Written by Simon Ward, CEO of ITG
The internet may be largely text and image based, but the digital world is now every bit as much a video medium as TV – and customers are clamouring for audio-visual content.
The issue is that video tends to be more expensive to produce than text, so with the increased pressure on budgets, how can businesses meet this demand without burning a hole in their wallet?
Importance of Video for Marketing
This year, Statista predicts that at least once a month 3.5 billion people will be watching online videos. With a reach of over 50 per cent, music videos rank the most popular, followed by How-To and Educational videos with a 30 per cent reach, and Product Reviews and Influencer Vlogs at 25 per cent.
More importantly, millennials alone watch between 10-20 hours of online video a week – great news for marketing. According to Animoto, videos are the best way for consumers to discover new brands, and the most beneficial form of content when online shopping. Wyzowl even reported that 89 per cent of consumers have bought a product or service after seeing it featured in a video.
Videos grab the viewer’s attention and keep it. Not being able to physically hold a product can often be a barrier to an online purchase, but video brings new levels of immediacy to products which text and photography cannot do, hence its growing importance in social media posts – arguably the most essential tool in modern marketing.
This explains why social media giant Instagram tweaked its algorithm to push video over static content, and why How-To videos are the most popular on YouTube, helping overcome the barriers we face with online purchasing and increasing viewer engagement with a brand. Videos are a lot more likely to go viral, and having at least one video on a web page increases the chance of a high page ranking, which are rewarded by Google.
The issue with video content is that it is often overwhelmingly ad based, as opposed to in-depth editorial/content marketing. It’s a similar drawback to TV ads, which see people losing interest as they are repeatedly served the same content. A survey by marketing academics Siddarth and Chattopadhyay found that no matter how much someone enjoyed a TV ad the first time around, once they had seen it between 12 and 15 times over a two-month period, they would immediately switch channels when it appeared.
Therefore, it’s important to vary ad content while retaining consistency of style and message. Using the same structure, but with different elements interspersed throughout, can help postpone those feelings of frustration.
Having multiple variations of video content is essential when reaching different audiences. But the need for individual markets to change elements such as products, labels, deals, prices, formats and more, means there will be high volume of videos to edit.
The most common way to deal with this is for main video teams to edit a master video for reference, then employ multiple, potentially dozens, of other agencies globally to adapt this master for their local market. However, employing multiple video agencies to do this manually comes with a hefty price tag, not to mention a huge amount of time required.
The best way to solve this cost and time problem is by automating the video production process through video automation software. This software enables all the required video elements to be shot and then turned into a multi–layered master. The integration of automation into video editing offers a multitude of advantages, enabling you to rapidly change everything from video and audio variations to currencies and offers, regional logos and local disclaimers. It saves you time and money, while freeing creative teams from those tedious manual amends and instead allowing them to focus on brand storytelling.
Once the multi-layered master is created, most of the work is done. Just by ticking various checkboxes to select the desired layers, or by uploading a spreadsheet detailing all the variations required, tens and even hundreds of variations can be made. You still get the high-quality content you need, but without the usual associated production costs.
Personalisation in Programmatic
Ultimately, video automation has potential to move from regional or platform variations, to full video personalisation, with the platform automatically serving content it determines most appropriate to the viewer – whether that’s targeted upsell offers or just different ad variations to avoid fatigue.
It’s important to note that there is still plenty of room for non-video content, and a good marketing mix remains essential. Businesses should of course continue to cater for the many people who enjoy the leisure of reading, but integrating video automation alongside is now essential to avoid falling short of consumer demand.