My company has been fortunate enough to see success since our inception seven years ago. We want to be around for the next 20 years so we spent a couple of weeks researching how best to invest our profits.
After extensive research, we came to a simple conclusion: Video is a dominant medium right now and it will continue massive growth in the future. Therefore, we’re going all-in on video.
Here are three reasons why a strong online video presence makes sense for brands moving forward.
1. Online video drives website traffic
According to Alexa.com, Google is the most popular website in the world. This is why SEO is such a powerful traffic building tactic. The second most popular website is YouTube – a video platform that supports independent content creators and businesses.
To understand the potential of video, try this experiment. The results may surprise you. Identify a keyword phrase you want to rank for and search for it on YouTube. For instance, we found a video with over 56,000 views. This was unexpected because we operate in a narrow niche of the construction industry. Blue collar fields are not generally known as a hotbed for online video marketing. Yet here was video with a ton of views.
We soon realized why this one video was able to reach a small blue collar niche like ours. First, we underestimated the traffic generated from the video. Cisco published an infographic suggesting that by 2021 81% of global internet traffic will be video, up from 67% in 2016. Second, Google owns YouTube. Therefore, the search engine is incentivized to rank YouTube videos favorably in search results.
2. Online video is ‘native’ for future customers
We need a strategy to reach future customers – Generation Z. Inc.com refers to the Z generation as “video natives” because they watch a lot of video on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. If we spend the next couple of years learning how to do video well, we will be ready to reach Generation Z when they become adults and have money to spend.
Since by 2021 81% of global internet traffic will be video, it will be consumed and viewed as a dominant medium along with TV, radio, books, etc. As high-speed connections become more ubiquitous and cheaper, consumers are swapping out their TV for devices to stream online video. A 2016 comScore study found that people were 30% more likely to prefer online video over TV when given a choice. For millennials, that percentage jumped to a whopping 105%.
3. Online video is a competitive advantage
In the web design world, there is a concept called mobile-first. It places website designs for mobile devices first, before desktop computers. Pew Research reports, “Americans today are increasingly connected to the world of digital information while ‘on the go’ via smartphones and other mobile devices.”
The same approach can be taken for content, prioritizing a video-first strategy and ensuring video is a part of the content marketing mix.
A focus on video can give your company a competitive advantage. A mix of content formats, including video, can increase on-site engagement. Also, you’ll benefit from YouTube traffic that competitors miss out on.
Video-first is a bold strategy. It requires extra effort to execute well, but it has potential for big results. We’re excited to see how this strategy will pan out for our business. What do you think of video?
This article has been edited.
Gabriel Kramer is the co-founder of SI Certs, an online education provider for the construction inspection industry. In 2011, he started SI Certs with a friend by creating one of the first online courses for passing the reinforced concrete special inspection certification exam. Today, SI Certs offers eight different courses to help construction inspectors pass certification tests to further their careers.