You have more chance of surviving a plane crash than you do of clicking on a banner ad, says Business Insider. It’s an arresting thought, especially when you consider that the first banner ad ever published saw a conversion rate of 44%. Of course, that was back in 1994 when the internet still had that new car smell and people were clicking on everything.
It’s no secret that things move quickly online. Just one year ago, for example, our internet browsing habits changed significantly, when we moved from being primarily desktop internet users to mobile internet users (48.7% to 51.3%, respectively). At about the same time, global social media ad spend more than doubled from $16 billion USD in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.
As mobile internet connections get faster, technology improves, and advertising investment rises, the rate of innovation will only increase.
That’s great news for marketers, but it comes at a price. As a marketing student or graduate, it means you have no choice but to keep informed and stay on top of new developments – or risk becoming redundant. So what trends should you be keeping your eye on today?
- Firstly, where is the smart ad money going?
Following a report by Hubspot, 35 percent of ad spend online is invested in video. This is not surprising if you consider that 90 percent of people say that videos help them make purchasing decisions, and 64 percent say they are more likely to buy something online if they watch a video of it first.
Moreover, popularised by outlets like Playground and BuzzFeed, short, human interest and fun videos are taking social networks by storm. They are shared up to 7 times more than normal links or posts and generate enough views and clicks for publishers to be able to pull in revenues through sheer volume of traffic and via targeted in-stream ads.
Video works because video is easy for the consumer and loading times are now near-instant. On Facebook we now even have an autoplay feature, which is significant when you consider that just a one second delay in page response can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions and that our attention spans are reputedly now shorter than those of goldfish.
- How is the video marketing ecosystem changing?
The landscape is already shifting and we’re seeing a new wave of live video marketing. Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Stories are the platforms driving the action, encouraging instant interaction, sometimes ephemeral content, and definite human connection, over highly polished production values.
In a sense, live videos are the antithesis of traditional marketing; they completely remove the perfected branded facade and replace it with a person. Marketers are using these live video platforms to deliver free webinars and AMAs (ask me anything sessions), interview influencers, and generate more awareness and organic reach. But most importantly, they are using them to speak and listen to their audiences directly.
Live videos are essentially putting the social aspect back into what has become an anonymising digital ecosystem, a place which has traditionally been quite isolating for consumers.
- So, what’s the future for video marketing?
Just a few short years ago, basing a marketing campaign on video would have been unthinkable; cumbersome files that take whole minutes to load don’t lend themselves well to a medium populated by users who lose interest in milliseconds. Yet now we are swirling around the social mobile video maelstrom. Mark Zuckerberg himself has described video as a “mega trend”.
While we’re leaning more towards live content today, tomorrow we may well be looking at step into augmented reality video marketing, or even a leap into Virtual Reality with Facebook Spaces.
But the direction, regardless of the technology that gets us there, goes towards instant value, human-to-human interaction, community building, and short sharp bursts of content.
- What skills or characteristics do marketers need to develop?
Marketers who want to specialise in video will be at an advantage, but even those who prefer to be generalists need to develop and hone a number of new skills if they want to excel in digital marketing. Along with traditional analytical and production skills, the average marketing graduate will need to be able to:
- Expertly research online audiences and their needs
- Produce or strategise diverse content on a number of digital mediums, including video
- Focus on online community and niche building
- Become comfortable with thinking on their feet in order to deal with challenging questions and complaints in a real-time, on-camera environment
- Emanate brand values in a live, on camera setting
- Have genuine passion for their industry
It’s an exciting and competitive industry, and one that requires dedication and hard work. Those who are passionate about in their own professional development will go far. Video marketing is just the beginning, and we can only imagine what technology will help us achieve next.
Find out more about ESEI’s Master in Digital Marketing course, which will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to become a first-class marketer.
You will explore video and other cutting-edge technology used in web positioning today and learn how to develop and drive digital strategies for startup companies and established enterprises in our fast-changing online environment.