Videos are extremely powerful marketing tools, effective at conveying meaning and generating engagement. While static image-based content may be easier to generate (photography, infographics, or simple banners), producing videos should be goal for every company in 2018.

The influence of visual storytelling is well-documented — websites using video secure a 66% higher conversion rate over websites that don’t employ it. The visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media, and these shares lead directly to conversions; a study by Brightcove found that 46% of respondents had made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media.

In 2018, try to incorporate at least one of these three types of videos into your marketing strategy:

  • Product features
  • Virtual reality
  • Interactive videos

Product Features

A product feature is a video that accompanies or represents the benefits of a product or service. These videos serve as more than a simple product showcase — they need to create an emotional connection.

Consumers enthusiastically engage with product features. Sixty four percent of shoppers are more likely to buy from retailers who incorporate visual content into the buying experience, and one Animoto survey found that 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a product feature than read about it.  

In fact, the same survey found that 1 in 4 consumers will actually lose interest in a company if they don’t generate video content.

The video featured on this OARS trip page is a fantastic product feature. While you might not normally think a video showcasing an adventure classifies as a product feature, it’s a perfect example of what a feature needs to do. It lays the groundwork for what the product is, highlights the benefits, and creates an emotional connection.

This effectiveness doesn’t just hold true for consumers. B2B organizations also need to include video into their 2018 marketing strategy. Fifty nine percent of C-suite executives would rather watch an online video than read text covering the same information, and 72% of B2B buyers are watching videos on their path to purchase.

As you create new video content, always look for different ways to reuse it in new or old marketing materials. Product features stand out and make an impact on landing pages;  including video on a landing page can increase conversions by up to 80%.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a fast-growing field. It is estimated that there will be 171 million virtual reality users by 2018, up from just 200,000 three years ago. For marketers, virtual reality opens a new path of interaction with customers and prospects. VR users are more emotionally engaged than 2D viewers, and many are willing to watch for longer periods of time. You have their attention, and it’s easy to translate that into value.  

One clear application of VR is a virtual reality tour for any travel- or place-based businesses. Virtual reality tours allow users to explore a location as if they were there, using a series of photos, videos, and interactive elements. Coming out of the tour, users will feel like they intimately know a destination. With the right call to action, this feeling can be instantly translated into booking a traditional tour or setting up a meeting with an agent.

Explore this tour of Sail Caribbean, a company offering summer adventures for students, for an example of virtual reality in action. While it would be ideal to view these videos with a VR device, such as Google Cardboard, the video still feels hands-on from the web browser.

Beyond a traditional tour context, marketers have gotten creative with virtual reality. You can use a virtual reality video as a behind-the-scenes look at an event or an enhanced product feature.

Mercedes showed off its E-Class with a virtual drive through Lisbon, along the beautiful Portuguese countryside. During the drive, viewers can look around the car interior and exterior in addition to watching out the window. It’s a fantastic video that allows users to engage at their own pace and imagine themselves as an owner of the car.

Interactive Videos

Interactive videos — distinctly different from virtual reality — allow viewers to take actions that change the viewing experience. It brings visual storytelling a step further by investing users into the outcome of the video; interactive videos secure 66% more engagement and 44% longer viewing time when compared to standard videos.

These are unique experiences. As an example, we crafted an interactive Day in the Life video for Camp Cody that follows an average camper as they explore activities and interact with counselors. This ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ experience gets families excited and ready to learn more about what the camp can offer their child. It also serves to familiarize the family with the camp and start building a personal relationship before they even meet.

In another example, Deloitte New Zealand created an interactive video for their 2014 Graduate Recruitment campaign. As graduates go through the video, they are presented with situations and potential responses — the consequences of which are shown. Correct responses are tied to a Deloitte value. The video was a great way to engage with a new generation of graduates and explore company values without directing them to a static page of text.

Final thoughts

Videos are important marketing tools for B2B and B2C businesses, able to generate levels of engagement not seen with other content pieces. A product feature, virtual reality, or interactive video would be a powerful boost to a 2018 marketing plan.

829 Studios has experience in creating every one of these videos in a number of different industries. If you want to work with a professional media partner, let’s create a stunning visual experience.

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