With the rise of readily accessible and widespread broadband Internet throughout the United States, the proliferation of video content as a means to communicate with consumers has led to many marketing professionals considering the benefits and costs of adding video production into their marketing plans. Everyone loves watching movies and television, but are online videos really an effective means to grow product sales, increase brand awareness, and benefit other, existing marketing efforts? Statistics continue to indicate that video is a significant and worthwhile driver of product sales, conversion rates, marketing engagement, brand awareness, and overall business growth.

According to eMarketer, four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product compared to reading about it. The difference is easy to understand, not because video is inherently better than text (after all, you’re reading this article, right?), but because there’s a big difference between a friend describing the beauty of a new sports car he saw and the same friend opening his smart phone and showing you a picture or a video of the car. Rather than relying on imagination, a video brings the product to life for consumers and makes it feel real in a way that simple text alone cannot do. Not to mention many products have innovative components and design elements that are best showcased in a video where consumers can see the functionality, rather than merely reading about it.

Zappos-ScreenshotMany online retailers, including pioneer Zappos, which was one of the first to feature widespread video use on its product pages, have moved to including videos on many or most of their product pages to drive conversions. Analytics company comScore found that 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. According to Aberdeen Group, the average conversion rate for a Website with video is 4.8% versus a Website without, which is just 2.9%. The same research group also found that businesses using video grow company revenue 49% faster year-over-year than organizations without any video components to their marketing plans.

Quality

Just having a video in general is not enough to accomplish long-term marketing goals and company growth, however. Quality is important to the marketing power of a video. Brightcove found that 62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that publishes a poor quality video. If a company has no quality control standards on their own marketing, what should consumers assume about the product and why should they assume it will be any better or more carefully created than its video? Quality videos need not cost a fortune to produce, but they should be undertaken by video professionals with knowledge of lighting, camera equipment, editing, music integration, and the full suite of tools at the disposal of a modern production company.

Product Video Examples

Many marketers are using video not just on product landing pages, but also to drive overall engagement with their customers or potential customers. According to Forrester, when marketers included a video in an e-mail, the click-through rate increased by 200-300%. Consumers enjoy videos, especially well produced ones, and are more likely to be curious about a product when presented with a nice video rather than a wall of text in an e-mail sales pitch. Brainshark found that using the word “video” in an e-mail subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduces unsubscribes by 26%. Most successful companies listen to their customers in the development of products, so using videos to engage customers when the statistics indicate their customers prefer it makes good sense if one believes the mantra, “The customer is always right.”

Video Placement

Placement of videos is also important, helping companies gain the most value out of their marketing investment. While placing videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites, or using them for Facebook ads, can help raise brand and product awareness, videos on the product page itself help raise conversion rates. Even home page videos are useful for marketing purposes, increasing conversion rates by 20% or more according to ReelSEO. One of the critical components of making video marketing a winner in the cost-benefit analysis is maximizing the usefulness of the investment. Using a video in e-mail marketing, on the product pages, on the company’s Facebook account, posted to a company YouTube account, and even on the home page can help make it a central component of the overall marketing plan.

Tremendous Opportunity

At present, video also provides an advantage over much of the competition as only 24% of brands are using online video to market to consumers according to Kantar Media. Yet marketing professionals agree on the benefits; 70% of marketers claim video produces more conversions than any other content, according to Vidyard. In business, being ahead of the competition is always better than playing catchup, so with the clear advantages of creating video content for marketing purposes, the best time to commission video is before all of your competitors have them and thus the marketing edge. With smart phones everywhere, free WiFi in many places nationwide, and rapidly expanding broadband capabilities including the rollout of fiber optic Internet connections, consumers have more opportunities than ever to watch videos. Make sure they’re watching your videos, not the competition’s videos.