1. It all MUST start with Facebook, of course
Starting from 2013, Facebook began testing new video features for fan pages and all advantages which might come out from this valuable media. This initiates our question: “Why are videos becoming so important in social media?” Facebook actually gave a brilliant definition what videos can become for business fan pages: “richer storytelling format for advertisers.” This great explanation was published in one of their many official blog posts announcing many updates and changes they tend to do so often. This one came from the article published as news on their Facebook for Business page where they spoke about advantages advertisers can have if they start quality video storytelling in the News Feed. With certain upgrades from Facebook, of course, since the story first began with testing easier ways to watch videos shared by friends. And during this testing period Facebook tried different version of ‘triggering’ video without need to press start button – video starting automatically. This ‘small’ change resulted in more than 10% increase in watching, sharing, liking, talking etc.
And what Facebook did after they saw these results? It’s easy – they just continued to research and immediately turned to business side of the story and continued testing this “richer storytelling format for advertisers”. As they also cleverly realized and said: “Compelling sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns, particularly when brands want to increase awareness and attention over a short period of time. From launching new products to shifting brand sentiment, this video format is ideal for marketers who are looking to make a large-scale impact, and for people who will discover more great content in their News Feeds.”
So, Facebook first started with video ads and in June they announced they will launch 2 new video capabilities to enable advertisers to motivate people who have watched their video to go even further and see some additional content they might be interested in. These 2 new options Facebook announced back in June were:
- CTA buttons to trigger deeper interaction and engagement with people who showed the real interest for some brand in order to incentivise them to learn even more and go and visit some specific landing page after they watched the video. Simply – great option for businesses to invite their real fans to do real things, which should eventually result in higher conversions.
- Building the real audience of those who watched their videos and later creating ads for those specific viewers who already showed genuine interest by watching first in order to help them to easier and faster go through process of initial brand awareness to the real action.
All this was done with one main purpose in mind: to enable marketers to have great tools for further targeting and re-targeting. And this was a really great news for all advertisers since this actually allowed them additional and very creative and effective ways to advertise and tell their stories.
2. The rise of visual content
But, WHY? Why is visual content, in this case we were speaking about video ads but videos in general as well, so important and is so emphasized to be one of the top priority social media trends in 2015? Some even say video content and video marketing are becoming a prominent tool for engaging online audiences. So, the main question is WHY?
3. Have you heard of ‘Trackvertising’?
The boundaries have even moved further from ‘just simply’ videos to a great cool new trend which started last year and is called ‘Trackvertising’ where popular music videos are co-released by a brand and an artist and present collaboration in marketing purposes, indicated either in the title, video description or video itself.
One of the best examples of this new trend is a huge hit done by Shakira – song “La La La (Brazil 2014)” – which was a result of a great collaboration between this singer and the World Food Programme. The song was released before the FIFA World Cup and although it seemed as just regular football-themed song, or anthem each World Cup has, it was not. It was a brand ad seen by more than a quarter of billion times! And if you take a look at video’s description, you will see exactly this – confirmation that this is not just a song but partnership and collaboration between this singer and “Activia” with the main goal to support World Food Programme and its School Meals initiative.
And now we are coming to the point where we must give the answer to our main question.
4. WHY is visual content so important and popular?
Because people like to watch!
It was said and repeated so many times by so many people and proved by so many researches done on the same subject – we are visual beings and we like to watch, regardless if it is an image or video – just to be as visual as possible. Simply, we memorize and learn things faster this way.
To just remind you that is was proven that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is VISUAL and that our brain process such information 60,000 times faster and more effectively than text. Is this good enough explanation why we like to watch? Why our brain works this way is completely different story I will not even ‘try to try to’ investigate, but those are facts. End of story.
5. Why is visual content so good?
So, let’s try to summarize all this and say that visual content in general (consisting of images, infographics, videos etc.) from today’s dominant online world point of view achieve these results:
- Attract more attention
- Increase number of visits
- Have higher social share
- It’s easier to remember
All I said above gets us back to the beginning and the story about Facebook and their many experiments with video and video ads. Why? First of all, Mark Zuckerberg has announced recently Facebook’s Q4 2014 report showing some really interesting information about this most powerful social media network. We will not discuss other numbers, just those about visuals. So just take a look at the number that Facebook now reports 3+ billion video views on Facebook. PER DAY!
It’s going to be really short. If Facebook, as dominant and strongest social media network with 1,39 billion monthly users is so focused on video, then video is something you must focus on too!