Articles on the importance of video in a marketing strategy have been commonplace for the last decade or more. But despite its relative age in terms of digital content, many marketers still don’t have a clear understanding of how to leverage this format. We recently came across two data points that, despite apparently contradicting each other, point to what may be the true value of video to today’s digital marketer.
Do marketers love video even when top executives hate it?
ForbesInsights recently released a whitepaper on what content CxOs (a shorthand term for C-level executives) were consuming and how they were consuming it. In the report, CXOs were asked their favorite way to receive and consume business insights.
Only 4 percent answered video. Instead, leading the survey were, “feature-length articles and reports” and “business books."
In a separate report released by DemandWave, a survey was sent to B2B CMOs asking what content types they produce. What led the results? Video, at 82 percent.
82 percent of marketers were producing video, but only 4 percent of a target audience preferred that medium to consume content. Why the disconnect?
What the Discrepancy Means for Your Video Strategy
There is an important caveat to the ForbesInsight report to focus in on: CXOs were stating their most preferred format for business insights.
For in-depth analysis of business trends and ideas, long-form content such as articles and whitepapers are most-effective for targeting executive-level audiences. A video of an interview stating statistic after statistic is not only difficult to make compelling, but is also a pain for the viewer to refer back to and find the interesting information. These limitations impact the usefulness of video as a format for real news and thought leadership.
The real strength of video, however, is its ability to convey abstract ideas such as culture and demeanor. Trying to convey emotional ideas like a client relationship and working environment can be done much more effectively with a visual component. This is why marketers continue to find value in video, despite the relative high cost of production. It communicates things that can get easily lost in a flood of articles and updates.
The real question here is not whether video is useful in general; it’s what video should be used for. In deciding when to deploy video, marketers should explore the content topic and assess whether the format’s strengths will work for what they are trying to communicate.
If the topic is making an emotional appeal to the audience, video can add an impactful element to the process. Video can be put to great use for promoting brand and recruitment videos, where much of what needs to be communicated isn’t always stated directly. If the communication is more technical, complex or aimed squarely at the C-suite, however, it might be best to stick to copy-centric formats that can be quickly scanned, saved and linked to by the target audience.