There is one format that has experienced unprecedented growth and has catapulted its presence into online searches and social media engagement more than any other form of content - video. It had been predicted and been a discussion point for some time now and has now exceeded expectations to become the strongest digital growth format. In fact, according to the latest Facebook and PwC report on consumer video behavior, the changes we have seen across video consumption are unprecedented - especially over the past five years. And, no, we are not just talking about Millennials here.
For businesses to reach, engage and capture their key target audiences it takes of course more than just adding some Facebook lives and videos to their content strategy, as such I went to intervierw an expert to get the real 'low-down' on this topic. In order to actually see results, we need to really understand which is the right channel for our product and target audience that makes all the difference, says digital marketing expert Josh Klein.
Klein heads the growing team at Social Status, a long-standing award-nominated social media marketing firm, and is the CEO of digital marketing platform Promotr, which has already earned him numerous recognitions across both industry and business awards. Being strongly anchored in the digital marketing space for the past 15 years and being shortlisted for the 40-under-40 Young Entrepreneurs Award, as such Josh stands as a leading voice in the industry and as a respected source to interview.
"The world of TV and video has definitely come a long way, but the changes in consumer behavior of where and how they consume video content has undergone a revolution unlike what we have ever seen before," says Josh Klein.
Most surprising is that with a reach of over 500 million users and over 17.5 million in Australia, the combined social channels of Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat have overtaken Free-to-Air TV in Australia now, which used to lead the video domain for the past 60 years. While SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) is coming close behind with a reach of almost 14 Million, Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) has a usage of just under 5 Million viewers. Over 100 million hours of video are being watched on Facebook alone.
"In Australia, Facebook has well and truly overtaken YouTube in terms of overall reach, but depending on who your target audience is, the channels will vary," Klein explains.
"Audiences between ages 18 to 34 years definitely prefer Facebook, Instagram and YouTube over subscription or free-to-air, by as much as 10%, while free-to-air tips the scales for the 35 to 55+ year old. Most notable is that over half the consumption takes place on mobile devices," he adds.
The report also reveals that for Millennials, Snapchat has not only caught up, but is on par with Netflix and Free-to-Air, while Facebook and YouTube remain undefeated as preferred channels. Overall, the SVOD category leads the way with over 60% audience engagement and Facebook is the leading channel across all age groups.
"For businesses to stay ahead of the curve, or at least keep up with the fast-changing consumer trends, video format across various social channels is literally a 'must'," says Klein.
Whether you are a small or micro business or medium size enterprise, have an internal marketing team or not, video has to be a staple in your marketing mix. More importantly, video channels should not be planned in isolation, but rather be used as a congruent multi-channel user experience across your audience's key platforms, Klein stresses.
"You first have to understand the way that consumers experience the fluid video ecosystem, including the where, how and what they consume," he says.
Recommendation for marketers and business owners alike to maximize on the most powerful marketing messaging tool - video - they ought to consider the following:
1. Be clear on campaign objectives and prioritize tactics that reach these objectives.
2. Manage reach and frequency. Focus budget within channels with the highest audience within your demographic – in other words, fish where the fish are.
3. Analyze duplication of audience, and the incremental reach of video services, platforms and channels in your video plan.
4. Understand how various demographics use different platforms, and adapt activity based on these insights to generate maximum value.
5. Have a plan with regard to how your organization will adapt to the proliferation of ad free channels.
6. Scrutinize the cost premium of video providers - if it's twice the cost, does it drive twice the return?
7. Tailor video content to engage specific target audiences, vary content pieces for different customer avatars.
Just as with any other form of marketing, with video it is probably even more important to track performance analytics, measure engagement and click-through rates. However, going by Klein, ensuring that you create content that is specifically aimed at different target groups is paramount to achieve a good ROI on your video output.
"The broad scale content strategy that can be applied with other forms of content and distributed cross-platform may not work as well for video if distributed through different channels and placing it in front of diverse audiences," he says.
"The more tailored you can make your videos, specific to the platform and to your core audience avatars on these platforms, the better your video campaigns will perform. I guess it's the same as with anything, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. If unsure, seek advice from a professional, especially if you are looking at more than just the odd Facebook live."
Lastly, apart from choosing the right platform and content for your video marketing, it is important to consider the timing of when you schedule delivery and keep in mind the preferred device your audience is using to watch your video content. For example, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound which places extra importance on clear visual communication and subtitles to maximize engagement.
Namely, social videos generate 1200% more shares than text or image posts, branded video views have increased by over 250% from the year before. Video also drives organic engagement, increases conversion by up to 80% (on landing pages) and helps your page to show up in searches. Best yet, viewers retain up to 95% more of your message from video than other forms of content.
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