Much like every being on earth gradually evolves, so does the technology that humans use. Considering the history of humanity on the planet it is amazing to think about how far we have come in just the last century alone. One of the areas in which this is blatantly evident is in the evolution of marketing to consumers and how people learn about products.
Just a century ago, commercial advertisement was relegated to billboards and posters on shop windows. Decades later the medium of radio and television became the driving force of how people learned about products and new companies that could deliver them the solutions they were potentially seeking. As the century rolled on to contemporary times, marketing has shifted largely to the easily digestible, abundantly available, and preferably consumed by the masses in the medium of online video streaming on televisions and smart devices.
Video Consumption in 2021
These days, people stream movies, tv shows, music videos, and other content from a variety of video streaming services. Bite-sized education clips, Q&As, and explainer videos are massively popular on YouTube by the Gen Z generation. Younger people are far more connected and engaged with the internet than older generations, a fact that marketers of many international marketing agencies have accepted and began adapting to. This led to the realization that these days video is the winner for consumer attention, beating out email, infographics, and blogging campaigns from the not too distant past.
With video content readily available for consumption, marketers across the spectrum of brands have begun to explore newer and more creative marketing delivery methods. Rather than investing heavily in television advertisements, where viewers would be exposed to advertisements during the commercial breaks of their favorite shows, marketers have moved a majority of their efforts to social media, search engine hits pages, and various ad-enabled tiers of various streaming applications.
It’s fair to say that video is here to stay, but that also means that it will continue to change and expand to feed more innovative and expanding content platforms and attempting to help expose consumers to products and services that can attend to their various needs. This makes it prudent that marketers not only stay on top of evolving television technology but learn to strategically adapt and respond to it.
Let’s consider the following 6 methodologies, all backed up by extensive research, of changing habits in content consumption and the approaches with which marketers can respond to them.
Consumer Reliance on Brand Sourced Marketing Videos
The bedrock principle of offering a product is the ability to show off its benefits. Of course, many shortcomings will not be documented, leading to consumers purchasing products only to then discover their inadequacies. To better educate themselves on brand offerings, consumers have turned to everything from the brand’s websites, customer reviews, and even certain YouTube videos which put the product on display. In 2021, with the overabundance of video options, the reliance on these methods has been even greater.
With that said, it is worth pointing out that consumers demand more of this type of content from brands themselves, even as brands persistently engage more with their audience. Back in 2019, 87% of consumers expressed a desire for the brands to provide more video content, an expectation that grew even more prominent in 2020, with consumers increasingly turning to unboxings, product demonstrations, and video reviews to learn the pros and cons of the purchase they might be considering
With the rise of reliance on video content about products, brands’ marketing teams of any intertational marketing agency need to make some serious considerations. After all, if the demand exists, but the brand does not make the desired video content available to those who are seeking to learn more about the brand’s product(s), consumers are more likely to put their trust (and their money) into a brand that does provide this desired content.
It is, after all, through the use of video that consumers can learn the practical, real-world application of products. More importantly, it is a chance to observe any shortcomings that may not be made obvious or clear by simple advertisement by brands aiming to push product sales. Conversely, consumers can pick up on some benefits of using the product they may not have been aware of through video content.
Video Is a Normal Part of Gen Z and Millenials Existence
Marketers need to think about the growing number of Gen Z and millennials that make up their customer base, not just today, but in the future when they will make up the lion’s share of the marketplace. When taking into consideration that these two generations watch significantly more video content than any generation preceding theirs.
Most generations consume their entertainment, to some degree, via video, but millennials and Gen Z rely on it for education about products they could be considering purchasing. In fact, the reliance on the video is far greater than any other method of educating themselves about a brand’s products.
This makes it doubly important that marketers continue testing various video strategies in their gen Z marketing, adapting to as many platforms as they can to reach a maximum audience base. The more quality recommendation and explainer videos that are out there for this growing consumer audience to take in, the greater trust they will be able to have in driving their purchasing decisions.
Escape From the Norms of With Video
Regardless of generation, people of all ages need to relax, with most finding the comfort of “escapism” in some form of video. Older generations turned to their favorite nightly tv shows o find this type of comfort, while the younger ones greatly turn to online video content to relax and escape the rigors of daily life for a time. Some other common reasons that have been cited in surveys for consuming video content are to forget the real world for a bit and to have a good laugh.
For marketers who are actively seeking the incorporation of more video content for their prospective consumers, it isn’t a matter of providing laughs and quickly forgotten mindless content. There is a lot of money and time being invested in doing things to help a more-fuller and fulfilling exposure of their brands after all. With that said, more intriguing and commanding content still attracts more audiences. This leaves it prudent for marketers to consider adding elements of entertainment and humor into their videos, a strategy that several large, successful brands, have executed quite well.
Big Budget Videos Are not why Consumers Watch Them
If 2020 accomplished anything, it is that it revealed that consumers are not overly concerned with big-budget marketing productions. When YouTube conducted a survey of consumer video preferences in terms of advertising from brands, they found that celebrity presence, as well as big-budget production quality, was very low on the list of viewer desires.
As most content generated in 2020 had to be produced remotely, far less high budget production has been involved. In fact, it was also unveiled that consumers have become increasingly comfortable with marketing content being user-generated, meaning that brands could leverage content created by their former customers in their brand’s promotion.
Adding to this the multitude of methods by which content can be created of an acceptable quality these days, while money and time must still be invested in generating it, brand awareness can still be promoted via content produced from any type of working area, including people’s homes.
Consumer Desire to Bolster Their Knowledge
Entertainment and escapism are not the only driving powers behind video consumption. Many seek this method as a way to study and be more immersed in areas of interest, social causes, hobbies, and other passions. One of the primary reasons given for watching video content has actually been the desire to not only educate themselves on something new, consumers increasingly wanted to get a deeper knowledge of those things they were already intrigued by.
Since a brand’s product will relate to someone’s passion, interest, or hobby, marketers need to be familiar with the audience they are creating video content for. This necessitates the need for a buyer persona of the best target audience example in order to create more targetted video content for this exact persona to enjoy.
Younger Generations Prefer Longer Content
It is no secret that the attention span during web exploration of younger generations is lower than that of the older ones. Millennials have been averaged at keeping an attention span of about 8 seconds, while Gen Z’s attention span is roughly 4 seconds less than that. Surprisingly, longer videos tend to be more attractive to these same short-attention-spanned individuals. Not only do these tend to attract younger audiences, but they also quite handily keep their attention, with millennials more regularly watching long-form videos than their Gen Z counterparts.
This is an important factor for marketing teams to keep in mind. Their strategy for longer-form content hinges on quickly capturing viewers’ attention. If that is something they can accomplish, they can keep the viewers around for the duration of the video, even if that video is quite lengthy.
Consumers are busy people, so while they seek content out, they often feel they cannot devote a ton of time to watching it unless of course, it piles on what they perceive as value. With that in mind, marketers should review the content they produce by watching it with the above attention span in mind. If the video is long and feels long and drawn out, some editing work may be called for to make it more engaging. However, if the video achieves the goals of being informative and engaging while being on the longer side, the content can be potentially used to keep younger audiences tuned in to more fully inform them about the brand and particular products.
2021 Video Navigation
Marketers are increasingly learning to leverage the power of video evolution in their marketing for generation Z, kids or family marketing. Not only does it cater to the most consumed medium in 2021, but it is also providing a great source of information that consumers can absorb as they educate and inform themselves about both the brand and its products.
Because many consumers are seeking out videos aimed at an educational approach specific to their particular interests or hobbies rather than mere entertainment, brands are finding new, creative ways to utilize video to market their product or their brand to wider audiences. With consumers eager for video content in 2021, marketers are finding it more important to focus on producing content that focuses on depth is what is passing for “high-quality” rather than big-budget advertising video efforts.