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  • Writer's pictureOmri Yaniv


By Ami Murphy Iannone, Creative Director - August 17, 2018

Remember when there were designated photographers who lugged around heavy lenses and the rest of us had to use point and clicks from the drugstore? Or how you’d need to hire a full-scale production studio to create a branded video that would run on TV time slots alongside the show that best approximated a brand’s target market?

Then cell phones came around and made everyone photographers and high-quality video equipment became smaller, sleeker, and totally digitized. Even those very same cell phones have some impressive video chops these days… The ability to create quality content has been democratized.

Just as the technology to create has become more widely available, so too has the means of distribution. Social platforms are enabling brands and individuals to broadcast their own content. But with the capability comes the expectation, so now is the time for brands to get on board.

Democratization of content means expectation to produce

The demand isn’t just for more content. (Though, populating many social streams with enough content to attract and retain viewer attention is hard enough.) Now brands are expected to create entertaining content. Because being able to cut through the all of the competitive noise and gain mindshare means that you have to inspire your audience to engage with your content. And that takes good content, not just any content.

The cost of creating poor video is high. According to a Brightcove study: “When consumers are confronted with poor-quality video, they are 62 percent more likely to have a negative perception of the brand that published the video.” Furthermore, they found that “60% said a poor online video experience would dissuade them from engaging with a brand across all of its social media properties.” In short, you may not get another chance to win them back after a bad video experience.

But if you do it well, the rewards can be worth the effort. Video is driving more decisions than any other form of marketing.

Digital video has better ROI than traditional advertising mediums

Alongside the aforementioned democratization of content creation, there’s been a marked slip in the ability of old marketing tactics to successfully reach viewers. People have been unsubscribing from cable services at a dramatic rate, the Video Advertising Bureau reports that the number of households with OTT-only (read: no TV or cable subscriptions) have tripled since 2013.

Advertisers who may be sold on the efficacy of video content in TV format are needing to learn the ropes of digital video in order to gain back the eyes that traditional TV has lost. Digital video consumption is on the rise an estimated 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019.

The loss of TV viewership may be apparent to any marketer who has been paying attention the past several years, but what is surprising is the fact that digital video performs better than other types of digital advertising as well. According to Business Insider, “video ads have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 1.84%, the highest click-through rate of all digital ad formats.”

The social media universe is also adapting to sate the public’s hunger for video content.

Social platforms are prioritizing video

Each of the major-player social channels has been making changes to prioritize video, even ones that started with a still-image focus.

Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have each made changes to prioritize video in their apps and to procure a better foothold in public entertainment by creating their own original video programming over the past year.

Facebook has made the most marked shift towards becoming a video-first platform, introducing live streaming, a 'stories' feature, the Facebook Watch custom programming channel and prioritizing the way that video is distributed in the newsfeed. One study found that video uploaded natively to the platform performs a full 10x better than YouTube links.

Instagram’s forays into the video space have included the addition of a Snapchat-like stories feature, ability to live stream, and the creation of Instagram TV.

While YouTube has always been exclusively video, they’re making huge pushes into custom content programming with YouTube Originals.

How to Stay Afloat in the Changing Tides of Video Marketing

With all of this tumult, it is hard to know what elements will ensure a smart strategy. Digital leaders know that a video-first strategy is the best way to come out ahead. But it’s not enough to just make any videos. You must ensure that your videos are going to resonate with your target viewer-- otherwise, you’ve wasted your team’s resources -- creating good video is rarely cheap and quick. You can create smarter, more effective video by learning about your target audience and understanding their interests. Start by creating a smart video strategy.

Key Elements of Winning Strategy

Use data to understand your audience and goals

Begin by understanding who your target audience is and what action you’d like them to take. It’s important to know the basic demographics of your audience, but it’s incredibly valuable to understand what topics interest them and what kinds of video content they engage with online.

Determine types of video to create

Once you understand who your audience is and what action you’d like them to take, you can decide what video format will best reach them. Check out what kinds of content your competitors and relevant influencers in the space are making to get ideas about what’s working well.

Decide where to share the video content

Certain types of content perform better on certain channels. Much of this decision will be based on your target audience-- Where do they spend time? Where do they consume video?

Figure out who will create the videos

Will your team be shooting these videos in-house? Will you hire a production studio? Do you want influencers to create video content for you? These choices come down to determining the most cost-effective and scalable solution for your video needs as well as the solution that creates the most authentic content for your brand.

Give it a shot!

Try a low-pressure video test to get the hang of this process. If you find yourself stumped answering some of the questions above, consider whether you could use a data partner to help you guide your video strategy.

How Data Can Calm Your Video Production Worries

Yes, the idea of starting a video strategy can seem daunting. But don’t underestimate the power good data has to assist you in your video marketing efforts.

Data can not only help inform your decisions about what to create -- by providing deep information about your audience’s interests and untapped content opportunities in your space. But data can also help you find the right video partners to get the ball rolling.

The democratization of content means that you no longer need to hire a giant camera crew or with an elaborate set in a studio -- (unless that is exactly what you’re looking for!) These types of large operations are unnecessary for many brands’ needs and contribute to the fear of video as a time consuming and expensive risk to take. Hiring independent video creators-- be they influencers with large social followings or independent creators with professional-level chops-- can help you get your video strategy off the ground in an affordable way.

Using data to inform your influencer selection can help assure you that the creative partner you select will be the best fit for your project. Furthermore, influencer partners can help you get more eyes on your awesome campaign content.

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