10 vid benefitsWith the explosion of YouTube stars, Facebook’s video-friendly newsfeed, and the ALS ice bucket challenge viral sensation, 2014 has proven to be the year of video. Now, a new Vidyard poll confirms the use of video not just for entertainment or awareness value, but as a legitimate source of revenue. According to the results, 71 percent of participants confirmed that video was better at driving conversions than other types of content such as text and photo. PR Newswire’s in-house video experts Larry Cardarelli, Executive Producer for MultiVu, and Kevin West, Senior Vice President of Multimedia at MultVu, weighed in with their thoughts on the findings and best practices for creating effective videos.

Why does video work better than text or photo?

Unsurprised by Vidyard’s findings, Cardarelli turns to the old adage a picture is worth a thousand words to remind marketers why videos work best. “According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is the equivalent of communicating 1.8 million words,” says Cardarelli, “That’s 30,000 words a second and if you aren’t making someone feel or do something in say a 30 second video (that’s 900,000 words) then you have bigger problems.”

1 vid 1000 words

With respect to video’s conversion power West corroborates Vidyard’s findings stating that “Most people are looking for some form of conversion whether or not that’s selling a product, a company, pretty much anything that marketers and PR folks are looking for. Text and images take a little bit longer to connect but a video will tell that story most efficiently and will give you the most potential for conversion.”

Should marketers create more videos than other content?

Even though videos convert better than texts and images, West reminds marketers to pay closer attention to the quality of videos they are producing rather than the quantity, because a lack of quality puts end results at risk. “Quality will have more engagement and draw better results versus sending out more than one video,” he says “Search engines favor videos, but it’s not necessarily the quantity that will help your SEO, it’s the relevance and quality of that video that will be judged to be better or more effective.”

On the other hand Cardarelli has a work around for creating quality videos on a more frequent basis. Instead of divulging the entire story in one video, break it into small pieces to hook the audience and keep them coming back for the next chapter of the story.

How can marketers create better videos?

Cardarelli and West suggest the following tips to help marketers kick start their video creation strategy:

  • The quality must fit the context. “There are only two universal truths about making a successful video– 1. It has to be well written and produced or 2. the content has to be over-the-top adorable, shocking or starring an A-list entertainer – in which case it doesn’t matter how well it’s shot,” notes Cardarelli, “Most of us fall into the first category so you really need to employ an outfit that knows what it’s doing. Doing so saves you money and time in the long run.”
  • Spend time creating a multifaceted story. With respect to ideation and strategy, Kevin challenges marketers to spend more time researching and brainstorming the many different ways that a single story can be told through different perspectives.
  • Pay close attention to social media trends. Cardarelli explains, “Just a few years ago a 6 second video would have sounded like crazy talk. Today, major brands are spending major bucks trying to figure out ways to produce effective Vine videos or videos less than 30 seconds.”
  • Distribute videos beyond owned channels. “Look beyond just the Facebook videos and consider the other avenues that you can distribute that video,” West asserts, “Obviously social media and Facebook are huge but beyond that capacity. How else can you get your videos online in front of all the different target audiences that you want?”

What does the future hold for video marketing?

Cardarelli hopes marketers will leave behind old-fashioned ideas about what video creation used to be and consider more creative and visually engaging forms of content that advanced technology enables today. “The term video is a little passé, evoking images of a burly guy with a 150 lb camera on his shoulder shooting to tape. Today’s videos include the great big world of animations: stop motion, 2D and 3D, white boarding, kinetic typography that just a few years ago were considered out of the range for all but those with the deepest pockets,” he explains, “Animations are often a much more effective way to tell a story, especially the stories that could be considered a little dry.”

The notion that video creation is an option and not a necessity is one that West anticipates will vanish. “It’s no longer something that’s a nice to do or something that they have to maybe consider,” he adds, “At this point it’s a must if you’re going to survive in the varying marketplaces that your company may operate on. You have to produce visuals in order to survive.”