August 01, 2019
Any company out there can agree that creating quality video content is time consuming and at times, not cost effective. Specially nowadays, in an ever-changing landscape, the cost of video creation is rising exponentially. This calls for smart video content.
Back in the days, video distribution entailed having one video, in one aspect ratio and one duration, for the entirety of an audience. In today’s world, your video content must adapt to multiple aspect ratio’s and duration's, and as consumers are becoming more and more demanding, the content must also be relevant for those who consume it. This brings an added layer of complexity, further compromising the costs and speed of video production.
This personalizing of content has become a necessity far more than an option. It allows brands to communicate and “humanize" their message. The one-message-fits-all is long gone, and brands have to adapt communication to their different audiences, formats and channels the landscape presents. In an overloaded market in continuous change, where communication has shifted into a far more complex landscape, to be noticed and remembered is one the main pain points any company will have to endure.
Thus, while various research show that personalizing content has significant effects (e.g., Mckinsey and Hubspot) the costs and complexity that go with it, combined with the dynamics of today’s landscape, can simply lead to not being able to create and adapt video content to the extend we would like to or need to.
Nowadays, 87% of marketeers use video as a marketing tool and consumers are demanding more video content from brands they support. In fact, most followers of a brand expect to see product or ex-plainer videos before they begin to buy, as it has become a reinforcement along the purchase process. It also has become the consumer’s favorite type of content on social media platforms. Research shows that video is the preferred form of brand and marketing communication for 36% of consumers overall and 46% of millennial's, far more than any other type of content (Brightcove).
Subsequently, marketers that use video are able to grow their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t (Vidyard). And thus while 91% of marketeers consider video an important part of their marketing strategy, as consumers demand more video content by the minute, brands feel obliged to keep up their efforts to create at a smarter and faster rate.
As stated above, the necessity of more video content has become almost a requirement. But with that increase of demand, comes an increase in costs. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem and we see that often brands turn to the obvious choices when trying to drive down those costs:
When it comes to video, the first 3 options only have so much scale and flexibility to it. The 4th option is something that happens often, but as we all will agree is far from ideal. The 5th option is, if you ask us, the way to go to scale your video content in a structural way, while still being able to maintain quality and control. In order to do this, processes, workflows and video concepts need to be smarter and seen differently than how we used to make video content. We call this smart content.
Smart content, also known as dynamic content, is content made in a way that it is adjustable based on data input, opposed to editing. Think about it like a collection of building blocks that can be put together in a different way. Looking at content this way, makes it also possible to produce the content you need much faster and much more cost effective.
We recently wrote an article on how Heineken is able to deliver infinite variations of an ad during Champions League matches. It’s a clear example on how brands can make use of smart content. Heineken had many elements that could vary within the ad creative. In order to reach such a broad audience, but still target per audience, Heineken needed a vast amount of variations within the ad. Those elements should change accordingly depending on the audiences data. (e.g. geo-location, language, demographic differences, legal disclaimers)
In order to create smarter video concepts, brands have to steer their creative efforts towards a more scalable and automated approach. Meaning you’ll have to think of content in scenes, elements and placeholders, instead of a single linear story.
When doing this, ultimately, you will be able to automate a part of the process, where data is the driver of what someone sees. Automating video content not only facilitates a smoother workflow but immensely reduces the time-consuming snippets of the production process that could be allocated towards the creativity and storytelling of the video content instead, while making the distribution of such faster and smarter.
The first obvious answer here is to drive down costs. But smarter & dynamic content has far more benefits than just costs. When set up properly, it will also drive down time to market and enable brands to become far more relevant and personalized in their communication. Because why create only a few video’s if you create a unique video for all your target audiences for only marginally more costs?