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Video influences consumers; the boat run in Chicago

In news dealers can use, the value of video in marketing continues to grow; meanwhile, Chicago boaters get their first chance to escape to open water.

First, there’s little doubt video is changing the way consumers shop these days. So says author Rimma Kats. And, assuming you are tuning in to today’s free Grow Boating webinar with Marcus Sheridan on digital content, it’s likely video will be part of the discussion. (The webinar is set for 2-3 p.m. EDT today - REGISTER HERE).

Meanwhile, new data from Think with Google reveals that more consumers are turning to videos to see products before they buy them. In fact, four in 10 YouTube users surveyed said they went there to learn more about a product before purchasing it. When asked why, respondents said they wanted to see the products in action.

“Video triggers emotional reactions in the consumer,” says Serena Ulrich, director of social and evolving media at BusinessWire. She notes that showing somebody having a great time with a product attaches emotion to the information. Video adds a ‘seeing-it-is-believing-it’ component to any story and helps capture another level of awe.

“Video combines imagery and narrative, which makes it such a powerful shopping tool,” eMarketer’s senior analyst Yory Wurmser said. “The average U.S. adult now spends 81 minutes per day watching digital video. As time spent with video increases, video’s influence within the consumer journey will grow as well.”

An April 2017 study of social media content that influences U.S. internet users to purchase a product is revealing. In data obtained by gen.video and Geometry Global entitled: “The Influence of Influencers,” respondents ranked video (86 percent) as the top influencer on purchases. It was followed closely by images (78 percent); text (44 percent); animated GIFs/images (40 percent); and live stream (40 percent).

Bottom line: Dealers who want to lead the competition in digital marketing should consider more video that could be self-generated, or make use of video available from their boat, engine and accessory suppliers. They can also access the excellent library of videos available free from the industry resource center at www.growboating.com

THE BOAT RUNS IN CHICAGO

In spite of snowflakes and cold, it was a rite of spring when the first bridge lifts for boaters in the Windy City came off last Saturday. In American boating circles, the Chicago boat runs scene is unique.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, following a dismal week of late-season snow, it was a sign of spring as the city conducted its first bridge lifts along the Chicago River, allowing boaters to bring their vessels out of storage upstream to their summer harbors on Lake Michigan. The first bridge lifts had initially been set for Wednesday, but the city’s sloppy, cold weather stymied boaters’ plans.

Every spring and fall, Chicago Department of Transportation workers raise the movable bridges along the Main and South Branches of the Chicago River twice weekly to let boaters out. It’s no small task. During these lifts, known as “boat runs,” a total of 27 bridges must be raised sequentially, one at a time, to let the fleet out to Lake Michigan. Each bridge lift can average eight to 12 minutes.

“Chicagoans look forward to the lifting of Chicago’s iconic movable river bridges,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said in a statement. “CDOT works with local boat storage yards each year to create a schedule that accommodates boaters while causing the least amount of impact on downtown street traffic.”

CDOT and local marine dealers and boat yards work together to create a schedule to accommodate the boaters. The boat runs are slated to occur every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and every Saturday at 8 a.m. through June 30. If no boats are scheduled on a particular day, the lifts do not occur. The reverse happens in the fall when the boats must head back to yards for winter layup.

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