I thought I’d be writing this post a bit further down the line. But it seems the time has come fast and furiously. Consumers are now demanding: “Where’s the video?” when they see a brand’s website and social platforms.

According to a recent report by Levels Beyond, “Today’s consumers are starting to think of brands more as media companies…”.

Wow! That changes the rules of marketing.

I frequently refer in my podcast, The Brand Journalism Advantage, to a formula: EC = MC. (Every company is a Media Company). While companies would sometimes question me about that, it seems consumers already believe it.

And they’re expecting not only video but also video storytelling that’s engaging, informative, and entertaining in order to influence them to spend their hard-earned dollars with a company’s brand.

What’s caused the shift in consumer video consumption? The smartphone!

Today’s consumers practically have a smartphone glued to their hands.

girl on smartphone sitting on bench
Image courtesy of Jomphong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That’s no exaggeration. According to a Nielsen study, 91 percent of adults in the U.S. have their mobile phone within arms reach 24/7. Consumers spend approximately 127 minutes on their smartphone’s mobile apps, according to StreetFightMag.com. Reach Local expects that by 2016, more searches will be conducted using a mobile phone than a PC.

Not only has the way we consume advertising changed but also the style of advertising is evolving to match the things we search for online.

Relevancy is a must for brands.

To stay in front of consumers and top of mind, a company must be relevant, provide resourceful information that helps consumers solve problems, learn more, and make better decisions about a company’s product or service.

When consumers are researching a product or service, they often start with their problem. They might craft a question and then hit the search button. Ads and relevant, resourceful articles and videos will appear.

Most people are drawn to the content that offers solutions without the heavy sales pitch. They’ll dig a little deeper into the print material that shares others’ points of view, some historical information, success stories about how the problem was resolved.

They’ll click links to watch videos based on the image that’s displayed and the relevancy of the title to their current problem. Research from Levels Beyond shows that nationally 6 in 10 adults watch online videos and that 4 out of 10 prefer the brand’s video to the print article on the same topic.

Even more compelling evidence from the Levels Beyond study shows that 59 percent of consumers watch a brand video when they visit a website and 61 percent are more inclined to watch the video if it’s been shared by their friends.

But here’s where your company can gain a competitive advantage, in that same study, 75 percent of marketers said that producing a video and delivering it to their consumers is NOT a top priority. However, that did exclude commercials.

A word about commercials.

Let’s pause here a moment. Consumers want and do watch quality videos. Marketers, at least in this survey, are basically ignoring that and instead are delivering more :30 ads. Huh? Interruption marketing is so outdated.

The exception.

An ad that drives traffic to a landing page with a video that offers valuable information and a way to gain more insight from the company when an email address is provided. That’s a good use of a :30 ad. Get your consumers to a place where you can engage and influence using the information they already want.

It gets worse. Nearly half of those marketers surveyed said they “do not plan to increase increase video production in 2014”.

That should be your cue, enter stage right, brand journalist and video team. Here are three quick tips to get you started.

Gain your competitive advantage by first listening to your consumers. Watch and listen to how they’re engaging online in social platforms. Study what they’re sharing.

Review your company’s products and services. Find the story in each area. Look to tell multiples stories across multimedia platforms but with an emphasis on creating video and building an educational library for your consumers. Studies show they love how-to videos and tutorials.

Plan your video budget to include hiring a brand journalist for compelling storytelling, production team, and make sure you have budgeted for online distribution.

Create a reason for your consumers to continue to look for your stories. Make the message clear that your company has a voice and is a thought leader delivering valuable resources on this topic and in this industry.

Here’s how my brand journalism company, Live Fit Films, uses its own explainer video message to showcase what we do for businesses.

Now, go Think Like A Journalist!

Note: Follow me for marketing and content resources to grow your company. Join the conversation by commenting below or by visiting AskPhoebe.info.

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Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist who teaches: Think Like A Journalist, To Increase Your Bottom Line. She is also the Host of The Brand Journalism Advantage Podcast which features interviews with thought leaders from around the globe on marketing, brand journalism, and entrepreneurship. After 15 years in TV News as an Anchor/Reporter, Phoebe founded PCIN.TV. The Internet TV Station airs video stories from her online publications: Live Fit Magazine and The Plant-Based Diet as well as curates content from other sources. As a brand storyteller, Phoebe produces  business videos, articles, and photos to engage consumers and create brand evangelists.  Learn more:TheBrandJournalismAdvantage.com

 Contact Phoebe to get started on your Brand Strategy.

Image courtesy of Jomphong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to "Be the Media". Phoebe is the host of "The Brand Journalism Advantage" podcast and a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow". Listen in iTunes or at ThinkLikeAJournalist.com