I’m almost getting tired of using the words, ‘The Year of Video Marketing.’

When I first joined Wyzowl back in February 2013, I was convinced that would be ‘the year of video.’

2014 outshone it. 2015 set a new bar. 2016 saw video reach new heights. 2017…well, you get the picture.

My point is, video marketing continues to grow and grow – and 2018 looks set to continue the trend.

But don’t take my word for it. I have numbers!

Every December and January our business is immersed in the planning, implementation and analysis of our State of Video Marketing Survey, now in its 4th year.

And this year’s findings make me more certain than ever that businesses just can’t ignore video marketing in 2018, if they could before. Let’s take a look at my ‘top 5’…

1. ‘81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (up from 63% in 2017)’

Video marketing is more ubiquitous than ever, and you’d have been forgiven for thinking everyone was on board 12 months ago. However, our numbers suggest that 2017 saw a staggering upturn in adoption, with a 17% increase in companies using video as a marketing tool.

We also asked whether the companies who weren’t using video, planned to start in the next twelve months. Last year, 34% of non-video-marketers told us they planned to start. This year? 65%. In other words: the stage is set for video usage to jump significantly again in 2018.

Of course, as the number of businesses marketing via video increases, so does the competition and noise. I can see this creating a situation where companies become even more relentless in their pursuit of high-quality video. Higher production values, slicker animation and more creativity will all create an even better world of video for businesses and consumers. Ordinary won’t cut it anymore, if it ever could.

I also believe that companies who experiment with new video marketing channels – recruitment, onboarding, training – as well as those who embrace new trends like interactive video and VR will be the big winners this year.

2. ‘The average person watches more than an hour and a half of online video content per day, with around 15% averaging more than three hours.’

We’re always being told that video is a central part of modern life. But what’s more difficult to quantify is exactly how much time people actually spend watching online video.

We decided to ask the question, and were blown away by the results. The average person watches around 90 minutes of online video per day, and for 15% of people that soars to more than three hours. While this encompasses all online video, including online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it also covers the processes by which we identify, research and complete our online purchases.

The crucial point here is that the upsurge in video marketing isn’t just being driven by people like me telling you ‘it’s really important.’ It’s driven by clear, demonstrable consumer appetite. Your customers want video – go ahead and give it to them!

3. 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018

Ultimately, the success of any marketing tactic boils down to how it resonates with consumers. If it doesn’t set their pulses racing, and doesn’t drive the right kind of behaviours, it soon becomes redundant. This question was designed to directly ask consumers, are you sick of branded video content? Have you had enough?

The answer, resoundingly, is ‘no.’ Quite the opposite is true.

Not only do consumers want to consume more video content – they want to see more video content ‘from brands.’ This is significant because it demonstrates how consumers feel video content enhances their own experience with companies. Far from being something interruptive, to be avoided or skipped, people are crying out to see more from you, as long as it’s packaged up properly. Huge.

As I mentioned earlier, there are more ways than ever to enhance your customer experience with video. Are you onboarding your viewers effectively? Training them on how to use your product or service? Are you putting out video content designed to inform, engage, entertain them? To thank them for being your customer?

4. 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video (up from 74% in 2017)

Of course, you’re a business. You need to keep the lights on. That means selling stuff!

This statistic really speaks for itself. Consumers don’t just ‘like’ video, or watch a lot of it. They use it as a core tenet of their decision-making process.

In fact, for more than 8 out of 10 consumers, video content has been the ‘nudge’ they needed to finally convince them into taking the plunge and buying a product or service. And, with a 7% increase in this data point year over year, video is perhaps becoming more persuasive than ever before.

5. 80% of marketers say video has increased dwell time on their website.

Our 2018 survey was the first time we’ve asked a question about dwell time – a fancy, SEO word for the amount of time a user spends on your website.

Dwell time has been a bit of a hot topic in the world of SEO this year, with numerous experts suggesting that time-on-page has been given greater weight in Google’s search algorithm. The increasingly held opinion is that Google strongly favours content with high dwell time – which makes sense. After all, they’re looking to answer the searchers’ question as accurately and comprehensively as possible. From an algorithmic point of view, which page would you estimate does this better: the one on which a user spends 3 seconds and leaves in a huff, or the one where they stay for 10 minutes?

It seems that Google’s machine learning algorithms have seen through all those pages that used to rank well in 2015, but really didn’t deserve to be ranking well. And, to me, it certainly looks like Google is rewarding higher dwell time with more prominent search positions. Larry Kim, Wordstream and MobileMonkey

And it’s no coincidence that pages with awesome Dwell Time tend to rank best…This makes sense if you think about it: If you spend a long time on a page, you probably like the content on that page. And if enough people feel the same way, Google will uprank that content to make it easier to find. Brian Dean, Backlinko

Equally, the link between video and SEO has long been a complicated one, with lots of misconceptions, half-truths and misunderstandings. People have queued up to talk about how good video is for SEO, without ever quite being able to articulate how, or why.

While search engines have got better at indexing video content over time, they still rely primarily on text – whether it’s the text that surrounds your video on the page, or the in-built ‘metadata’ you build into your video. This means video and SEO have had an uneasy alliance, where Google definitely liked seeing rich media on your site – but couldn’t really index the content therein.

Well, in my opinion, it’s now time to re-frame the debate over video and SEO, because dwell time is far and away the most important factor in play here, and – as this stat demonstrates – video increases dwell time. End of story.

First impressions count for a lot in any online content, and a lot of visitors will make a snap judgement about its quality based on what they first see when they land. I’ve written before that a video on your page is almost an ‘offer.’

It says “Click me, and I’ll give you the gist in 60 seconds or so.”

It may be soul destroying for online content creators, but I’m guessing that’s generally longer than a lot of people will sit and read your page for. And if you create longer videos, with a real focus on value to the viewer – your dwell time can really takeoff. To give you an idea of benchmarks here, Brian Dean reckons that the average top ranking content on Google has a dwell time around the 3 minute mark.

Thanks for Reading!

The numbers never lie, and those are my 5 favourite numbers from this year’s survey. (Remember, you can check the full results out here.)

What do they tell us? They tell us that online video is still on the march, just as it has been for over a decade.

They tell us that brands love video; that they associate it with highly desirable business outcomes.

That consumers love it; that they use it to help them make purchase decisions, and want to see more of it.

They tell us that, more than any other year, 2018 is THE “Year of Video Marketing…”

(…at least until 2019!)