I’m old enough to remember the dawn of online video content. It was only 1996 when Flash player was launched, making online video streaming accessible to the masses for the first time. However, fewer than 3% of households in the United States had access to broadband internet by the year 2000, meaning the vast majority of users relied on dial-up. With a maximum download speed of 56 kbps, it would take the average dial-up user anywhere from 28 to 120 hours to download a single 700 mb video file.
In other words, video wasn’t accessible to most people at this time. It wasn’t until 2005 – coincidentally the same year YouTube was launched – that broadband internet subscriptions became more popular in the developed world than dial-up subscriptions.
Since the year 2005 however, video has experienced exponential growth online. According to IT giant Cisco, in 2016 internet video accounted for 67% of global web traffic for that year. By the end of 2021, they predict that figure will rise to 80%.
In the short span of 16 years, online video went from being effectively inaccessible to accounting for four-fifths of the content we consume over the internet. Absolutely explosive growth.
Video Marketing in 2021
Unboxing videos, livestreams, and TikToks aside (I’ve just dated this blog post, haven’t I?), video content is being used by businesses to reach consumers in profound new ways.
Webinars all but replaced live events in the last year and a half, becoming the primary digital way to connect with prospects to answer detailed or important questions. Product explainer videos offer customers an easy means of conducting research on a product or service beyond what web copy alone can offer. Business homepages and landing pages are adorned with eye-catching video content the moment a prospect lands on the page, immediately making a positive impression. And online video advertisements get in front of a customer before they watch the latest YouTube video from their favourite creator.
Video marketing itself is nothing new – TV commercials and movie trailers have been around for decades – but thanks to high-speed internet access and smartphones the barriers to entry have been dramatically lowered for the average business.
In this blog we’ll explore the why of video marketing to engineers – namely, why it works and why you should be doing it (if you aren’t already). In a future blog, we’ll offer some tips and tricks for how you can attract more viewers to your engineering-related video content.
The Power of Video
Video isn’t just taking the online entertainment world by storm; it’s also taking digital marketing by storm because of how effective it is at gaining and holding audience attention.
On average, it’s estimated that people watch an average of 16 hours of online video content per week (this figure has grown by 52% over the last 2 years). Not only are users consuming video for lengthy periods of time, they’re also retaining much of the information that is presented to them. Numerous marketing studies have been conducted over the years which demonstrate that viewers retain significantly more information from a video than they do from reading text. For example, one study found that viewers retain up to 95% of what they learn from a video, while they only retain around 10% of the same information when it is presented to them in text format. Reflecting on it now, I really should have made this article into a video…
This retention of information leads to prospects remembering your brand; remembering your value proposition; remembering the pain points of theirs that your product or service addresses; and this, in turn, leads them to come back to you in the future.
What’s more, we know for a fact that video marketing drives sales. One study found that including video in a digital advertising campaign led to an average conversion rate increase of 34%. Furthermore, 84% of marketers surveyed across all industries said that when they added a video component to their advertising campaigns, they experienced an increase in the number of leads. Video’s impact is widespread across industries, and it truly serves as a means of “leveling up” your digital advertising campaigns.
Video's Impact on Technical Marketing
You may be asking yourself: “But how effective is video at generating leads for technical marketers, specifically?” We’ve seen the statistics on businesses across all industries, but are technical marketers also using video to reach their audiences? And if so, is it having a similarly positive effect?
The short answer? Yes.
Each year at engineering.com, we survey technical marketers to get a better sense of the marketing strategies and tactics that are working, as well as those that aren’t. Our 2021 survey and report – which you can access by clicking here – included a series of questions on content marketing in particular.
First of all, I have to point out that “content marketing” was selected as the single most effective marketing strategy for marketers. Respondents pointed to content marketing as the most effective means of generating leads over other options that included email marketing, trade shows, print advertising, and more. Content reigns supreme as the most effective strategy in use by marketers.
“Content,” however, is a big umbrella. Content includes blogs, Webinars, case studies, e-books, and even more. So, we next asked technical marketers to tell us how they are allocating their budget/energy/resources among a number of different activities. The type of content that marketers are investing the most in? Take a guess…
…it’s video. I hope you guessed that given the topic of this article, but just in case I thought I better spell it out.
Technical marketers are spending time, energy, and budget on their video content because they know this form of content marketing works. The general statistics we looked at earlier are just as applicable to technical marketing as they are to any other form of marketing.
"But Mom, Everyone is Doing It!"
As we’ve seen, video clearly has the power to influence a customer’s buying journey. However, in case you’re still not convinced that video should be a major factor of your marketing strategy, let me try one more tactic – peer pressure.
Kidding – sort of.
The fact of the matter is that an ever-increasing number of marketing teams are utilizing video as part of their strategy, but not all have just yet. Survey data from 2021 shows that around 61% of companies list video as a major part of their marketing plan, and this will surely grow over the coming years. But if your video content engine is still in its infancy – or not in existence at all yet – then the time to start improving your video content offerings is now.
High quality video content isn’t easy to produce. It requires advanced equipment and know-how from a technical perspective, and it requires creativity and time to produce content that is enjoyable for your viewers. The sooner you begin working on this the better, as – newsflash – your competitors are likely already stepping up their video game, or they will be very soon.
The best time to start developing your video content engine was 10 years ago. The next best time is today.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Video is the fastest growing form of content available on the internet, and it’s making a huge splash in the world of technical marketing. Technical marketers are spending more and more time, energy, and budget to improve their video content offerings and we should see this investment start to pay off over the next few years.
At engineering.com, we have a dedicated video platform for engineering-related video content. You can access our video content from our website at www.engineering.com, or you can visit our YouTube channel here.
If you have any questions for me personally, feel free to email me at: email@example.com.