In recent years the use of video in marketing has skyrocketed. eMarketer forecasted a 16,55% growth to $15.42 billion in digital video ad spending in 2018 and according to Cisco by 2019, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video, as brands vie for consumer interest in the ‘attention economy’.
Be it to sell product or to communicate brand, in this context of massive online video content, brand marketers are struggling to attract their audience’s attention. But the opportunity and commercial gains are simply too big to miss.
Raptmedia recently identified that 64% of consumers are likely to spend more time watching video if they can participate. Additionally, 56% of people that follow brands on social media do so specifically to view products. While remarkably, 85% of people actually want to see more videos from brands this year.
Despite the continued growth in use of video, the way in which it is presented to the consumer hasn't changed much. The rise in popularity of channels such as Instagram Stories, alongside the shift to mobile, has created new commonly used video formats like square and vertical. But there hasn't been much innovation on the video player side.
The demand for 'shoppable content' has given rise to a few early interactive video experiences that have taken video from being a passive to an enjoyable, immersive and active consumer experience. Increased engagement, interaction and higher retention rates through clicks, touches and taps, have allowed viewers to customise their video journey, personalise the content they see by choosing which is most relevant to them and has delivered to brands more information than ever about themselves and their choices. It has opened many options for brand marketers to seize the opportunity and associate video directly with product and sales and some brands are getting this seriously right. A shoppable video by the luxury brand Jimmy Choo demonstrates how shoppability can be added through a seamless experience without interrupting the video itself.
In the current climate both the demand and opportunity around unique qualitative and creative content is tremendous, and interactive video is fast becoming the most significant media through which marketers can reach customers effectively and raise engagement.
There are a number of ways brands can use the latest video technologies to maximise their marketing spend and make impact through 2018-19, not only to brand but sales too. It requires a certain rewrite of the rules and for brand marketers to be nimble, brave and adaptable to the nuances and demands of the changing digital environment and consumer.
‘User First, Video Second’ & 360 Content
Brand marketers must adapt their approach to production, thinking ‘user first and video second’ while producing the video and content. Across social alone the demand for video is huge and only increasing. Critically brand marketers must be willing to adapt and to discern between the requirements of each specific channel and deliver content accordingly to optimise the impact of each, including a number of edits to the content.
From digital to social to touch screens in-store, brands are embracing a 360 approach to video that provides a seamless consumer experience from beginning to end. This fast progression towards 360 video content is no more evident than in the world’s of luxury and fashion, where major names in retail like London’s prestigious Harvey Nichols is fully embracing this new thinking, using interactive video and video adverts to mirror the brand experience across all digital channels as well as in store replacing the old banner approach. The films they hope will deliver the same spikes in sales that placing shoppable video on partner brands’ web sites has for them - on average a truly impressive 20% uplift in comparison to video merely featuring products in a static row below.
Interactive and Shoppable Content
Looking at video player technology, adding clickable interactive ‘hotspots’ to video, as opposed to merely listing products underneath the content, shows significantly increased performance and sales, and this will become the standard form across all distribution channels in 2019. Put simply, by giving the user control over the content they are viewing, they become more invested and engaged in it and more likely to buy.
Clickable content delivers invaluable data and insights - a mission critical way to understand audience preferences and behaviours and to measure the ROI of campaigns. But the process has thus far been time consuming and the final product, expensive to create, despite the superior sales performance and brand wins interactive video delivers over and above traditional digital advertising.
Next gen interactive video platforms like Smartzer, now permit brands to create and add a shoppable layer quickly and cost efficiently across all video formats and distribution channels – in a matter of hours, in fact. It is also driving interactivity by an average of x 51%+ that of standard video, 10%+ click through and 5%+ conversion. This is enabling brand marketers to close the loop on creativity and commercial impact – to directly derive sales from brand spend, the ability to deliver video investments that deliver major measurable impact to the bottom line.
Embracing Influencers for Brand and Product
Finally in addition to content created by the brand, working with influencers via influencer marketing platforms is another powerful source of content, which is quickly shifting from image to video and providing a second super powerful push along the customer journey, supporting both brand marketing and sales. For brands its important that the relationship with influencers is partisan – that they relinquish some control over content creation to truly leverage the impact of influencer driven video and leverage the know how of the Influencer over its network. Where interactive content can be more enjoyable and less invasive and annoying than traditional double click and banner advertising. Influencer driven content can also take this one step further and speak directly to audience preferences in terms of tone. We believe strongly in the power of influencers and have some exciting announcements to share in this respect at the beginning of 2019.
Video is today the most important platform through which to deliver a brand story and supported by shoppable video platforms like Smartzer, can deliver tangible measurable impact to both sales too, as well as critical customer insights. The brand marketer who can embrace the ‘user first’ and 360 approach to content delivery, who can engage smart technologies that deliver interactivity and shoppable content fast and can relinquish control of brand to commercial partners like influencers, will capitalise upon the commercial advantages that video is set to deliver through move 2019.