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Mention video advertising and it usually brings to mind interruptive ad spots, the long-established approach to catching consumers’ attention. That made sense when there were four television networks… even when there were 500 cable channels. But it’s a broken model in the digital era.

Video production costs have fallen by more than 90 percent in the last decade to become so inexpensive that any small or medium-sized business (SMB) can afford using it to convert customers. BIA/Kelsey’s newest report tells the story: Video: The Conversion Medium. Sponsored by BIE Media, is available now for free download.

Top 10 Media Used for Advertising and Promotion by SMBs who use Video
Top 10 Media Used by SMBs who use Video

The report surveys recent developments in video marketing and found that the tide is turning. Unfortunately, expensive advertising models still dominate marketing thinking, but the success stories we found show clearly that video does a lot more than capture attention. It creates customer intimacy.

Video has become a tool for engagement, returning more than five times the cost of production for 57 percent of the companies who reported using video for advertising and promotion in BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor survey last year. Notably, 16 percent of companies surveyed in 2014 said video returned more than 20 times the investment.

What Makes Video Marketers Successful?

The most effective video marketers are abandoning the advertising model to focus on conversion in the customer journey, often starting on third-party sites like YouTube, and continuing on their own site and social networks to offer information, particularly how-to videos, that would-be customers are beginning to study when making buying decisions. The advertising approach — loud, fast and catchy — will long have a place, but it is difficult to breakthrough in a crowded video market without making a patient investment in longer form programs that, once a viewer has engaged, help build a relationship.

SMBs using video now focus on conversion, spending three times more overall on marketing than the average SMB while getting substantially higher conversion rates out of their total spend. These companies use a broader mix of media than others. Video represents only 17.6 percent of video-spender marketing budgets, on average. Video spenders expect much higher conversion rates, and double down by aiming to convert traffic at a rate of 34.1 percent from discounting and promotions. Non-video marketers, by contrast, expect only 23 percent conversion from discounting. Video simply converts better.

Other components of the report include surveys of how video is being used by successful marketers in SMBs, agencies and brands to address specific customer objections, provide learning and support service for goods, and building community.

Be sure to also check out the video lifecycle map, which explains the emerging types of programming at each step in the customer lifecycle. The report also provides a glossary of programming types to help readers understand how they can best their their video story.


bieMEDIA has generously provided access to the report to the public. Video: The Conversion Medium can be downloaded free here. Also, register for our free video marketing webinar on Weds., September 16 at 11:00 AM PDT

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