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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : November 21, 2018

Tips to a strong video strategy

Video consumption continues to rise, but it remains a mystery to many brands. In fact, many brands have forgone a true video strategy in favor of simply uploading video content to hubs like YouTube. That, according to experts, is not a sound strategy. Here's how to improve video strategy outside of sites like Youtube.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Online video, both branded content and user-generated, has become a hot property. What is driving video's growth?

Gil Sommer, Head of Product, Connatix: The short answer? Consumers. Video consumption is growing at an incredible rate, and publishers and advertisers need to keep pace. Branded content is a great way to deliver a seamless viewing experience, since the advertisement and video were created with the other in mind. At the end of the day, brands want to be where viewers are. As user-generated content and emerging video formats continue to grow, it's only natural for advertisers to become a part of this momentum.

What really interests me is why video consumption is growing. It goes deeper than just the visual component. The reader's relationship with content has evolved, in large part thanks to social media. We crave more than just a flat piece of content. We want to experience the narrative of the story through additional channels like visuals, sound, and other ways to interact. Video provides the immersive experience viewers have grown accustomed to on social channels. It's no longer just about the quality of content, it's about the format and the delivery as well.

Kristina: What is it that consumers want from streaming video?

Gil: The on-demand revolution led by Netflix and Hulu offer consumers something they've never had before: media freedom. They can watch quality content whenever they want and however they want. Consumer expectations are high and they want this same type of experience across the video ecosystem.

As mentioned above, the media industry needs to address more than just content quality and quantity - they need to think about the format. For example, a majority of consumers watch videos on their mobile phones and in a vertical format; however, much of today's available video inventory is optimized for horizontal formats. To meet consumer expectations, it will be imperative that videos provide a seamless experience that is optimized for the reader's environment.

Kristina: How can brands make sure they are delivering what viewers want?

Gil: There's a lot of talk about dwindling attention spans, and advertisers are even experimenting with shorter video ads. But, really, it boils down to the experience. Today's viewer wants to be entertained. Don't expect them to watch something you wouldn't watch yourself. This might mean shorter content, but it could also mean better content quality or new ways to engage. A lot of research has indicated viewers crave more interactivity and deeper experiences in their content. It's important for marketers to test various formats and technologies to see what works best for them and their audience. A good example for this is Geico: the company embraced the formats and created dedicated content that is engaging, tailored to the experience, and quite funny.

Kristina: YouTube seems to still be the go-to place, but several experts have said that it's important for brands to be outside the YouTube space - why is this?

Gil: YouTube is certainly a compelling place for brands. With an estimated 1.5 billion logged-in users each month, the potential audience reach is enormous. However, brands need to keep in mind a few things if they rely solely on YouTube in their video strategy.

First is consumer fatigue. With an average viewing session of 40 minutes (and many ads playing in that timeframe) the user is paying less attention to a specific brand, which can reduce the effectiveness of the campaign.

Second is repetition. To increase awareness and recognition, you need to connect with your target across as many touchpoint as possible. Brands that cast a wider net in their video distribution strategy will score better in these KPIs.

Third is brand safety. Because of the user-generated content nature of YouTube, brands have more opportunities to lose control of where their content runs. Businesses need to ask themselves whether the content shown alongside their ad will align with their brand. Does the ad make sense with the video? Is the ad disruptive to the video experience? Going down the YouTube route also presents a brand safety issue (the extremist content issue being a case in point), and it's not possible to ensure the advertising doesn't disrupt the experience.

Kristina: How can brands reach scale without using a hub like YouTube?

Gil: They can look for a publishing partner that has the ability to syndicate their content to a curated network of sites with similar audiences. The key is relevancy - getting the right content to the right people. The best results often occur when a publisher and advertiser work together to create "packaged" video content. When using this branded content approach, the video and advertisement can be developed with each other in mind, which results in better performance across the board.

Ultimately, by looking outside of YouTube, publishers and brands can break away from the walled gardens filled with unknowns to create better viewer experiences and, in turn, better engagement.

Tags: Connatix, video ad trends, video content, video content trends, video marketing

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