If you’re just starting to use video for online marketing or are relatively new at it, have you given enough thought to what you’re trying accomplish? Yes, it’s true that you probably want to drive website traffic or gain social media followers, but there’s a step along they way before you can achieve these objectives: You must first engage the viewer. You won’t get far with content marketing unless you grab the attention of your target audience – and hold on to it for the entire video. Check out a few details that your competition already knows.

There’s video – and then there’s engagement with video. To engage a viewer with video is to cause him or her to become involved with the content. Whether you’re making them laugh, cry or learn, a video that occupies your target audience’s thoughts is succeeding in engaging them. With video, the key is to gain their attention and then keep it for the entire duration – through to the call to action at the end. Viewing a video just means that the content is playing and someone is watching, though they may not be giving it their full attention.

Your competition is using video for engagement. You’re not necessarily ahead of the game merely because you’re creating and publishing videos; if you’re just now thinking about producing content, you’re already behind. Your competition has realized the value and effectiveness of video to actually get viewers involved and care about the material. Don’t give other companies the edge.

The statistics are solid proof. If the fact that your competitors are using video to capture your potential customers isn’t enough, the numbers should convince you to get on board.

  • 80% of people who watch a video remember the information it contains;
  • Of that percentage, 46% take some action after viewing, such as doing more research, visiting the website or purchasing the product;
  • Viewers of video are 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video and they’ll stick around on your site for about two minutes longer; and,
  • Almost two-thirds of C-Level executives prefer to watch a video than read text.

The sky’s the limit for engaging through video. The best part about engaging viewers through video is that there are tons of options available. Produce a how-to segment, give your prospects a look at life at your company, provide some best practices or bring in a guest speaker. Any subject matter that engages your viewers is likely to move them to the next stage in the buyer’s journey.

It’s not enough to say that your company is thinking about or actively creating video; you must be doing it with a particular goal in mind. Engagement is what directs a lead to take the next steps and move further into the sales funnel. Your competition is creating video specifically to engage prospects, so you’ll be left behind if you don’t do so as well. You can’t drives sales and build your brand unless you take that initial, critical step.