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I am a huge proponent of video. I include it in all of our marketing packages for clients, and I use it all over our SmartBox Web Marketing website. So I wondered if a picture is worth 1,000 words, how many words is video worth?

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the answer is 1.8 million. One video is worth more than dozens of articles, books and websites. There are plenty of reasons for this, of course.

Think about all the messages you receive when you can see something as opposed to reading it. That’s why novels that take days or weeks to read can be turned into 90-minute movies. Because you can pick up on visual and auditory cues that have to be explained in text.

Tone of voice, facial cues, posture and setting all give off messages. Without being able to see or hear them, it would take thousands of words to explain what each of those communicates.

So it’s great that video can get your message across. But how many people are on the other end to receive it? How many people are watching online videos?

One hundred million people, according to comScore’s 2012 US Digital Future In Focus report. You think any of those need dentistry?

Also according to comScore, 45.4 percent of Internet users view at least one video online over the course of a month. The average person is exposed to more than 30 videos each month.

OK, so video can quickly and thoroughly distribute your message. Plenty of people watch web videos. But does watching web video affect how people spend their money?

Research shows that 90 percent of online shoppers at major retailers’ websites find video helpful in making a decision. Website visitors are 64 percent more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video and stay on the site an average of 2 minutes longer than those who don’t view videos, according to comScore.

Consumers are becoming trained to expect video. If you’re not providing it on your website, you’re missing out.

By now you might be wondering, what’s the payoff of video.

Well, according to the Online Publishers Association, 80 percent of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days. Of that 80 percent, almost half took some action after viewing the ad.

Of course, the videos you post on your site aren’t ads. Let’s talk about something most good marketers are doing, and that is emailing prospects.

Here are some numbers showing that video would really ratchet up that effort.

In 2010, an Implix email marketing survey found that including a video in an introductory email increased the click-through rate by 96 percent. That number may be conservative.

The Forrester Marketing group surveyed businesses in 2010 and found that when marketers included a marketing or explainer video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200 percent to 300 percent.

Video also can keep prospects from opting out of your emails. Eloqua, an automated email marketing provider, found that including video in an introductory email reduced the number of opt-outs by 75 percent.

Another online marketer reported a 51 percent increase in subscriber-to-lead conversion rates when video was included in an email marketing campaign.

What does this show us? Video marketing increases sales and leads.

Now let’s talk about length of videos. There is a lot of debate about how long you can hold someone’s attention with video.

Here are the numbers:

  • The first is 10 seconds. According to research by Visible Measures, 20 percent of your viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds or less. You’ll lose about one-third of your viewers by 30 seconds, 45 percent by 1 minute and almost 60 percent by 2 minutes. And those numbers remain the same no matter how long the video is.
  • According to research by Jun Group (2011), videos that are 15 seconds or shorter are shared 37 percent more often than those that last between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
  • The average length of a YouTube video is 4 minutes and 21 seconds. That includes everything from 6 second Vines to 120-minute concerts.
  • While desktop viewers tend to stick with videos for 2 minutes or less, mobile users seem to have a longer attention span, all the way up to iPad users who will stick with a web video for an average of 5 minutes.
  • According to comScore, the average Internet user spends 16 minutes and 49 seconds watching online video ads every month.

So what can we take from this? Strive to make your content as short and punchy as possible to guarantee the highest viewership. If your video is 30 seconds or under, most people will watch it all the way through. If it’s more than 2 minutes, most people won’t make it to the end.

However, you can take longer. Say what you have to say. Don’t let a number keep you from showing your personality and expertise.



Written by rcarroll

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