Reaping the business benefits of video


By The Drum Team, Editorial

April 11, 2012 | 5 min read

Nik Maguire, Senior Mobile Solutions Consultant at 2ergo, looks at the use of video in enhancing brand experiences, and discusses how the rise in smartphone adoption and mobile internet consumption is changing the role of video.

There is little doubt that the use of video enhances a brand experience, encouraging customer interaction and raising purchase intent. The rise of video sharing sites, such as Vimeo and Youtube, has accelerated the widespread adoption of high quality video consumption by many internet users. This trend is set to increase as feature length movies become more widely available online from providers such as Netflix and LoveFilm, which was recently acquired by Amazon. This rise in online video has caused significant challenges to traditional video distribution and rental businesses, such as Blockbuster, as consumers move from video and DVD to on-demand.However, the phenomenal rise in smartphone adoption and consequently mobile internet usage is set to challenge the world of video even further. 71% of 16 to 24-year-olds now regularly access online content using their smartphones*, with the fastest growing demographic being women.With such rapid cultural acceptance of mobile internet, anybody deploying online video content ignores mobile users at their peril.As with any relatively new development, there are challenges to be overcome. It’s true that online video is much easier to deploy than mobile video, thanks to the formats available. Flash is notoriously absent on many mobile devices meaning that video often fails to show at all. In addition, mobile devices have small screens, which are increasingly used to view ever improving HD quality video, compromising the user experience. This is less of a problem with tablets as the larger screen size makes video more feasible. The final problem is mobile connectivity – 3G connection and slow wi-fi make it more difficult to view videos on a smartphone than on a PC. This may however be overcome as network speeds get faster.Although challenges exist, the benefits are much stronger. Mobile video offers consumers a fully-immersive experience with much deeper brand engagement than television or online as people carry their smartphones with them almost 24/7. It enables brands to ensure their products stand out from standard text or images, giving consumers more product information and making the purchasing cycle more interactive. This is turn will help to drive sales and foster loyalty. Including testimonials from previous buyers, videos of the product being used or exclusive interviews with designers are all ways to make a product stand out in a crowded marketplace.Therefore the need for a mobile optimised site (mSite) for the deployment of video solutions perhaps has more importance than ever before. An mSite optimises the user experience and formats the content (text, video, menus and graphics) based on the mobile phone or tablet they are using. A video optimised mSite will improve download speeds and assist when streaming video content from the internet, ensuring mobile users experience a whole new generation of on demand entertainment, education and immersion.In addition, videos should be easy to find on the mSite – if they’re buried within site navigation, consumers are unlikely to dig around long enough to find it. Feature your video on your homepage or other high-traffic section of the mobile site to ensure this doesn’t happen. Finally, encourage consumers to interact with your videos and reward them for doing so. You could receive great exposure and free promotion to thousands of people if you ask someone to share a video on Facebook or Twitter by simply offering a money off coupon as an incentive.The following tips might help you create a mobile-friendly video:
  • Think about the aspect ratio otherwise you risk losing the top, bottom and side of your video or having lots of blank space around it
  • Lighting is particularly important. Poor lighting is a bigger problem with mobile devices as it can reduce visibility on small screens. Film with this in mind.
  • Keep editing simple. Remember that you might need extra zoom to show detailed actions otherwise viewers will struggle to see
  • Think about the file size. A smaller file means that the video will start playing much faster
  • Resolution is lower on mobile – it’s getting better as time goes on but bear in mind your videos might not be as sharp as they are on a PC
  • Promote your videos – use other mobile marketing techniques such as SMS to let your customers know when a new video is available
Video has been around from the advent of cinema. The decline of tradition video tape and DVD due to online may have indicated that video had had its time, but now with mobile internet and mSites the format has yet to have its finest hour.* Office for National Statistics, August 2011Mobile and film reel image via Shutterstock

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