ReelSEO reports that Cisco is forecasting that online consumption of video will continue to grow rapidly and account for almost 80% of all internet traffic by 2017.
As to be expected long form factor (i.e films – 60 minutes or more) will be a significant part of that with Netflix and Amazon/LoveFilm attracting many consumers.
Also growing steadily are mid-form content (we would define that as 3 – 15 minute as in instructional and informational videos.)
Short form (less than 2 minutes) and Ultra Short Form (less than 60 seconds) are growing fast largely as people take videos and upload online rather than still images.
Growing quickly is video SEO and techniques to ensure organisations content gets discovered by traditional search and not just word-of-mouth social media.
What does it mean for organisations?
Increased consumption, especially driven via smart phones and tablets, means that people’s expectations of web visits are changing. Video is reaching the point where it has gone beyond ‘nice to have’ to being close to ‘expected’ by visitors. But what sort of content works best?
To a great extent it depends on the audience and the brand values and message an organisation wants to convey.
The style, the music, the pace and the voice-over or captions all blend together to help maximise the message impact. We always encourage our clients to think carefully about how the video will help tell their story but also deliver value to the audience and include a clear ‘call to action’. That way the ROI of the video can be calculated. The ‘call to action’ could be telephoning the company, requesting information, or visiting additional landing pages on the web site or linking to additional videos.
Depending on the message the video may last less than 60 seconds or a few minutes. A longer video (3 – 15 minutes) can still retain the audience’s interest by creating a series of angles to a story. For example, the Senior Management, R&D and Customer Services teams could all have a short section. Add a product demo and customer testimonials and you have an engaging video. A longer video may be better ‘serialised’ so that each department or function has their own section. The customer can play them all to get a fuller picture or select the one that interest them the most. Our experience is that demos of the product in action and customer testimonials work best. Creating an overview and in-depth look also allows people to watch the one most relevant to the Decision Cycle. If they are early in the cycle they will want an overview. Later they may want more technical information. Many organisations make the mistake of cramming everything into a single video and then wondering why so few people watch it all the way through. That does not always work especially if the ‘call to action’ is at the end of the video.
YouTube or Website?
We are often asked by clients about where they should host their videos. YouTube has such a large share of the ‘audience’ that they are hard to ignore, so we also recommend clients have a presence and put their videos there. Equally we know that visits to the organisation’s web site are more productive in most cases. So we recommend a compromise of doing both! We recommend that edited versions of the video are put on YouTube for discovery and have a section that explains where additional details (or the full video) can be found. The additional details or full video would be on the organisation’s web site.
A number of clients have found that a series of short informational videos (sub 10 minutes) when mixed with ongoing regular updates can create a multi-media audience that can then be engaged via webinars and eventually direct contact. In the case of a customer service and support, using video is a great way to deliver information that works better with visual treatment. This can be simple instructions on using a product or service to completing forms online or offline (after watching the videos) or ‘How To’ style videos.
The use of green screen, captions and graphics can be used to further enhance the message both in terms of information delivered and engagement effectiveness.
As the (altered) saying goes ‘A picture is worth a thousand words. So at 24 frames per second what is 5 minutes of video worth?’