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    The reel deal in visual digital marketing

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is most certainly worth a few million. Video marketing has become the go-to online content to bolster overall brand marketing strategies.
    Cheryl Reddy, managing partner and Africa lead at Eclipse Communications.
    Cheryl Reddy, managing partner and Africa lead at Eclipse Communications.

    So much so that Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing report 2021 reports that as many as 86% of businesses use videos as a marketing tool, while 93% say they form a crucial part of their strategies.

    Instrumental to attracting leads and customers, video marketing has been given a radical push as more people spend increasingly more time online in the wake of the pandemic. This, according to Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics for 2022, saw 96% of consumers watching more videos online than before.

    Cisco reveals that video content will account for 82% of overall internet traffic this year, and with 84% of consumers being convinced to purchase a product or service after watching an associated video online, video marketing is and must remain a staple in the online marketing strategy of today and the future.

    Here are six video marketing trends that brands need to be aware of in 2022:

    1. And we're LIVE...
    2. When all live events and experiences came to a dramatic halt in 2020, live video emerged and cemented its place as a means for brands to continue connecting with their consumers. From being utilised by influencers big and small, to large production companies streaming performances, live video streaming is here to stay for the inevitable future.

      Its impact has been well-received, with Findstack’s Ultimate List of Live Streaming Statistics for 2022 noting that consumers prefer live streaming over other mediums, with 80% of consumers wanting to watch live video from brands as opposed to reading a blog and 82% preferring live brand videos to social posts.

      Brands must take note, as 67% of consumers who watched a livestream purchased a ticket to a similar event, while 45% said they would pay for live video from a notable team, speaker or performer.

    3. Short-form for the win
    4. Short-form video has become increasingly popular since 2020, particularly through the rapid rise in popularity of TikTok. Driven by the decreasing attention span of consumers owing to the distraction of social media, short-form video is the reel deal and consistently proves its worth as a cost-effective means in meeting the consumer on their preferred platforms.

      ReelnReel asserts that short-form video is the most popular type of content on social media today, accounting for over 40% of all videos, with short-form video advertising revenue poised to surpass traditional TV advertising this year.

      Furthermore, cielo24 adds that Instagram Reels could potentially overtake TikTok this year, with 87% of Gen-Z TikTok users noting that the two platforms are incredibly similar. With Reels receiving 22% more engagement than traditional video content, brands need to capitalise on this trend to dominate in 2022.

    5. From the mouth of the consumer
    6. For brands, there is nothing more authentic than consumers telling their stories about the brands they buy from. User-generated content lends itself to an increased degree of trust between brands and their potential customers, and as such, brands should consider partnering with satisfied customers and allowing them to act as brand advocates.

      User-generated content takes authenticity to the next level, with Hootsuite stating that 80% of consumers say that this form of consumer authenticity impacts their purchasing decisions. As many as 60% of marketers agree that authenticity and quality rank high on important elements of successful content, while 93% admit that consumers trust this form of content against those created by brands.

      This means that to succeed, brands need to take heed of the authentic experiences of their consumers to bolster their trust scores.

    7. VR and AR meet the reel world
    8. With the introduction of the metaverse, the virtual and augmented reality worlds are set to explode in the near future. It’s all about amplifying the user experience, and while virtual and augmented reality technologies have been around for some time, brands should look at instilling the technologies into their video marketing strategies to get ahead of the curve.

      Combined with the likes of 360-degree video, this will help brands give consumers greater insight into their offerings in an immersive, interactive and exciting way - all of which increases engagement.

      Research by cielo24 adds that those who view a 360-degree video watch the whole video 85% of the time compared to 58.2% in the case of regular videos. Brands should continue to implement these technologies into their digital platforms to offer consumers a virtual glimpse of their products in the physical world, and in turn, boost the customer experience.

    9. The right way round
    10. According to Datareportal, there were more than 4.62 billion social media users as of January 2022. Representing 58.4% of the global population. Yans Media adds that 80% of social media traffic comes from mobile devices, so it’s no surprise that vertical video has risen in popularity as the most natural and intuitive way to watch videos on a smartphone.

      As 57% of user-generated videos are filmed on mobile devices in a vertical orientation, fewer than 30% of users turn their smartphones horizontally, and those who do, only watch 14% of the video on average.

      It is therefore important for brands to push the agenda of vertical videos to appeal to consumers, and the numbers are evidence of this, with 90% of vertical videos enjoying a higher watch completion rate compared to horizontal ones. Brands need to appeal to consumers where they are online, and that’s in the vertical world of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

    11. Leading the search party
    12. While optimising video to be indexed and ranked on search engines may not be a new concept, it is becoming common practice to ensure that content can be easily found. Cadesign Form says that a website is 53x more likely to rank on Google’s front page if it has videos and that videos increase organic search traffic on a site by as much as 157%.

      Brands should do their due diligence in researching the specific keywords to optimise video titles, descriptions and hashtags to ensure that content appears higher on the search engine list. They can do so by using file names, titles and descriptions that contain targeted keywords, adding relevant tags and associated keywords related to the topic of the video, including subtitles and closed captions, and creating original thumbnail images.

      Being aware of these and implementing them can help brands stand out from the crowd.

    About Cheryl Reddy

    Cheryl Reddy is CEO at Eclipse Communications. and is responsible for the agency’s strategic direction and to continuously achieve its mandate of people, client and agency growth across the full spectrum of services and business units in the agency’s four offices in South Africa.
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