Great stories have a captivating hook that lures you in or maybe shocks you with an eye-opening stat. As a brand in today’s oversaturated and over-stimulated digital ecosphere, an engaging introduction to your brand or product is the table stakes.
How, as a brand, should you break through the noise? We’re so glad you asked. First, let’s take a look at the trends behind digital and video engagement, and then let’s see who is doing this well.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, daily online content consumption around the world has soared. As of September 2020, it has doubled on average from 3 hours 17 minutes to 6 hours 59 minutes (DoubleVerify). Given this spike in digital content consumption, hopefully, you’re asking yourself the same thing we did: “What the heck are people watching?”
In the U.S., the Internet Advertising Bureau (iab) found that the largest gains (+30%-40%) in digital consumption were driven by video — specifically, online videos (YouTube, TikTok, etc.), broadcast TV, and online TV/streaming films.
So now knowing that people are spending 6-7 hours a day consuming content and within that, we’re particularly drawn to social media and some longer-form content like TV shows and streaming series — what can we learn from this to apply to our businesses?
- Consumer attention spans continue to decrease (yes,
it is possible), so unless you’re creating a killer content series, understand how to tailor your content to grab your audience’s attention.
- Given the trends, reevaluate if video and storytelling is garnering enough of your marketing budget, or if you have to shift from more traditional channels (i.e. OOH) given the decreased traffic.
- Customize your video (or parts of your video) to speak directly to a niche audience. For example, you can
use LinkedIn to target CEOs and CFOs by making two versions of a video intro, starting with, “Are you a CEO?” and “Are you a CFO?”
Who is Maximizing the Value of Video?
Masterclass — this may be a no-brainer since Masterclass is a video-based learning platform. The beauty of what Masterclass does lies within how they use their various “professors” and lessons to target everyday people with interests in those categories.
One example of how Masterclass is introducing themselves to millennials who love to travel and post images to Instagram is through an online course led by Jimmy Chin,
a world-renowned wilderness and action photographer. In another instance, Masterclass has honed in on those with an entrepreneurial spirit with classes led by Sarah Blakely (Spanx CEO) and former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz.
Thursday Boots — This e-commerce-only company has leveraged Instagram as its primary top-funnel driver, directly reaching their young-to-middle-aged male demographic, and occasionally targeting their female counterparts for gifting ideas and their newly crafted women’s line.
The brilliance with Thursday is they identified their primary audience and rather than spreading themselves out across various platforms, doubled down on Instagram, given the over-indexing between their target demo and site usage. Next, they layered on influencer partnerships and targeting to make videos that clearly communicated the value and longevity of their boots, and word spread like wildfire.
Chipotle — After a huge loss in market share with millennials due to a well-publicized E. Coli outbreak in late 2015,
the brand has a renewed focus on leveraging video and advertising to reach the next generation of marketplace spenders — Gen Z.
Chipotle, knowing they needed to change the narrative with Gen Z, took to TikTok and has had a number of viral challenges and trends dating back to 2019. Wisely, about 1 out of every 10 posts from their corporate account highlights some behind-the-scenes footage of employees hand-preparing fresh food and vegetables.
In closing, we all know that video is important and far more engaging than static social media posts and blogs; however, that doesn’t mean you need a Fortune 500 budget to capitalize on the consumer trends. Many SMBs are focusing on the points we covered above to engage new consumers or clients quickly, tell a compelling story, and introduce them to their brand.