As the average consumer’s attention span gets shorter and shorter, newer and newer mediums of content delivery and marketing are making headway. There was a time when a single stunning image of the sunset would be enough to engage audiences on social media. Today, a consumer wants to be engaged in more senses than one- visuals are not enough. They want to see, hear, and even interact with the post by publishing a live comment or voting on a poll started on a live video.
The biggest trendsetters responsible for this shift in how audiences consume data are Social Media Influencers. A couple of years ago, digital marketers leveraged influencers to market certain products and services, but that has come full circle. Today, Influencers are creating trends which marketers are following.
One such trend is the use of more influencer created video be it on any platform. Out of 400 hours of video being uploaded on YouTube every minute, a significant chunk is that of influencer videos. Facebook is seeing more ‘live’ sessions, and Instagram now has video Instagram Stories. All major social media platforms have evolved to include a stage for more video-sharing in an attempt to stay relevant.
The rise in Influencer created video content
If there is one stakeholder who knows the pulse of the people, it is the Influencer. They know what their followers/family/community is thinking, they know what they want…and the increasingly short attention spans of users indicated that they wanted something more captivating. Influencers want to be seen and they understand that more engagement leads to an algorithm which will show more of their posts to more people, and keep the momentum going.
The second reason behind the significant surge in Influencer created video content is more organic. The Influencer-follower dynamic has shown that people like to connect online. They want to know more about the person on the other side of the screen, and more so if they are a celebrity. This has led to Influencers creating more videos, whether it is using a high-resolution front camera with a perfect background, or a shaky video captured while walking down the street. Quality of the video doesn’t matter, as long as the video is Influencer-generated.
The influencer needs their community as much as the community needs their Influencer- so the Influencer keeps creating videos where they share their experience of using a product; just ask questions to their audience; start a poll with a running commentary; or login just to say a “hi” in video.
Implications for digital marketers
Rather than seeing this as a dramatic shift in how online marketing works, digital marketers can recognise the opportunity for innovation. The investments remain the same- audiences are satisfied with low-res Instagram quality videos which they can stream even on limited bandwidth. Hence, the marketer doesn’t need to necessarily invest in HD drones or superlative or elaborate sets to make videos.
Simple ‘blooper’ shots, intermittent videos of the Influencer behind the scenes can garner more engagement. Marketers can use analytical tools to assess increase in engagement and develop strategies accordingly.
Lastly, more enterprising digital marketers can treat Influencers as the best judge of what the consumers need, and give them the leeway to create their own video content for the brand.