A marketer’s guide to capitalising on increasing video consumption

More time spent consuming video doesn't necessarily require increased marketing video production, claims Alpha Digital's senior account manager Ruth De Luchi.

Last year, Cisco’s Annual Internet Report forecasted that 82% of consumer internet traffic will be video by 2021. While COVID-19 may have acted as a catalyst, consumers were already streaming their favourite shows: watching explainer videos, live sports, events, and fitness classes on YouTube; watching Q&As through their favourite social livestream, and more. Watch time is up, and more marketers are viewing video as a powerful avenue for brands to connect with their customers daily.

Recycle creatively

A lot of brands don’t realise that they are capable of producing strong video content. Many creative and storytelling best practices cross over between social platforms, and any client that is open to cutting and editing their existing video collateral can produce video content that is optimised for different platforms.

For example, a branded video on a website can easily be cut into a six-second to 15-second format which is ideal for YouTube. If a client doesn’t have creative production capability in house, outsourcing to a partner is also a good solution. I have seen clients with no video assets produce their first round of video creative from static imagery, brand assets, and smart text overly with partners like Shuttlerock.

Video also doesn’t always need a full blown script – music and imagery are enough to tell a story. Stock imagery overlaid with text and music can also work well. Videos don’t always have to have high production value and relatable; down to earth content is resonating incredibly well with audiences at the moment.

Creativity, a knack for storytelling, and structuring content effectively is the key to success. It’s essential for a brand to be introduced within the first six seconds and prove why it’s needed, otherwise, viewers are likely to skip the content.

Be up front

From a targeting perspective, a frontloaded storytelling approach also qualifies viewers far more quickly. If your message is clear from the beginning and a viewer decides to keep watching or engage with the brand’s call to action, we know that they’re in the market and are on board with what a brand represents. It becomes very clear that we need to target that customer and their audience segment further, and we’re able to create ad spend efficiencies.

Stuck for budget?

New and emerging brands that need to create demand may want to try and lean on category level demand in their early days. It often makes sense for brands to start with a search strategy and generate revenue from consumers that are already in the market and searching for their product. After generating a return from pre-existing demand, then we have the investment capacity to start building brand awareness and recall through a cross channel video and media strategy.

Beyond generating brand awareness

Video marketing has evolved and platforms like YouTube offer an extensive suite of ad objectives and targeting options that allow brands to reach their audience at any stage in their purchase journey. Platforms like YouTube also combine the emotional appeal of video with powerful audience targeting capabilities, making them a strong brand awareness building tool.

I often see brands that have traditionally only been comfortable investing in lower funnel activity (such as search), being pleasantly surprised by the uplift in performance created when they introduce video and share their message across multiple media channels.

A consistent message and story told across separate media channels throughout the customer journey, helps consumers to develop a broader and more complex memory network about a brand, making the brand far easier to recall in distinct decision making moments.

Video in the marketing mix 

Video can have powerful emotional appeal and communicates information faster than the written word. However, video advertising does require a decent investment. I generally recommend that a budget for a YouTube campaign starts from at least $1K per month.

The creative also needs to be effective. Recent research by Nielsen Catalina suggests that as much as 47% of the effect of an ad comes from the creative idea itself. Reach, product, branding, targeting, recency, and context then play into the remainder of a video’s success.

Measures of success

Any marketing activity should generate an output or return, which needs to be tracked back to its initial objectives. If your video advertising objective is to maximise reach and increase awareness, then ensure to measure impressions, unique reach, or ad recall lift. If you’re planning on driving online action and sales, then be sure to track brand interest, leads, conversions, app installs or sales. If you have the capacity to split test your campaigns, you should compare different creative and call to action options, and gather the insights for your next round of production.

New consumer trends are constantly shifting the goal posts in marketing, and a test and measure philosophy is a great way for marketers to trial new approaches and validate future investment.

Ruth De Luchi is a senior digital performance account manager at Alpha Digital.


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