Google May Present Short-Form Videos In SERPs. Is Your Brand Ready To Rank Videos?

google short form videos

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Since the pandemic started we’ve seen a big increase in people watching Reels and TikTok videos. Are you the kind of person that is into those new trends as well?

If you are, you will be pleased to know that Google is already working on ways to display short-videos in search results more often. 

That statement came from Danielle Marshak, Google Product Manager in a podcast with the SEJ where she shared that the company is already realizing that videos are becoming more popular than ever before, mainly because this format is able to provide way more information in a short period of time.

Indeed, she’s right: data has shown that the expectation is for online videos to make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic in 2022.

In a video, we can see emotions, movement, and tone of voice, elements that a single text or image could not provide as clearly.

We all know that with the boom of TikTok, many other companies started to explore this new format, such as Instagram, which added the “Reels” resource, and YouTube that has included “Youtube Shorts”. 

Each of them has its own particularity and, so far, we don’t have a standard concept of short video. However, Marshak claims that “short” videos are the ones that are less than five minutes in length and recorded in a vertical aspect ratio.

From a Google perspective

We all know that Google has an incredible and very smart mechanism to crawl and organize all the results pages. It’s awesome to see how accurate our searches are nowadays: it doesn’t matter what topic we’re searching for, we can always find pages that answer our questions. 

However, most of Google’s suggestions are only written content and that’s because it’s very good at reading and understanding text.

A study by Stone Temple showed Google’s search engine answered 74.3% of 5,000 questions, and, of those answers, it had a 97.4% accuracy rate. But, have you tried to find videos on Google? If you did, I believe you would have realized the same as I have: Google was not made for crawling those kinds of video assets and you probably found odd results from your searches, right? 

This happens because videos are way more complex than text, and this is actually a reason why videos might be richer than images and texts. In a video, there’s a lot of information to be understood, such as audio, visual signs, images, movements, expressions, and other elements. 

Danielle shared that Google has a couple of teams that are running research on how the crawlers can extract the text/audio from a video to combine that information with some other elements, such as character and visual signs recognition. By doing that it would be easier for the search engines to categorize and display them as a result.

They are still at the beginning of those improvements, but I’m already excited about how this is going to look in the end. Would you like to see it?

Why short videos?

We can agree that there has never been as much content available on the internet as we have nowadays. We can find all information we want in any format possible, which is really good since it allows each person to choose the way they prefer to consume that information. 

When talking specifically about brands and their customers, HubSpot, one of Rock Content’s partners, ran a research on consumer preferences towards the brand’s marketing efforts. Take a look at what they found out:

Source: Hubspot

Here we can see videos are the number one on the list and it actually doesn’t surprise me since 60% of Internet Traffic Revolves Around Video. According to the same source, the length of the videos is getting shorter. Here is another chart from Tech Smiths showing the preferred length of videos:

Source: TechSmith

Seeing this data makes total sense as to why Google is thinking about using search engine mechanisms to display short videos (of up to 5 minutes) on the results page. I honestly prefer those kinds of assets since there’s so much we can explore and learn without spending too much time doing so.

Short videos can be entertaining and insightful as well. Think about those DIY or how-to videos. They are so much more fun than static text. People can also include music and motion, making it a way to create a deeper connection with the audience in a more engaging way, since they are really immersive.

And from what I’m seeing here I’m not the only one, since “mobile consumers are much more likely to watch a 30-second snippet than scroll through a blog post or marketing copy”.

From a marketing perspective

For the ones that still think that short videos are only for teenagers who like to create dance trends online, you might be surprised with these facts:

  • 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on the brands’ video (Wyzowl)
  • 72% of People Prefer Video vs Text to Learn a New Product or Service. (Colormatics)
  • 68% of people will happily watch a business video if it’s under a minute (Vidyard)
  • 93% of marketers have landed a customer via social media video (Animoto)
  • More than half of marketers (51%) who use short-form video plan to increase their investment in 2022. (Hubspot)
  • 63% of marketers say video content gets the best return on investment on social media (Animoto)

It is time to take a broader look at the way we create content. But, of course, always remember to understand who your audience is and which channels they are in. As we have already mentioned in other posts, the best marketing strategies are the ones that are customer-focused. 

In case you decide to move forward with that strategy, it is important to remember that people don’t care about scripts and elaborate productions. They want to feel connected and get to know you, your brand, and your product in mere seconds, so be creative!

Here are some ideas of short videos to explore:

  1. Product videos
  2. FAQ video
  3. Q&A sessions with questions sent by the customers
  4. One day with the team
  5. Social trends
  6. How-to tutorials 
  7. Easy tips

This is a chance to go viral. According to Wyzowl, people share videos at twice the rate than any other form of content. Also, viewers want to see more of those educational video styles since they are very helpful in their day-to-day lives.

So, if brands start to put education and engagement as one of their priorities they may get more lead gen opportunities and greater brand awareness.

I’m curious to see where those new Google updates will lead us to, and how marketing teams will make use of those snackable and easy-to-consume videos. After all, if someone is unsure about buying your product, which option do you think they will choose? The brand that has just PDFs and blog posts, or the brand that has a fun explainer video in addition to written content?

Drop your thoughts and share your videos with us, let’s be the early birds on this new journey.

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