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Joined-up video strategies needed

News, 20 January 2016

LONDON: Marketers need to develop a coherent strategy for the fast-growing video channel, and should aim to move away from a campaign-by-campaign approach.

Warc's Toolkit 2016 says that marketers' video efforts have often appeared to be piecemeal and would benefit from a considered assessment of the role that video now plays beyond "hero" content developed for campaigns and of the multiple platforms available in a diversifying ecosystem. (Non-subscribers can download a sample of this Toolkit chapter here.)

Big-ticket "hero" content still has a role, but the report suggests "hub" and "housecleaning" material that fulfils a more everyday purpose may need greater emphasis and can help in achieving a balance between "push" and "pull" content.

Hub content provides an "insistent drumbeat" that reflects viewer wants and passions to secure regular engagement, while housecleaning addresses day-to-day concerns such as product demonstrations and usage tips.

This three-part formula, crafted by YouTube, can give broad shape to developing an effective video strategy.

Another important consideration is distribution. Until recently, the typical online video strategy for brands involved uploading content to YouTube and, if funds were available, driving views through paid-for ads.

But the evolution of the digital video ecosystem means life is no longer so simple. Facebook is challenging YouTube's dominance while other opportunities open to brands – from micro-videos starring Vine influencers to real-time Meerkat broadcasts and highly-polished Instagram clips – have rapidly grown, hinting at a richer, but far more complex, future.

Marketers need to clarify the what, where and when of their output, the Toolkit recommends, since only those marketers with the biggest budgets will be able to manage video across all the emerging platforms.

And it's a never-ending process, as Ben Phillips, MediaCom's global head of mobile, and quoted in the chapter, makes clear.

"In a complex and rapidly changing environment, the best step that marketers can take is to keep a close eye on the latest opportunities, changing terms and conditions (with particular regard to viewability) and adjustments in consumer behaviour," he advises.

Data sourced from Warc