We live in the age of video and our consumption is a beast that needs constant feeding.
But poor quality and just plain old bad content won’t wash with viewers, so you need to get this right before bearing your all as a brand in the land of the moving image, says Steve Wheen, Founder & CEO, of video content agency, Distillery…
Ofcom recently reported that Britons spent a third of their time watching TV and online video last year. That’s a massive five hours and 40 minutes a day watching video content.
While 2020 was an exceptional year, the growing popularity of online video shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We’ve seen video content consumption figures increase year on year for some time now.
However, the recent spike has seen more people engage with online video content and for longer, and will undoubtedly have encouraged more brands to increase their focus on organic content.
It’s clear that the strength of a brand’s storytelling and content is a critical differentiator when it comes to great marketing results.
In its purest sense, content is one of the most powerful forms of marketing today.
Using video to drive organic traffic to a brand website is a proven, winning approach. Brands know that the people landing on their site are responding proactively to relevant content and are acting on an existing emotional connection.
But with more brands investing more money in organic video content, how do you cut through the clutter and drive sustainable connections with consumers?
Here are some of the key areas of focus for brands looking to win new fans:
It sounds obvious, but we are still seeing too many brands launching into online video without the right strategic approach – in a way they would never do with their paid media.
Organic content must form part of the overall media & marketing strategy, and must be planned and executed in a truly joined up way. It doesn’t have to be complicated – YouTube’s Hero, Hub & Help is simple organisation approach that has been adopted by many brands.
Less really is more
Unfortunately, there is still too much terrible video content out there – more than 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (Statista, 2020).
Once you have a production formula/approach you like, the danger is start to churning out the content. But you could be just adding to the clutter.
It’s far better to produce less content, but to do it really well.
This is particularly so with b2b, where brands previously limited by the cost constraints of traditional media, are let loose in the democratised world of organic content. Only quality content will drive engagement and fandom.
Sweat the assets
If you are going to focus on fewer, better quality videos, then you need to use that content to best effect.
Think about the different platform-specific edits. Think about how the videos can work in combination with other media.
And think ‘owned first’ – your organic video content might be the start point for your paid media & advertising approach.
Get the storytelling right
Authors, film directors and scriptwriters don’t launch into action without doing all the necessary work on the storytelling. And neither should brands.
The techniques of powerful storytelling is a whole separate subject in its own right – and it’s where expert content studios can deliver real value – but the simple truth is that uncovering the right stories, telling them in compelling ways on the right platforms is crucial for even the simplest of videos.
There is a value exchange
This builds on the importance of storytelling. There is nothing more valuable your audience can give you than their time. Use it wisely.
People are prepared to give time for video content that they know has been created by a brand if they get something that’s worthwhile.
Humour, education, entertainment, utility, unique information, inspiration for change…Organic content can be classified in different ways, but videos need to have something of real value.
Be part of the conversation, but be authentic
Since the early days of TV, advertising has sought to immerse brands in the culture of their consumers. It helps to build lasting relationships.
And this approach extends into organic content. But there are some real horror stories out there, where brands have jumped straight into spaces where they have no rightful place and have been quickly called out by consumers.
Make sure your content is authentic to your brand and make sure you are adding your voice to conversations where it is welcomed.
Given recent global events, you would think this goes without saying, but unfortunately not.
Your consumers will not only call you out for inauthentic content, but also – quite rightly – for failing to address diverse representation in your organic videos.
Weave diversity through the whole process, starting with the team who are working on your content programme.
Organic content will continue to become an increasingly powerful way for brands to engage and sustain meaningful relationships with consumers.
But as more video goes online, getting the right approach to content creation and distribution will become ever more important for brands.