Video is exploding. Internationally, adults spend an average of 47.4 minutes watching digital video every day, with more than half of that time spent on a smartphone. What’s more, eMarketer’s latest forecasts predict that, by 2019, mobile will surpass TV in attracting the most minutes of watch time in the U.S.
You only have to look at your favorite website or social feed to see that video is a primary way to share and consume content today. The likelihood is that you’ll do so on your mobile, and it’s this increasing ubiquity of mobile devices that has revolutionized online video.
Video has long been the most immersive and engaging way for people and brands to tell their stories. Everyone has their favorite ads, from Cadbury’s gorilla to your John Lewis Christmas fairy tale of choice, but quality video content is no longer reserved for big brands with equally big budgets.
No matter what product or service your company offers, you now have the opportunity to reach your audience through video. And if you don’t, your competitors will.
In the same way that technology has broken down barriers, it has brought about a paradigm shift in the way video is being produced and distributed. According to Wyzowl, 81% of online marketers today are using video content in their digital marketing strategies — up from 63% in 2017. To adapt to the acceleration of online video, brands are increasingly looking to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, as well as outsourcing video production, to meet their needs.
But is this the right approach?
Marketers know their brands better than anyone. Like people, brands have personalities. They have visual identities and talk in particular ways. They have core values and beliefs, and they create impressions on people. No person — or algorithm — is better placed to craft compelling content that best reflects a brand’s story. By bringing video creation in-house, marketers can stay on top of consumer trends in a streamlined, more timely and often less expensive way.
Wochit was built to enable every storyteller to create and share their experiences in minutes, without involving hefty video production companies or costs. Our tech provides video creation solutions with these principles in mind. While artificial intelligence is great, it’s ultimately only part of the puzzle.
It’s important that marketers don’t lose the “human touch” to their videos, which is integral to making a connection with audiences. It’s the human ability to empathize and understand your target audience that ultimately makes videos more engaging and memorable for consumers.
Don’t forget the human touch.
You might argue that predictive technology isn’t new — it’s been around in various industries for a while. However, when it comes to what I’ve termed “predictive tools” as it pertains to video creation, I’d argue that this is something new.
Fully automated content marketing may save time, money and effort. There is absolutely a place for AI — for example, in tracking relevant trends, accelerating the approval process and scaling finalized content at speed. But robots can’t empathize with your audience; they don’t know how to make them click, try or buy. When it comes to crafting your message, honing your visual identity and being contextually relevant through video, you can’t beat the creativity of people.
Predictive tools take away the legwork and legal work and empower your people to get back to what they do best. And while your predictive solution is doing the hard work for you, here are some ways to have fun with video — adding that vital human touch to enhance your content for the best audience engagement.
1. Tall Tales: Like it or not, if you’re a marketer looking to engage teens and millennials, vertical video is mandatory. In less than two years, Instagram Stories went from no users to 400 million people sharing snippets of their everyday lives. Given your video will be viewed on a phone, you can have real impact and fill the entire screen. Break away from traditional formats and enjoy the creative freedom vertical video gives you.
2. Provoke A Reaction: Everyone knows that sight, sound and motion often evoke strong emotions in viewers. The best storytelling can bring a tear to their eyes or encourage people to rise up or put their arms around neighbors in need. At Wochit, we’ve seen a consistent trend over the last quarter compared to that of the previous: an increase in reactions to Facebook videos but a fall in the number of likes. The takeaway is clear. If you want to make an impact, make your video stir.
3. Optimize For Social: Ofcom’s 2018 Communications Market Report revealed that the average Brit checks their phone every 12 minutes and is online 24 hours a week. And according to Pew Research Center, 26% of Americans reported being “almost constantly” online. With a significant amount of that time spent on social platforms, think about the content that resonates with you in this environment, and build your strategy with that in mind. The major social platforms have pivoted to incorporate video and are investing in new engagement and measurement tools to help your content work harder than ever.
4. Build For Audio Off: Everyone’s had that awkward moment when a video blasts full volume in the office or on public transport. Remember when you’re creating your video content, audio is usually off by default on mobile. Play with text overlays and captions to help bring your story to life without sound.
At the end of the day, video creation should be fun, easy and rewarding. While automation may simplify your life in the short run, it also puts creativity in a box. To connect with your audiences, there’s no substitute to human-centric video creation.
While predictive solutions can help streamline video creation, they don’t threaten to generalize storytellers’ ideas. With something as important as your brand, this is critical. Only through a human touch can you insert your brand’s personality and reach the right audience.