“Live and Targeted” - The Future of Digital Video. #78 #cong16

By Greg Fry.

The Digital Video revolution is here and brands are struggling to keep pace with the changing technologies and the tactics required to execute video in an effective way.

I remember businesses flocking to Twitter in 2009/2010 as it became this amazing platform to communicate with their target market in “real time”. We were able to “follow” and consume content from celebrities and influencers and get to know them in a more intimate way than we ever could. I remember feeling like I got to know Britney Spears in a weird virtual way by reading her tweets prior to a concert performance in the US or reading her rant at recording studio. Twitter allowed us to reach and connect with an audience in a way we had been unable to do on the likes of Facebook or LinkedIn.

In many ways, I see similarities between Twitter back in 2009/2010 and the digital revolution, which is happening now. 

What do I mean? Well in a nutshell video is the most powerful, impactful way to demonstrate one’s expertise, passion and personality online. It is the quickest way to build a relationship with your target audience. Also, thanks to the likes of Periscope, Facebook Live and YouTube, we can now broadcast in real time. So, a viewer can witness and experience what is happening elsewhere in a way they never could before.

The big difference of course is that video is now popping up in different formats on all platforms and, in many ways, is changing the way we consume and communicate online. It seems silly typing this as I say it…….I will have to create a video version.

Despite the opportunity that video offers businesses and marketers, many have been slow to adopt and execute video effectively. Maybe they are waiting for the bandwagon to fill up before they feel comfortable enough to jump on. 

The key to success with Digital Video is to be “interesting” and brands need to make their video content stand out from the pack: So it amazes me how many Accountants are still producing “boring” Accountancy videos that people do not want to watch. A safe approach……...maybe……. but those 23 YouTube views are  not really going to generate any ROI for your video efforts.

Still not convinced about the Video Revolution? No article is truly complete without a few stats:

  • 96% of shoppers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online.  - Animoto
  • Social Video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined – Brightcove
  • Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic than non users – Aberdeen
  • 70% of marketers claim video produces more conversations than any other content -  Vidyard
  • Facebook is fast becoming a video social network with100 million hours of video being watched on Facebook every day.
  • 80% of Millennials use online videos when researching a purchasing decision  - Annimoto
  • Snapchat Users Now Watch Ten Billion Videos Per Day! 

So it appears the internet is going video, so much so that Cisco claim that by 2019 80% of World’s Internet traffic will be video.

So how will the current YouTube/Facebook type video evolve in the future?

  1. Video will become interactive: 

Not only will be able to view video content we will be able to participate in it. 

A great example of such an interactive video is Deloiite’s – Will you Fit Into Deloitte recruitment video. The video essentially tells the story of Deloitte’s values and ethics and challenges the viewer to make decisions throughout the video. The decisions you make help idenify whether you are a good fit for their organisation. These interactive type videos generate far more engagement than a regular video and a greater viewing time.

View the full video here or should I say participate in the video below -  

Other great examples include Heineken’s  Go Places Campaign -  

 

Very soon we will be watching videos or video ads that showcase a product or service and be able click and purchase the item with one click direct from the video. Trust me it’s coming……YouTube Cards are the first step towards making this a reality.

  1. Video conversations become the norm.

Snapchat and WhatsApp have developed the ability to make one to one and group video calls on their platforms and the young audience are lapping the feature up. I only need to look at my eldest son and his mates to see the impact of video chat. In the past I feared that the world was getting very impersonal brands and staff members were hiding behind emails and tweets. However, thanks to video brands will be forced to communicate with customers through video. 

Let me think into the future and give you an example of how instant video could work. Imagine it is 1 year from now and I am looking to purchase a home and I am looking at a property on Daft.ie. With one touch on the screen I have a video conversation with a Mortgage agent who gives me advice. No appointments needed and conversations are able to take place at the time and place I want.  This instant video will revolutionize communication and make websites and social media more personal and interactive.

There have been a number of attempts to do this already with healthcare. Virtual GP visits are now a reality through video.

 

  1. Customized and targeted video.   

I have been talking about this for ages and it is coming.  With all the data that is on the web and the personal information we leave on the web (such as our age, our interests, where we live, who our friends, what our buying habits are etc.) we are going to be targeted with highly customized personal video. In the near future we could all be watching the same sporting event on TV and see completely different ads. The ads that would be served up during a break would be totally customized for me. The data about us all is already here and with automation getting smarter generating multiple messages for multiple audiences is no longer an expensive and impossible feat.

  1. Influencer Marketing 

Video may have killed the radio star, but it is making some serious celebrities out of people who have adopted and built large audiences on platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat and Periscope. Brands are realizing that teaming up with new “Video celebrities” is a marketing necessity and a far greater way to reach a large targeted audience than traditional marketing efforts. Brands that team up and associate with “video stars” are not only reaching a large audience, but enhance they brand image and “likeability”. Whilst this is not a cheap form of marketing it is typically cheaper than traditional channels (TV, Radio and Print) that have dwindling reach. In many sense this concept is not different from Pepsi getting Britney Spears to hold their drink in a TV advert years ago. So ask yourself who is your target audience and who are the  “internet/video celebs” they watch and/or engage with online?


 

Brands in Ireland are already using internet celebs for Snapchat account takeovers and YouTube videos.

  1. Crowd Sourced Video

Always remember video works both ways. As brands video should not just be about broadcasting it should also be about collaborating. Or even listening.  Snapchat has looked at this functionality already. For example when watching the latest Conor McGregor fight I could send my Snapchat video to my story or to a collaborative Congor McGregor story that was made up of all the content shared by all the other fans around the world.  This type of video content is hugely popular as the viewers are also the participators.  A great Irish App to create crowdsourced video content is Shotclip - https://www.shotclip.com/.

The ultimate Crowd Sourced Video campaign. One third of the Irish population participated by uploading a video in a 2 week period.

  1. Drones and 360o Video

2016 has been the year for drones and 360 degree images and video on Facebook, however I don’t believe companies  have mastered the true art of using either effectively yet. In the near future you will see the cost of producing drone footage and create 360o video plummet and more people will adopt these video formats. The key to successful drone videos will probably be a “blended approach” a mix of regular and aerial footage.

 I think less will be more. Currently most drone footage (in my opinion) is shot too high and lacks integration with traditional video. I think where 360o video will become more normal is the viewers ability to watch/experience content from different angles. I think we will see videos giving viewers several different viewing options.  Jamie Oliver’s YouTube channel already has videos were I can watch his recipe being cooked from an aerial view, face on or side angle.

 

  1. Live Streaming

Facebook Live has taken the Internet by storm this year and it is clear that Mark Zuckerberg believes video is paramount to Facebook’s continued dominance. Technology is changing daily and brands are struggling to figure out how they can become broadcasters and build “live TV” type channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We are going to see companies getting better at creating more “valuable” relevant content and use  tools that give broadcasters a slick branded appearance. One big development we will see with live streaming over the next year is better analytics and data on who exactly is viewing our live video content.  Some of the tools you may want to consider for live streaming are:

Open Broadcast Software (OBS) – Free software that allows you broadcast directly from a desktop computer. It allows you to add your logo to your screen, add text, and share your screen and more. You can broadcast live to YouTube, Facebook (pages, groups and personal accounts) and Periscope. 

There are lots of other similar tools out there. Including Wirecast, Blue Jeans and LiveLeap. If you were a fan of the recently deceased Blab you may want to look at Huzza.io or Firetalk.

So get on the Live Streaming bandwagon because it is only going to get bigger. Instagram have just jumped on and are allowing their community broadcast live to their followers via their stories feature.  Clever companies will plan and promote their live broadcasts in advance, create “valuable” and relevant content and broadcast on a schedule (much like a television network). 

  1. Search engines will index video better.

At present the use of srt files are great to add to your video. Thus files add captions or subtitles to your video that not only the viewer can read, but also the search engine can see. This helps search engines and Social Media algorithms understand and index your video. (A tool to create and add srt files to your video is Aegisub.

I believe that very soon we won’t need these and that the search engines and social media sites will be able to understand our video content, where it was shot and who it is aimed at.  

  1. Finally, brace yourselves for a VR revolution.

We will start to see and experience video that brings us into a virtual world. We got a great insight into the near future this year when Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook’s Oculus Rift to virtulally go home and check on his dog and whilst there call his wife and snap a selfie. All from a stage at a packed conference.

Eg. Travel agents in the future can show their customer that hotel in Thailand in a way never even imagined before.

Quite frankly, my brain hurts when I think of the possibilities for brands using video and VR.

Can you think of a 10th Point?

How do you think video will evolve in the coming years? There is no doubt it is changing the way the internet looks and I firmly believe it is helping the internet to become more real again. 

I firmly believe that other than face-to-face contact video builds relationships and “likeability “ faster than any other digital medium out there.

Do you agree?




CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie