Last week Digitas released the findings of a recent survey they commissioned on online video. The results show a deepening multi-generational interest in digital video across screens and consumer interest in learning more about brands through online video. We recently spoke with Stephanie Sarofian, Managing Director of The Third Act, the brand content unit of Digitas, about what this means for marketers.
The Makegood: Online video has become crucial to engage viewers. What would you say it is about online video that is more engaging and why is it accelerating now?
Online video has the components that appeal to people. If done right, it is created or curated with specific audience in mind (versus mass appeal)—tailor-made for niche audiences. It is flexible in terms of format, length, imbedded engagement tools. It is an asset that is ripe for smart distribution.
People can also do a lot more with an online video then just watch it—they can share it, comment on it, create their own video in response. If you create online content that really resonates with a small, but passionate audience, they will amplify your message for you and you’ll be able to engage a lot more people.
What’s more is that the post-PC era of digital has made the on-demand accessibility of online video even more appealing. People are constantly plugged into their devices, whether they’re at home or on-the-go. Today you can watch online video on so many different platforms, it’s no wonder that engagement has accelerated so rapidly.
Not to mention that people just love motion media, whether it’s entertaining or informing them—it is an appealing and engaging medium. That’s one of the reasons that we organize the Digitas NewFront every year—to show brands all of the possibilities of online video, to reach and engage and activate their audiences.
The Makegood: Why has brand content’s availability on all devices become such an integral part of a successful marketing strategy?
People are no longer engaging content on just a single screen. For instance, our survey showed that 63% of adults have looked at online content while watching TV. Today we’re living in a multi-screen age where people are using multiple devices for different purposes—they’re engaging differently on each device, depending on their needs at the time.
In order to truly reach people, brands have to connect with them through the channels that they’re using, instead of just trying to push them to go somewhere else. If the people that you’re trying to engage are using smartphones or tablets, then that’s where your brand needs to be. If they’re watching videos online, then that’s where you should try to reach them.
The Makegood: Nowadays with viewers being on multiple devices at the same time in their living room (i.e: tablet/mobile/etc and TV), how can marketers effectively reach their target?
We have a lot of insight into how people move around their digital lives—marketers need to tap into that available information. In order to successfully reach viewers on multiple devices, brands must develop strategies based on what consumers need at that point in their journey.
Put simply: it’s important to understand what consumers are looking for when using different devices, and give it to them—whether it’s information, directions, movie tickets, research, social interaction, or purchasing; whether it’s at home or on-the-go or using multiple screens at once.
The Makegood: Women 55+ are more likely than men in the same age group to go online to research a brand. How are marketers leveraging this fact?
Brands, content creators, and distributors are leveraging women in all age groups, because it is true that women are collaborators, community builders, chief operators of the home and the workplace—and this is something that most brands can and should harness.
Look at our Kraft Real Women of Philadelphia campaign, and the astounding organic growth and earned media that the brand realized because they let women influence, share, and create with very little brand interference. It’s powerful and consumers are impressive in their endless desire to improve both their lives and the brand’s life.
Marketers and their agencies have the insight and the tools to leverage women’s influence through useful and meaningful content experiences. And the opportunities to create or co-create with talent who have already built audiences with shared values are endless—it’s like Oprah on steroids. I don’t know a brand in the world who would ignore that kind of significant engagement.
The Makegood: Thanks, Stephanie.