The Rush to Video is Coming. Are You Ready?


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While brands have long relied on the power of visual imagery to connect with consumers, in recent years, the amount of visual content being produced and promoted by companies, publishers and consumers alike has multiplied exponentially. Video content in particular has recently exploded, aided by the ubiquity of mobile devices and content sharing platforms, fueled by the inherent appeal of video to consumers.

Videos used in marketing deliver a tremendous advantage, enabling viewers to retain 95% of a message compared to just 10% when read in text. Human brains are hardwired for video and can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. That’s a primary reason why videos generate 1200% more shares on social channels, and 50% of viewers seek out a product video before purchasing.

Aided by both the effectiveness of video and the expanded audience mobile devices provide, we are seeing how the explosion of digital media blows up previous video consumption patterns and, by extension, traditional video content production and distribution models.

With that in mind, let’s explore what brands must do to prepare for the future of video.

Rise Above the Noise

Brands must be mindful that audiences are exposed to video through more channels than ever before. 4.5 million videos are watched every minute on YouTube, amounting to 500 million hours daily, and Snapchat users watch 6.9 million videos per minute. What’s more, user-generated content (UGC) now accounts for 400 hours of new content per minute.

By 2020, it is estimated that there will be a million minutes of video crossing the internet per second. And by 2022, online video will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Companies need to strategize around the challenges of engaging with video-consumed consumers and how they will raise their brands – and brand stories – above the noise.

For example, the advent of affordable camera and production equipment, as well as new producers like FloSports, are emerging to serve niche markets that do not necessarily require broadcast-quality production, adding to the video content explosion. Established names in media are also investing in companies that can produce regional content at volume, as demonstrated by the recent Canal+ acquisition of Nigerian content producer ROK.

Automate Metadata for a Personalized Video Experience

More than 70% of GenZ and Millennials say it’s important for a brand to deliver a personalized experience. But, while they may be fantastic consumers of video, the massive onslaught of content will create a scalability challenge for companies to manage video production and distribution.

Marketers need to start developing rich video metadata that will open up the opportunity to further engage viewers with more personalized video experiences. Brands already shape their video engagement with consumers based upon viewer purchase and tracking data. But the sheer volume and diversity of video produced will require companies to automate a large portion of their metadata delivery strategy in order to effectively deliver the message.

Doing this will allow brands to create different versions of a video asset for a wide range of demographic and psychographic segments that can all be performance tested. Additionally, video metadata can be used to help viewers navigate directly to areas of interest in video content, in the same way that tags help bring viewers to static visual content.

Apply Lessons from Images to Videos

Early users of image media found themselves unable to effectively manage visual content without Visual Data Management technologies. Effectively delivering image content to users across a broad variety of platforms required companies to make smart choices about formats, metadata and optimization.

Now, we see Visual Data Management technologies accelerating the use of visuals and visual storytelling while AI and machine learning techniques are being used to improve the effectiveness of content production and distribution.

The video content tsunami requires companies to develop plans for digital industrial content workflows and systems that power video content packaging, distribution and monetization. In order to optimize content delivery across a myriad of platforms and devices, brands must overcome challenges and understand key metrics about their content, such as:

• Who viewed the video?
• How does page placement impact play?
• How is performance impacted with auto-play?
• What cookies are associated with the viewer?
• Was there a call-to-action?
• Was there a video abandonment event?
• When did that abandonment event take place?

As the image management experiment proved vital, companies must begin their video mastery journey by establishing a platform of basic metrics which they build upon and refine as they gain experience with video.

Use Richer Metadata and Greater Automation

The sheer density of video data increases the need for even richer metadata and greater automation to understand, catalog and deliver vast libraries of video to relevant audiences. For example, enabling indexing and search of archived footage can give old content libraries new life. A hypothetical use case might involve instantly calling up previous interviews with Elon Musk to supplement a new news story on Tesla, or quickly culling through video of corporate speakers and customers to support the rapid packaging of promotional videos for a new marketing campaign. While we are only scratching the surface of AI/ML technologies, we can be sure that they have great power to transform the editorial process and make visual storytelling that much more robust.

With the world transitioning quickly to all things video, the lessons we learned from the power of image-driven visual storytelling are applicable for brands that plan to enjoy the benefits of video, particularly as it relates to content management, metadata enhancement, personalization, and workflow development.

Brands that understand these lessons, and that harness video for improved engagement and connections, will stay ahead of the coming video rush. And make no mistake, that rush is coming on fast.

Bob Miyahara
Bob is Director of Business Development for Cloudinary, a cloud-based media management company that helps its customers transition into a new age of digital media. He is passionate about building global, industry-defining businesses, and his specialties include leading strategy and building partnerships. Since his days at Yahoo, Bob has been witnessing firsthand the evolution of digital media and he enjoys working with the most innovative companies to solve their cutting-edge needs.


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