Vivek Pandey – Head Growth & Analytics – Times Internet, writes on the changing video content consumption landscape and what it means for marketers
Amit, a mid-20s professional living in Mumbai boards his 8:00 AM local train to work and manages to dart in at the last minute and grab an empty seat. Once he’s settled in, he always reaches for the smartphone in his pocket to catch up on the latest episode of his favourite web show – it is as much as a part of his routine as travelling to work.
A lot has changed over the past couple of years. Amit now watches more streamed/downloaded videos on the go than ever before. He doesn’t have to wait for a friend to download these episodes from questionable websites and pass them over on a flash drive. He streams them himself as soon as a new episode is launched worldwide.
Vivek Pandey heads Growth and Analytics in addition to Sales Strategy & B2B marketing at Times Internet and has more than 15 years’ experience in the Indian IT and Consumer internet space. In his earlier role at Times Internet, he was Head of Product, Marketing & Analytics for the company’s e-commerce platform branded as Indiatimes Shopping, after which he went on to oversee Growth & Analytics for all TIL verticals.
Vivek has earned an MBA from the Indian School of Business and a B.Tech from IIT Kanpur.
This is just a glimpse of how India’s digital video consumption narrative is transforming. Increasing 4G penetration, affordable smartphones and reducing data costs have led to significantly more video consumption. Quality content has become far more accessible with global players such as MX Player, Netflix, and Amazon building strong Indian presence, alongside Indian OTT players such as Hotstar, Voot, Sony LIV, Alt-Balaji, Zee5 to capitalize on the ever-increasing demand for video content.
Industry figures are backing this trend with The State of Indian Digital Marketing: A CMO Perspective 2017-18’ report suggesting that in 2017, adults in India spent 1 hour 13 minutes each day with digital media. Much of this rise can be attributed to non-voice mobile use that stands at 53 minutes per day.
This changing video content consumption landscape means marketers now need to come up with smarter ways to weave their messaging into videos. When they do, here are a few things they will need to keep in mind:
Video is everywhere
Jio’s 4G thrust to widen the ambit for India’s video consumption had most services providers follow suit to drop data prices. This improved accessibility has considerably altered the country’s digital consumption graph. Video’s greatest inhibitor suddenly became its biggest accelerator. The increased traction is being seen across age groups, be it via streaming or downloading videos in all types of formats – long/short format, in-the-moment videos and entire seasons of TV/web shows.
This momentum is further amplified by the youth who believe in living in the moment. Video capabilities are fast catching on with Tiktok, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live. This demographic prefers short format, near-real-time to real-time videos that showcase their best moments in a matter of seconds. Britannia recently hosted a 10-second video campaign aimed at driving quality traffic and ensure better recall by increasing user engagement through its short and attractive video content. The 2-week long campaign was a great success achieved a click-through rate of 0.24%, and 60% completed views. Many other brands have also found innovative ways to use these platforms to engage with consumers and their campaigns have been well received too. More marketers should seriously consider the potential of the ‘in-the-moment’ video format and not shy away from it.
Speaking the consumer’s language
The steady rise of mobile internet across the country has also led to a spontaneous increase in regional content consumption. Consumers, who have historically relied on their neighbourhood electronics store to copy pirated video content onto their phones now simply access their favourite videos legally in the language of their choice directly via their smartphones.
In fact, according to a Google-KPMG report, over 70% of Indians consider local language digital content to be more reliable than English. There could not be a better time than now to cash in on this growing demand for local language content with video campaigns that engage consumers in their own language.
In fact, advertisers on Times Internet’s adtech platform, Colombia received a significant uplift in CTR after localizing its content for concerned regions/lingual clusters.
Make them personalized, contextual
Over the years, display and native advertising have managed to successfully engage consumers in a highly personalized and contextual manner. Backed by consumer intelligence, marketers have been able to target consumers with campaigns that showcase the exact product or those that are almost close to what the consumer is looking for, and even drive a purchase.
This has been different in the case with video, as it has inherently been more of a broadcast approach. Today, marketers will have to start experimenting with video campaigns that are personalized, either for a user or at the least, for a very close set of similar users. In Colombia, marketers can target a specific set of users like ‘Tech Geeks’ or ‘Avid Investors’ based on their interests and behavior. Such interest-based targeting is often far more effective than plain demographic data.
The rise of branded video content with rich-media
Interactivity can quickly transform a video campaign from one-way communication to a conversation. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report released in November 2018, Digital ad spend is on pace to hit $100 Bn for the first time in 2018, and much of it was owing to Younger audiences’ adoption of newer platforms such as mobile video, audio, and social media.
Relevant Investments in Video – technology, analytics
Going beyond personalization, a call to action button on a video that takes consumers to a relevant webpage vastly increases the chances of conversion. Moreover, it enhances the overall consumer experience and improves brand recall and perception.
United Breweries recently launched Radler, a 100% natural drink that contains 30% less sugar than other carbonated soft drinks. The brand hosted a 19 secs video advertisement on Colombia targeting users in Bengaluru. The campaign successfully created increased awareness about the product & built a positive brand image, engaging more than 36,000 users and yield a healthy CTR of 0.75%.
When you make these huge investments in video, you would want to gauge the consumer impact. While there may be a host of solutions available, let us consider Vidooly as a platform. Its big data engine analyses engagement of over 500 million viewers and tracks more than 250 million videos every day. This kind of in-depth intelligence helps video content creators better understand consumer behavior and tweak their content strategies to create videos that appeal to their specific audiences.
At a time when a video is fast becoming the next battleground for consumer engagement, as marketers, you want to invest in video inventories, keep an eye out on sub-formats within video encouraging its adoption, and ensure that the checklists of personalization are taken care of.