We’re wired for video and marketers are taking notice

We’re wired for video and marketers are taking notice

Video has become a key marketing tool on social media platforms. Just look at the growing investment by businesses in video each year.

How big is interest in video?

One indication of its popularity is the sheer numbers of Canadians who use a variety of social media platforms. A survey by research firm eMarketer shows 83 per cent of those polled use YouTube and 80 per cent use Facebook.

And it seems we are hardwired to gravitate to video.


video marketing social media


Video ads are proving to be engaging people effectively. As of late 2017, the on-screen rate for video ads, which is the percentage of impressions where at least one pixel was in view with focus, was 69.6 per cent on desktops and 62 per cent on mobile devices, according to an eMarketer survey.

The completion rate, which is the percentage of measurable impressions where the ad played to completion, was 61.3 per cent on desktops and 42.2 per cent on mobile.


 video marketing performance


In its State of Video Marketing Survey 2018, Wyzowl, a global video production company specializing in short online marketing videos, found 81 per cent of businesses use video as a marketing tool. That’s up from 63 per cent in 2017.

Also, 85 per cent of businesses regard video as an important part of their marketing strategy, up from 82 per cent in 2017. The percentage of businesses – 82 per cent – who used video marketing in 2017 plan to do so again in 2018.

Though the percentage of marketers that say video gives them a good return on investment has dropped from 83 per cent in 2017 to 78 per cent this year, it remains high, according to Wyzowl.

One key statistic explains why video use will stay on track: People on average watch more than an hour-and-a-half of online video content per day and around 15 per cent spend more than three hours.

“Video has soared during the last 12 months, with a 17 per cent leap in usage, said Wyzowl.

Two out of three businesses say they plan to start using video in 2018. Unanimously, those now using video plan to continue to increase or keep investing in it over the coming year.

David Finch, associate professor, marketing at Mount Royal University, says improvements in production and distribution have elevated the amount of video available to everyone.

“Video is engaging,” says Finch. “Advertising just happens to be a form of content. But if you look at the explosion of content across the different platforms, short-form video is capturing people with very short attention spans and you can catch them for a minute or two or three.

“The content is so rich compared to what it used to be.”

In one of our recent blogs, we noted that video ads succeed or fail within seconds. They need to grab a person’s attention quickly. They must be brief, tell a story and connect at some emotional level with the audience.

“Video is really coming to drive so much in the social media space,” says Brad Clark, broadcasting and journalism chair at Mount Royal University. Clark says up to 78 per cent of social posts now include some type of video component.

“It has started to create an expectation in the public and audiences for video content as a way to be engaged and entertained. It’s even shaping now how content creators format material.”

Clark says the medium continues to evolve. For example, text is being used increasingly on video aimed at the growing number of people who use mobile devices and tablets.

There’s also a psychological reason people gravitate to video, says Evelyn Field, chair, associate professor, Department of Psychology at Mount Royal University: People’s brains are visually driven and wired to detect movement.

“The way our retinas are built – we have way more cells in our retina to sense movement than we do colour or detail . . . Video for me is really about tapping into this, what in some sense, can be considered an old evolutionary visual system.”

Unlike static infographics, video stimulates our nervous systems.

“It’s kind of like cocaine for the brain in a way,” Field says. “We love movement.”

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