Influencer marketing is at a turning point. In the days ahead of VidCon, marketing executives in Cannes, France, have been calling for more transparency from influencers and the platforms that promote them, such as Instagram. For example, Unilever CMO Keith Weed said his company will not work with influencers who buy followers. Meanwhile, in Anaheim, marketers can meet and learn from 30,000 attendees, many of whom are teenage fans of influencers along with up-and-coming and established creators.
Marketing via video is the biggest way to reach people today. It is nearly unstoppable. Instagram, the photo sharing app phenom acquired by Facebook for X billion announced IGTV this week to add one hour “long form” video options to its platform.
The Instagram announcement comes as 40,000 people (my rough estimate based on 30,000-plus attended in 2017) converge in Anaheim to attend the popular VidCon (acquired by Viacom earlier this year). The annual event is a force of nature all on its own, started in 2010 by two other forces of nature; brothers, Hank Green and John Green, aka the VlogBrothers, creators of Crash Course (popular education site; approaching 8 million subscriber level popular), and book authors. The event testifies to power and future of video as the event caters to fans, creators, and industry leaders come together, simply take a look at the sponsor list.
What does this have to do with Video Marketing for Business?
Everything. Video is the most ubiquitous marketing tool. Hate it. Love it. It doesn’t matter. No matter how many times, you wish that ad would go away before you can watch the brand new music video for God’s Plan (Drake), or how foolish you think video is as a medium.
It is not going away anytime soon and it presents a rather enormous opportunity. If VidCon isn’t enough evidence, then check out some of these facts that may make your head spin (the last two should help you consider it as a means to connect with customers and prospects):
More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day
More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major US television networks have created in 30 years
By 2021, a million minutes (17,000 hours) of video content will cross global IP networks every, single second
Did you know that the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video? This fact alone should encourage you to consider adding video to your marketing.
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text?
It is rather obvious I am saying video in marketing is essential today. Most of us in business or marketing know this, but many are still sitting on the fence, not producing, not creating video. Partially, because it isn’t easy to do and comes with a bit of a learning curve. It has a bit of fear factor to it. Many of us do not want to be on-camera. There are other options, of course, and many examples exist of product demos or tutorials where there is no person on-screen, just a voice. VidCon was clearly meant to address some of these challenges with its “Creator” track meant to help people get started with their own video shows and channels.
After writing, Top 10 Video Marketing Trends And Statistics Roundup 2017, last fall and watching it get shared many times, I knew I had to start studying video again as a means to connect with customers, readers, and viewers. If Forbes would have let me, I would have recorded this post.
In fact, I am starting to test video again as a way to provide content to the maker, small urban manufacturers, small business owners, and marketing executives that I have as customers now. I am doing a series using Animoto (a super easy to use online service that I have used and reviewed elsewhere and to which I have recently been granted a short-term media pass). The service makes it easy to put together a polished, professional-looking video by assembling the parts — from still photos to short video clips to various effects they have available (including music).
I’ll also use desktop video editing tools like TechSmith’s Camtasia ($249, or $99 if you have an older version to upgrade) and Cyberlink PowerDirector ($79). All of these have free trials. If you will spend just a small amount of time testing the video creation tools available today, you will find video is not nearly as challenging.
Let me close with an example: Not too long ago, Chobani knocked Yoplait off its perch as head monarch of the Kingdom of Yogurt. One could argue that it’s simply because it tastes better—but that is obviously not the case (Disclaimer: I’m not impartial on this particular issue; Yoplait is delicious). However, it is because of Chobani’s smart ad campaign, that they’ve pulled ahead.
Chobani cleverly partnered with Tasty to post some quick videos on Instagram on how you could make some tasty treats like smoothie or berry pops out of their yogurt. Tasty, is well renowned for its eye-catching and mouth-watering treats that are posted on Instagram, featuring bright colors, along with the recipes that are demonstrated in less than a minute. The short runtime helps keep my attention from wandering, and, as an added bonus, makes the recipe, no matter how intricate, look like it is easy and that a first-grader could make it. (Hint: They’re not). I tried making one of Tasty’s recipes, a delectable looking s’more cookie, and they turned out nothing more than ugly, gooey (but admittedly Tasty™), blobs. We did eat and enjoy them, nonetheless.
It doesn’t matter how hard or how long it takes to make these things in real life, though. All that matters is that Chobani got a well-known social media foodie channel to create some hip recipes for them, and then shoot them in favorable, attention-grabbing angles, which pushed them past their biggest competitor. While they also did some other advertising stuff (a technical term, to be sure), that was by far the most popular and successful one.
Again, video is not just important, it is an essential part of marketing for our modern age. And, whether you’re advertising yogurt, music, or the next big social media platform, it’s important to have a steady stream (pun intended) of video content. Just ask the Green brothers with VidCon or their super-popular channels, or ask Instagram why they added the new IGTV. You can’t live without video in your marketing toolbox.