I was sent yet another article earlier this week with research about the power of visual content. Not surprisingly, it referenced recent studies showing that video content is both popular and effective. Here are the notable findings:
John Medina, a scientist with an interest in how the mind organises information, writes how vision is the most powerful of our senses. Someone who hears information will only remember 10% of it three days later. Add a picture and they’ll remember 65%.
In May 2017, Edison Research surveyed 1,571 smartphone users ages 18-54 surveyed. They found that 30% watch videos daily on Facebook Live and 23% have broadcast live themselves.
Webdam (a digital asset management platform) reports that 79% of internet traffic will be video by 2018.
Periscope claims that users watch 110 years of live video every day on their app.
Despite this evidence showing that video — in particular, live video — is both popular with audiences and an effective communications tool, the article also points to another study by Venngage that showed only 15% of online marketers actually used video. If video content is on trend and so useful, why is it still viewed as riskier than other content like written blogs, or email marketing?
The article speculates that it’s because people are unsure about what type of video to produce, and the perception that video production is expensive. Here are my responses to these two reservations.
Firstly, if they don’t know what type of video to produce, a strategy and a clear set of goals can solve this problem. Here’s a list of videos that should make this task easier.
Secondly, the price is only an issue in the absence of value, as the saying goes. The problem here isn’t expense, it’s the ability to demonstrate a tangible return on investment (ROI) on a budget spent on video content.
Kleiner Perkins published their epic Internet Trends Report 2017 (long but worth sticking with) at the end of May. They found that 61% of marketers struggle to measure ROI of social media marketing and 34% find it hard to tie campaigns with business goals (as with offline marketing, they note). As a result, they identified a trend towards greater data analysis. For visual content, then, the answer to this conundrum is to incorporate analytics with a planned set of metrics into the distribution process. It’s what we like to call performance-driven ideas.
Work by Yuval Noah Harari and Rick Smolan has identified that human civilisation is undergoing a paradigm shift as big data becomes the new currency. Tools for data processing are becoming ever more sophisticated. Online providers like Google, Facebook, and Snap are responding to demands for better accessibility to content and audience data with laser-sharp targeting and deeper insights. They’re not the only ones. Any worthwhile software or platform — including video platforms — are rapidly improving their data measurement offerings with greater functionality, usability, visualisations, and integrations.
The upshot of these developments is that if an organisation has concerns about the ROI of video content, they should work with a production partner that combines creativity and technical know-how with an understanding of its strategic importance, who is prepared to dig into the data, be held accountable to KPIs, be transparent, and is willing to demonstrate their value.
Data and analytics is an additional layer to video marketing. But with the way that things are going, it’s so important if visual content is going to have the truly meaningful impact that organisations want.
Here's the article with the findings: