Much in the same way that, due to the power of the visual medium, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” a moving picture can naturally be worth much more than a still image. Videos can be a far superior method of communication, with the ability to combine multiple areas of information in a thoughtful and engaging way that other direct, static methods can’t match. Still, when it comes to being used as a form of advertising, the term can be a bit murky and misunderstood, so let’s attempt to demystify and explain video marketing.
For starters, looking at the term itself, video marketing is a combination of the words video and marketing. The base term, marketing, which comes from the noun market, is derived from the Old French marchiet and, as with other terms of trade and commerce, such as merchant, has its root in the Latin mercatus, meaning ‘trade, buying and selling, or market’. Specifying which type of marketing, our adjective, video, comes directly from the Latin verb video, which simply means ‘I see’.
While there’s no exact date when the term “video marketing” started being used, the concept is anything but new – after all, the song/music video, Video Killed the Radio Star, turns 40 years old this September. As for the words themselves, it’s a case of recycling.
Initially used in the sense of simply selling in a market, the term market first appeared in 1455, chronicled by Scottish lawyer and historian James David Marwick in his 1871 compilation, Charters of the City of Edinburgh, mandating that: “Only other merchandise that ought to be marketed within the burgh.” Considering our modern understanding of the term as specifically meaning the promotion/selling/advertising of a product, the first use can be traced back to the March, 1884 issue of Harper’s Magazine, where it is rightly noted that: “This marketing of supplies was the beginning..of its prosperity.”
Looking at video, the first usage of the term goes back to 1935, where there was initially a greater concern on the visual element’s role/function in relation to audio, as can be seen in the 18 January 1935 issue of the journal, The Wireless World, writing that: “I had noticed that the Americans were beginning to take ‘audio’ away from its original use in conjunction with ‘frequency’ and to use it for this special purpose; and that they were toying with the idea of ‘video’ as its complement.” With the more generalized sense of relating to the creation and distribution of video content, this first use comes from the Rocky Mount (North Carolina) Evening Telegram, writing on 6 November, 1952 that: “Essentially a video tape recording would resemble an ordinary home-recorded tape of Junior playing the piano.”
In practice, video marketing is marketing via, well, videos, or, if you prefer, using the moving visual medium to effectively communicate with consumers. Though the history of video marketing can be traced back to a 1941 TV commercial for Bulova watches during a New York Yankees baseball game, it’s only now really beginning to come into its own. Looking at past instances of video marketing (aka TV commercials), it was either based on a massively-expensive blanket advertising campaign or seeking to target a certain demographic and attempting to catch them watching a particular program; however, modern video marketing involves utilising big data to produce short, meaningful, engaging videos in order to target, inform, and engage an audience. Moreover, with the advent of smartphones and considering that 90% of consumers watch videos on their phone and mobile video views have grown more than 233% since late 2013, the opportunity to engage the right audience only keeps growing.
Aside from just being more attractive, modern, and stimulating, this specific type of engagement produces results. Studies have shown that:
- 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
- 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post.
- 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
- Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
In other words, if you’re not overly familiar with video marketing currently, you can expect to be familiar with it soon enough. And here are a few tips on creating global video marketing content.