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Picture: Kyle Loftus/Pexels
Picture: Kyle Loftus/Pexels

The era of digital video is here. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, recently announced that video is “driving an immense amount of growth online for all major platforms” as Instagram shifts its focus from pictures to videos.

If that is the case, how do brands create video content for social media that is thumb stopping, attention grabbing and eye catching? How can video content draw consumers’ attention when global online content consumption has more than doubled since 2020? With people’s average attention span in this regard now being eight seconds, what do brands need to do to set themselves apart?

A recent FM Redzone event, moderated by Tilt chief creative officer Arye Kellman, focused on just this issue.

Creative strategy manager and content producer Nwabisa Mda said the role of video marketing is not always to drive sales. Instead, it needs to be aspirational, lifestyle-focused and authentic. Brands wanting to use video marketing need to be very clear and intentional about what they are trying to achieve. Video marketing can be hugely powerful, she said, but one needs to bear in mind that you have only five seconds to hook in the audience. It’s not, she insisted, appropriate for a pack-and-brag approach.

Rogerwilco strategy director Craig Hannabus said the client brief is frequently for content that goes viral. It’s up to the strategist, he said, to turn this into a realistic brief. The most effective video content is to use a big video-first approach and after that to break the content into pieces, in the process testing what works and resonates with audiences. Mentioning the brand in the first three seconds, he said, is guaranteed to turn viewers away.

Janez Vermeiren recently co-founded Africa’s first film and content crowdsourcing platform Filmer.tv. The platform offers brands, clients and advertising agencies a direct line to a network of skilled African creative professionals to help them produce more affordable, efficient and locally relevant content. Its aim, Vermeiren explained, is to help democratise the filmmaking industry in SA by giving talented young content creators an equal opportunity to pitch on briefs for brands, clients and agencies.

Photographer and filmmaker Anthony Bila explained that when creating video content on behalf of brands the role of the filmmaker is to bridge the gap between the brand’s objectives and what will resonate with audiences. This means it’s imperative for the filmmaker to understand the audience. While he said it’s important to consider data, he warned against applying it without insight, as using data alone risks missing nuances.

Don’t miss the upcoming FM Redzone digital events – they will look at what it means to be a “purpose-led” brand, whether decision-making has shifted to millennial marketers and what marketers’ mindsets are heading into 2022.  Click here for more information and to register.

The big take-out:

Creating effective video marketing content requires an understanding of the audience it is meant to attract.

How do you grip consumers' attention when global online content consumption has more than doubled since 2020?


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