In the past decade, perhaps the biggest shift in Internet technology has been the rise of video content. From commercially produced material to the explosion of self-directed content via smartphones, video is everywhere. New technology will continue to drive this further, both in terms of accessibility to quality video hardware and software as well as bandwidth to upload and download content.
What’s more, according to leading digital-asset company, WebDAM, “visual IQ” is rising faster than any other form of IQ as human behavior adjusts to process and make sense of emerging forms of communication.
"People spend more time on digital video (one hour 55 minutes) than social media (one hour 44 minutes) per day, and 68 percent of U.S. marketers plan to increase their digital-video budgets over the next year,” says Rachel Payne, founder and CEO of FEM, Inc. “Brands are looking to video as a central part of their future marketing campaigns and every content creator knows that video is the essential medium for engaging current and future audiences."
While text content will always have a place, stats show that more and more traffic volume is driven by video content. In fact, by 2019, a Cisco study projects that 90 percent of Internet traffic will be from video. The time is now to embrace video as your content driver, and here are five big reasons why.
1. It creates a unique emotional connection.
Video offers an immediacy that can translate emotionally unlike any other medium. It's the reason why a well-made, 30-second commercial can nearly bring someone to tears or inspire them toward action. The images, audio and narrative all become a compelling and engaging experience that speaks to the core of who we are as human beings.
As the web is trending towards a denser volume of video-based traffic, both content creators and content-platform managers must realize the unique opportunity they have to connect with their audiences through video -- and that connection can build the foundation of brand loyalty and long-term appeal.
For a great example, check out Saucony’s “Find Your Strong” video, which was used to launch a multi-channel campaign that pushed the running shoe company ahead of the pack.
2. You can repurpose content.
From a practical perspective, video offers unique repurposing abilities that aren't available in other media. Everything starts with the source video -- whatever it is, from an interview to an artistic display to a narrative, it has to be done well.
After that, the repurposing possibilities are endless. Single images can be used for promotion. Behind-the-scenes footage can be distributed as bonus content to further engage the audience. The source material can be edited into promotional clips or other spin-off material (such as being set to music) for marketing purposes.
Short-form video platforms such as Vine can utilize micro-clips to promote content on a grassroots social-media level. Video is a flexible medium, and smartly combining creative flexibility with marketing muscle can repurpose one solid piece of content into endless offshoots.
3. Video can enhance branding and marketing efforts.
Because video is such a compelling medium, it can both be the driver and centerpiece of branding efforts. Using a comprehensive and holistic approach, video can support a wide range of marketing initiatives. This stems from the storytelling/narrative capabilities of video. Branding strategies can touch on this through a variety of avenues: images, text, audio and identity. A video is capable of bringing all of these elements together and driving it forward into other marketing initiatives.
“Engagement is central to our success,” says Kaliel Roberts, senior vice president of product and technology at Discovery Communications, home to Discovery Digital Networks. “A key metric we evaluate across platforms is video views per session, which is an important indicator of engagement, and a great way to extend the value of our content.”
4. The platform's embedding capabilities.
Today, embedding videos (and tweets and other social-media objects) is a standard feature that allows even the technophobic to propagate relevant content. This creates an organic syndication process for content, further spreading to blogs, social media profiles and websites.
Viewer engagement can truly drive this, and the goal for content creators thus becomes two-fold: First, create high-quality content, then engage viewers through all possible channels to push syndication forward, hopefully to a point where it goes viral and takes on a life of its own.
5. Video has longer user-engagement periods.
The availability of video for both users and creators has created a cluttered ecosystem -- it can be difficult to cut through the noise, and navigating and discovering desired content can leave viewers frustrated with a content platform. In fact, according to a study cited by CNN, consumers give up on video content if it doesn’t load in two seconds.
Alternately, when a user has a clear path to further appealing videos, this can create a longer user-engagement period, which is the top priority for any content platform. This means that platform managers must invest in both quality content providers and technology that enables accurate algorithm-selected choices to keep users engaged. This can turn a casual user into a brand loyalist -- and with the trending numbers for video traffic, this may be one of the most critical strategic aspects around.
Staying ahead of the video curve.
The numbers are pulling toward video and the benefits for both content creators and platforms are clearly there. The goal for both parties is then to project ahead of the curve and focus on what drives engagement. While creating high-quality, compelling video content is often a big financial as well as human-capital investment, if done well it can literally catapult a campaign or initiative forward unlike any other medium.
By prioritizing quality over quantity, the long-term dividends will include a better reputation, stronger loyalty and more monetization opportunities.