3 Ways to Ensure Your Video Content Resonates With Your Audience

Utilize technology or your brand will be left scrambling

We are in a constant battle for attention, and the average human loses focus within 8 seconds. Getty Images
Headshot of Harris Beber

A recent article in Forbes showed that 64 percent of consumers make a purchase after viewing a branded social video. Another one stated that marketers who use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than nonvideo users. The evidence is staggering: Video is everywhere, and it is a key business driver.

Whether it’s a how-to video, behind-the-scenes clip, brand origin story or product demo, video is quickly becoming the communications tool of choice for individuals, brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s simple and essential: If you want to reach your audience effectively, you have to use video.

Predictably, with opportunities come challenges, one of the greatest being the creative bottleneck of video creation. Increased demand, decreased shelf life, the high volume of assets needed and disposability of those assets once used. Not only do you need to create great content, but you have to create a lot of great content that’s relevant to your audience at a faster pace while maintaining your image and brand standards. Oh, and your budget? Remaining flat. It’s a resourcing gridlock.

How do businesses and brands find the key to unlock these challenges? The answer: Leverage technology. Fortunately for us, technology has made video creation easier than ever before.

If you want to reach your audience effectively, you have to use video.

Make great content, often

That exceptional video you just put out into the world on Monday? No one is seeing it anymore on Friday. You need to be continuously churning out fresh content that also fits your brand and messaging. The process of scripting, storyboarding, shooting, editing and postproduction can be expensive and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have your own in-house production team or are operating with a tight budget.

Creators now have access to everything from lightweight editing tools to in-video collaboration, accessible on the go and right from their phone to make creating videos easier than ever. There are ways to expedite the creation process while still maintaining the look and feel of your brand, too. Premium stock footage can enable creators to produce better videos at scale and make it possible for them to include beautiful, high-quality shots without committing time and money to multiple on-location shoots.

Get people to see it and actually care

We are in a constant battle for attention. In today’s always-on world, the average human now loses focus within eight seconds (meaning we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish). This translates to faster drop-off rates for videos. So, if you don’t capture your audience’s attention in that first few seconds, you’ve lost your chance with a potential customer. Higher engagement is also important for making sure your videos get seen in the first place since Facebook and other platforms use engagement to prioritize videos in their feed.

Knowing attention is limited and fleeting, how can you make sure that someone cares when they see your video? Do people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube and your website all care about the same thing? You need to be thoughtful in your approach to each platform, using your eight seconds of attention wisely. That means not only being a more creative storyteller, but also surfacing the right part of the story that will matter most to your audience on each platform. And how do you know the right part of the story? Data, of course.

Know if it works, and prove that it works

While you might be confident that the more great videos you create and publish to various platforms, the more new customers you get, how do you actually prove that this is working with numbers? The goal is not to just be data-driven; it’s to be insight-driven as well. That means zeroing in quickly on the clear takeaways that are actionable and will move the needle for your business.

With analytics tools, you can look at the engagement of all the videos you published across multiple platforms, all in one place. This can help you understand where viewers are dropping off and how it differs for each platform. Knowing what viewers care about—and more importantly what they don’t—will make sure that every resource you invest in video provides a return in the form of engaged viewers that care.

If you aren’t already using video to market your brand or communicate with your audience, I encourage you to get creative and leverage technology. Technology is changing how we connect with our audiences, our customers and our clients. We simply can’t afford not to change with it.

This story first appeared in the October 22, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Harris Beber is CMO of Vimeo.