Today, good social media strategies are incomplete without the addition of video. Here are eleven reasons your social media plan could be missing out on lucrative opportunities if it lacks video.

1. On Trend

Video quickly became a staple of social media. People no longer want to just read what their favorite businesses and organizations are up to – they want to watch updates too.

Social media plans that include video have been shown to improve brand recognition. People are more likely to trust and remember brands when they come across videos on social media. Integrating video into online strategy is important for staying current and is now an expected extension of social media.

2. Creativity

Video is a great opportunity to use creativity to improve brand recognition. Artistic, innovative, and aesthetically pleasing videos make lasting impressions and entice viewers to find out more.

If you are not an artist, funny and well-written scripts will also highlight your creative side. Inventive videos start conversations, generate buzz, and make an impression.

3. Engagement

If you watch an audience’s face during a good movie, you can see their connection to the screen: they smile, frown, or gasp aloud. Video is engaging, asking us to interact with what we are watching.

Good videos can make us laugh or cry, trigger memories, and think critically about what we are seeing. After watching these videos, audiences are more likely to recall and seek out additional information.

4. Go Where the People Are

Cisco predicts that by 2016 there will be an estimated 1.5 billion online video viewers, accounting for two-thirds of all international online consumer traffic. Some reports estimate that as much as 85% of online users are already going online solely to watch videos. The point?

More and more internet users are turning towards video as a source of information, as well as entertainment. In fact, many marketing specialists are putting video at the top of their social media priorities. With over a billion people tuned in online, video is essential for reaching large segments of your audience.

5. Versatility

Video is versatile. Video blogging, short films, quirky advertisements, product demonstrations, and webinars are just some of the many options video has to offer. The richness of video gives you the power to educate, demonstrate, inform, and entertain, providing options that traditional blogs or social media updates do not. The multifaceted nature of video is a great way to communicate specific types of information and achieve specific outcomes.

For example, documentary style videos can help consumers feel more connected to your brand — chronicling your journey or impact creates a sense of openness with your audience and can lead to loyalty. Demonstrations help consumers interact with a product before they buy it, an effective way to increase online sales. Simply, video is not a single tool — it is an entire toolbox.

6. Storytelling

We all love a good story. Stories expose us to new places and ideas, and just like social media, connect us to people. Storytelling is one of the most effective marketing strategies being used right now. And what better way to tell a story than with video. Storytelling paints a vivid picture of your brand or cause, leading to brand recognition and loyalty down the road.

7. The Rewind Factor

Video allows your message or product to be seen over and over. People are more inclined to re-watch videos than re-read blogs or status updates. Video is a great way to have your message replayed, making video a highly effective way of bringing people back to your websites to re-watch their favorite clips.

8. The Serial Effect

Keeping the public motivated to read new blog posts or status updates can be tricky. Yet, every week people remember to watch or record their favorite shows. Use the serial effect to your advantage – integrating a web series into your social media plan is a great way to keep visitors coming back to your sites. Not only that, it is an effective way to keep consumers connected with your brand.

9. Attention Span

As we all know, this is the age of diminishing attention spans. On average, most visitors to websites need only 5 seconds to decide whether to proceed or move on. Video appeals to our picky attention spans. Video is more of a sensory experience, making it more likely to grab a viewer’s attention. You can also make your videos appeal to shortened spans. Share small clips on your social media pages and make trailers for longer videos. Once you have their attention, you can keep your audience on your page for longer time spans.

10. Another Opportunity to Start a Conversation

Half the fun of using videos can be reading the comments that accumulate after a good video is posted. Comment sections are a great opportunity to get people talking about and connecting to your brand, and an opportunity to link people to your company website and social media accounts.

11. Word of Mouth

We have all seen them. Our mothers and bored friends at work have messaged us with the links. Word of mouth is one of the most important reasons you should be using video in your social media plan. Video has the potential to attract many people in a short amount of time, a testament to the power of social media.

Despite its controversy, Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign amassed 44 million views in one day. Video sharing can have a huge impact on your brand, leading to increased awareness, sales, or donations. Strategically, popular videos are earned media, and coverage that you do not have to pay for.

What led you to start using video as a part of your online communications strategy? Can you think of additional reasons why it’s so important to maintaining your online brand? Share with us here, on Facebook, and on Twitter!