The first television commercial aired in July of 1941 across black and white sets in New York City before a Brooklyn Dodgers game. The ad was for Bulova, a watch company, and it showed an image of a watch face overlaid on a map of the United States. The voiceover stated, “America runs on Bulova time.” (Now it runs on Dunkin’...) It was 10 seconds long.
We were not in the room when the marketing department at Bulova got together and decided to
run their ad, and odds are neither were you (but if you were, drinks are on us). So what do you think it was like? It was summer in 1941, so it was likely a pleasant combination of sweaty and smokey. The industry jargon was not as developed, considering the ad itself cost Bulova $9 (approximately $112 in today’s dollars - an unbelievable deal), and in 2021, companies in the U.S. spent $37.4 billion on video marketing.
But were their concerns any different from yours?
The methods, means, and mediums have expanded to an overwhelming set of options, but their goals then are our goals now; how do we connect with our customers? How do we differentiate ourselves from the competition and drive sales?”
Here we’ll offer five reasons to invest in video marketing, and each reason reflects a central goal of video marketing.
1. TELL YOUR STORY
The above is primary, and all else is secondary. Customers, specifically the largest age demographic of Millennials, care about the story of the companies they purchase from at least as much as the product or service itself. The companies doing this at the highest level, are companies that involve their customers in the telling of their narrative.
We’ll look at a few incredible statistics below, but a point should be made here: empirical stats alone are not the chief reason to invest in video marketing. There’s a simpler, more profound reason that Bulova was tapping into with the first ad; motion pictures create an emotional connection in the audience’s mind, and the best ones do it without words.
Consider their simple 10-second ad. It’s an image of their watch face superimposed over the outline of America. What conclusion do you draw from this image? Perhaps, that the watch is American-made, it’s popular with Americans of all backgrounds, and most significantly, part of being American is to have this watch, all reinforced by the voiceover,
“America runs on Bulova time.”
In 1941 that was a powerful message.
It’s 2022, and the tools at your disposal are endless. Professional, high-quality video marketing has a lower barrier to entry than ever before. By putting your narrative in the hands of a visual storytelling artist, you ensure telling your story with the heart and visual quality it deserves.
2. DRIVE SALES
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Ultimately, you’re a part of a business that needs to generate revenue. Does video marketing, especially for social media and the web, actually drive sales? According to Wyzowl, after receiving 582 unique responses from marketing professionals and online consumers, 87% of marketers say video has helped increase their traffic, and 81% say video has directly increased sales. What’s more stunning is that “88% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.”
One of many marketers' main concerns about investing in video production is cost. Will it be worth it? Will investing all of this time and money into video give our business a return on investment? Given marketing statistics, it’s clear the cost is worth it (especially if you hire a company that understands you), but consider it yourself for a moment.
How many videos have you watched just this morning? Before purchasing your last non-stick pan, new shoes, sustainable coffee beans, ethically made lipstick, or your daughter’s bike, did you watch a video? If you’re like us, you did. Use your video content to give potential buyers more than the nuts and bolts reasons to purchase from you.
3. RECORD YOUR HISTORY
This reason is especially dear to us at MR. Productions. In 2021 we had the privilege of producing a branded documentary featurette about the founding of White Construction Company in Austin. It was their 50th Anniversary, and this video was of utmost importance to the founders, their families, and the WCC team.
The project took nearly the entire year as we traveled to all of their offices, including their very first office in Clarksdale, Mississippi. There were target metrics for the video and goals for the story to accomplish, but one of the greatest was recording history.
Whether your video is literally about the history of your business or a thirty-second social media ad promoting a new product, all content you produce is a means of recording your history. It’s a way to see your progress years down the road, see what worked and what didn’t, and see how your core values have consistently been there in everything you do, regardless of
technological shifts or system changes. Videos serve as reminders of who your company is and what it stands for.
4. VIDEO OVER EVERYTHING
Marketers and business owners often worry about how to spend marketing dollars and see the highest ROI. Should you invest more in social media? Google ads and SEO? Blogs? Photography? These forms of marketing often have lower barriers to entry, with fewer upfront costs.
But what’s the pecking order?
While there isn’t any single statistic that answers the question, several indicate video should not be a small tool utilized a few times a year but a key feature of your marketing. Consider:
“Twitter reports that it currently garners 62% more views from video than standard posts, and Instagram has increasingly prioritized video distribution on its platform,” according to Boosted.com.
From Twitter’s Business page, “Video is our fastest-growing marketing tool… Tweets with video attracted 10x more engagements than Tweets without video. And Video Ads save more than 50% on cost-per-engagement.”
“Consumers globally are spending 86% more time consuming digital video than in 2016,” according to eMarketer.com
Again from eMarketer, “More than 75% of US adults spend up to two hours watching short-form digital video content each day.”
Does your marketing budget reflect these consumer trend shifts? If not, now is the best time to start. New studies also show consumer interest in brand stories rather than traditional video ads making a direct sell.
5. Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
Look around your industry. Are your competitors using video in their marketing? Are they new to video, or is video an established aspect of their branding?
Do you feel good about your company’s marketing strategy, or are you frustrated and discouraged? Don’t worry; whether you think that you're ahead of the game or lagging, video marketing is a way to differentiate yourself from your competition.
If you are in a position to take the first step towards adding video to your advertising strategy, a step yet to be taken by your competitors, like Dwight Schrute said when he peer pressured Michael in The Office, “Do it. Do it now.”
Strong video content will jumpstart your sales and immediately incentivize customers to hire or buy from you over your competitors because customers will feel as though they know you. They’ll know your brand and have a clearer picture of the business from whom they are purchasing.
If your competitors have an established video marketing component, you simply have no hope and no chance; give up now.
Not only do all the prior statistics still apply to you and your situation, but the reason video marketing can separate you from the competition is that you have a specific and unique story to tell. There is no better way to tell your story than through video, as you communicate more in a shorter time frame. The blend of music, images of your business doing what it does best, and the human voice telling your story all add up to what makes your company different from the other guys.
Bulova started something new in 1941. Shortly after their TV ad aired, large department stores all across New York City seized the moment and produced their own ads. Bulova had something simple to say; it was part of who they were and now stands as a record of their history. What is your simple message? Say it with a video and watch what happens.
Author: Caleb McKnight