by Dan Bellows, Account Associate at Tigercomm
In the never-ending world of social media news feeds, streams, pictures and posts, many communications experts have researched and wondered what that one deciding factor is that attracts visitors to invest their limited time and attention in a company’s content while skipping over the others.
For many users, the most important consideration is getting all the information they need without having to read anything at all. Instead, they can just sit back, pop on headphones and watch a two-dimensional, live-action, multimedia presentation commonly known as “video.”
Research consistently finds that content with video attachments gets significantly more views and feedback than those with just an image or audio attachment. This fact holds regardless of what an organization is trying to show, who its intended audience is or which social media platform it is using to disseminate the content.
The bottom line is this: if your organization does not have video in its marketing plan, it is greatly limiting its outreach and user interaction.
Social media marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk sums it up well:
The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or YouTube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.
Video should be an essential part of an organization’s identity, as it is the only type of media that has the ability to visually capture content in real time and is the closest a viewer can get without actually "being there.” There is a reason why people watch football games on television and not on a slide show and why books are so often turned into movies and not vice versa.
A few quick, yet telling facts about video in social media:
- According to data compiled by Facebook, from 2014 to 2015, the number of video posts per person increased by 75 percent globally and by 94 percent in the U.S.
- Data from YouTube indicates that “the number of hours that people spend watching videos on YouTube is increasing 60 percent year-over-year.”
So not only is video the most effective way to communicate with an audience, but more organizations are starting to realize this and adapt their marketing models to include more of it. Your organization should be following suit, if it’s not already, to avoid being left behind in the ever evolving and always competitive digital marketing arena.
Another bonus of video is the effect of using and adding YouTube to your organization’s social media platform depth chart. Whereas Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are more isolated and specific in their engines, YouTube allows you to add multiple search tags. These tags will bring your organization’s video up whenever they are searched, regardless of how related or relevant the tags are to the actual content of your video. The use of multiple tags drastically increases the chances of users finding your video.
As an example of a YouTube video’s dominance over other social media platforms, consider the solar company, Missouri Wind and Solar. The company’s YouTube video providing free ideas on how people can cut their electric bill in half has been viewed over 1 million times and has 9,415 likes and 1,111 user comments. In contrast, the company’s Facebook page has just over 4,300 likes, with the most popular post receiving 55 likes and 5 user comments.
So why are some organizations still hesitant to invest in what is the clear leader within the realm of social media marketing? The short and simple answer is cost and intimidation.
Many companies’ default image of “video production” is that of a Hollywood set filled with people running around with headsets and clipboards, expensive cameras, trailers and craft services. What some organizations fail to realize is that there is no shortage of respectable, smaller-scale video production companies that fall somewhere in between an intern with a video camera and Sony Pictures. These production companies can create video pieces that accurately and tastefully highlight an organization and its mission without breaking the budget.
Yes, an organization will have to invest some revenue (the price can greatly vary depending on a multitude of factors) into a professional video production company. But based on the current social media marketing landscape and the way trends are shifting, it should be clear that this is an investment that is warranted by a very high potential return on investment (ROI).
With impressive and aesthetically pleasing structures like wind turbines and solar panels (see example by Trina Solar, below), this is especially true for the clean energy industry. That’s yet another reason why clean energy companies should be fully taking advantage of the image and power of the products that they are marketing by showcasing them to their audience in a video format.