Mobile video is taking over — can your video marketing strategy keep up?

By Marilyn Wilkinson

It’s no secret mobile video is beginning to dominate digital content. According to Animoto, four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read descriptive content — and social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram have been very open about their “video-first” approach. Developing a strategy based on stories in motion opens up exciting new opportunities for brands, as video has an unparalleled ability to promote brand awareness and recall, go viral and directly affect sales.

However, according to WireBuzz, almost one-third of marketers admitted that a lack of an effective video marketing strategy prevented them from seeing more return on investment (ROI). So, what makes a successful video marketing strategy?

Video marketing effectiveness by channelInvest in 360-degree videos and virtual reality

Digital marketing is a technological arms race, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Both 360-degree videos and virtual reality (VR) offer new opportunities to turn consumers into brand advocates.

In a case study conducted by digital marketing agency Magnifyre, 360-degree video outperformed traditional video in terms of views, completion, cost per impression (CPM) and click-through rate (CTR). Average percentage viewed for these videos was 28.81 percent higher, and twice as many viewers watched the video to completion, despite the same copy, ad spend and content produced.

This trend is set to continue, with forward-thinking brands such as Audi, McDonald’s and the Marriott Hotel all leveraging VR to inspire consumers.

Be in the moment

Live video tends to demonstrate higher engagement than traditional video and social media networks have been quick to react accordingly. Facebook noted that people spend three times as long watching Facebook Live videos compared to recorded video, so the company updated its algorithm in March 2016 to prioritize live content. As a result, live-streaming provides brands with a unique level of organic reach on social networks.

Similarly, temporary content encourages consumers to engage with your brand right now or miss out. It is particularly popular with millennials and younger audiences.

Keep it short and sweet

Research shows a correlation between video length and engagement — according to Invisia, 45 percent of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute, and 60 percent will stop after 2 minutes. These findings align with what is likely a strategic move from major social media networks that encourage shorter videos, with a time limit of 60 seconds for Instagram and 10 seconds for Snapchat.

According to Anand Madhavan from the IBM Digital Analytics Group, “Supplemental videos that are about 30 seconds long which show high-level use of the product or a how-to of the product add to the conversion rate of that product being purchased.”

However, the rules are more flexible with live content, where viewers are inclined to tune in for a longer period of time. This is true particularly in the case of webinars and high-value content.


Optimize for busy, on-the-go smartphone users

As more brands embrace mobile video, consumers are becoming increasingly selective — rewarding brands who offer them a high-quality experience, and dismissing those who don’t. Consequently, videos need to be optimized for real-life user experience and not-ideal viewing conditions. Busy consumers on public transport, who quickly check their social media feeds before they do something else, are unlikely to turn on sound just to watch your video. In fact, research from HubSpot shows 85 percent of videos on Facebook are played without sound. Additionally, because smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time, vertical video is key to both attract and hold the attention of smartphone users.

Incorporate a data-driven approach

Smart marketers will rely on data to drive their video marketing strategy. Experimentation and data crunching can go a long way toward boosting key performance indicators (KPIs) for landing pages and emails. Just like with traditional content marketing, A/B test your videos to optimize and refine the content that provides the best results. Video marketing agency Wirebuzz recommends experimenting with length, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, animated versus talking-head styles and varying hooks in introductions.

Video marketing analytics can be challenging, since different social networks rely on different metrics. For example, one view is counted after three seconds on Facebook and Instagram, compared to 30 seconds on YouTube. Another key challenge is linking video analytics metrics, such as views and audience retention, to bottom-line business metrics. Ask yourself: Which videos generate the most sales? Do viewers who watch certain videos buy more often? How does their buying behavior change if they only view part of a video?

These questions are well worth finding the answers to, since 51.9 percent of marketers report that video marketing generates the best ROI, according to eMarketer. When leveraged correctly, video content combined with data-driven decision making can be hugely impactful at all stages of the marketing funnel, from raising brand awareness to driving sales.

Written By

Marilyn Wilkinson

Digital Analyst, IBM Digital Analytics Group

Marilyn Wilkinson is a Digital Analyst for the IBM Digital Analytics Group (DAG). By combining data analysis and insights with her own knowledge of marketing trends and strategies, she empowers marketing teams to make data-driven decisions. She is passionate about big data, analytics…

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