Americans love streaming video (we’re looking at you, Netflix and HBO Now!) and the love’s only growing stronger.
Last year, video accounted for 78 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic. About half of that video traffic came from mobile devices. By 2019, video will generate more than 69 percent of data traffic on mobile devices — largely due to apps like Twitter’s new live-video feed Meerkat and the continued popularity of video on Facebook and Instagram. Cisco predicts that, by 2018, video will account for 84 percent of all Internet traffic in America.
Content marketers are, smartly, jumping on the bandwagon. Purina’s “Dear Kitten” partnership with Buzzfeed recently killed it, generating more than 50 million views and proving once again that cat videos are the bane of all productivity.
By the way, video works for B2B marketing, too: 59 percent of executives say they would rather watch a video than read an article.
If video isn’t an integral part of your marketing arsenal already, you’ll want to strike while the iron’s hot. Here, a look at five types of content marketing videos:
1. The Problem Solver
Whether your business provides a product or a service, you’re ultimately offering solutions to customers’ problems. When your videos answer a question your market has been asking (and searching on Google), you’ve got a captive audience. This video may be a tutorial walking the viewer through how they would use your product or service; a compilation of interviews with happy customers; a profile of a customer as they use your product to streamline a daily task and/or save time or money. This video technique is all about service, and many times that means giving information away for free.
“Meeting is Believing” by video conferencing service GoToMeeting. This video case study profiles Investor’s Business Daily, an investment news outlet that uses GoToMeeting in for subscriber training programs.
Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions provider Method created a series of how-to videos. This lively tutorial shows users how to set up a customer portal in its software.
2. The Insider
This documentary-style video goes behind the scenes, giving customers a glimpse at your headquarters or manufacturing facility, or following a “day in the life” of an exemplary employee or customer.
The School of Visual Arts in New York highlights outstanding students and alumni in short video profiles.
Disneyland Resort’s behind-the-scenes look at training the horses of Circle D Ranch, shared on the DisneyParks blog.
3. The Comic Relief
Laughter leads to an increase in the “feel-good” chemicals endorphins, and what company wouldn’t want positive emotions associated with their brand? Some marketers shy away from humor — it’s subjective, after all; what if audiences don’t “get” your comedy or, worse, are offended by it?
Try exaggerating what might happen if customers don’t use your product; playfully debunking stereotypes and misinformation about your company; or dramatically reading (and possibly illustrating) some of your product’s most outlandish or entertaining customer reviews. And of course, cat videos are always welcome.
Groupon’s video of employees reading customer comments about the Banana Bunker, a banana-holding container sold on the deal site, which reminded customers of…something else.
Warning: NSFW! Iowa Filmmakers created this irreverent response to national media coverage of the Hawkeye State in 2012.
4. The Recap
If you’ve recently hosted a successful fundraiser or conference, or volunteered for a cause as a team, let your audience in on it! Highlight reels of a recent event are an easy way to engage consumers. Same goes for your company’s research — share it! (In a fun, digestible way, of course.)
Deloitte Canada presented findings from its “CanadaWorks 2025” study, a collaboration with the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA), in this narrated, moving infographic.
The Dynamic Women in Business Conference, held annually at Harvard, produced this video recap to give prospective attendees a feel for what they’ll experience.
5. The Heart Warmer
This one’s all about emotional appeal. It doesn’t have to be a direct discussion about your company’s values or a cause it supports, though it should allude to those aspects. Good storytelling is an integral part of this video approach as well.
Huggies Brazil struck a chord with new parents by helping a blind mom “see” her pregnancy ultrasound via 3-D printing and documenting it all.
Pedigree’s ” First Days Out” documentary, also launched in Brazil, profiles two ex-cons as they adopt, and learn to care for, dogs upon their release from prison.
Whether you’re looking for a few laughs or a more meaningful dialogue with customers, this is the year to ramp up video efforts in the marketing department.