By Mick Entwisle, CEO and co-Founder of Genero
Video is everywhere. Read this on a packed train, and you can be sure that at least half of those on their mobile are watching some form of video content; after all, 13% of adults' social media time is spent watching video, equating to around 10 minutes every day. Facebook now sees eight billion average daily video views from 500 million users, and Snapchat users watch six billion videos every day.
With more and more control over what they watch, busy lives and a saturated media environment, the type of video people consumed has also changed. It's short and sharp and needs to be authentic and entertaining. If it's not something they care about or if it takes too long to get to the point, viewers will skip it, change the channel or fast forward - and that's if it even makes it past the ad blockers in the first place (by the end of 2016, it was predicted that 30% of British web users will be using ad blocking software on their devices).
Video makes the marketing star
Brands are looking to build an ongoing relationship with their audiences, where they have relevance and an ongoing dialogue. It's too difficult to get cut through via media bursts and one-off campaigns, which are built around internal marketing and business priorities, rather than an audience-first strategy. This is one of the drivers for the growing use of content marketing and in particular video content.
Video is the most engaging form of content, delivering much higher rates of engagement, effectiveness and rates of sharing on social media platforms and in online marketing. While most marketers understand this, they are struggling to work out the right approach to video content production and marketing.
Most brand marketing teams will contain people with experience in TV ad development and traditional digital marketing. But the new world of video content marketing - involving short, platform-and channel-specific content required on a weekly or even daily basis - is a new challenge and requires new skills that many don't have. But for those able to get started and learn and improve, the benefits of an effective video content marketing strategy are enormous.
Emerging channels and platforms
In order for brands to secure the attention of audiences they can only do that by having a presence on the platforms where people are spending more and more of their time, like Snapchat and Instagram. But while each new platform represents a new opportunity for marketers, they also present a new challenge, often requiring their own custom content in order to be effective. This is the case in traditional media as well, where technological advances present marketers with opportunities to hyper-target audiences. There is no point employing these technologies if you are only using the same content regardless of the viewer.
Things would be so much simpler if we could create a piece of video content and push it out across all of these channels, but there is no one-size-fits-all in video marketing - the context, device, audience segment etc. are critical for a video to be watched and for it to engage the viewer. So as well as the volume of video required to utilise throughout the year so brands are "always on", the plethora of channels requiring their own custom content and formats makes the job even more difficult.
A new approach
Marketing has often focused on pushing out ads and making sure they're seen by backing them with hefty media budgets, which is becoming less and less effective. The advertising industry was built around long creative and planning cycles and large budgets for each TVC, which all clients are moving away from. And there is no doubt the marketing and advertising industry is in a transitionary phase as it looks to adapt to this new world.
The good news is that the supply side of video is healthy, growing and ready to support the industry's changing requirements. The number of filmmakers is growing every day - production of quality video content is becoming more accessible via the technical advancements in cameras, drones & related equipment and software. You can produce something today for a fraction of the budget it would have required ten or even five years ago.
So what does the future of video hold? We know that new platforms will emerge more frequently than they ever have done - it's now up to the brands and agencies to make sure they are embracing this new space and find the right filmmakers to take advantage.