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  • Writer's pictureKatya Mulvaney

leverage the power of video

When living in a technologically driven world it is inevitable that change will continue to be the only constant. In order for your brand to stay relevant, you need to continue to be informed about how the market, and your customers, are behaving.

If you engage with marketing resources, you will be familiar with the increased interest surrounding the role of video in recent years. However, the reasons why you should invest more in this medium is often not as clear-cut as one would expect it to be.  

the hard-hitting stats

Multiple sources of research show that locally as well as globally, there is a rapid increase in the consumption of video content. In order for your ads to be viewed, and be memorable, it is best practise to create content in the medium which is the most popular.

In South Africa:

54% of the population are regular internet users

97% of these regular internet users are watching videos online

93% of regular internet users access the internet via mobile phones

71% of total web pages in SA are served to mobile phones

This means that the majority of South Africans online are consuming content in the form of video on their mobile device. This does not rule out still images or other forms of digital creative, but it should serve as an encouragement to get your creative agencies to develop mobile-friendly video content for your campaigns.

best practice

As more users access social media from their mobile devices, content specifically designed for this vertical interface is winning customers’ attention as it is presented in the same format that they are accustomed to engaging with. The best mobile video ads are under 16 seconds long, and contain vertical visuals that take up the majority of the mobile screen. Here are five quick wins for creating impactful video content:

  1. Tailor your story to your audience: people are more likely to pay attention to and engage with content that is relevant to them.

  2. Use the first few seconds wisely: ensure your video ad quickly attracts people’s attention as they scroll through their newsfeed.

  3. Keep your video under 2 minutes: videos under 2 minutes get higher engagement rates than those exceeding this time.

  4. Focus on storytelling: intrigue your audience by telling a cohesive and concise story, maintaining their interest throughout.

  5. Tell your story with and without sound: Facebook videos auto-play with sound off and 85% of Facebook video ads are watched on mute. Ensure that your engaging imagery and subtitles both contribute to storytelling. When the sound is on, ensure it adds value to your advert.

why a video strategy is imperative

It is also important to be aware of other factors which can help motivate for including video in your marketing strategy. These include:

  1. increased brand awareness, engagement and conversions

  2. improved ROI

  3. strengthened trust in brand

  4. video is highly shareable

  5. video is more engaging and keeps users on your pages for longer

  6. improved SEO ranking

Tips on how to improve SEO ranking with video

  1. type out your video script: transcribing your sound to text allows Google to more accurately crawl through your content. This means that your site will be more likely to feature in a wide variety of internet searches.

  2. use great creative: create intentional, well thought out, high quality thumbnails to grab attention and increase interest in your video, ultimately increasing engagement rates.

  3. optimise your videos: add relevant text, subtext, descriptions and tags to assist search engine bots to crawl your video effectively.

what does this mean for you as a South African marketer? 

As South African marketers, we find ourselves in a privileged and unique position in this emerging economy. The local digital landscape is not yet over-saturated, providing much opportunity for growth and expansion. Furthermore, as fibre connections speed up and data prices decrease, more people are able to afford a stable internet connection and easily stream their content. It is inevitable that in the not too distant future, content streaming will rise to equal the percentage of regular internet users.

In the months to come it will become increasingly necessary for marketers to broaden their horizons and apply more agility in their approach to digital marketing. Now more so than ever, there is a pressing need for marketing teams to display a blend of creative and analytical thinking to succeed in this constantly evolving digital landscape.

- Written for Popimedia. Click here to view original article.

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