Everyone is creating online video nowadays and by doing this, bypassing traditional channels, serving hundreds of millions of people their lively forms of content. At a recent Heavy Chef event, Danilo Acquisto shared some secrets of creating successful online video strategies...
There are four reasons why you should focus on digital media and video in particular.
“I don't think we realise the impact of choice,” he says. “I think the minute the internet opened its doors to the world, we realised that we weren't trapped to watching scheduled content any longer when it was decided that we should watch this content. We could go and find it in whatever state and format we wanted it in and we could watch it whenever we wanted to. So, the internet has opened up a door to choice for us. And television itself is not going to die because if any other reason other than because it cannot deliver on the choice that is available to us online. And this is why digital media is in such an interesting space at the moment, especially in the video spaces because there is so much choice available to us online.”
When last did you tear up at a banner ad? If you're in the media, when last have you read a press release and been super excited about it? Us as human beings, because of the scrolling nature of our lifestyles at the moment, working through all the social media platforms, are becoming incredibly lazy, says Acquisto. And it's better to tell a story or to get you to buy something that you like through video. Because all you have to do is sit back and to passively consume it. As an example, he showed us the brand-new Mercedes Benz print ad, which was made to show the consumer that it has 360-degree cameras. He asked us if it was inspiring and if it made us want to go get one. The answer was a hard no.
Acquisto said there are images you could post online with text beneath it and if people really like the image they would read the text. You also have banner ads and all these ways to communicate via images with written text, etc. But video has a much more powerful means to share exactly what they want you to know by spoon-feeding you what they need you to hear through telling really cool stories. He then showed us a video illustrating the same as the image is portraying above.
He says the video ad just manages to tell the same story in a way that makes you more excited about the product.
“Brands are starting to realise that we're super lazy. So, to tell us stories, they'd have to do that through video now because there's no way that we're going to read all the copy and there's no way that a single image is going to tell me all there is that I need to know. But in a short 30-second video like that we can learn anything we'd like to know about your product and be excited by it.”
3. Available technology
Before companies had to pay production houses millions of rands to produce adverts – these 30-second ads that would then appear on television. “Yes, they still pass that kind of money – I know brands are still doing that kind of work. But what is so exciting about the world we are living in today, is that with the introduction of smartphones was that everybody got a chance to try point a camera at something and see what came out at the other end. And to try and see if they could make that thing work for themselves,” he says.
Young people today are the videographers and editors of tomorrow because they have a chance to point a camera at something and see how it turns out. Acquisto says he doesn’t know if we even realise that kind of importance, that impact. That card no longer lies with production companies with R1m cameras and editors internally. That can all happen through these young people who are making the rounds with much better content because they are playing every single day with their smartphones and little SLR's that they are running around with.
So, producing video can be done at any stage along the way. You can point your phone at something for absolutely free and get video content out there. Like this Apple ad that was entirely shot and edited on the iPhone 7.
It is incredible to see what we can do from a production quality perspective with the limited amount of technology available to us. Acquisto continued to show us examples of people in South Africa who managed to pull channels with very, very simple content. They have built audiences bigger than the TV show he's on.
4. Young people are digital-first
Deloitte came out with a whole lot of research that showed that people between the ages of 18 and 24 are buying their first televisions and all the televisions that they are buying are smart televisions. They are no longer buying normal televisions. That audience that is now starting to consume content is only buying smart devices and they are not buying devices that stream traditional content.
It's interesting to see that some brands don't want to talk to the youth because they don't feel that the youth are their target market. But all these young people that are only watching digital content at the moment are not going to buy devices that they can watch traditional media very soon. So, as they are building and growing their families, their households are going to have smart televisions and smart devices and so they are going to grow moving forward.
The trend of young people watching digital-only content isn't going anywhere. Young people have far too much choice – they know where to find what they want to find and they are no longer going to consume that in traditional media.
Video protocol is going to be a very big thing moving forward. We've learnt that young people want to consume digital content, that traditional media doesn't know how to measure their viewership accurately and if you've got all this access to that content on digital platforms and you can measure it, you've got a very powerful tool.
But you have to start somewhere like this guy:
This was the first video ever uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded on 23 April 2005 and currently has 49 million views. It's terrible content but what's so exciting about the digital platforms is that the platforms have evergreen content that is going nowhere. The first video loaded onto YouTube in 2005 is still being watched today and has a massive following. Simply because someone took the risk and posted something terrible on the platform.
“Scrollers and watchers are the big reason why my company exists,” he says. On social platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And the way video is counted as a view on Facebook is 3 seconds. Anything you're watching for longer than 3 seconds counts as a video view. On Youtube, it's 30 seconds.
The scrolling mentality on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is what is going to make your life very difficult in order to try and catch people's attention for long periods of time. YouTube doesn't have that kind of problem, which is why he and his company have decided to become YouTube evangelists, as opposed to general digital video evangelists. Acquisto says library content that lives forever is evergreen and is where we want to be.
“It's really exciting to see what's happening in the world of YouTube and digital video. If you are a brand or someone individual who wants to make waves in this space, now is the time. If you don't do it right now, you are going to fall behind very soon,” he ended off. The big thing Acquisto said he wanted to leave us with was that you just really need to start now.
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