When Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at the F8 Developer Conference a while ago, he reaffirmed where Facebook’s focus is. He explained that the progression of his platform has gone from being text-focused to being photo-focused, and that we will soon be in the video era of Facebook. 2014 saw both video visibility in Facebook's newsfeeds increase 360 percent year on year, and Facebook surpassing YouTube for most desktop videos per month. Fueled by our love for video and visual content are social networks like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and Meerkat. These are video heavy social networks that are winning in 2015. Even Twitter has made it easier than ever to use video, with native mobile upload, embeddable video, and the acquisition of Periscope to take a swing at live streaming. With the video heavyweight title fight set to go down between the reigning champ YouTube, and the heir apparent, Facebook, video is a space that is interesting to follow right now.
The balance of power has shifted
It used to be that creating great video was a privilege only accessible to a chosen few, the big brands with the big marketing budgets and the flashy advertising agencies. Creating great, or even just good, video required expensive hardware and software that needed to be handled by a professional.
But the technology revolution rolled in and things have changed. Nowadays everyone with a smartphone is walking around with a HD camera in their pocket. And software that makes it easy to create great looking video is getting better and better. We at Shakr are trying to democratize video by giving people the chance to create great looking video for a fraction of the traditional cost. By letting people upload their own photos and videos to our templates, everyone can get a unique, broadcast-quality video ad (or personal video) for about $50.
The key to video ROI
In a world where earning attention is harder and harder, and customer acquisition is getting more and more expensive, video is one of, if not the best, way of earning those eyeballs. By 2017, video will account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, according to Cisco. Meanwhile, video is still the ad format that has the highest CTR in the business. Consumers who view video ads on a mobile device are 3x as likely to click through. But for video to be effective you need to get to the right people. Take a page of out of venture capitalist Gary Vaynerchuck’s book and use Facebook dark posts to get your video in front of the right eyes. Do your research and adapt each video for a clear customer persona, and use Facebook’s surgical targeting capabilities to hit those people. If you make a video and are willing to pay for the exposure (hint: you should), you get reach and awareness, with both depth and width. Facebook right now is the biggest scaled platform and the strongest tool to get your video out there.
“I think that right now, Facebook is the best direct selling platform in the world” – Gary Vaynerchuck
Related: 3 Secrets to Online Video Success
Why it works
In comparison with text content, video quickly delivers information to our brains in a way that makes it easy for them to digest. Using video results in better conversion rates for businesses and provides a better, more human relationship with their customers, that increases brand awareness, loyalty, and fuels sales. In comparison to video, text is more difficult for the brain to process than visual content. In a video, effective storytelling with human faces, product demonstrations, and emotive language all combine to tap into our psychological hard wiring for maximum effectiveness. A person watching a video that provides value or entertainment to him or her is intrinsically more ready to accept the message the sender wants to convey than if reading plain text content. From calculating an algebra problem to a solving a real-life practical situation, our brains need multiple stimuli and a structure to turn information into knowledge, something video is superior at. By using visual stimuli (coupled with auditory stimuli) that comes with a story, you present information in a way that is made to stick. The feeling, ideas and solutions you present, alongside the emotional appeal you’ve created will remain longer with, and affect, your viewers, especially when it’s time for your audience to make a buying decision.
Today it is easy and cheap to produce great video creative. So it's no longer "Can I afford to do video?" The rhetorical question today is "Can I afford not to do video?"