The writing is on the wall – online video is primed to make a major splash with marketers this year.
I recently wrote an article for iMedia Connections where I broke down my top three online marketing predictions for 2013. Obviously, posts like these are extremely popular toward the end of the year, as seemingly every blogger on the ‘Net takes their shot at becoming the Nostradamus for their particular mediums. Naturally, I wanted to get in on the action.
I had read a couple of marketing-related prediction pieces already, but none had mentioned the one trend that seemed most obvious to me: that online video is ready to explode with B2B marketers in 2013. This omission surprised me since, as predictions go, this one seemed like the safest bet of all.
After all, video marketing has been gaining traction with online marketers for a while now. As a content marketing tactic, the popularity of online video has risen drastically over the last few years, and is now one of the most used tools among B2Bs. But this interest in video has intensified for a reason, particularly as marketers have gained a stronger appreciation for the benefits it can bring to their marketing and sales enablement strategies. For example:
Online video makes it easier to generate more content. The top challenge for content marketers in 2012? Creating enough resources to keep up with content demands. Video opens up new opportunities to repurpose existing content quickly. Blog post topics can be transformed into short videos. PowerPoint slides can be converted into presentations. The list goes on, but the result is the same – video leads to more quality content for businesses.
Online video opens companies up to new marketing channels. It’s been said a zillion times, but YouTube averages 4 billion hits each day, and holds high authority in Google search. By creating more online video content, B2Bs can open up their messaging to whole new audience of potential buyers, while also creating more effective video-based ad campaigns (like on LinkedIn).
Online video extends the life of webinars and events. Live webinars and in-person conferences provide a great way to generate new leads and build relationships with customers and prospects. And then, they’re over. But with online video, marketers can post webinar presentations and event content to the Web to be viewed on-demand, allowing them to continue to attract new audiences that were unable to attend the live sessions.
Online video increase the effectiveness of email marketing and demand generation campaigns. No matter what anyone tells you, email is still one of the best ways to connect with new customers and raise awareness for your brand. But it only works if you have strong content to support it. Short videos help email marketers stand out from the rest of the whitepaper-crazed masses, and have been proven to increase click-through and open rates in many cases.
Despite the clear value of all these benefits, however, the biggest reason why video marketing is set to have its biggest year ever is that online video is easier and less costly to produce than ever before. Nearly every smartphone and tablet these days comes with its own video recorder built-in. Free editing software has become increasingly easy to use. And of course, solutions like Brainshark make it simple to leverage things like PowerPoint and other documents to create engaging, voice-enriched presentations without ever picking up a video camera.
Add it all up, and it’s clear that online video is a safe bet to be one of the hottest trends in online marketing this year. The question is – are you ready?
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