Huffpost Business
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Scott MacFarland Headshot

If a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, What Is a Video Worth?

Posted: Updated:
Print

Video has been around for a long time. Producing styles have evolved over the years, distribution channels have emerged, interactivity has blossomed and technology has changed the face of video forever.

Even the influence of the video and voice message as it reaches the consumer in new and different ways has changed drastically. What does all this mean for marketers who are currently using video or even those who are not? Here's my take. The old cliché says, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Maybe that picture is no longer a picture, but a video? I believe there are probably millions of people who watch video who would probably agree.

Here are some facts According to Going Social: The State of Video in 2013 that support the paradigm shift from, "a picture is worth a thousand words" to, "a moving picture is worth a million people."

• Forty billion videos are streamed in the U.S. each month.

• Seventy-five million people watch videos online each month.

• $6.3 billion will be spent on video ads in 2015.

Wow!

I know these are just numbers, and they don't really have any tactical leveraging value so you can increase your marketing budget. So let me put some meat to these facts and help you grasp the magnitude of why video is more than just a fantastic storytelling medium.

Video and SEO -- How Do They Work Together?

We know this wonderful thing called the world wide web has transformed life as we know it for businesses and marketers. But did you know that search engine optimization (SEO), has now teamed-up with video content to make it even more searchable then ever? In that past, marketers struggled, trying to get their videos more exposure. The most common places to get viewers was at trade shows, on DVDs, in retail displays and of course on broadcast television. All of those still exist. However, now you have global reaching power because you are equipped with SEO by your side in tandem with video.

Let's take a look at why Google could be your best friend if you are trying to integrate video into your marketing strategy. It has been cited many times that Google favors video, and after all, they do own YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world -- second to Google, of course. That should give you some indication why video is important for SEO rankings. According to Kunocreative

Websites and search results with video are automatically ranked higher on Google.

Hmm... this is one reason why video and SEO are now on the seam team. Secondly, Google also knows that videos are everywhere, not just on YouTube and on your company website. They are also on social media channels and being watched on your smartphone sitting right in your pocket or hand bag. Wait, there's more. SEO is not strictly about individual keywords any more. Yes, they are important, they just don't carry the weight they once did. Google now also factors into their searches what's called LSI Keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords). This is really just another name for related terms or synonyms. So start thinking about LSI. Steve Olenski author of Unfamiliar SEO tasks marketers will have to follow had this to say.

An example of a semantic search system would be pulling up things that are related, much like you see in the Knowledge Graph on the right hand side of many SERP.

It's not as much about keywords anymore -- it's more about relevance.

When videos are being produced, marketers have to pay more attention not just to their content in the video and who they are producing for, but also for the search engine requirements. Based on consumer trends , broadcast TV has now been overtaken by digital media by almost 45 minutes more per week. That should tell you that digital video and SEO are critical for your marketing efforts.

Start Integrating Video Into Your Marketing -- Now!

Producing video does come with some implications just like media buying does. As you may know, media has three categories, paid, owned and earned. Video can behave very much the same way because you can produce your own video or pay an agency to do it for you. Either way can be highly effective. If you decide to produce your own in-house, it is much like content marketing or owned media. You can have more control over the outcome of your message and it will be less expensive. The downside may be that your production quality will probably suffer. In some cases, this lack of quality content can hurt your brand's reputation and brand image.

As a Marketer, I Love Video and Everything It Brings to the Brand

I also love the creativity, storytelling value and sense of reality it brings to the customer. When video and the web are combined, nothing seems to communicate stories more effectively. Marketers know this and they are increasing their marketing budgets to accommodate video. According to ReelSEO's 2013 Q4 Video Marketing Survey & Business Video Trend Report, their findings are giving us an indication that video is on the rise and marketers should take notice.

• Ninety-three percent of marketing professionals are implementing video in their strategies.

• Eighty-four percent are using video for website marketing.

• Eighty-two percent have expressed the positive effect video has on their organization.

Reach And Recall

Marketers think about reach and recall. Call us weird, that just comes with the job. The good news about these two key performance indicators is that video is known to enhance a marketing campaign's reach, and at a lower cost. But here's the icing on the cake. Nielsen and the IAB report, that video is also known to make a marketing campaign more effective through generating an increase in brand recall (+33 percent) and message recall (+45 percent). If a picture isn't worth a thousand words any longer, it may just be worth a million eyeballs or even increased sales. Either way, I'm totally happy as a marketer with both of those.