Looking for Love Online? Here’s How to Find it

Creating video that stands out from the 400 hours of filmed content uploaded to the web every minute is challenging, but not impossible. Here are a few ways to break through.

There’s no question that digital video is exploding. According to eMarketer, the amount of time US adults spend watching video on connected devices (including OTT and game consoles) has leapt from 21 minutes to 76 minutes a day in just five years.

As one of the hottest assets in today’s media mix, video promises global distribution, increased consumer engagement and, ultimately, high ROI. But among the many caveats, the need to account for cultural differences is a prominent one.

Cultural differences
Understanding how, when, where and why members of your target audience share video is vital. Did you know:

  • Australians share branded video content faster than viewers in any other country. Sharing in Australia and APAC peaks on launch day.
  • The most common reason to share an online video in Japan is to seek others’ opinions. Sharing peaks on the third day.
  • The most common reason to share a video in the UK is to recommend a product or service. Sharing in the UK (plus France and the US) peaks on the second day, and only 28% of viewers in the UK are more likely to buy a product after watching a video.
  • Post-viewing purchase intent is highest in Brazil, where 57% of consumers say they would be more likely to purchase a product, compared to 52% in ASEAN markets, 40% in the US and 31% in the UK and Germany.

Spread happiness
If you’re thinking, “Good grief!” right about now, I’d understand. There is, however, one key concept that can make your digital content more likely to be viewed, loved and shared.

What is it? Happiness.

The most important universal factor influencing a video’s shareability is the strength and commonality of emotions it elicits from viewers, and happiness is the most common emotion in the world. That means that an ideal trigger for brands seeking to create content that resonates across national boundaries is the ability to spread joy.

7 myths about creating online video content
Along with the fuzzy understanding some have about how to create successful content, there are also a handful of myths worth dispelling. Consider these seven…

Myth 1: Has to be funny
Humor is undoubtedly one of the most effective emotional triggers in any kind of advertising. After all, everyone loves to laugh. But people find different things funny, so humor doesn’t always translate across borders. An alternative is to create uplifting or inspiring content. Think happiness.

Myth 2: The shorter the better
Great content comes in all shapes and sizes despite consumers’ decreasing attention span and the rise of Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. If you have high-quality content, people will watch it. There is real demand for longer-form content, but only if it’s genuinely engaging.

Myth 3: Good content will surface
“Viral” is still a buzzword, but that’s about all it is. There’s too much content in our social feeds, and – with 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute – a brand needs a smart distribution strategy to get attention. Your connections strategy is just as important as your content strategy.

Myth 4: Tons of views = big success
Video views can be bought. A better KPI may be shares, which indicate how many people have voluntarily engaged with and shared the asset across their social networks.

Myth 5: All you need is cats
A recent study conducted by Karen Nelson-Field at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science examined the drivers of video virality. What she found was that creative gimmicks do not determine shareability: that is, on the whole, it doesn’t matter whether you have a cat, baby or celebrity in your ad. What does matter is the degree to which a video elicits a high degree of emotional arousal. A video with a dancing baby may produce a high degree of emotional arousal (hilarious) or low arousal (merely amusing), and therefore may share well or poorly.

Myth 6: You can’t predict viral success
Virality is regarded as a “black swan” event: a bolt of lightning that may never be repeated. The truth is that the glut of video available means we can now run regression analysis across massive data sets. Combined with volumes of academic research, it is possible to predict success.

Myth 7: Keep branding discreet
Recent research has found the number of times a brand appears visually or verbally in a digital video has little to no impact on its online popularity. People share commercial videos for the same reasons they share non-commercial ones (see all of the above). There is no point in getting too clever or too stressed about creating and distributing an unbranded digital video.

So there you have it.  Know that there’s help out there, understand cultural differences and think happiness. A recipe for life… and digital video.

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