Let’s start this video marketing conversation with a few “show, don’t tell” statistics from Wyzowl’s annual analysis:
- 95% of marketers say video marketing helps them boost brand awareness.
- 91% say video marketing helps them increase traffic.
- 90% say video marketing helps them generate leads.
- 87% say video marketing helps them increase sales.
- 88% say video delivers a positive ROI.
The takeaway? For the people who market brands all day, every day—the people whose goals are traffic, leads, sales, and ROI—video marketing is a clear win.
At this point, it’s also clear that the appetite for video marketing isn’t a passing fad. Between 2019 and 2022, the average time adults in the U.S. spent with online video content shot up from 113 to 157 minutes a day. (Forecasts see online video beating TV viewing before 2026.)
It’s not just people watching cats eat potatoes on TikTok, either. People watch and respond to video advertising, and the data bears that out. Adding video to your landing page can boost conversion rates by as much as 86%. Most consumers (73%) say they’d rather learn about a product or service via video.
Why Video Marketing Works
So, why does video marketing work so well? Why do marketers and audiences seem to prefer it? A few probable causes:
- Video sparks emotion. Since they’re a multi-sensory experience by design, videos create connections that text can struggle to match. A real reaction in a well-crafted video—one that’s supported by powerful visuals and heartstring-tugging audio—beats a thousand product descriptions on the feels scale.
- Good video ads tell a story. Human beings are wired to love storytelling, so if you take them on a narrative journey—a behind-the-scenes peek, a fun product demo—you’re giving them an experience, rather than just selling.
- Video is easy to absorb. A marketing video is digestible for scrollers and skimmers and visual learners, which makes your message more approachable to more people.
With the “what” and the “why” answered, the obvious follow-up question is, “How do I effectively work video into my digital marketing strategy, since it’s only getting more and more important?” This is a question we love to answer.
Snapshot began as a video production house and grew into delivering all-around strategic marketing services. So video is a specialty and a sweet spot for our team, and we’re glad to share essential tools, best practices, and winning strategies for video marketing as it continues to grow.
Video Marketing Trends in 2023
Before the how-to stuff starts, let’s look at a few inspiring ways video marketing grew in 2023, so you can get more insight into the potential in adopting a robust video marketing strategy.
These are areas we see energy and growth, and while they’re all a few steps beyond the basics, if you need to outsource your video production to experts with far-reaching expertise, the Snapshot team can help.
On-the-rise video marketing trends that made their potential clear in 2023:
- Interactive Video: Bringing Users Inside the Story
It’s clickable, draggable, scrollable—controllable. Think of interactive video kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure for the internet-ad age, or a cool way to gamify your video ads. This is more than passive consumption, allowing viewers to customize their experience, moving around a 3D landscape or personalizing a product demo. The engagement potential for interactive video seems to be endless, and we’re only starting to tap into the creative possibilities.
- Shoppable Videos: From ‘Watch This’ to ‘Buy Now’
One of many kinds of interactive video, shoppable videos simplify conversions in a wonderful way for users and brands. Click on that item of interest right inside the video, add to cart, check out, celebrate. If you’re prone to impulse purchases, things are going to get dangerous as this becomes the norm. Instagram and TikTok are already leading the charge, and savvy e-comm brands are busy integrating seamless shopping experiences into their video content.
- Raw, Real, and Live(streaming)
Unpolished livestreaming isn’t remotely new, but the broader expectation of authenticity—preference for it, really—made itself loud and clear in 2023. Sprout Social research showed that consumers specifically wanted more of (and weren’t seeing enough of) authenticity on social media from brands. There are lots of ways to open up authentic sharing, and livestreaming video is a powerful one.
As a marketing tool, livestreaming is gaining a ton of traction in e-commerce circles. Coresight Research saw global live e-commerce sales reaching $171 billion in 2023, up from $60 billion in 2019.
That’s not to say every brand should ditch polished professionalism for shaky livestream videos. It’s more about being true to your brand’s personality. Where can real, unfiltered access fit in? What kind of authentic content would line up with who you are and feel unforced? Q&A sessions, product reveals, and behind-the-scenes updates can all let your users inside without coming off faux-real.
How to Craft a Video Marketing Strategy That Delivers
Ahead of anyone hitting record, a bunch of foundational work goes into ensuring that every frame and every finished video has a purpose. Here’s a step-by-step approach to shaping your video strategy (a lot of it will feel familiar if you’re trained on overall marketing fundamentals):
- Define Your Goals and Target Audience
This is always, always the start, with everything marketing-related, including video marketing. What do you want your videos to achieve? Brand awareness? Lead generation? Conversions? Once your goals are clear, who’s the target audience? Who wants and needs your message, service, or product? Clarifying demographics, interests, and online behavior helps you focus video content to resonate and drive action.
- Choose Formats That Fit
Not all video formats are right for every campaign or brand. A series of short, snappy social media clips might be perfect for capturing attention in a brand awareness campaign. In-depth explainer videos might be the better bet for unveiling a new product and converting leads. Use the work you did in step one to fine-tune the format that fits your message and your viewers.
- Craft a Compelling Story
This is flagged as a “why,” above, and really, leaning into story when you’re making a video is another marketing-101 idea: Play into the strengths of the tools you’re using. “Storytelling” doesn’t have to mean “complicated,” Just build in a little narrative and movement. “I had a problem, now it’s solved.” “This didn’t work, now it does.” “This was boring, now it’s fun.” Transformation and journey are the core of storytelling, and video ads can take viewers on a little trip, even if it’s just in 30 seconds.
- Keep it Concise and Actionable
A famous quote from Motown founder Berry Gordy: “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.” That one hurts those of us who like to meander, but it’s fair—attention spans are short. So in shaping your campaign concept and your individual ads, it’s worth getting to the point.
Keep your videos short, sweet, and focused. And remember to tell your viewers what they can do next to take advantage of the benefits you’re touting—wrap with a call to action (visit, call, subscribe, etc.) that’s clear, compelling, and easy to follow.
- Optimize for Search and Social
Search engine optimization isn’t just for website content. Wherever you’re deploying your video marketing content, you want it to be found by your ideal audience. So optimizing your campaign, start to finish, is always part of a good strategy.
Use relevant keyword research to help drive topics and focal points for individual video pieces. Use keywords in your title, description, and tags to ensure each video is discoverable by search engines. Tailor your format, post copy, and hashtags to cater to the specific algorithms on social media platforms. If the right people can’t discover your finished product, all your prep work was for naught.
- Analyze and Adapt
You can’t optimize or improve what you don’t track, so analyzing data should be part of every video marketing strategy. Once you launch, track your performance to see what’s working and what’s not. Analyze engagement metrics, click-through rates, and conversions to identify areas for improvement. Constant optimization is how you deliver results.
Building Your Video Marketing Toolbox
As you start putting tactics to strategy, having the right tools makes it easier (and the results more polished).
Depending on your goals and team—how much of the video execution and deployment you’ll do yourself and how much you’ll outsource—you may need all of the following tools, some of them, or just one or two. But by and large, this is what fills out a video marketing toolbox.
- Editing Software
Every polished video ad starts as an unruly collection of clips. Video editing software is how you turn a mess of takes, B-roll, stills, voiceovers, and music into a final deliverable.
Depending on your skill set and comfort level, you might opt for more powerful video editing options like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve or more user-friendly options like Filmora, iMovie, or CapCut. The key is finding software that matches your needs, abilities, and budget, so it’s always a good idea to sign up for trials so you can test and explore.
- Stock Footage and Music Libraries
Sometimes that unruly tangle of clips doesn’t cover everything you need to tell your story, or you need something specific to take your video from good to great. Stock footage and music libraries come to the rescue, here, with vast, searchable resources to adopt and adapt.
Rights are imperative, so you need to pull from reputable names—but that doesn’t necessarily mean your costs have to skyrocket. Royalty-free depots like Pexels and Unsplash may surprise you with their wealth of visuals. Beginner-friendly design and editing tool Canva has a deep well of stock photo/video/audio options, too, with premium items available for purchase piecemeal or through its pro plans. Adobe Stock and Shutterstock more than likely have whatever you need, no matter how specific, with content-use plans to fit a variety of budgets.
- Team and Collaboration Tools
Creating marketing video content is rarely a solo act, and keeping teams of collaborators connected and organized can be tricky, especially as you get into the nitty-gritty of editing and finalizing a piece. You’re probably already using project management software to keep your broader projects on schedule, and communication tools like Slack or Teams to ping questions and updates (and memes) back and forth.
For video collaboration, we tap into tools like Frame.io, made specifically for this purpose. Good video collaboration tools let stakeholders leave time-stamped notes and make on-screen annotations. This helps keep comments and requests in one place and removes ambiguity.
- Analytics Tools
The analytics tools you use for video marketing will depend on where and how you’re deploying your videos—on your website, on social media, YouTube or Vimeo, through a streaming service like Hulu, or otherwise.
Every one of those has a back end with data available. The key is setting up a manageable cadence of pulling data, analyzing data, and updating your tactics to maximize impact.
- Social Media Scheduling Platform
If you’re advertising on social media, a good scheduling platform offers a bunch of benefits.
You can use their AI tools to ensure optimal, consistent posting and maximum reach. You can use their deep analytics tools to track performance and optimize your strategy for better engagement. Ultimately, a scheduling platform will save you time and keep you organized as you deliver finished content to your audience.
Bringing on a Video Marketing Partner
Tapping into the power of video marketing doesn’t have to depend on the human resources you have in-house. If you see the growing value in video marketing but don’t have the team in place to execute, an agency partner with video expertise can turn your vision into powerful, well-performing finished videos.
Whatever level of collaboration you’re looking for—video production, editing, and animation or full-scale video marketing strategy and execution—Snapshot can take it on.