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In today’s competitive and fragmented market, brands are always looking for the most efficient way to tell their story, reach influencers and expand their targeting. Brands are increasingly becoming their own creators of innovative, engaging content, and those that aren’t are being left behind.

Content is becoming a competitive necessity – with so many options to choose from

With the rise of new media and new technologies, brands have an infinite range of options when it comes to what types of content they’ll serve to their audiences.

In a recent survey on 2017 content trends, the Content Marketing Institute released a list of content marketing tactics most used today by marketers and communications professionals:

  • Social Media Content – 83%
  • Blogs – 80%
  • Email Newsletters – 77%
  • In-Person Events – 68%
  • Ebooks/White Papers – 65%
  • Videos – 60%
  • Infographics – 58%
  • Webinars/Webcasts – 58%
  • Online Presentations – 42%
  • Illustrations/Photos – 39%
  • Research Reports – 28%
  • Interactive Tools – 28%
  • Print Magazines – 23%
  • Digital Magazines – 17%
  • Books – 15%
  • Mobile Apps – 14%
  • Podcasts – 12%
  • Separate Content Hubs – 10%
  • Live-streaming media – 10%
  • Print Newsletters – 9%
  • Virtual Conferences – 8%

Video is taking content marketing by storm

Of all the types of content a brand can produce, video is seeing the fastest growth:

  • By 2020, video will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic (up from 70% in 2015), according to Cisco. That’s nearly 1 million minutes of video shared every second.
  • Axonn Research found 7 in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them. Video builds an emotional connection by bringing your brand to life.
  • According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text.
  • YouTube has over a billion users. That is approximately one third of the Internet.
  • In 2014, there were just 1 billion video views on Facebook per day. A year later, that number has grown to a staggering 8 billion daily video views.

Statistics from news and content platform TheNewsMarket back up this data. In 2016, more than 1.5 million multimedia assets were downloaded from their media hubs by influencers looking for video content.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of one minute of video equals 1.8 million words.

Video is a great opportunity to be creative and show your expertise. It is definitely one of the most effective and powerful at engaging audiences, in particular the media. According to Facebook data, video generates up to 135% more organic reach than a photo post on the social media channel.

Video should be a key part of every brand’s communication strategy, giving it a more personal feel for your audience and providing transparency into who you are.

However, it isn’t just about the quantity or regularity of content produced, what’s so important is quality – you need content that is going to be of real value to your audience and key influencers, so that they engage with it and hopefully share it.

Interestingly, according to Axxon Research, AdWords spend, along with print, television and radio advertising are being cut back to make way for branded video content marketing.

Branded video content done well

If done well, branded video content should aim to resonate with your audience on an emotional level rather than focusing on your actual product or selling points. It is all about building a positive image of your brand.

It is clear that brands and publishers have discovered the power of branded content. According to a study conducted by Forbes, there has been a 25% increase of branded content since January – resulting in 37% more views on social media. Brand-created videos make up 17% of YouTube content, as opposed to user-generated content, which represents 32% of the top videos on YouTube (source: Goodvidio).

A specific example includes Volvo Trucks and the Epic Split video resulting in more than 85.6 million views on YouTube, a record for a B2B brand. Or more recently their latest stunt, “Look Who’s Driving“, with the video racking up 25 million views on YouTube and Facebook and more than 1,000 total media impressions.

Also, it is interesting to point out that 87% of audiences would prefer to watch an online video if it meant more behind-the-scenes and exclusive content than a standard TV broadcast.

The rising influence of live video

In recent years, video has taken a whole new dimension with the likes of Periscope and Facebook – adding the ability to stream live video very easily. Audiences are engaging with live video more than ever, an opportunity brands are increasingly taking notice of and embracing – specifically on social media.

According to a recent survey by Livestream and New York Magazine, live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

Today, Facebook users are spending up to 3x more time watching live video than pre-recorded.

Periscope has approximately 350,000 hours of video streamed on the site daily – to date, equaling to 200 million broadcasts already and 110 years’ worth of video. Now, expect Twitter to reinvent Periscope as Twitter Live and be fully integrated into the app.

We can see why live video is going to be a key content strategy for brands in 2017 – as it had proved it can capture and engage audiences in a way that no other form of content can.

2017 will be an innovative year for brand video

Brands will increasingly produce video (live or not) for different audiences across channels as they are starting to realize that:

  • There are more audience types for video content that they first envisaged
  • Video is easier to produce than they might think and it is scalable
  • They have numerous content distribution channels at their disposal
  • They need to think big and create compelling branded content

That means we are going to see brands and corporate communications in 2017 and 2018 taking a more innovative approach to video, experimenting with new ways of filming, new creative content and exploring new ways to capture audiences and boost engagement.