Insights

The power of online video

At CPL we’re producing more and more video content for organisations and brands in all kinds of sectors – and with good reason. The rise in video as a primary medium for reaching and engaging audiences is reflected in some persuasive statistics.

In 2017, as a number of factors fall into line, video is set to account for a stunning three quarters of all web traffic.

Now, more than half of us are watching videos online every day, with the numbers increasing fastest on social media. The primary push for this is a combination of both Facebook’s aggressive TV campaigns and the strong emphasis that social media platforms put on video content.

The further boost of platforms now defaulting to autoplay means 500 million people are watching Facebook videos every day; plus 82 per cent of Twitter users watch video content daily, as they scroll through tweets.

And it’s not just about consumers. Three quarters of business execs watch online video every week. There’s no question that video can help drive your business.

Why video works

Why is it so effective? Probably because audiences love to be told stories, and video is a powerful way to deliver those stories, driving engagement through emotional connection. Perhaps that’s why YouTube is the biggest broadcast channel after traditional TV.

As content marketers know only too well, this age-old yen for the telling of tales – powered by cyber technology – can both increase traffic to your website and time spent ‘with’ your brand, amplifying conversions. Customer’s decision and actions are infinitely more likely to be influenced by emotional triggers than by logic or reason.

There’s an initial cost in creating video, of course, but in the longer term it can prove a highly cost-effective means of mass distribution, continuing to drive engagement on your website, via YouTube or other social channels, well into the future – animating that ‘long tail’ of audience engagement, long after the initial peak of interest has subsided.

Myth-busting

This is not an exact science. At the heart of video is creativity so, as things are constantly changing in the world of online videos, there is no fixed recipe that will guarantee success.

There’s no right length for an online video – that depends on the audience, the channel and the message.

You can’t plan to make ‘viral content’ – it’s your audience who will decide whether your content is fit for that purpose. Neither can you predict for certain just what engagement stats your video will pull in – if you want a closer estimate of audience KPIs, you’ll need to look at your paid, earned and owned promotion channels too.

A well-crafted video is centred on a strong message, and then developed into a powerful story that will entertain your target audience, hold their attention, and cause them to take action. At the core of the narrative is that vital emotional connection with the person who’s watching it.

Creating brand loyalty

Indeed, the most successful online videos may not be those with the most views… they’re the ones we want to share. Because, when we share a video, it says we care – we’re not just consuming it, we’re identifying with it; we’re telling others that ‘this says something about my life’ and that we are happy to be associated with it.

A successful online video is one that taps into your audience’s needs; creates social currency by making people look good when they share it; and engenders a feeling of being included. Ultimately, that’s why online video is a primary tool in creating and sustaining customer loyalty.

Ciprian Cucuruz
is senior associate - video and technology
at CPL

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