Social Videos Are The New Content Status Quo
Small companies using social video: Two epic case studies in awesome
Jason Hughes has been publishing videos on his personal Youtube channel for 8 years has over 60 videos. His top video has almost 1 million views. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Big deal! 8 years and only 60 videos? Most high school kids create at least 60 videos a day!” and you wouldn’t be wrong. But what makes Jason’s channel worth talking about is that all his videos are about fiberglass pools. He has made videos documenting every aspect of the pool buying process. He talks about the installation process. He talks about price and how to make sure you are getting a fair quote. He even has a video showing how much dirt is removed when his company comes to dig out the pool. The point is, he has taken a topic that is less than exciting and created short videos to answer customer questions in an entertaining way and posted them on social media. But that’s not all.
In addition to the videos he has posted to his personal account, his company, River Pools and Spas, also has its own YouTube channel to make sure the videos get twice as much exposure. If you go to the company website, and you should, there are over 100 videos and 700 articles, all dealing with every fiberglass pool question or concern conceivable. If you search “fiberglass pool”, River Pools is on the first page with a blog post from 2009! That’s how much content they have produced and how relevant they are in their industry. They are considered “the most educational swimming pool blog in the country.”
Let’s look at another example of a small company using video to blow away their competition. You may have heard of WineLibrary.com and even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk. Over the past 11 years, Gary has made and uploaded over 1,000 videos about all things wine. Not only are they educational and extremely entertaining, but they link back to his online wine store so viewers can purchase the wines mentioned in the videos. WineLibaryTV has 23,000 subscribers that tune in just to learn about wine.
What I love about these two examples is that they are using video to market products that aren’t exceptionally exciting. It’s not like they are RedBull, selling extreme sports and energy drinks or BMW marketing sexy luxury cars. But they have been able to leverage the power of social video to create compelling free content that educates their customers and establishes credibility.
Suffice to say, social video has been an incredibly effective marketing tool for both of these companies, and they’re not alone.
10 Social media video statistics
If content is king, social media video is what, the emperor? Not like the evil Star Wars emperor, but just a normal emperor. That’s a terrible metaphor. What I’m trying to say is that video, especially live video, has quickly become the content of choice and is quickly becoming the new norm, much the way blogs have been in the past 1o years. In the May issue of Inc. magazine, Etelka Lehoczky wrote a very interesting article about the power of social video. Here are some stats from her article that we found fascinating:
- Facebook generates an average of eight billion video views per day
- YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
- Only around half of small-business owners have made a video, social or otherwise, in the past year.
In addition to those statistics, here are 7 more facts you should know about social video marketing:
- Facebook Live Videos Are Watched 3x Longer Than Videos That Aren’t Live Anymore (Source)
- In 2016, 14% of marketers used live video (Source)
- By 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic (Source)
- There were over 4.4 million videos uploaded directly to Facebook in February 2016, generating over 199 billion views (Source)
- In 2015 YouTube posted the figure of 40 billion all-time views for branded content (Source)
- More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices and the average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes (Source)
- Facebook’s Video Views (Including Live) Could Eclipse 64 Billion Video Views Per Day By August 2017 (Source)
Benefits of using social video marketing
While I may already have you convinced that video should be an integral part of your social marketing strategy (I know, those 10 statistics are quite persuasive), I wanted to present a few more concrete examples of how your company can benefit from using social videos. There are obviously more than three benefits of using video, but I feel like most of them would fall under one of these three umbrellas.
Use social media video to differentiate from the competition
In that Inc. magazine article I mentioned earlier, Lehoczky identifies a small business that was able to set themselves apart from their competitors by creating compelling videos and posting to their company Facebook page. Here is the excerpt from the article.
Last year, Indianapolis-based building-restoration company Hays + Sons had a website and a Facebook and Twitter presence, but it tended to get lost amid a horde of competitors. Then tornadoes hit Kokomo, Indiana, and the company decided the time was right to try social video.
A Facebook clip documenting the tornado damage has clocked 9,500 views on Facebook–extra–ordinary for a local business in an industry not known for its “clickability”–and, says co-founder Mark Hays, “it helped us communicate our message from the customer’s point of view. It sets us apart from our competition when the user is trying to pick between companies.”
“In our industry, you’ve got everything from corporations like us to two dudes and a truck,” says Chris Novotney, the company’s director of business development. “Now when people go online and search, our videos pull up. It increased our sales.”
Another company that is using video to increase brand awareness and put some distance between themselves and their competitors is Dollar Shave Club. Their videos are hilarious and incredibly share-worthy.
Obviously, these two videos have wildly different audiences and purposes. But what they have in common is that they are memorable and when it comes time to make a purchase, a customer is more likely to choose the company that has created some sort of emotional connection.
Social video marketing helps to increase sales
An increase in sales should go hand-in-hand with an increase in brand awareness (unless that brand awareness is super negative, in which case you’re going to lose money.). As I mentioned above, a good video campaign will go a long way to generating positive brand differentiation. If they are not only good but unique and genuinely represent your brand’s voice, social video will resonate with your audience, leading to more sales.
Think about your own buying habits, how often do you watch a video or demonstration of something before you buy it? For example, I just bought a new Fuji camera. I can’t count how many videos I watched showcasing its functions, performance, and potential flaws. Some videos were made by Fuji, some by users. However, how many blogs did I read? Not many. Video is directly responsible for my purchase of this camera. And I’m not alone.
According to Animoto, 96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online and 73% of U.S. adults are more likely to make a purchase after watching an online video explaining a product or service.
IceMule Coolers is an example of a company that used video to increase sales. They spent $11,500 on creating a video called “Bring the Party” and two shorter videos. Since creating this video, web sales are 10 times what they were (Source: Inc.)
Use video to answer customer questions before they ever talk to a salesperson
Marcus Sheridan, one of the founders of River Pools and Spas and founder of The Sales Lion literally wrote the book on using content to address customer questions. His book They Ask, You Answer is all about turning customer questions into content. He used this method to turn a struggling pool company into one of, if not the largest pool information database on the web. As I mentioned in the beginning, River Pools creates videos about everything a customer has asked or could ask. Again, look at the massive amount of videos WineLibrary has created. These two companies have harnessed the ease and cost-effectiveness of social video to educate their customers. How much time are your salespeople losing to answering very basic informational questions instead of selling? How much of your budget goes to customer service representatives answering general product questions. Using video to educate your audience saves both time and money.
It is no coincidence that Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are all “videocentric.” As the accessibility and popularity of video continue to grow, traditional media advertising will diminish. Netflix was a substantial blow not only to brick and mortar movie rental stores like Blockbuster (links included for those younger readers who probably have never heard of Blockbuster or rented a movie from an actual physical store) but to television providers as well. More and more people are turning to Facebook live and YouTube for video than to their TVs. While you may be tempted to wait until you can publish a fancy, well-produced video, remember that RiverPools and WineLibrary are not big expensive productions. You don’t need to go crazy and blow your marketing budget on one single video. Rather, just get started. Answer questions. Show your audience how to use your product. Do employee spotlights. Just get out there and start building an audience.