A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but a video is worth many, many more.
According to Forrester Research, a single minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
That figure isn’t supposed to be scientific fact, it’s meant to illustrate the advantage video has over the written world in the digital age. Video delivers any message written content can carry, but fills it out with human voices, moving images, brands, logos, and stories, and there are fewer demands made on viewers than readers.
And that’s just passive, one-way video communication. If you add live streaming and real-time video calling to the arsenal, video leaves written content far behind.
This more efficient form of communications has made video the dominant language of the internet. Internet video traffic trends are showing that by 2021, 80% of all web traffic will be video. If your business isn’t speaking in video it needs to catch up quickly.
How Internet Video Traffic Trends Are Playing Out in Businesses
That 2021 prediction is easy to believe if you take a look at the current trends in online consumption. Video has become a common part of the average person’s daily life.
- 55% of people watch online videos every day
- 4x as many people refer a video to written content on a product
- People spend more than twice as long on a page with video
- 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day
- 80% of people believe video demonstrations are useful
- Using “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by almost 20%
The result of all this demand for video means your content is 53 times more likely to get a page one listing with Google if it has a video. That kind of exposure is gold for a small business, and is why 22% of U.S. small businesses plan to post a video within the next 12 months. Posting a single video is the absolute least you can do. The tech and the public platforms for producing far more impressive video content is cheap and accessible.
Ways for a Business to Build a Video Presence
The great advantage the digital revolution has given small businesses over the previous regime of TV and print supremacy is access. It’s cheap to produce video content–an HD webcam will cost less than $100–and free to post it to apps like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Those sites, in turn, reach millions of people each day. Facebook alone is used by 85% of the American population, and there are no regional boundaries to restrict your message or increase your costs. It’s just a matter of finding which version of video delivery suits your business.
- Single Video Posts: This is your traditional, one-person-staring-down-a-lens type of video, or the poor man’s new broadcast. With a webcam, a decent microphone, and some editing software, you can create everything from a quick product demonstration to a tour of your entire showroom. Get creative, and a little lucky, and your video could garner millions of views.
- Video Blog: YouTubers, YouNow hosts, and even Twitch gamers have turned themselves into celebrities by posting their opinions, talents, and passions online in regularly scheduled bites. You can become known as an expert in your field by engaging viewers (customers) in a conversation about the wider world of your industry. It still takes just a webcam to record, but you can position yourself as a thought leader, not just another marketer.
- Live Stream: This is the high wire act of online communication. You need to be ready for the unexpected when you live stream. YouTube will happily host your broadcast for free, allowing you to beam company press conferences, public meetings, product launches, or PR events to as many people as you want to give the link to. Sites like YouNow let your audience interact with you in real-time via chat messaging, helping build a bond between customer and business.
Smartphones Are Part of the Basis for This Trend
One final trend that is swinging in the favor of online video content is the rise of smartphones. It is estimated that mobile will replace desktop as the preferred option for surfing the web by 2021. It’s an obvious statement, but smartphone screens are tiny compared with their deskbound cousins, and unless pant and coat pockets suddenly increase in size that fact isn’t changing.
The point is, video is far easier to consume on a small screen than pages of text. Simply clicking “play” and passively enjoying a video, or tapping a video call button and chatting face-to-face is far simpler than fiddling with zoom functions on your phone in order to read text.
Start thinking about the demands you make on your customer’s eyes and fingertips next time you load reams of text to your site. Wouldn’t it be easier to just talk it out in a video?
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Image Source: Flickr CC User Nigel Cooke