We’re at an interesting turning point. The way brands work together is changing and we’re seeing a blurring of functions. Brands are collaborating more as they understand the importance of good quality content. And digital marketers are playing new functions as brands look to become content creators themselves. A large part of this content is video. Video content isn’t a new digital marketing tool. Brands, for the most part, understand the value video can bring and its importance to consumers. But understanding the value versus implementing an engaging video content strategy that is viable for the long term is where many organisations are struggling right now.
Good news is, however, that Australian marketers are doing well with creating engaging content, according to new data from Brightcove released in partnership with PwC Australia for its annual Entertainment & Media Outlook 2017-2021. The research shows that Australians are watching more marketing videos, like branded how-to videos, than ever before, with almost double the volume of content viewed from 2014 (29%) to 2016 (50%).
Brands are testing the water — and some are already killing it. Take for example, Xero. Placing video at the centre of its content marketing and growth strategy, Xero TV has become a hub for businesses looking for tips and advice. And it’s been critical to Xero’s customer acquisition and retention. Over the past 12 months alone, approximately 400 videos were created and saw more than 10 million minutes of video watched online.
But not all brands are experiencing the same level of success. Inconsistent, long videos that lack a clear call to action struggle to make inroads. And it’s leaving brands with content that is just another piece of noise bombarding consumers.
If you’re thinking about implementing a video content strategy, here are a few tips to increase its effectiveness:
Set a clear goal: Like any marketing tactic, make sure to set a clear goal and define KPIs that make sense for your business. Do you want to drive customer loyalty or increase brand awareness? And what does success look like? Make this clear and ensure you’re measuring each campaign against this when you’re done so you’re constantly improving your content and its engagement
Know your metrics: Understanding who is watching what and when, is important to ensure your content is working. Use analytics to understand the number of plays your video content is achieving, the reach your videos are having, and the percentage of videos watched. This will help you understand what videos are working for your audience and what aren’t, and will be important to sustain a long term successful video campaign.
Keep content short: As the length of the video increases, engagement decreases. That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep videos short and succinct. Try to provide useful content in the first 5 seconds when consumers are most engaged — this is especially true for video on social media where users are typically flicking through feeds.
Ensure there’s a clear call to action: Video can be used as a starting point (or midpoint) to take consumers on a journey to explore your brand or to buy a product — depending on what your goal is. But the path needs to be clear and natural. Make sure the call to action is clear in your strategy first and then look at ways you can create this call to action to ensure your video is not just a dead end for consumers and your brand
Consider the end user’s viewing device: Device usage is constantly changing, so ensure your video strategy targets mobile and consider the big screen too. According to the report, 50 percent of marketing videos are watched on desktop and laptops, while 10 percent on mobile and 40 percent on tablet devices. Ensuring video content is dynamic and plays at a high quality whether on a smartphone or desktop computer, will help hold attention for longer
Video is a powerful medium for brands. It’s often considered as the most persuasive tool for marketers over text and images - but only if implemented correctly. Don’t be afraid to test the waters. Look at how video can help you communicate and engage with your audience, and have a clear goal you’re looking to achieve. Otherwise you may end up falling on ‘deaf ears’ — investing time and money in a tactic that’s not working for your customers or your brand.