“Video killed the radio star,” blurted a 1979 song declaring the demise of radio and ushering us into the era of music videos. More than three decades later, video is swiftly replacing the written word.
By 2015, according to eMarketer.com, 76% of online audience, or roughly 200 million people, will be viewing video online on a regular basis. As much as we like the written word, videos are more powerful than words simply because people think visually.
When we read, our minds convert printed scribbles into visual images that we encode with emotion and remember. When information comes directly in the form of an image rather than words, our minds can grasp more and make more connections because we do not have to engage in any word-image translation. Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research underscores this concept in his research, which found that one-minute of video equals to 1.8 million words. In a single frame, therefore, a video can deliver the same amount of information as three pages of text.
While video is unlikely to erase the written word- just as it didn’t entirely replace radio- it is rapidly becoming a complementary, more vigorous and direct means of communication. The inherent strength of the visual medium and the ever-vanishing technological barriers to its creation has powerful implications for businesses around the globe.
While consumers still prefer learning by reading, the number of individuals who use YouTube and videos to learn or find out more about a specific topic, product or service is rapidly ascending. Consequently, creating and posting videos has become a key strategy for any company to build and consolidate an effective online presence.
Marketers around the globe have embraced the use of videos as a vital component of their overall marketing strategy. Making available to their key audiences short, attractive and informative videos enables companies to convey their expertise and achieve a series of key strategic goals, including: increasing key audiences outreach, building credibility, promoting brand awareness, enhancing Search Engine Optimization and, most importantly, boosting sales.
It is important to understand that videos don’t sell exclusively to mass consumers, but also to senior executives. According to a Forbes Insights report, over 80% of the surveyed senior executives declared that they watch more videos today than a year ago while 65% of senior decision-makers reported visiting a vendor’s website after watching a video. In addition, 75% of the survey participants indicated that they watch work-related videos at least weekly while younger executives (under 40) stated they are more likely to make a purchase decision based on a video alone.
A recent research conducted by YouOn TV — a global new media and information technologies company — substantiates that videos are a powerful tool to drive traffic to a company’s website. The research unveiled that surfers spend 48 seconds, on average, on a specific website. When a site features a video, however, average time spent jumps to five minutes and 50 seconds, which is 5.33 times longer than a visit to a traditional text-only website. Simply put, video provides a one-stop shop for information that reduces the need to navigate to other sites and keeps the user engaged until she is ready to act on an embedded call-to-action.
Those business owners who have not given videos a chance should reconsider their decision. After all, the returns generated by videos by far outweigh its cost. While in most instances uploading and broadcasting a video is free, its potential for generating business and boost sales is immeasurable.
Claudio Pannunzio is President and Founder of i-Impact Group, Inc. a U.S.-based public relations, Social Media and strategic marketing communications consultancy. He can be reached at Claudio@i-impactgroup.com or on Twitter @IImpactGroup