There is no way around it anymore: We are living in a digital age, one driven by a visual format. For those of us old enough to remember, we’re way beyond the era Disney’s future-esque Epcot Center glamourized...the color television sets, wireless remote controls and microwave ovens (though, in all fairness, much of the Jetsons-like tech of commuting spaceships and robotic servants hasn’t quite come to pass). Today, everyone is connected, logged on, Twitter-fed and seemingly happy, and into this foray has come new implementations of the video medium – and we’re not just referring to the YouTube phenomenon.

Where small business marketing is concerned, videos have taken on a whole new dynamic, essentially due to a singular, unavoidable yet somewhat frightening reality: The average attention span of a human being today is akin to that of your garden variety goldfish, which is to say, not very long. Indeed, people want their information in visually-digestible form, and they want it fast, which is a big reason for the steady decline in interest with regard to newspapers, magazines and other “physical” mediums. From a marketing perspective, all of this equates to putting a company’s information front and center via a mobile-friendly website that’s loaded with visual-heavy content…and if a modern business isn’t operating with these elements in mind, it’s just not going to make it in world where consumers will quickly and simply move on to a competitor.

Here, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the importance of using videos in modern small business marketing and social media marketing, while explaining how the medium can be used to increase revenue in small business operations.

Statistics Tell the Story

In the previous paragraphs, we hinted at the importance of a “mobile-friendly website,” and it’s worth repeating once more. Boasting a mobile-friendly website, essentially, means that a business has (most likely) turned to a professional marketing agency that has created a web portal optimized for mobile phone use. This is essential in modern marketing tactics because such websites are designed to work more effectively on mobile devices – where the majority of consumers spend their time.

We’ll dive deeper into this later in the article.

For now, let’s put it more succinctly: The last couple of years have seen a full-on video revolution for marketers. In fact, according to statistics we have analyzed by such resources as Wyzowl, some 63-percent of businesses have started using content marketing with videos, and out of those a staggering 82-percent believe marketing with videos is a vital part of their strategy. To say that the use of videos is progressing rapidly is something of an understatement, as the medium will reach dizzying new heights sooner than we even know. What’s more, the trend is being fueled by 83-percent of businesses that believe marketing through videos shows them incredible ROI (Return on Investment).

Convincing Reasons Videos Should be Used

First things first: Videos can make a small business some serious money. Adding product videos on a landing page, for example, can increase conversions by 80-percent. Not only that, but professional agencies such as 406Productions can make sure that videos work well regardless of the category in which they're deployed.

So, first and foremost, videos can lead directly to sales, with studies showing that 74-percent of users who watched “explainer” videos about a product subsequently purchased it.

Actually, if we think about it logically, the effectiveness of videos is not that surprising – vision is our most dominant sense, and most information passed to our brain is visual. Putting things in that perspective, if pictures can boost engagement so effectively, imagine what moving pictures can do for a business.

Videos Bring Steady ROI

We touched on this a bit at the end of the previous section, but we’re going to focus a bit more keenly on it here because it’s important. What’s so vital about Return on Investment? In marketing, it’s everything – indeed, some 83-percent of businesses report that videos bring with them positive ROI, and even though video production is not yet the easiest or cheapest tactic, it pays off in a big way. Aside from that, online editing tools for videos are constantly improving and becoming more affordable, with smartphones able to make decent-looking videos at this point.

Here’s another thing to remember: Videos don’t have to be perfect – it’s the content that matters. Our latest research shows that users are often turned off by videos that fail to explain the service or product clearly enough, with low-quality and poor design not mattering nearly as much.

Videos Build Trust

Here’s a small tidbit about any kind of marketing effort: Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But much like in any personal or romantic relationship, building trust should be considered a goal all by itself. The entire concept of content marketing is based on creating long-term relationships and trust, plain and simple; we often tell clients to “stop selling and let the customers come to you by way of interesting and useful information.”

Into this foray comes videos, which essentially do it all. Visual content engages prospective customers and ignites their emotions, and when considering the big dogs in all of this, YouTubers are the ones who have become the most powerful social media marketing figures promoting their brands. The bottom line? A business that’s serious about marketing must be serious about videos, as well.

Promotional videos can foster trust, too – consider for a moment the fact that some consumers remain skeptical about purchasing services and products online because they fear cheating, fraud and scams. Effective marketing videos, in comparison, present products in a “conversational” manner, creating an “individualized” approach – this is precisely why 57-percent of consumers say that videos provide more confidence when purchasing online.

Videos are Loved by Google

If a company isn’t connecting with the largest search engine on the entire internet, there’s a problem. With that being said, videos allow a business to increase the time visitors spend on their website – thus, longer exposure builds trust and signals Google that a site boasts solid content.

406Productions Fun Fact: A company is 53 times more likely to show up first on a Google search if it has videos embedded on its website. What’s more, because Google now owns YouTube, there has been a significant uptick in just how influential videos are in a search engine rank.

There’s something else to consider here, as well: Optimizing videos on YouTube for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is critical, so a company should take into consideration interesting titles and descriptions when writing for links or meta-descriptions. Additionally, adding a link back to the company website, products and services isn’t a bad idea, so that potential customers are given a pathway to their next step in the purchasing cycle.

Companies can even explore the world of interactive videos to encourage even more engaging actions.

Videos Appeal to Mobile Users

This touches on what we originally began talking about in this article – the fact that content today needs to be optimized for a mobile device crowd. Videos and mobile go hand-in-hand, with 90-percent of consumers watching videos on their phone today.

406Productions Fun Facts:

• From Q3 of 2013, views of mobile videos have grown more than 233-percent.
• YouTube reports mobile videos consumption goes up 100-percent every year.
• Google reports that smartphone users are twice as likely than TV viewers and 1.4 times more likely as desktop viewers to “feel a sense of personal connection” to brands that show visual content or ads on their devices.

The growth of mobile videos signals one important thing: Brands – even small businesses – need to be aware of the “personal experience” modern consumers have with their smartphones, as “silly” as that may seem to some just getting their feet wet in modern online marketing.

Marketing Through Videos Can Explain Everything

For a business launching, say, a new product or service, creating videos to show how it works is ideal. Need some additional statistics? Check these out:

• Ninety-eight (98)-percent of users say they’ve watched explainer videos to learn more about a product or service.
• Forty-five (45)-percent of businesses that use videos in marketing have reported that they have “explainer” videos on their home page; of those businesses, 83-percent said that their home page explainer videos were effective.

Likewise, if a company is attempting to explain a somewhat confusing concept with regard to its products or services, animated videos are a great way to cut through the difficulty. Indeed, animation can bring concepts to life like no live videos or text can, and, besides, so-called “talking head” videos have become boring and not really effective enough anymore to break through the clutter. Animated videos are the ideal fusion of nostalgia, entertainment and simplicity – and they work.

Videos Engage Even the Laziest Buyers

While they are a great tool for learning, videos are incredibly easy to “consume,” and the modern state of life finds most people too busy to read long product descriptions or dig deep into a service offering bulletin. If there’s anything in this article that’s worth constant repetition, it’s that the modern consumer prefers to see a product in action – and it’s the preference for videos that has become one of the most important driving forces for using the medium in marketing.

Marketing through videos can capture a wide audience, and it works on many levels…even the laziest ones.

Now that we’ve covered the essential reasons videos should be used when engaging in small business marketing, in our next article we'll discuss ways to market a business via the medium, as well as through social media.