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EcpThe use of video content has skyrocketed in recent years. From YouTube to Snapchat, organizations of all sizes have discovered ways to harness this unique medium to tell their story, promote their services, and engage their customers. In fact, 48% of marketers planned to adopt their own YouTube channel in 2017, while 46% reported that their own Facebook video content was in the works.[1] To go a step further, video marketers have proven to grow revenue 49% faster than their non-video-producing counterparts.[2]

And it’s not just marketers—more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day,[3] while social video across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is shared 1200% more than text and images combined.[4] With the utility, accessibility, and variability of video, it’s no surprise that video has quickly become one of the hottest resources in the modern marketer’s tool kit.

Unlimited utility

One of the key elements of video content is its ability to adapt to the specific needs of your campaign. Whether it’s with a six-second Snapchat story, or an hour-long webcast, video content is, by nature, designed to fit the frame you create for it. Whether you’re releasing highly produced animated features, or run-and-gun style live streams, video is about customization—you start with nothing, then use the resources and knowledge at your disposal to bring your vision to life. Videos can serve as a teaser for a larger piece of content, like a trailer for a feature film, or even serve as the final destination on the buyer’s journey. From promotions and instructional clips to case studies and extended series, video content merges the educational capabilities of blogs with the entertainment and engagement of images to create a more impactful customer experience. In fact, potential customers who view a product video are 85% more likely to make a purchase.[5]

The flexibility of video content means your projects don’t have to be big budget productions. With some patience and a little bit of knowledge, anyone with a smart phone can kick off their first video series.

Open Audience Access

The utility of video extends to your audience as well. Video content can be watched on-demand via your own website or a hosting platform, on desktops, devices, and even televisions, meaning your audience can take in your latest creation at their convenience. Video is easy to engage, easy to process, and easy to jump in and out of—a viewer can start a video in the morning and finish it on their train ride home, or press play on their lunch break, pause, and resume when they get home.

In an era where nearly everyone carries a smart phone and jumps in and out of social media streams, this ability to ride the whims of your audience helps your brand stay present and relevant with your viewers, to the extent that 79% of organizations report their video content shows a higher conversion rate versus other content mediums.[6]

Your video strategy

Like any content medium, your use of video content ought to be shaped by your overall content strategy. What should the video be about? How long should it be? Should you produce instructional features or customer case studies? These are all questions that can be answered by understanding the overall intention for your video series. Educational videos and shorter clips are great for top-of-funnel content, but will fall flat with experienced prospects. Alternatively, instructional demos and case studies tend to overwhelm new leads.

Before you press the record button, take the time to plot out your key messages, ideal viewer, desired reactions, and next steps, then shape your video narrative to fit those ideals. Preplanning might not mean your video will succeed right out of the gate, but it will certainly help improve your chances.

Like any other piece of content, effective video hinges on understanding why you’re creating in the first place. To learn more about building video for your content campaigns, check out What makes a good video and visit  Microsoft in Marketing often for more content marketing insights.

[1] http://www.stateofinbound.com

[2] https://www.vidyard.com/blog/infographic-marketers-who-use-video-outperform-their-peers/

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/google-ceo-says-youtube-viewers-watch-hundreds-of-video-hours-a-day-2016-2

[4] http://www.responsiveinboundmarketing.com/blog/video-marketing-statistics-for-2016

[5] https://www.vidyard.com/blog/video-sales-tool-infographic/

[6] https://www.vidyard.com/resources/state-of-video-marketing-2016/