Online video is steadily taking over as the content format of choice for consumers around the world, and anyone looking to boost their brand's engagement needs to start thinking about how they can target content towards digital viewers.
Why is video content so important?
As media monitoring tools can identify, video has exploded in popularity in recent years. In fact, the total number of viewed free-access videos reached 38.2 billion in 2014, an increase of 43 per cent from the year before, according to figures collated by Adobe.
What's more, the way we're consuming these videos is changing. While desktops have traditionally been the vehicle of choice for digital viewers, advances in smartphone technology and increased access to high speed internet has led to an extreme shift in the way consumers are watching videos online.
When it comes to watching online videos, consumers prefer mobile devices.
Adobe found that the number of people watching premium video on a PC consisted of just 7 per cent of total viewers. Android devices held a 17 per cent market share, while iPhone and iPad commanded 18 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
So, video content is on the rise and mobile devices are leading the way as the preferred viewing screens for consumers. How can communication professionals capitalise on these findings? Let's take a look at what you can do to create engaging videos for some of the most popular mobile apps on the market:
From the outset, Vine seems like an unlikely promotional tool. After all, with videos restricted to a maximum length of six seconds, does it really provide you with enough time to connect with your target audience?
Well, this limitation may actually be a blessing in disguise. In 2013, Microsoft found that the average human attention span was a mere 8 seconds (less than that of a goldfish!), a trait that no doubt extends to consumers' video watching habits. By keeping the content concise, you may be able to engage a higher number of prospects.
What should your content consist of? While media analytics can reveal what type of material resonates with your target market, creating a video that's simple and fun is a good place to start. However, when you've got some Vine experience under your belt, it is possible to get more complex, as this excellent user-generated video from Airbnb shows:
Once confined to the realm of early-adopting tech-savvy teens, Snapchat is now an important part of the media landscape. It's particularly popular for one specific quirk that professional communicators need to take into account.
Similar to Vine, Snapchat imposes a time limit of 10 seconds on its videos. Where it differs, however, is that after a recipient watches the video, the content automatically deletes itself.
This means that you really need to focus your efforts on creating memorable content that grips consumers' attention immediately. Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers suggested that organisations could give followers a sneak-peek of an unreleased product or service, or use Snapchat as a platform for running a competition.
What type of content should you be sending through Snapchat? Forbes recommended keeping the videos casual and relatable in order to make your brand appear more 'human'. This means using the app as a tool to reveal your organisation's personality, rather than spamming followers with videos of upcoming promotions.
Lesser known (for now) than some of the other big players in the online video sphere, Periscope has the potential to shake up the way people consume media. TechCrunch demonstrated what you can do with Periscope in the YouTube video below:
Periscope's USP centres around live streaming. While other apps allow you to create and edit videos before sharing them with your followers, Periscope removes another layer between the organisation and the consumer by enabling you to share content as it happens in real time.
How can you use this technology to boost brand exposure? Entrepreneur.com suggested using Periscope to broadcast a new product launch, enabling consumers around the world to witness the release live. Alternatively, you could use Periscope to shoot Q&A's or offer followers a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at your organisation. Media monitoring tools may show that this higher level of transparency results in greater brand engagement.
WeChat is a massive force to be reckoned with in Asian markets. Its larger user base is in China, where it was first released, but is expanding quickly in the wider region, with the APAC user base growing 150 per cent between Q1 2013 and Q3 2014.
Apple Lam, a contributor for media news source Marketing Interactive, noted that WeChat is much more personal than other social media platforms. In addition, WeChat also hides the number of followers that a WeChat account has, forcing organisations to produce and share quality content instead of relying on the bandwagon effect to create brand engagement.
Video content is a potent tool for any communication professional seeking to boost brand exposure. These tips, when used in conjunction with comprehensive media intelligence tools may help you narrow down the type of content your target audience wants to engage with, and enable you to design a strategy that takes advantage of these online video platforms.