Strategy steps

Using Video as a Marketing Tool

The meteoric rise of video content proves that consumer behaviour changes, often within a short amount of time. What was once at the bottom of the audience’s content consumption list is now predicted to dominate 82% of all internet traffic by 2020. This has not gone unnoticed with marketers, with 81% of business owners now opting to use video as a marketing tool in 2018. 

From 15-second non-skippable ads on YouTube to Instagram influencers showing off their new brand-sponsored products, the online audience has moved from favouring text to watching videos one after each other, with around one billion hours of YouTube videos viewed daily. 

The resources that a business needs to invest into producing videos for marketing campaigns — both in monetary and creative terms — often hold brands back from really investing properly in video marketing. For many established companies, an ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ attitude prevails, leading to an over-reliance on more tried and tested forms of marketing. Investing in a proper brand film can seem expensive at first and therefore a risky strategy when other mediums are delivering sustainable ROI.

But to not invest is arguably more risky, leading to both new and established brands falling behind the curve and losing audiences to more savvy and forward thinking competitors.

What do you Consume and why?

What Brands do you like?

Think of yourself as a consumer. What brands do you buy from and why? What motivated you into choosing them over their competitors?

It is one thing to be able to wear your brand manager’s hat; it is another to think about your brand in film from the perspective of a consumer. After all you need to be able to create content that your target audience can relate to. 

Videos can be educational and informative but they can also be moving or entertaining. Whatever you’re attempting to achieve, they must always be engaging, with a clear understanding of the intended audience. 

Successfully pushing the right emotional buttons of your audience, means having an understanding of what moves them, frustrates them and excites them. By doing this you can begin to carve out brand identity and also consumer loyalty and brand association. Modern video marketing gives brands a variety of ways of doing this, from documentaries that tackle socio-political issues to highly stylised, polished brand film.

Why do you need Video Content?

content production

There is a huge potential in this medium, as it is visually-appealing, engaging, versatile, and profitable. It is also relatively easy to re-edit and repackage it on the multiple platforms that your target audience frequents. 

Consider the following advantages:

1. You will live up to customer expectations

Did you know that one-third of a consumer’s internet time is spent watching videos? Facebook users alone spend 100 million hours each day on the platform just watching videos. By creating videos, you will be providing your customers with content that they resonate with and consume. Recent studies show that 68% of consumers actually prefer watching explainer videos to solve a problem, as opposed to contacting the business or a customer support representative. 

This isn’t a passing fad, as all the major social media platforms have caught up with this trend and now offer their own proprietary video platforms.

  • Facebook currently has 360-degree videos, Stories and live video. 
  • Instagram now allows 60-second videos on posts and 15-second videos on Stories. 
  • Twitter has Periscope that allows up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds of an uploaded video. 
  • Snapchat, the first platform to bring to the market ephemeral video content, allows users to upload 60-second videos.

As the digital landscape evolves, the kind of content that succeeds with your target audience is one that lives up to their expectations — what they are looking for, when they want to see it, and how they want to consume it. 

2. Videos drive traffic to your website

Search engines continue to update their algorithms to provide relevant and high-quality content to the end user. These crawlers have been increasingly prioritising websites with video content. YouTube is, in fact, a primary example, as it’s the second most trafficked website next to Google.

Studies show that companies with videos on their websites see 40% more traffic than those without. You can also potentially see a 157% increase in organic traffic, all the while lowering your bounce rate, as people tend to spend twice as long on a page when a video is present. 

The top three spots on the search engine results pages (SERPs) is where you really need to get your content ranking, as these positions see 55% of all clicks on Google. To get to this point, your videos will need to be well optimised for Google and YouTube, as well as engaging to your target audience (although these two things are rarely mutually exclusive). 

Video optimisation is often as much about art as science, with popular videos gaining more exposure and thus more view time and shares and backlinks, the former of which is a strong ranking signal to YouTube and the latter of which is a strong ranking signal to Google (we’ll go into more detail on video SEO later on in this guide).

3. Influence customers throughout the buying journey

It has become increasingly difficult for brands to turn consumers from potential customers to loyal patrons. Brute force — that is, bombarding them with ads on top of the amount of content they look at every day—does not work anymore.

Reaching them is only half the battle; convincing them to buy from you is just as challenging. Video content can help ease the customer journey (from top of the funnel down to converting them into actual customers) through the use of storytelling.

 Such is its power that it can help you create a deeper emotional connection with your audience, alongside the more traditional rational appeal of sales messaging.. There are various approaches to this kind of emotional marketing. You can be as subtle or as unsubtle as you choose, but the important thing to remember is that storytelling should follow a clear narrative arc, which should remain intact and not be compromised in favour of overt sales pitches.

To strike a healthy balance between brand promotion and storytelling, you should make sure your narrative contains these three core elements:

  • Interest: This should come in early on in your film, setting the emotional tone and scene of the entire video, allowing you to grab the viewer’s attention.
  • Evaluation: The second phase is where a huge part of the storytelling comes in. This is also where you should introduce your brand but be careful not to be too overt that it distracts the viewers from the core narrative arc.
  • Empathy: As the story closes, make sure that your video brings in the viewer in a way that they can see themselves in the narrative. Turn their emotional investment into positive associations with your brand.

4. Reach mobile users

Youtube video

As of 2018, more than 50% of global internet traffic was generated by mobile phone users. Smartphones make content consumption easy and convenient, as you can now go online anywhere, any time. 

As such, video content is much more accessible to your target market than reading a 3,000-word article, whether they are killing time waiting for their connecting flight or in line inside a store. This category is also continuously expanding, prompting 85% of marketers to invest more in mobile marketing in the last year alone.

5. ROI

Brand awareness is crucial when introducing new products or services into the market. It’s what helps your audience remember you and set you apart from your competitors. However, if you lose their attention in the middle of your marketing content, brand recall suffers.

This often happens when reading text. A phenomenon called “regression” (the need to re-read what you just read because you didn’t understand the text the first time) hinders your target audience from remembering your articles. Videos remove this risk. 

In fact, if videos and text are both present on a page, study shows that 72% of consumers would choose to watch the video. On top of that, landing pages with videos increase conversions by as much as 80%. After watching a social media video, 64% of consumers are more likely to purchase from you. 

While creating videos require a certain amount of investment, it would pay off, as videos help 90% of consumers decide to purchase from a brand. It’s no surprise then that business owners with videos in their marketing campaigns see a 49% year-on-year revenue growth

Push vs Pull Marketing

TV set in the 70's

From the 1960s until the mid-90s, TV ads were the dominant medium when it came to video marketing. Every household with television sets were a captive audience, allowing for interruptive marketing (or push marketing) to thrive.

However, in the same way that technology was a precursor to this form of marketing in the first place, it is technological advancement that has also heralded push marketing’s downfall. Personal computers, internet access, and the proliferation of social media have given users the option to pick the kind of content that they want to consume and to choose how, when and where they consume it. The huge rise in the popularity of ad-blocking software now poses a very real threat to digital advertising and should act as a stark warning to those who think the old ways of advertising will carry on being effective indefinitely. 

Pull marketing, what we have come to refer to as Seek out Marketing, is a more modern approach that connects online audiences with brands in a more engaging and responsive relationship. It has become the salve to ad fatigue, as this strategy calls for creating content that your target market will actively seek out.

To do this, you need to have considered these five elements in your video marketing strategy:

  • Frequency: You need to build your online following, be it on social media or via RSS feeds so that your audience will see your videos as soon as you publish them. Focus on content topicality and publish regularly. CoSchedule recommends 15 tweets per day, 1 Facebook post per day, and two images per day on Instagram.
  • Cost: As with any campaign, you need to have a clear idea of how much each video would cost to produce, from conception to launch.
  • Distribution: You activation strategy—whether it is on social media, ads, or viral growth—allows your videos to reach the eyes of the right people. Pick the right channel and include the proper call-to-action.
  • Engagement: Understand your target market’s demographics and preferences, and provide them with content that resonates with who they are and what they are looking for. Take the spotlight off your brand and focus more on what they consider interesting, informative, and inspiring.
    Quality: Regardless of campaign, quality needs to be the top consideration. You don’t have to break the bank, but you need to remain professional and on-brand across all content.

Case Study: John Lewis

John Lewis Christmas Ad

One of the best examples of seek out marketing is retailer John Lewis. The brand was able to create a phenomenon that successfully associated the company’s name with heart-tugging, emotional Christmas advertisements. 

This wasn’t done overnight and was the product of years of marketing campaigns that revolved around consistent messaging—family, childhood, giving, friendship—all of which resonated with their target market. 

So successful has John Lewis’s brand marketing been that is has gotten to the point where the brand has influenced pop culture, instead of the other way around. It’s not uncommon to hear people compare other forms of marketing to the John Lewis standard of heart warming nostalgic advertising and the brand’s annual christmas ad has become synonymous with the Christmas season. 

This kind of brand marketing is rare but by focusing on the power of storytelling and giving innovative brand marketers the space for artistic freedom yet remaining within clearly defined messaging, John Lewis has achieved what many brands only dream of. 


  • Video content is now on the rise, both from the consumer and business perspectives
  • Although video marketing requires investment, the benefits far outweigh the costs, as video content is on its way to dominating internet traffic—which means your competitors will also be jumping on this trend, if they aren’t already (you wouldn’t want to be left behind!)
  • Videos can give you the following advantages: Living up to customer expectations, driving traffic to your website, influencing customer’s buying journey, reaching mobile users, and increasing ROI
  • Invest more in pull marketing or seek out marketing, as bombarding consumers with ads do not work anymore
  • For seek out marketing to work, post frequently to build your audience, have a clear idea of your budget, pick the right channel for activation, engage your audience, and never shortchange the video’s quality
  • If you’re looking for the best example of seek out marketing, check out John Lewis’ Christmas video advertisements