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80% of content consumed online will be video by 2020 – are you ready for it?

I’ll freely admit I’m a WORD and WRITING person. That love is what has led to a weekly commitment to share weekly tips here on this blog since 2008 and through my Sunday morning Five-Minute Marketing Tips e-newsletter. I also love to speak, so you would think that video would be natural. But I’ll admit to being plagued by challenges that likely sound familiar to you too:

  • It’s another thing to manage. And it takes time to create.
  • It’s all too easy to become self-critical – do people really want to see me in their feed? What about my hair? I think I need a haircut!
  • I don’t know how to edit stuff. Tech isn’t my thing.
  • I really just need time to meet with clients face to face and not feed the social media engine!

I hear you.

But here are a few stats that stopped me in my tracks, and have caused me to reconsider video as a keystone piece of marketing strategy.

  • By 2020, 80% of content consumed online will be video. By 2021 it increases to 85%
  • 1.9 billion people are on Youtube, watching 1 billion videos daily. That’s 32min/day average
  • 81% of Facebook users are also on Youtube
  • Facebook and Instagram have shifted from a content broadcast focus to emphasizing connection and interaction, while also favoring video and stories

And yet:

  • Only 38% of marketers use Instagram stories, and fewer use video there
  • Only 49% use Facebook live video
  • Only 57% use Youtube
  • In 2018 there were only 300 creators of video on LinkedIn

Check out this week’s content as video here on Youtube!

We could look at more data and details, but my point is this: we’re missing out if not playing in the video space.

I see opportunity on all these platforms, but there is a need to be strategic. I’d also like to clarify – I’m speaking about creating video content to share as posted updates, information or entertainment tied to your brand. I’m not speaking about tightly crafted “video sales ads” as paid sponsored content – that’s another type of marketing all together.

I always share my thoughts initially out to my Sunday morning subscriber newsletter group, and invariably I get interesting and insightful feedback which I used to update content before sharing it out more broadly here on the blog. This distinction between “video ads” and “posted updates, information or entertainment as video” appears important. There seems to be real push back on sponsored video content in feeds like Facebook and Instagram. In fact a number of readers note how they just scroll through or block the content – particularly if it is a purchased audience, or appears poorly targeted. In thinking about this more critically I think it comes back to considering the relationship you have with the person viewing the video content, and whether they were “actively searching” for something, or “passively idling time.” If they are actively searching how to do or learn something on Youtube for example, they are engaged, will sit through longer content, unmute the volume and be receptive of a person or company they have no previous relationship with. If they are passively idling time on Facebook and encounter something interesting from you, there’s a chance they’ll unmute the volume and listen, provided there’s already a relationship there, but likely for less time. But if they’re idling time, and you show up unknown and uninvited, you are an interruption. There is building push back to “interruption marketing” that I think we need to be cautious of, while advocating more video. There’s also a different mindset at play on different platforms. LinkedIn for example is work and learning oriented, and by default there is a relationship already there for non-sponsored video. Youtube is learning oriented or for entertainment binging. It’s less passive by nature. Pinterest is search and inspire type activity, and therefor more active engagement. Facebook and Instagram are largely scroll for entertainment and friend updates. They are much less search oriented, and be default more passive in nature. Twitter is a scrolling fire hose of content, passive in nature unless searched via a content area #hashtag.

The relationship you have, the way the platform gets used, and the active or passive mindset of the viewer is critical for success using video.

So how do you jump on this trend, stay true to your brand, while ensuring it actually is strategic and beneficial for the amount of time demanded? I’d suggest picking one or two platforms that align with your target audience, and how they use the platform (key in my opinion) and then focus video effort there.

All platforms favor native content, so initially publishing directly there is best, but the more I’ve learned about the back end of Youtube, I would also suggest building out a channel there – again with native content uploads.

I’ll be digging into more “how to” details in the coming weeks, and sharing a distilled version of best practices from the conference, but for now I would suggest picking those channels and observing over the coming week what kind of video seems to resonate – by earning comments, engagement and shares. Remember, it’s less about reach these days, and more about engagement as individual platforms become more focused on keeping traffic there.

I’ve been doing weekly video summaries for Five-Minute Marketing Tips the last month on LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. And I’ve started doing videos to promote posts on my travel writing site, CarryOnQueen.com – using a different combination of platforms there. I’m still playing with what works best and fine tuning the content and editing approach, but it’s been interesting to monitor response and analytics on each platform. After evaluating I’ll likely distill the approach and platforms down to something more easily managed.

I’d be interested in hearing your experience with video – either as a creator, or as a viewer. What works? What doesn’t? What do you like/dislike? Leave a comment below!

Mary Charleson

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