The advent of hand held video technology has disrupted the traditional methods of production, with an entire video able to be filmed on an iPhone with an iPad as a teleprompter.

Luxury automotive company Bentley took this simple approach to a whole new level, creating a beautiful mini documentary on an iPhone 5s. Flawless in execution and aesthetic, the video seamlessly balances the timeless elegance of Bentley with cutting edge technology to create what is unquestionably a piece of art.

So what’s the fundamental message in all of this?

A smart marketer now uses targeted video to reach a wider audience and convert consumers of video content to sales. Has this been helpful?

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