Video is Killing the Written Content Star

According to Cisco, global consumer internet video traffic will be 80% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019. This number is substantially higher than the 64% of internet video traffic in 2014. In other words, the growth of video has been substantial and will continue to be substantial. As such, 2016 has been dubbed ‘The Year of Video’.

This title is far from original, though. In my own research, the earliest ‘Year of Video’ I could find was 2006, though I wouldn’t be surprised if 2006 was not the first year moniker was used. After all, the power of video is notorious. According to Forrester Research‘s Dr. James McQuivey, “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words”.

While this is an exaggerated measurement based on the well-known idiom that a picture is worth a thousand words (you can find the ‘math’ behind this statement here), video has certainly maintained its status as the rising star of marketing throughout the years. The fact that video is a powerful storytelling medium has been a major catalyst in its success. Adding to this is the fact that so many marketers are investing in it and so many popular platforms are bringing video capabilities into their toolset.

As a writer, I certainly believe in the power of the written word, but incorporating only written content in a content making strategy can make brands easy to ignore in a marketing landscape that is adopting the engaging mediums of images and videos. Read on to find out how to make the cause for adopting video in your content strategy.

Making the Case for Video

Video is fundamental to the way people are consuming content. Everything from one-on-one video chatting to real-time video coverage of news events to video sales letters, all signs point to the takeover of video.

The Current State of Video

  • YouTube has over a billion users–almost a third of all people on the Internet–and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views. YouTube
  • Growth in watch time on YouTube has accelerated and is up at least 50% year over year for three years straight. YouTube This is especially interesting given the decreasing time spent reading content.
  • The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobile has increased by 100% year over year. YouTube
  • Almost 1 in 5 people are watching daily videos that are to do with their work. Axxon

The Power of Video in Marketing

  • 7 in 10 people said their perception of a brand was positively altered after seeing interesting video content. Axxon
  • 68% of brand marketers (300 surveyed in total) are moving budget away from television and into online video. Axxon

Future Predictions for Video Prevalence

  • It would take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2019. Cisco Visual Networking Index
  • Every second, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross global IP networks by 2019. Cisco Visual Networking Index
  • 64% of marketers in a 2013 Nielsen survey expected video content to lead their content strategies in the next few years. Nielsen

The Future of Video is Now

Given that the future of video seems to be glittering, it can be easy to overlook the fact that video is currently glittering. In fact, the time to take advantage of video is now, not in a few years when the space is saturated with video in much the same way that it’s currently saturated with written content.

After all, do you really want to be competing with the million minutes of video content that will be crossing global networks every second in 2019?

Getting into the game now means the opportunity to build authority and acquire an audience before the oversaturation sets it. Luckily, options for creating video are expanding.  Before getting into the how of video creation, though, knowing the why is essential.

The Why of Video Marketing

Video is the ultimate story telling platform, given that it combines the two powerful senses of sound and vision. By its very nature video is easier and more compelling to consume than written content.  Along these same lines, video tends to enhance the human-to-human connection between brands and their audiences. The use of live video on social profiles only amplifies the personal aspect of video, allowing brand advocates to speak for themselves in a candid—rather than forced or staged—manner.

The end result of this increased human-to-human connection via branded videos is that this content helps to build authority, brand identity, brand loyalty, and audience trust.

As if all of these benefits weren’t enough, most social platforms are prioritizing videos in their newsfeeds. This applies doubly for live videos, such as those produced from Facebook Live. In fact, the platforms devoted solely to the how of video marketing are advancing at an exponential rate.

The How of Video Marketing

The video production playing field is leveling. Not only is the number of video hosting and distribution platforms multiplying, but production costs have decreased and technically talented producers are no longer required to create a respectable video. Advancements in technology and affordable editing software options have also supported this equalizing activity in the video creation space.

Running With the Video Marketing Momentum

While getting started with video may seem daunting, getting your feet wet with some of the simpler video platforms—such as Vine or Blab—can allow even the least experienced video marketers to take baby steps. Baby steps may not sound like the most powerful strategy, but small wins can lead to more resources and valuable experience—leading to bigger wins and a gradual progression up the maturity curve of video creation.

Luckily, you can approach video with the same general goals and mindset that you the rest of your content marketing—that is, the mindset of storytelling and the goal of making connections with your audience. These objectives have reigned during the era of written content, they continue to reign during the up rise of video, and it’s certain that they will reign in future content marketing tactics, whether that be written content, video, or even virtual reality.


Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog The Marketing Technology Landscape: Where Will We Be in 2020? to learn about the marketing technology advances that will help you have better, more successful conversations with your audience.

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