Sounds bold, right? But in an era where consumers value video content more than ever, and social platforms are the prime breeding ground for content consumption, it’s undeniable that video is revolutionising the way we search.

Search Behaviour is Changing

The landscape of search behaviour is undergoing a significant transformation. Users now have a plethora of options for finding answers, products, and inspiration - from traditional search engines like Google and Amazon to social media giants like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. 

In fact,74% of Gen Z users prefer TikTok's search capabilities over Google's​​​​ and video snippets are increasingly prevalent, appearing in over 26% of search queries on Google.

This shift is particularly evident as consumers increasingly look to social media for inspiration and brand or product discovery. Gen Z, in particular, is turning to Instagram and TikTok to find influencers and brands they can trust. Video content allows brands to create more personalised experiences that cater to viewers' psychological needs for self-expression and social connection.


Video on the Rise

Recent data highlights an overwhelming inclination towards video content, especially among younger demographics. Google's internal data reveals that 40% of Gen Z users prefer platforms like TikTok and Instagram for searches, eschewing traditional search engines like Google​​. Moreover, 51% of Gen Z women prefer TikTok over Google for their search needs, drawn to the video format and personalised, relatable answers​​.

The concept of multisearch, the ability to visualise something challenging to articulate with words, has opened up a world of possibilities. The dynamic and storytelling power of video far surpasses that of images allowing brands to convey detailed requests and emotions in a way text and images alone could never. 


The Human Angle

While the stats demonstrate how consumer trends around search are shifting, it’s important to look at the underlying behaviours for video consumption. Typically users will seek out video content for:

  • Entertainment - videos allow brands and individuals to share stories in visually appealing ways capture attention and maintain interest. 
  • Emotional connection - videos can evoke strong emotions making them much more powerful than text alone, increasing empathy and resonance. 
  • Easy consumption - videos are a fast way for consumers to absorb content, grasp complex concepts, learn new things or find the answer they’re looking for. 
  • Shorter attention spans - the average attention span of an adult is eight seconds, so video allows users to find answers and fulfil needs much more efficiently and quickly. 
  • Increased accessibility - videos enable more diverse audiences to interact with brands and content online, making it much easier to access. 
  • Increased interaction - platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube offer greater interaction opportunities (likes, shares and comments) creating a sense of community and fulfilling needs for social inclusion. 
  • Understanding complex ideas - with visual learning being 83% more effective than text alone it’s much easier for users to learn via video content than text alone. 

But why? 

  • Dual coding theory suggests that information is better remembered when it is presented both visually and verbally. Videos provide multi-sensory experiences that increase retention. 
  • Multimedia learning theory tells us that people learn more effectively from words and pictures than just words alone. 
  • Social learning theory demonstrates that storytelling plays an effective role in learning and memory. 

With this in mind, it’s no wonder so many brands are looking to video for 2024 - and why video platforms are becoming increasingly important in the customer journey. 


Video’s Role in the Customer Journey

Video as part of your customer journey is nothing new, but its role in search will have profound implications for SEO. The traditional text-based SEO approach is now expanding to include video SEO, focusing on optimising video content for search engines. This shift aligns with changing consumer behaviours, as younger audiences are more likely to engage with the dynamic content found in videos than static text. 

And with Gen Z looking to TikTok over Google, there is a growing demand for brands to widen their focus to video content creation. Optimising video content to display key phrases is going to be inevitable, there’s no point optimising for traditional search if your audience isn’t there. 

Instead, brands should be thinking about the role of TikTok in the overall customer experience for younger demographics and how it plays into search and brand awareness. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt underscores the platform’s influence on purchase decisions, with nearly 3 out of 4 Gen Zers purchasing after seeing a product on TikTok​​. This trend highlights the need for brands to create engaging, authentic video content that resonates with the audience's preferences and behaviours. TikTok’s recent campaign: It starts on TikTok and further highlights the platform's significant role in consumer behaviour and ultimately, customer journeys. 

It's not just about the channel but also about the format and messaging, all of which should consider the user's intent and stage in the journey. Before creating a surplus of video content, consider the role of video in your user’s journey. Is it for discovery, conversion, or both? What format and channel would be best? How will it integrate into your search strategy?


In Summary

As we look toward the future, it's clear that video will play an increasingly vital role in search and digital marketing strategies. The blending of video content with traditional SEO practices, aligned with changing consumer behaviours and preferences, paves the way for a more dynamic, engaging, and effective approach to connecting with audiences. Brands must adapt to this evolving landscape to remain relevant and competitive.

The integration of video into marketing strategies isn't just a fleeting trend but a fundamental shift in how consumers engage with and search for information. Now is the time for brands to embrace this change and leverage the power of video in their digital marketing strategies.




Chantel works hard to show the world all the great work that the Reflect Digital team are delivering. She focuses on creating and executing our own marketing strategy including looking at how we onboard new businesses, manage client loyalty and satisfaction and improve internal culture. Day to day Chantel strives for new ways to get the Reflect name out there and drive new enquiries - while also making us the best agency to work for and with.

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