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More Video in Store for Marketers in 2018

As a marketer in the high-tech industry for nearly 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to witness the development of key technologies that have helped shape today’s digital transformation. Converged network infrastructures. Mobile, location-aware communications. Social networking platforms. Commodity cloud storage. At the same time, I’ve seen how marketing itself has evolved, almost in lockstep, with the adoption of new applications to promote these breakthrough innovations. Video, in particular, has changed the game, as organizations across every industry now require a video marketing strategy to build awareness, generate leads, and foster long-term customer relationships.

From VHS to “Full Stream” Ahead

Corporate videos have certainly come a long way in a short period of time. What was once created maybe once or twice a year in expensive studios, delivered on VHS tapes or DVDs, and shown during tradeshows or broadcast over TV (if you had the budget), is now completely digital, portable, and repeatable. Smaller, less expensive, higher resolution cameras combined with intuitive online tools for editing and special effects produce first-rate videos that can be viewed and shared just about anywhere, on any device.

Within just the last few years, video and video streaming have exploded to the point where customers and prospective buyers now expect to watch “something” from your brand—whether it’s on your website, your Facebook page or your YouTube channel, preferably all three. Here are a few eye-opening statistics that reinforce the power and necessity of video marketing:

  • 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users
  • 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video
  • 54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues weekly
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text
  • 80% of business executives are watching more online video today than they were a year ago

So, from a marketers’ perspective, video needs to be a key, foundational element in how you go to market and build the business. But as these trends continue on an upward climb, the really forward-thinking companies will need to think beyond the homepage “hero video” and consider using digital video in more creative, ubiquitous ways to connect with customers and keep them coming back, again and again.

Teach Your Customers Well

Virtual or online training is not a new concept, but with the advent of faster, more reliable and more affordable ways to produce and share educational content, video courses are now the preferred method for both the trainer and the trainee–especially when compared to traditional classroom training. Not only does it eliminate travel costs, but it also offers greater convenience and flexibility. What’s more, video training has practical applications for customers and employees alike.

Collaborative tools like WebEx and GoToMeeting give your resident experts the platform to record their demos or tutorials and store them on your servers for easy, anytime access. Of course, as the tools to capture and edit content get more sophisticated, the size of these files will continue to grow, which will eventually put a squeeze on your on-premises storage equipment. But that’s a trade-off most companies would be willing to accept to retain their customers’ attention and loyalty.

Next Phase: Vlogs, Micro-Targeting and Virtual Reality

We’ve just scratched the surface into how pervasive digital video will be across organizations. In addition to seeing more video on websites and social channels, email will soon deliver self-contained videos, further displacing text and static emails. This blog you’re reading may eventually transition to a “vlog” where I’ll deliver a similarly insightful message in my best suit and tie or, more likely, Wasabi wear.

Micro-targeting is another emerging trend where, as marketers, we create timely, engaging content geared to specific buyer personas. If video is indeed the best way to reach customers, you better be prepared to produce unique, tailored content for each of the numerous personas you’ve identified to purchase your products and services.

Then there’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), which wouldn’t appear to be a viable, relevant option for most companies. But I believe there were skeptics who said the same thing about Snapchat, Instagram, and 3D video—that they didn’t translate into measurable business value. Yet, don’t be surprised if some of your competitors dip their toes into the VR or AR pool in the coming months—especially as it comes down in price and turnaround time.

Video Boom and the Storage Crunch

As companies across all industries look to implement a more comprehensive video marketing strategy, they also need to think about where to store all of these shiny new digital assets. Consider that just one hour of compressed HD video takes about 13GB of storage space and the numbers add up quickly. Fact is, your competitors are probably evaluating or already adopting a similar strategy, so it will be incumbent on your decision makers (i.e., marketers) to keep content fresh, engaging, interactive, and easily accessible.

That’s where next-generation Cloud Storage 2.0 can help. At just 1/5 the cost of other cloud storage providers and 6x faster, Wasabi is the sensible, scalable and predictable storage solution to help organizations keep pace with IoT, big data, and yes, the huge movement toward video content. If video is to be your rising star, you’ll need a strong supporting cast.

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