Video advertising is here and it’s immense.

But why should you care? Despite common perceptions of video advertising being the preserve of big, established brands, the gains for smaller businesses (in fact, especially smaller businesses) are massive.

A Video Is Worth A Million Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Well, nearly 2 actually. 1.8 million words: that, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, is what just one minute of video is worth.

Could you begin to imagine how long 1.8 million words would take you to write, let alone turn into a functioning website? No? Here’s some help: If you were to write a typical web page every hour, you would be writing for 150 days to have the same impact as just 60 seconds of video.

This impact to effort ratio is probably one of the most practical reasons for adding video to your marketing mix. When compared to more traditional forms of marketing, although at first video can seem like a lot of effort, that effort is entirely worth it.

Our Brains Are Wired Up For Video

When we look at something, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and our brains process this visual information 60,000x faster than text. So, rather than bombarding your audience with text based information, showing them a video allows them to take everything in much faster and with less conscious effort.

This in turn means your audience is more likely to take in your whole message, rather than abandoning it part way through. If they are having to read blocks of text, they can get bored and give up part way through. With video, they won’t.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Video advertising allows you to be much more creative. With a display ad or text ad you’re very limited by your format. You have to stay within certain physical boundaries, so the chances of you being able to differentiate yourself from your competitors is diminished.

With video advertising however, you can tell a story, build an emotional relationship with your audience and thereby stand out, on your own and be remembered. This emotional response is key, as it is widely understood to be one of the most important factors when people are evaluating brands.

I mean, how many times have you seen a static display ad and had some kind of powerful emotional response to it? Video advertising on the other hand, there’s been a few. A video ad lets you tell a story, build a narrative and all that culminates in an emotional relationship. The right video, in front of the right person is an incredibly powerful thing.

Video Is Everywhere

Remember the days of your 56k modem squawking at you as it connected, slowly clawing its way onto the big wide Internet? Then going to put the kettle on whilst you waited for the Altavista search page to load? Well, those days are gone.

High-speed internet connections are now incredibly widespread. And, what’s more, more devices support them. Mobile devices are going to drive growth in video, because a) there’s so many of them and b) we use them so frequently.

There’s no longer a concern that you can’t reach your audience with video advertising because they’re a mobile user. Just scroll through your Facebook feed and see how many posts on there are videos, sponsored or otherwise.

Video Advertising = Good ROI

For advertisers, what really matters at the end of the day, is your return on investment. Do the dollars you drop on marketing convert to more customers? The signs are that video advertising has a powerful, positive impact on marketing return on investment.

If you’re a small business, looking to start using video to promote your brand, don’t think you need some hyper-polished, media-agency project to get you started. Just having a video presence, where you introduce yourself and your product, “face-to-face” is a great way to get started. You probably have all the tools you need to start putting together your own video ad right away. Some basic things you’ll need are:

  • A reasonable quality video camera or screen capture software
  • A reasonable microphone
  • A script
  • Some basic editing software

Once you’ve recorded something, look at it as a first draft. Go over it. Go over it again. Get your friends to go over it. Then once you’re happy with it, use it! Take your video and use it on your site, share it on social media and use it as a video ad.

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