Video Marketing Lessons from the Airline Industry

August 07, 2014 | Ann Lambert
Video Marketing Lessons from the Airline Industry

Video killed the radio star. And ever since, it has been killing static content. Especially as online video content has become easily accessible virtually anywhere there is an internet-connected device, it’s now one of the one of the most preferred (and even expected) channels for receiving information.

Why read an ad when you can be sucked into the brand experience through an action-packed 30-second clip?

Why read an article on a rising trend when you can watch an animated parody or viral video that will surely surface within 24 hours of the trend blowing-up?

Why read about product updates or new releases when a 90-second clip can tell you everything you need to know about the cool new features—and let you see them in action?

Over the past few years, the airline industry has been doing its part to harness the power of video, evolving from informational safety pamphlets, to dry instructional videos that everybody drowned out with their own music of choice (oh please, just admit it), to now re-vamped fully-loaded mini-movies that you just can’t seem to stop watching.

Related Article: 10 Video Marketing Content Ideas that Anyone Can Use

“Airlines are starting to seize the opportunity to imprint key aspects of their brand on a captive audience,” quotes Grant Martin in this Forbes article. “Not only do snappy safety videos increase engagement on the flight, but offline they become a vehicle for heightened brand visibility as the content spread across social media.”

While it started with Delta and United has followed suit, Virgin America steals the show with this song and dance number:   

So, what can B2Bs learn from all this? Rest assured, you do not need to hire choreographed flight attendants and cute little break dancing kids to create content that sells (unless that’s in your Q3 budget… which is awesome). But the video above does speak to 3 broader points:

Video is an attention-grabber                                          

This is a pretty obvious, though not unimportant, point. If nothing else, the Virgin America video has gotten the attention of its audience for a topic that would otherwise be ignored. If you are a B2B marketer trying to get prospects to read brochures, blog posts, or even simple web copy about product specs, for example, it can be worth looking ways to supplement those resources with video content when you can.

Video appeals to the masses

One of the most popular types of content used across channels, video appears in over 70% of Google search results. As B2B marketers, that kind of brand visibility is king. Not convinced? Within two weeks of its release, the Virgin America safety video got over 5.8 million YouTube views, 430,000 Facebook shares, and 17,000 tweets—all without anybody even stepping on a plane! I’ll let those numbers sit with you while I make my final point.

Video makes it easier to measure your ROI

This Brightcove interview reports that video helps increase website conversion rates by more than 65%, which is an excellent stat. But video gives you a much deeper insight into your ROI than just a conversion rate. A simple YouTube search reveals that the Virgin America safety video has been viewed over 9 million times, at an average of 2 minutes and 59 seconds per view, for a total of 55 years’ worth of viewing time.

The ability to measure how much of your video was watched, and when viewers dropped off, is valuable data for B2B marketers (data that is not available with a content asset like a whitepaper or an eBook—which can be downloaded and potentially never read).

So as you think about your marketing strategy for the second half of 2014 and beyond, consider churning out some video content assets that will excite your audience. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight into B2B content stardom.

Video Marketing Essentials

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