BTB: The Power of Video
A one minute video is worth 1.8 million words

BTB: The Power of Video
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It’s 2018. Technology is crazy. And it’s no surprise that most of us would now rather watch a video for a minute than read…well, most things.

The skew toward online video is also increasing, with 6 out of 10 people preferring online platforms to live TV and 80% of 18-49 year olds using YouTube at least monthly. As someone smack in the middle of that age range…it checks out.

People aren’t just watching online video as a passing phase–it’s rapidly growing as a medium of choice. Check out these stats:

  • A one minute video is worth 1.8 million words, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research
  • For our “Tweeters” on Twitter, 82% watch shared videos (this and the rest of the stats below are from
  • YouTube has over a BILLION users, which amounts to almost one-third of internet users
  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week
  • More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.
  • 87% of online marketers use video content

And lastly: YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook according to BrandWatch.

Mainstream Messaging

BTB: The Power of Video
For once we can jump on the popularity of #catvideos.

That was a long way of saying that you might get your message to more people, more effectively, with a video. If you’re briefing someone who doesn’t have a strong grasp of your industry or capability, a video could be the glue that helps you understand one another.

Let’s take it mainstream for a minute. This guilt-inducing Reebok ad is one example. It’s hard to watch without feeling like you should go out and run at least a 5K. You don’t even need to know athletics to feel the pull.

Another example comes from our friends at GoPro, in this video where they show a kitten getting rescued. Even as a 100% dog person, I aww’d at his little paws when he perked back up! Those emotional evocations–and very high video quality– may even make you think you need a GoPro to record your own heroic actions.

No one could ever just verbally describe these two scenarios and have the same action-inducing impact that the videos have. However, just like words, a video can lose value if it doesn’t have meaning to its intended audience.

Showing and Wowing into Action

BTB: The Power of VideoAs a global organization, we like video because it can cross language barriers. YouTube has tools to help users input captions in 190 languages, and even if you don’t put captions, people can usually get the idea if you do the video right. You have to “show not tell.”

A big part of getting capabilities videos right is brevity. Attention spans are rapidly shrinking, and according to a SME at a recent conference I attended, a viewer abandons a video after 16-23 seconds. Even if they like it! So you need to get your point across hard and fast and *wow* them early.

The point that you’re spending your marketing dollars to get across needs to be one that includes a call to action. Many companies forget that point when they get excited about a flashy new video. The call to action can be anything from visiting a website, asking for a donation, or an invitation to an event.

GSF Partner Capabilities Video Library

BTB: The Power of VideoWe realized that many of our corporate partners have such videos already, but they’re spread out all over the internet. For that reason, we’ve built a video library to collect the visual evidence of what our growing partner network can do. Also, the library is all links–so the contributing partners are still getting their view-counts and other stats.

We’re tying the library in to our Capabilities Catalog, which if you aren’t familiar is a document that categorizes different SOF-relevant products and services. The catalog is provided to different nations and units to prioritize and turn into a requirements document, which we in turn share with our Corporate Partners so they know who needs what.

The different categories in the catalog are used in the video library, so you can match organizations with specific needs or gaps. Boom.

As Stu has said, “the video should make whoever you show it to want to get a hands-on demo of your capability.”

This is a new offering, so we’re still working with our partners to grow our video library. We’re excited to start sharing it with our Partner Nations, starting when we go to Spain this month.

See the current library:

If you are a GSF Partner and want to add your video, contact me (Chelsea) and we can get started! If you have a video but aren’t yet a Partner, contact GSF Director of Partner Relations (Steve) to find out what you’re missing.

And if you are a partner but don’t have a video, stay tuned… we might have some help coming for you!


BTB is a blog series by GSF Director of Marketing Chelsea Hamashin. You can see all of the BTB blogs here.

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