Significance of Video Content in Marketing

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Videos are one of the most popular content forms in the world and the truth is that it’s not likely to be going anywhere soon. And it makes sense: in an impersonal digital world, we’re craving connection and personality. We want to see and hear people in a real-life context -- it’s meaningful.

Video is not only fun, it’s really one of the best ways to get up close to your audience and give them a real glimpse of what you and your business or your clients are doing. The key here is to think beyond profit and product -- show them something about your philosophy, or share some information on an interesting event, or offer some valuable information. The more they know about your positive practices, the more likely they are to stick around.

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Therefore by observing that how important video marketing is in today’s time, I have undertaken this problem task. By reviewing video marketing strategies of major other online brands globally, we can get insights on marketing through videos on social media that can be used by Snapdeal.

As early as in the year 2000, Roger Ebert was able to predict the future in a interview, when he was asked how people in the future will view movies: “Convergence is the key word at home. Broadcast, cable, the Internet, and satellites will somehow magically come together and seamlessly blend. People will move files around over high bandwidth networks.” What Ebert was unable to forecast though, was how drastically digital video would be able to change the form of the medium itself. About 10 years ago, a HD-ready video camera would have costed about 5000 US dollars and with it one would have needed an external microphone for decent audio.

The Flip was discontinued in 2011 due to the technological advancements in our pockets. Warren (2011) writes: 21 “The allure of the Flip — low cost video that can easily be uploaded to websites like Facebook or YouTube — was superseded by video cameras built into smartphones. In addition to the video being as good (if not better) on modern smartphones, phones have a built-in data connection and can upload video directly to the web — no computer required.”

Without question, online video has definitely become more popular over recent years; according to Dryer (2011), online video content was already in rise in the U.S. in 2011, when viewing of videos per month rose from 31 million to almost 40 million within a year. Early 2012 in the UK, 21,9 million people were exposed to video ad stream and 33,3 million UK internet users watched video content. To define what online video marketing is, The Digital Marketing Glossary (2013) offers the following; online video marketing can be defined in digital marketing context as all uses of video contents to promote a brand, product or service.

In February 2013, according to Schindler (2013), there were 11,5 million mobile viewers in Germany as the amount of mobile viewers had grown 215 percent from the early 2012. Schindler (2013) also mentions that in during the month of February 2013, 46,6 million Germans watched online video via their desktop. . Krishnan and Sitaraman suggest that mid-roll ads, which are shown within the video content are the most effective when considering the completion percentage of the advertisement - completion meaning that the user will watch the whole ad. The completion rate of an advertisement in the middle of another video is 96.79%, in the beginning of another video 74.34% and in the end of another video 44.74%. They also suggest that the advertisements in the middle of other videos are the most effective, because the viewer is already engaged by the content and wants to continue watching. According to the same research, advertisements placed in longer videos, such as movies or TV episodes are more likely to be completed by the viewer than ads in short-form videos, such as news-clips. The same research was done about online video trends in Germany a year later and it turned out that the amount of mobile video users grew 37 percent from 11,5 22 million to 15,8 million in that year whereas the amount of web video users stagnated minus 3 percent. The research indicates that online video is going mobile.

Accordingly, in 2014 Adobe conducted a research, which used data from over 1300 media and entertainment properties. The research revealed that people watched 38,2 billion free videos online and almost three fifths of them were watched on smartphones.

From a technological standpoint, Treske (2015) writes; “The question ’what is video?’ is irrelevant today. Technically, it has been described and its technological developments appear transparent. Artistically, it has become a preferred and widespread mode of artistic expression, and a commodity of the white cube.” Relating to Treske’s note, it should be relatively safe to assume, that the technical concept of video is well known by anyone, as most people in the western world should own a television or any other device with a screen. However, despite the obviousness of what video is, the digital video revolution of the early 2000’s discussed by Treske has drastically changed the form and aesthetics of what we consider acceptable to watch. Video can for example be used for educational purposes in a content marketing strategy. Treske writes in his book Video Theory that online video is more than just an essential expression and relation to our conditions.

Online video is acting with us and with the fast changing world; video has gone beyond a simple practical expansion of television technology. Treske even states that the way we use video and will use video in the future is a form of life. He continues that in the merging of culture, remix and mash, the barriers of an established media system and its operations are ignored by the ocean of video. Treske’s implications could be concluded that today’s 19 video format is changing the traditional ways of media and especially the televised media. According to Scott online video and audio are nothing new - there have been video clips online for as long as there has been an internet. Their availability just was not on the same level it is today, content was difficult to locate and impossible to browse. Websites like Youtube and Vimeo were the first among other sites to create an easier access to this video content. However, online video is not yet a ready-made vehicle for marketing and it will keep on evolving as Lessard suggests in his article on Marketingprofs website. Video will transform from passive to interactive experience, where the viewer doesn’t just sit and watch the video passively but can take part in surveys, click links or see the video in 360° material. As the viewer interaction increases, the back end can also track more meaningful metrics and provide more meaningful analytics. Another aspect of video development is the hyperpersonalization of videos. This means that video will not remain only as onesize-fits-all proposition, but a personalized message just for the viewer. A targeted and persona-based video requires more content, but will yield a better return on investment (ROI). As the personalization increases, viewers will become more engaged with content and the story of a company. Treske writes about the changes in modern video: “The video we are experiencing today - in its forms, practices and theories - is different from the video people used and experienced years ago, even a month ago. It also differs greatly from other established forms of moving image.”

Already in the year 2011 Roberts-Breslin agreed with Treske, though less ambiguously: “In the past, the relationship between the programming, the method of production, and the means of distribution has been much more 20 straightforward than it is today. Now, the types of programming, the production methods, and the distribution means of media overlap much more.” Treske continues: “Rather than just asking the classical ontological question ‘what is video?’ it might be worth it to concentrate on the question of ‘how’ do we use video, how do we engage with online video?” The very sheer physical form of video is also in a state of transformation. According to Treske, the advent of video-enabled smartphones violates cinematic conventions through their acceptance of verticality, simply because it is natural to hold a smartphone vertically instead of horizontally. We are all used to watching a video which is more wide than tall. An article at the cinema camera manufacturer RED’s website explains: “Virtually all cinematic imagery has been wider than it is tall, in part because this is well-suited to the angle of view of human stereo vision. The convention is therefore to describe an aspect ratio using width first, then height”. However, as handheld devices are usually held vertically rather than horizontally, the practices of video production seem to be changing; for example, the social-networking website Facebook has enabled the use of vertical video in its mobile news feed.

According to Treske, this links online video aesthetics very closely to mobile devices and breaks with embedded cinematic conditions. And as Treske elaborates: “People recording a video in a music concert might not care about the aspect ratio. The moving image is a personal extraction out of the real experience. People don’t think about framing.” Whether or not the practice of vertical video is here to stay remains to be seen. From a technological point of view, creating video has never been easier or cheaper. Around the same time in order to tackle the costliness of video, Cisco Systems started to produce a one-button pocket-sized camcorder, the Flip, which was able to record YouTube-ready video, meaning that the video format was in accordance with YouTube’s technical standards. Scott elaborates: “Your smartphone is all you need.” These advancements in technology - the evolution of the equipment you need for making video as well as the evolution of high-speed, easily available internet - have transmuted video from an art form also into a vessel of personal communication. According to Cohen the CEO of Animoto, Brad Jefferson states: “Everyone is now comfortable capturing video with their smartphones. Videos are the way the younger generation wants to receive information.” Treske continues on: “It (online video) can’t be treated as representation. It has to be considered as a temporal network of images, sounds, things, subjects, and objects. Video spreads meaningful acts around the network, inhabited spaces and environments.” Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have also embraced video for some time now.

According to Marshall there were little under 8 million videos uploaded to Facebook in November 2016 and those videos generated 229 billion views. Smith states that in March 2016, Instagram’s top three most watched video creators generated circa 250 million views in that month.

The amount of videos viewed rose 43 percent from mid-2013. It was also noticed that advertising among these videos rose 25,8 percent during that year. According to Trimble (2015), Cisco VNI (2015) conducted a research, which forecasts that video will account for 69 % of all consumer internet traffic by year 2017.

For that reason, Trimble advises that small businesses and enterprises should act accordingly to this trend and add online video marketing strategies to their marketing plans, as the future of content marketing is in video. Lessard states that video enriches the customer journey at all stages, and it is more effective than other content at converting buyers. A survey made by Adélien Studios reveals, that 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. In order to prove online video is the future of content marketing, Trimble (2015) gives an example of YouTube statistics, which show that YouTube has over a billion users and people watch hundreds of millions hours of YouTube videos every day. The time people spend watching videos on YouTube has also increased by 60 % year-on-year. In another example, according to Tubular Labs research, 655 million videos were uploaded by 67 million content creators in a year to over 30 video platforms. These 655 million videos generated 2, 8 trillion views. According to Jarboe, Brendan Gahan, the founder of EpicSignal, says that Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. are prioritizing or have already prioritized video, which means that advertisers as well as audiences have huge opportunities to create and consume content. According to Dreier, Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that in 2020 the percentage of video in consumer internet traffic will be 82 % and in 23 total online video will make up 77 % of all internet traffic by 2019. Dreier also mentions the comment by Thomas Barnett, Jr., the Director of Service Provider Thought Leadership at Cisco, who states that high definition and ultra-high definition quality in videos are becoming more and more common. Another article written by Dreier states that according to an Ericsson Mobility Report video will make up 70 % of all mobile data by 2021.

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