is video an opportunity for marketers? an interview with Michael Littlf we’re going to focus on content marketing basics and deliver the kind of content our customers are looking for, then sooner or later we have to ask: is video an opportunity for marketers?

I think visual content will play a much more prominent role in the future of marketing as more and more of us look for quick, consumable chunks of content. I’ve already covered Slideshare as one of the areas where more marketers should focus.

In this article, I am honored to bring you an interview with an expert on video marketing, Michael Litt is the CEO and Co-Founder of video marketing platform company Vidyard

Is video an opportunity for brands?

Absolutely! Your target audience is constantly exposed to massive amounts of content from competitors via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and e-mail. And while it’s certainly a noisy world out there with so many distribution channels in the mix, most people have come to expect and prefer a “lean back experience” rather than consuming endless walls of text. Video is a great way to tell a story and distribute a message in a creative way without exhausting your audience.

How big is the video marketing opportunity?

The opportunity to creatively engage your audience is always a massive one  - up until now it has been possible to create video and promote it the best you can to increase viewership, but you weren’t really able to collect actionable data about your audience. That said, current video capabilities really meet the modern marketers needs in that video is not only a preferred means of content consumption, but it’s increasingly measurable with all of the insights and data now available.

In terms of the future scope of video, the data doesn’t lie.  According to Cisco, consumer Internet video traffic will be 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2017, up from 57 percent in 2012.

People are consuming web-video on their commute, at work and at home via their tablets and TVs – if you take a moment to think about it, you’ve probably interacted with a handful of videos today. Just the fact that you can likely remember and list the content you’ve visually seen from brands today speaks to the value of video for marketers. Video is memorable and interactive; it invites you to lean in, listen, and engage.

Beyond consumption data, it’s likely that your competitors have yet to establish an appropriate video strategy as part of their content marketing initiative, so now’s the time to beat them to the punch!

Are marketers scared of video?

2 years ago – Yes. Today – I’m not so confident in that answer. There are brands in all spaces dominating branded video content. If you don’t believe me, I’d recommend taking a peek at what Salesforce and the Home Depot are doing. With big names taking on video early in the game, it’s safe to say brands are engaging with video and that it’s not a safe bet to remain intimidated by video if your brand hasn’t participated yet. It’s a huge opportunity to enforce your brand’s message and relevance in your industry.

Why? Is it because video seems to be in the realm of agencies or production houses and a lack of in house skill? The perceived big budgets? The lack of metrics? Integration with the other marketing tools they are using? 

Some marketers are still intimidated by video for all of those reasons.

Video has always been perceived as expensive because of what I like to call, the Super Bowl effect. Every video you produce does not need to be a Super Bowl commercial; brands have already established incredibly engaged audiences using what some would perceive as low quality Instagram and Vine videos. More and more marketers are realizing that you don’t need an expensive in-house studio to produce quality content. Genuine, helpful videos directed at customer needs and frequently asked questions go a long way to get you started and you don’t need a creative agency to get this type of content going.

With respect to metrics, video has traditionally been incredibly hard to analyze and subsequently hard to justify via ROI, so it’s easy to see why brands begin to shy away. But with the behind-the-scenes data you can capture now, marketers really have access to the black box behind video performance. You can see how many people are viewing your content, for how long, and email gate video assets to capture qualified leads. These are all helpful insights you can pass on to your sales team that were previously unavailable.

Lucky for those investing in video, connecting your video content with Marketing Automation and CRM tools is a relatively new capability that increases the messages ability to connect with and influence a brand’s bottom line. Most marketers are still unaware of these functionalities at this point in time, but could definitely start making use of these powerful new integrations.

With Instagram and Vine now making video more accessible for the masses – will more brands begin to take advantage of video?

Mobile apps have created unique opportunities for brands to connect with their audience on their commutes, in their living rooms and dare I say, bathrooms. There are many consumer, prosumer and B2B brands that have succeeded on YouTube alone.

Both, Instagram and Vine remove many barriers around creating quick and incredibly engaging content. I think we’ll see some of the most innovative brands on YouTube doing very well on these new, social platforms as well.

What is one-thing brands can do to take advantage of the opportunity with video?

Identify gaps within your vertical and target market that you can win easily with some quick “How-To” video content. Salesforce did a terrific job of this in the early days with their “What is Social” and “What is Cloud Computing” videos.

Google ranked these videos well within search as they were A) on YouTube, and B) had very relevant and digestible content that explained both topics in a clear and engaging way.

You can do the same and it’s all easier than you think.

Michael Litt is the CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video marketing platform helping marketers measure the impact of their video content. Thought leader, surfer, and serial entrepreneur, Michael is passionate about content marketing and changing the way we engage and purchase with video. Chat with Michael on Twitter @MichaelLitt or LinkedIn to learn more.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and Google+ or Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the Head of Strategy for the leading content marketing platform, NewsCred. He is also the author of B2B Marketing Insider, a contributor to Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to B2B Marketing Insider by Email

12 Comments

  1. Bernie Borges said…

    Michael,
    I agree with Michael Litt’s thoughts on the subject of video in content marketing. As he points out, people are consuming video content on their mobile devices throughout the day and evening…While we are seeing increased use of video by marketers, the biggest hurdle remains the perception that it is expensive and complex. There is some truth to that.

    Other than shooting video with your smartphone, it does require some gear and some editing skills. Many organizations simply don’t have the resources to pull it off. But, more of them are experimenting with video. So, we can expect to see increased use of video in content marketing.

    Bernie Borges

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Thanks Bernie, I agree with you that writing a blog is still much easier than producing a video, even one that might be ok with the camera on your smart phone. It takes thought, writing, scripting, production, promotion. But with the amount of time our audience is spending with it, the cost should be worth the effort.

      • Justin said…

        Right Michael.

        As studies show visually we memorize things much faster than by reading.
        Video as visual way of presenting information is great way to get people interested and get people to remember what they have seen.
        How many times we have read a blog and forgot what was in it day later.
        With videos its much easier to memorise and extra mile to get one done properly will profit long term.

  2. Michael Gerard said…

    Thanks Michael (squared). Any new technology and marketing channel that has the potential of offering my organization an advantage in the marketplace peaks my interest. Historically, the resources needed after producing the video have been the key barrier for me. However, this seems to be changing rapidly, thereby increasing the potential for positive ROI. (not to mention the ability to measure ROI ! )

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Great point Michael #3. We cannot separate content creation from distribution. The “share-ability” of content needs to be considered. if nothing else, this should prevent content that no one wants to read from being created.

  3. Carol Casey said…

    Nice interview. The demand from our clients for quality video content is growing. Good point about it being a competitive differentiator since it is still early days for B2B companies. Quality trumps quantity but I appreciate your point about keeping production value and costs to a reasonable level. The ability to re-edit to keep video content fresh greatly improves the ROI.

    • Michael Brenner said…

      Thanks Carol, I just heard someone say that content with visual elements get read or shared 70% more than content without it. Compelling Video is becoming a mandate for marketers and brands.

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