Thanks to omnipresent broadband wireless and HD-capable smartphones in every pocket, video has never been a more powerful force in the digital arena.
In the early days of YouTube’s dominance, digital video was mostly a platform for budding comedians and gamers, but innovative businesses are showing that video content is an incredibly effective weapon for their sales efforts as well.
Approximately 90% of customers have indicated that they find product videos useful in their purchasing decisions, and that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creative ways you can use videos to engage customers.
1. It’s the wave of the future
It only takes a few minutes of cursory research on the Internet to come to the conclusion that many of the most important media outlets around the world are investing heavily in video. BuzzFeed made waves in 2016 by announcing that they were restructuring their operating strategy by separating the news division and the entertainment division. The reason for this reorganization was to free up additional resources for the entertainment division to capitalize on the popularity of video content. BuzzFeed saw that video accounted for over half of the company’s total revenue by 2016 (up from just 14% two years prior), and they expect that number to grow to 75% in the near future.
Although BuzzFeed is the most notable example of this trend it is far from the only company to engineer such a shift. Entities such as Mashable, Mic, and even more traditional media outlets such as the New York Times are also investing a greater share of resources in video content creation. The largest social media site in the world, Facebook, recently unveiled Facebook Live Video. The feature aims to capitalize on the popularity of video content by allowing users to stream live and notify friends and followers when a session is occurring, thus lending immediacy to the event and drawing a bigger audience. No matter which corner of the media landscape you examine, it’s clear that the major players are making a commitment to video.
2. It captivates the audience
If you need any proof of the power that video content can have on humans all you need to do is look at how important TV and films are to most people, or think about how quickly YouTube was able to revolutionize the digital landscape.
People are drawn to video because visual storytelling has the potential to be exceedingly captivating. You can use these attributes to tell a unique visual story to your prospects and engage them continuously throughout the sales cycle.
3. Videos go viral
There are certainly some text-based pieces of marketing and sales content that gain notoriety on the Internet, but they are are less likely to capture the zeitgeist than viral videos. If your company creates a video that gives your prospects valuable information, nurtures them, or leads to a conversion then it’s a worthy endeavor, but there’s also the potential for more. If you can manage to produce video content that is informative, compelling, fun, and original, then you have the ability to gain numerous new prospects as it gets shared, and to pick up some free publicity as well.
4. It’s easier than ever to produce high-quality video content
There was a time not so long ago when creating video content that actually looked professional meant investing thousands of dollars in cameras and editing software. Then you had to either know someone who was proficient in video production or spend time learning how to use the equipment properly yourself.
It’s astonishing that now anyone with a relatively new smartphone and about an hour of time can learn enough to produce a slick product that will look great on any screen. It’s a golden age for creativity, and content producers are just beginning to discover the possibilities that today’s technology has facilitated.
5. You can disseminate value-added information quickly
Research shows that 60% of your audience will stop watching a video after two minutes, so you’re well-advised to get your point across quickly. The good news is that you can actually fit a lot of information in a relatively short video. While your prospects will occasionally balk at the perceived time commitment of reading a text-based content article, they’re less likely to do so when faced with a video, especially if they can see the length on the time bar.
6. They’re valuable to your prospects
The most compelling reason why you should start producing video content has nothing to do with your conversion rates or the number of viral views you can rack up. Video is another tool for you to contribute value to your prospects, and you’re leaving opportunities on the table if you aren’t taking advantage of it.
There are dozens of ways you can use compelling video to drive value in a sales situation, including product demos, testimonials, ideas for innovative product use, dramatized scenarios, and much more. Now is the time to work together with your team to brainstorm creative video ideas, and use them to take your relationships with your clients to a new level.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.