Video: The Best Way to Thrive in Today’s Attention Economy

 Photo:  Juno Lee  License:  Creative Commons

Photo: Juno Lee License: Creative Commons

If you’re anywhere as near as ADD as I am online, you might find yourself wondering:

“How can I reach someone in a meaningful way? How can I convince them to give my business a chance?”

With so many distractions online, it’s only becoming more difficult to focus. There are so many websites to choose from, and a million other options to hold people’s attention if your message doesn’t capture it and hold it.

I hardly even notice text or banner ads anymore. And I’m not alone. An Infolinks study revealed that 86% of consumers suffer from “banner blindness” online.

But videos?

I can’t ignore those. And neither should you.

Businesses Struggle to Get Noticed in Today’s Crowded Online Space

In an increasingly competitive online space, businesses in a variety of industries strive to do whatever it takes to make themselves memorable. It’s the only way to separate themselves from the pack and connect with prospects on a deeper level.

The best tactics to do this are changing, but the principles remain the same. If a business can get their ideal customer’s attention and convey they can provide a solution to their problems – and that they can do it better than anyone else – they have the makings of a successful sales process.

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are stuck at step one. They can’t find a way to cut through all the noise online. Seth Godin sums up this problem in a post about the attention economy:

Every interaction comes with a cost. Not in cash money, but in something worth even more: the attention of the person you’re interacting with.

As you’re about to see, video is a viable strategy to help you win some of this valuable attention. And it isn’t just viable; numerous reports reveal businesses will be hard-pressed to find a more effective medium to help them grow over time.

Is Using Video a Viable Long-Term Strategy?

Many businesses have embraced video marketing as a new strategy to address the changing conditions online. Software Advice revealed in their 2012 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey that around 85% of 155 marketers surveyed used video as a part of their marketing strategy that year.

Demand generation benchmark

While many companies have jumped in head first and made video a prominent part of their marketing strategies, others have hesitated.

Maybe their current strategies are still working well for them. Or they feel they can’t devote time or resources expanding into a new marketing medium.

There are also concerns over whether video marketing is a fad or here to stay. The last thing businesses want to do is pour their resources into building a platform that will be outdated or swept out from under them in the next 5 or 10 years.

So, is video marketing something you should invest in with a long-term view in mind? Or is it just a short-term play?

The Exploding Popularity of Video Marketing: No End in Sight.

An examination of the data leads to only one conclusion: video marketing is here to stay.

Video production and consumption have skyrocketed over the past few years. And all the signs point for this to continue into the future.

Industry expert Cisco predicts that video traffic will account for 69% of all global consumer Internet traffic by 2017. Cisco also predicts the number of videos to double to 1.5 billion by 2016.

This changing online landscape won’t just mean more silly cat videos and YouTube rants either.

The expansion of video used for commercial purposes will play a key role in contributing to video’s domination online.

In a 2013 eMarketer report, 51.9% of marketing professionals listed “video” as the best type of content when it came to ROI.

E-marketer video return on investment (ROI)

Nielsen claims that almost two-thirds – 64% -- of marketers expect video marketing to dominate their strategies going forward. And with good reason…

Video Isn’t Just Popular. It’s Also Incredibly Profitable

Investing in video as part of your marketing strategy won’t just make you hip to the times. It also provides a host of benefits to boost your marketing ROI and make your business more profitable online.

Video allows you to connect with your target market by delivering important information to them in memorable, easy-to-digest chunks. It has the potential to be exponentially more powerful than written content. According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.”

On retail websites, comScore states that visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a related video. Visitors who watch videos on your website also stay on your website longer – an average of 2 additional minutes – which is good for SEO and gives you more opportunities to turn them into buyers.

Another appealing aspect of video is its inherent shareability. Video gets you access to huge platforms like YouTube, which serves over 1 billion unique visitors per day. A three-video campaign from Volkswagen was viewed over 155 million times. Here’s one of the videos from the campaign:

Commercial video content is also more memorable than the written word

The Online Publishers Association reported that about 80% of Internet users recalled watching particular video ads on a website they visited within the past 30 days. Of that 80%, 52% took various degrees of action in response to the ad.

Did you know using video could also make your business more credible? In 2013, 57% of consumers said that watching product videos online makes them more confident in making purchase decisions. That’s up from 52% of customers the year before.

There’s hardly a better way to sell your product or service than show its capabilities in use. Infomercials, as cheesy as they are, have been doing it for decades. Here’s an especially corny one for the “Magic Bullet:”

Infomercials have hung around so long for one reason: their method is profitable. 71% of consumers say that video is the best way to bring product features to life.

Over to You

Even if your marketing strategy is working well for you now, you could make it even more effective going forward by investing in video.

Video is memorable, effective, and easy to consume and share

Using it well allows you to cut through all the noise online and connect with prospects on a deeper level.

Embracing this strategy sooner rather than later will give you the time you need to create content and perfect your strategy. This puts you in the perfect position months and years from now as video continues to become even more popular.

The principles of effective marketing don’t change, but the best way to apply them does. Adopt video as part of your strategy today!