Digital storytelling - why video engages users

“I see video as a mega-trend on the same order as mobile,” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg told investors and analysts. “That's why we're going to keep putting video first.”

Facebook isn’t the only platform increasing its focus on video. Snapchat has recently surpassed 8 billion daily video views, and hundreds of millions of hours of online video are watched every day on YouTube.

The fact is, the average internet user is consuming more and more video content - and any brand that’s not creating and promoting videos is missing out on a huge opportunity to tell and share stories in a truly impactful way.

A 2016 survey by the Video Marketing Council found that 61% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool. 66 percent of these businesses had not been using video the year before. Brands are quickly realising the power of video marketing, and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.

Far from viewing video as an optional add-on, we need to start following the example of major players such as Zuckerberg, integrating video across all our marketing efforts.

Our complete guide to video marketing will help you discover why video is so engaging, how it can increase reach and conversions, and the creative directions it can take your message in.

An instant response



A good piece of video content grabs you and doesn’t let go. Utilising words, images, music and motion, videos offer a huge amount of content in a short amount of time, appealing to the fast-paced nature of web users while offering information that will stay with them.

Video stimulates both auditory and visual senses. 65% of the population respond best to visual information, while 30% react most strongly to acoustic input. By combining the two, video reaches out to everyone, drawing consumers into a story and ensuring that the information imparted will be remembered.

Users also find it easier to grasp the information in a short video than in a block of text. Because text requires active reading and processing, users can pass it over before fully digesting the information. A snappy video, on the other hand, packages the same information in an immediately understandable format.

Video appeals to the emotions, meaning that marketers can draw from a vast range of feelings to create evocative and memorable content. Whether a video makes you laugh, surprises you with a hard-hitting fact, inspires you with beautiful scenery, or stirs you to action with a moving story, it’s engaging you in a way that text or images alone couldn’t.

An impactful reaction



While a user’s initial reaction to a video is primarily emotional, decision-making is also at work. The immediate actions that a well-designed piece of video content can inspire range from immediate online sharing to following links toward conversion.

Because of the quick and information-packed nature of a video, customers make decisions in seconds, often sharing, liking or commenting on something impulsively. As social platforms are now geared toward video-first sharing, a video can be engaged with at the tap of a button.

As a result, adults are more likely to share (39%), comment (36%) and ‘like’ (56%) online video over a basic text blog. This extends the reach of your content and gets people talking about your brand in a meaningful way.

As for more sales-based interactions, the facts speak for themselves. 72% of businesses who use video say it has increased website conversion rates, while 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 is projected to come from video.

Many forms



A video-first approach to marketing can offer a cohesive, interactive feel to your online marketing. Just take Sundown Festival as an example. They made a quick, slick branded video of highlights from their Saturday sets, and used it to encourage local audiences to join the festival on Saturday. Showing consumers what they were missing inspired a last-minute boost in ticket sales

Alongside these short clips, looped gif animations and stylish cinemagraphs can add flair to a page or campaign. While gifs are a popular means of expressing emotions and reactions across social media, cinemagraphs offer an artistic backdrop that viewers find it hard to look away from.

When it comes to interactive campaigns, it doesn’t get much better than user-generated content. We worked with Africa’s leading budget airline, encouraging their diverse customer base to show us the continent through their eyes via short video clips.

The deeply evocative campaign gained a reach of almost 3,000,000 across social channels, and resulted in a 20% increase in social conversions compared to the previous 8 week period.

A million uses



Social media plays a huge part in the video-first revolution, with Facebook users watching a combined 100 million hours of video a day. However, it’s far from the only place for well-designed video content. From marketing to pitching to offering insight, video will add extra value across your digital presence.

Consider sending key decision makers a short, stylish video that gives a feeling for your brand and explains your services. Taking cues from crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, video pitches offer an appealing human touch to your proposal.

Rather than reading blocks of text or flipping through countless slides, your audience can immediately get a taste of who you are and how your product works. In fact, campaigns with a video pitch raise up to four times more funds than those without.

Tell your story...


In a sense, all online video is about storytelling. Whether you’re telling the story of how your company got where it is or how it’s going to change your audience’s lives for the better, it is a medium that moves people instantly.

To discover how your business can make an even greater impact across its digital presence, get in touch with us today to discuss where video will take you.