The rise of video content

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SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: We’ve seen many industries disrupted over the past decade, especially with the advent of social media. The latest industry is the video production industry. Latest stats show that 90 per cent of all internet traffic will be video based in 2019.

This has serious content implications for brands and the film production industry has to transform to embrace this need as hot new video shops emerge and agencies – digital and social media – establish their own video content production units.

Video content has been on the rise since smartphones upgraded their cameras and social media channels started prioritising video, as demand by consumers increased for visual content. Facebook Live, YouTube channels and Insta-Stories are now being used by mainstream media organisations; brands; and individuals to broadcast their products/services/random thoughts.

And everyone with a phone is a broadcaster today, which meant that media channels had to start including first person video and eyewitness accounts in content. Now brands are heading the same way as any social media interaction is amplified by the addition of video content. Where the disruption comes for video production companies, is that brands need fast content, instant content and a continuous flow of content.

Jodene Shaer, head strategist of social media engagement specialist, Chat Factory, had this comment: “Video content has exploded into the forefront of marketing strategies, and 2018 has kicked off with a taste of the impact it will have for the future of social and digital marketing. Driven by consumer demand, marketers are reporting an increase in ROI and are seeing the public engage with their pages for longer.”

“With features including Insta-Stories and Facebook Live, the rise of native content from brands is assisting in creating a more authentic and accessible connection with their consumers, which will continue to drive the popularity of live and video content by both marketers and consumers.”

Insta-videos trend

This means that video production houses and videographers have to hone their skills to produce shorter insta-videos – at a greatly reduced cost. We’re talking about the rise of hot new video production shops who charge R1000 a video and a day’s turnaround; as opposed to R10 000 a video and a month’s turnaround. And we can talk about quality, but civilians are posting videos every day on Instagram and YouTube and receiving millions of likes, despite the quality.

You have to go where the audience is and that audience right now has an insatiable need for video content. The key, according to the experts, is to marry high quality with agility – being able to be more efficient without necessarily compromising quality, but being able to meet brand and business needs. It will require faster turnaround, new techniques and the industry needing to transform radically to meet brand and customer demand for instant video.

The stats tell a story

Have a look at the stats being lobbied about out there in the industry by creative industry heavyweights:

  • 90 per cent of all internet traffic will be video based in 2019. Currently that figure is 74 per cent. (Source: Cisco).
  • 50 million people use Instagram Stories.
  • 92 per cent of mobile viewers share videos.
  • People are 85 per cent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video (Source: G&G Digital).
  • Mobile video increased by 35 per cent, whereas desktop and TV viewing only increased by 2 per cent in 2017 (Source: Halo).
  • Mobile video is forecast to grow by 25 per cent in 2018 and 29 per cent in 2019.
  • Google in February launched its own “AMP stories” format to compete with Snapchat and Instagram, with image-driven news articles aimed at mobile phone and tablet users.
  • Facebook’s launch of its six second ads have driven a demand for video advertising.
  • Locally, telecommunications brands are encouraging consumers to consume and create more video, by reducing data costs: MTN Shortz platform allows local-content providers to distribute their content to the mobile operator’s customers; Telkom has reduced data costs and introduced its LIT service to increase streaming; and Vodacom’s Video Play app, allows customers to watch more video.

“Images, videos and graphics help get readers’ attention as quickly as possible and keep them engaged through immersive and easily consumable visual information,” says Rudy Galfi, responsible for driving Google’s AMP stories.

Visual marketing, in the form of photography and video is no longer a nice-to-have for brands, it’s a must have, says G&G Digital: “When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 per cent of that information three days later. If an image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 per cent of the information three days later.”

New kids on the block

G&G Digital officially launched photography and videographic services for clients in February. “Video is the most powerful engager in a brand’s arsenal. It ignites emotions, builds trust and doubles exposure time. Videos can easily explain complex concepts and is increasingly preferred over reading. Sharing product videos and how-to tutorials on social media will increase reach and support the sales process,” said Desiree Gullan, G&G Digital executive creative director.

CBR Marketing Solutions boosted its stable of digital offerings with the launch of a new video production department, CBR Productions, earlier this year. It is headed by young film duo, Chace Geyer and Devin Risely. The reason? “Video is one of the biggest growth areas in digital media in 2017, with Adobe reporting that 51.9 per cent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI,” said CBR MD, Graig Munitz.

“Brands need to show a more authentic side to themselves, one that is more raw and real. The film industry also needs to learn how to capture this for brands in innovative and engaging ways.”

Film and video content producer and director, Sean Wilson-Smith, founded Vidr, a video content go-to agency specialising in bite-sized video and a national network and hub of makers and editors who film, shoot and cut and deliver onsite.

“Traditional film/video content production was growing old fast because of: big, expensive and heavy gear; a lack of trained, consistent, available content directors/filmmakers; lengthy returns of final edits/content; and the cost incurred to clients for all of the above, just for a one or two minute piece of video.”

Vidr uses top of the range lightweight and nimble high-tech cinematic filming/editing gear that fits into a backpack; “leasing” these “Vidr Gear Bags” to filmmakers, and linking them with new and on-going clients who want consistent video content delivered fast via its secure Cloud based/AI/Blockchain Vidr CMS platform.

Market disruption

Wilson-Smith believes they are disrupting the market: “Creating a platform where clients can login, find available content producers with gear on hand in a flash (much like finding an Uber on a map), booking them via our platform, and getting their own video delivered to themselves via our secure cloud-based Blockchain encrypted platform.

“We are making it much easier and cheaper for brands and clients to know a consistent agency exists that helps them with their video strategy to get going, and provides them with beautiful cinematic work asap. And we’re focusing specifically on ‘bite-sized’ video and its craving market/fans, where time is minimal to watch video, and they need it packaged quickly, in order to market fast!”

Gullan, in turn, points out that clients are demanding breakthrough content for their brands and that they expect it to be relevant, fast and to get share of mind among their consumers.

“Agencies are responding and producing video content that delights their clients and their clients’ target market. This is putting pressure on specialist video production houses as they’re not just competing with other video specialists, but with agencies as well. In addition, there is a lot more user-friendly video software for editing, voice recording, creating titles and quick turn-around templates; this is making video production much more achievable for creative teams in-house or in agencies.”

Continuing trends in the industry cited by Gullan, include:

The six-second advert. Brands of the future are using a combination of short-form ads and long-form video to tell a brand story. The result is greater brand awareness and powerful engagement.

There are three ways of using a combination of short and long-form video to improve reach and frequency, reinforce your message and reduce overall campaign costs.

More and more video content is being and going to be produced. On top of that consumer attention is scarce. So we’re all going to have to be faster, smarter and more creative to break through. Brands that get it right will get so much more for their investment as consumers become advocates and share good content.

“On demand video is the way we will be consuming information, entertainment and education in the future. These are exciting times,” Gullan concluded.

 

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