Video: The Most Engaging Content for Marketers and Consumers

As European TV trade shows MipCom approach, we take a closer look at some of the emerging trends related to the video formats and viewability [INFOGRAPHICS]

Video has become a central part of every successful marketing strategy, across the entire customer journey. The statistics demonstrate its exponential growth[1]:

  • 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day
  • By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic
  • Users view more than 500 million hours of video each day on YouTube
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined
  • Nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store

These numbers confirm that mobile devices and fast broadband have changed not only the way we surf the web, but also how businesses and marketers provide content. Creating and consuming have become very accessible, thus changing the video formats toward a more seamless and engaging viewing experience. Let’s take a closer look at some of the emerging trends.

Vertical Video

YouTube recently stated that 70% of watch time on their platform happens on mobile devices[2], meaning that the content needs to be adapted to the viewing behavior. The traditional horizontal video does not fit with the way we hold our mobile devices: “people just don’t rotate their phones,” explained Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat.

As a matter of fact, social media immediately embraced vertical video, while YouTube lagged the adoption, and for a very long time played the vertical videos with 2 black side bars, making it a very unpleasant experience, especially of mobile devices. Finally, they decided to launch vertical video format and ads, proving to be very successful.

As Google described in Hyundai use case, the brand recently tested YouTube vertical video ads, using the feature in combination with their horizontal video assets to present a new SUV model. The result: a 33% percent lift in brand awareness and a nearly 12% lift in consideration.

The leader of this change was actually Snapchat, that even 3 years ago stated that vertical videos have 9 times completion rate of horizontal videos[3]. Today, optimizing content to fit user behavior is the number one task for marketers, and the relevancy of vertical videos was born from that need.


Interactive video

The new engagement frontier is the interactive video, as recently announced by Netflix: the fourth season of dystopian series Black Mirror will have an interactive episode, where viewers will be able to choose their own ending[4]. According to Bloomberg, after the experiments with children’s choose-your-own-adventure stories, including the Shrek franchise spinoff Puss in Book and an episode of the stop-motion animated series Buddy Thunderstruck, Netflix decided to work on the same concept for Black Mirror, a series that tackles some of the burning questions related to the future of technology and the humanity itself.

Netflix has been listening to users’ requests and monitoring closely their behavior, resulting is high level of content personalization: from curating content recommendations based on a user’s interests, preferences and shows previously watched, down to showing different versions of show thumbnails based on which profile is currently active, the platform simply gets it. The platform understands users and provides the best customer experience in real time[5].


Short vs. Long Videos

The video length is another important factor when it comes to engagement. If we think that our digital attention span decreased to 8.25 seconds, the marketers have a new challenge to face: the content needs to capture our attention in the first 8 seconds and then hold it during the entire video.

A report by Wistia gives us an interesting insight[6]: videos that last 2 minutes can generate great engagement; from minute 2 till 3, there is a significant drop-in. Furthermore, marketing campaign most popular metric for video ads is completion rate. If we consider for example standard 15 and 30-second, non-skippable pre-roll ads there is a completion rate around 70%. But formats like YouTube’s skippable TrueView or Facebook’s easy to scroll past video ads average less than 30%. YouTube introduced 6 second Bumper ads last year, but it’s very difficult to tell a story in 6 seconds[7].

Check out the most important numbers in our latest infographics:

Digital Marketing – Infographics by DigitalGO

What can we expect from Mipcom 2018

These will be some of the topics at Mipcom next week in Cannes, including the rise of streaming and OTT players that are dominating the market. The event will certainly focus on the biggest issue of the market: what is the future of content distribution, both locally and globally, and can we compete with Amazon and Netflix.

Our team will be at the event, so if you’re interested in booking a meeting, contact Francesco Di Clemente, our Head of Digital Products and apps, and Marco Palaferri, Digital Project Manager.