The verdict’s in – nothing will vanquish video

The humble video has become so popular that you’d be hard pressed to find a website that doesn’t feature some form of it. Outbrain’s Andy Burke explains how marketers can harness its power in their campaigns.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much a video might be worth.

Lively and creative, video is now one of the main ways people consume media. And, as it becomes more popular, it becomes a more integral part of how we navigate the online world and make purchasing decisions.

From behind-the-scenes snippets to demos, video scores points in the ability to portray a product or service’s characteristics more realistically than a static image. And we only need to look towards the rise and dominance of video reviewers and video-dominant platforms to see how it isn’t just a way for people to entertain themselves with the latest viral trend. It’s now a key step on the path to purchase.

And that means marketers and advertisers need to take their video marketing to the next level.

The nuts and bolts

If we think back just 10 years, watching a video was a very different experience to the one we have now. I’m sure we can all recall watching the spinning wheel of death while waiting for videos to load.

We’re a long way from these difficulties, which is a clear sign of how thoroughly video has evolved. But in many cases, marketers are still playing catch up on what the new world of video looks like.

Many may feel it’s a tougher lift to introduce high quality video content into their campaigns. But easier access to video editing software and an evolution in the technology means that pulling together a sophisticated video campaign is well within reach for any company.

In fact, Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing survey for 2022 found that 36 percent of first time video marketers in 2021 decided to use video because it was now quicker and less time consuming to create. There were also 46 percent of respondents who believed that video had become easier to create in house.

So the initial hurdles that marketers had to overcome in implementing video marketing are coming down. That doesn’t mean you or your agency or company has to build a robust video production arm right this second, but encouraging upskilling doesn’t hurt either.

After all, if we’re now requiring our marketers to add video campaigns to their arsenal, we need to ensure we’re building the best creative possible.

Super-boosting campaigns with video

Video has some clear benefits for those who use it well. It’s instantly more engaging and overwhelmingly ranks higher in search results. So when it comes to using video in a campaign, you need to think about which specific KPIs it’s more likely to help you reach.

For example, video can increase brand recall, particularly when logos and brand assets appear earlier in the video. But they’re also particularly powerful for lead conversions and ROI, since most people will turn to video when they’re in the final steps of their research.

Take Rebel, Australia’s largest sports retailer. We recently ran a native advertising campaign for the company to drive traffic to its website and reach a more engaged audience. Multiple Click-to-Watch video campaigns were run, offering an interactive experience, building brand recognition and integrating calls to action – all essentials in generating engagement.

Ultimately, Rebel saw an in-player click through rate of 20 percent, and 21,000 unique visitors per month from the campaign. The campaign proved that using video in native advertising means you can diversify media channels, find the right users and break into new audiences.

But there’s so much video can do beyond just site traffic – by using video across the entire funnel, a marketer can significantly up the engagement factor and speed up the sales cycle.

Of course, when you run a video marketing campaign, there are a few rules of thumb that can help guarantee success. Most people choose to watch videos over their phones, which means your video must be created first for this format. Many also choose to watch on the go, which means subtitles are essential. Last but not least, be snappy and punchy. People are willing to sit through longer videos if you give them a reason to, but you need to give them that reason fast.

If you really want to up the engagement, try giving augmented reality, virtual reality, and 360 degree videos a go. These are a popular way for brands to connect with their consumers in a more immersive and visually engaging way. The pandemic taught us that virtual connection, in many cases, is necessary – and we can expect to see further evolutions to video technology as a result.

We’ve come a long way from clunky in-built video players and handheld camcorders. Given its power as a marketing tool today, any excuses to hold off on implementing video campaigns should be questioned. If you want to find your consumers where they are, a strong video campaign strategy is an essential part of this journey.

Andrew Burke, managing director, APAC and growth markets at Outbrain


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