Using Video In Marketing: Why Wouldn’t You?

Those who read my “stuff” as the late George Carlin would refer to it, know I don’t usually use such direct, conversational titles. I write very conversationally, however I am not one prone to using that tone when it comes to titles of my articles.

But in this case, after toying with a more traditional approach, I pretty much said: the heck with it and went with Using Video In Marketing: Why Wouldn’t You? because it’s exactly how I feel. Consider just some of the following stats, courtesy of CodeFuel, when it comes to video then ask yourself: Why wouldn’t you?

  • 70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium.
  • The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video than without.
  • 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
  • Using the word “Video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduces unsubscribe rates by 26%.
  • 69% of smartphone users say videos are a perfect solution for smartphone viewing as it offers a quick way for consumers to grasp an overview of a product.

I could go on, trust me. But I will stop here.

So, if you’re a marketer and you’re not using video as part of your overall integrated marketing endeavors: Why Wouldn’t You?

Well before you answer, let me tell you if you are not using video, you’re not alone. Here’s one more stat to chew on:Only 24% of brands are using online video to market to consumers.

Big And Small

As for the 24% of brands who are using video, you can count both large and small brands among them. The CEO of Gempacked, Cyrus Nemani says “we use video marketing to give tutorials on how to use the different jewelry making components that we sell.”

One of the larger brands is one you may have heard of before. They’re the ones with the golden arches. I asked Matt Biespiel, McDonald’s Senior Director Global Brand Development how they incorporate video into their overall content strategy.

“McDonald’s was one of the first companies to build a brand and drive our business with television advertising,” he told me. “As viewing habits evolved, we also evolved our strategy to continue being part of the conversation. Today, we look at creating unique video content across multiple platforms. TV stills plays a major role in how we express our brand.”

He added that the in-store experience is benefitting from video, too telling me that many restaurants are shifting to digital menu boards, giving them an exciting opportunity for video storytelling at the point of sale.

Biespiel warns that video is not one size fits all. “Marketers need to understand that one size does not fit all. Marketers can’t expect to cut a 30-second TV commercial and use that exact edit on a YouTube pre-roll. It won’t work. At McDonald’s, we look for the idea first, then customize the content across multiple channels.”

On the opposite end of the video spectrum are the small business owners, themselves taking full advantage of video.

Dustin Williams, owner of Aquarium Finatics in Utah believes ”adding videos to content when presenting new concepts or telling a story, gives readers a valuable visual element to help them understand the information, and visualize the ideas being presented to them.”

Then there’s Ocean Gallery condominiums in St. Augustine, Florida. “We post videos to our Instagram account to showcase the beautiful weather or if there’s a storm coming,” says marketing manager Sherri Johnson. “While still images are fine and we use them, too – using video is a great way to engage with our customers and prospects.”

Immersive Video

Not long ago I was introduced to a gentleman named Keith Rivers, the founder of a Seattle-based agency called Workhouse Creative. Now you may not have heard of the agency but you certainly heard of some of their clients who include the aforementioned McDonald’s as well as Tesla, Ford and Capitol Records.

We spoke on the phone, Rivers and I as I wanted to pick his brain on the use of video, mobile and mistakes. In that order. I sent him some questions via email and here’s what we talked about.

Steve Olenski: You mentioned to me on the phone that you and your team create “immersive videos that grab your attention and take you through a journey.” Can you elaborate on that in terms of the why and the how you do this?

Keith Rivers: Our jobs have evolved from brand’s saying, “I have this problem, I don’t have time to show up to the shoot, but I need it all done in 3-4 weeks.” Or, “We have this idea, but we need your help and we want to make sure the result is amazing.” To, “Hey, now that we’ve got this great video, how can we make it a campaign?”

We act quickly and think about the process as it unfolds organically. Cutting through the politics of getting started and just allowing everyone to create the best result that we possibly can with what we have is a very satisfying approach because it dismantles this nervous bomb of threatening people, instead, it empowers a team. It builds trust and teamwork between the brand and creative partner. I have to say, I enjoy every moment when brands approach creating content like this.

Our mission is to tell stories for brands with meaning and influence. We’re shaping honest and engaging conversations that brands will continue to have with their customers. The only way we can achieve this is to fully immerse ourselves into a brand’s identity and take the problem head on, with them as our co-pilot. I think the finished results of our work speaks largely to how we worked together, even when a brand had no idea how to have a conversation with a creative collaborator like us.

Olenski: What role does mobile play in all this? How much is mobile factored in when you create a video?

Rivers: The landscape has changed dramatically. Mobile used to be considered an afterthought, and while it still works this way a majority of the time, it’s becoming more tactful to develop content specifically for a 4-6″ screen. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report issued earlier this year, there were 5.2 billion mobile phone users globally in 2014 resulting in 73 percent population penetration. This means nearly three out of four people on our planet own mobile phones and 40 percent of mobile phone users own smartphones.

I believe micro-content already dominates the mobile video realm across many different channels, however brands are still wary to build this audience until it actually generates more of a return. Right now, we take on projects that are both mobile specific and an afterthought. I think it’s project-specific, but I believe mobile can be tactfully integrated in to almost any campaign.

Olenski: What are some of the bigger mistakes you see brands making when it comes to video?

Rivers: The mistakes are all too cliché and common and have never happened to me, just my friends (haha): too many cooks in the kitchen, changed direction half way through post production without any clear communication or understanding, lack of direction, lack of communication, lack of time, legal and overcautious, assumptive or afraid, too broad of a target audience or no target audience, etc.

The smartest brands invest in relationships that they believe in, are unassuming, keep a constant line of communication going (that isn’t judgmental), trust the creative collaboration, and are optimistic and irrational at the same time. Behind the curtain of every successful video we’ve ever delivered is an amazing brand partner who has been irrationally optimistic.

This post originally appeared on Forbes.

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