videotaping  on an open plain at dawn
PHOTO: Roger Erdvig | unsplash

Video is an increasingly important part of connecting with and engaging customers today. However, video’s rapid rise has also exposed some gaps in brands’ video literacy. And by video literacy, I mean the competency and comfort level businesses have using video to its full potential. Many organizations lack a full understanding around video optimization and effective distribution at scale. 

Because of this, marketers often underutilize this promotion tactic and miss out on an opportunity to maximize engagement with shoppers in our digital-driven world. To become proficient with their video strategy, marketing and development teams must work together to ensure a strong user experience with fast-loading and engaging videos that convert. 

Here are five ways brands can improve their video literacy to market like a genius and strengthen their return on investment (ROI).

1. Understand Video Formats

There are multiple technical components behind a successful video, including codecs and containers. Brands need to understand how video formats can influence their digital campaigns' success and, by extension, their business goals. Web-video formats have evolved over the years with the advancement of mobile devices, and there are now many options available for a better and more engaging user experience.

Developers handling these different formats will need to balance factors like video quality, file size, latency and compression to determine the best options for their video initiatives. In 2021, we’re seeing that MP4 tends to be the most popular container with H.264 and H.265 being highly popular codecs.

Developers need to understand which format is most compatible with their specific business needs so they can create the optimal viewing experience for the customer.

Related Article: Improve Personalized Connections With Video

2. Improve Video Effectiveness With AI

Conceptually, artificial intelligence (AI) can improve the effectiveness of video. But what does that mean not just for a brand’s website, but also the unique needs of its customers?

Brands will need to first understand the nature of their customer base, including factors like different devices and browsers their customers engage with, along with how fast their internet speed is. From there, marketers and developers can use AI to quickly deliver videos that are optimized for an audience’s viewing preferences.

AI can also boost a brand’s video strategy by increasing video engagement opportunities. Developers can use AI capabilities to automatically detect the primary subject in a video to focus on, or help generate preview clips that will best captivate a mobile audience. It can also save developers’ valuable time by automating tasks like background removal, transcription, tagging and more. 

3. Pay Attention to User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is highly relevant in a number of verticals, including ecommerce, media and travel and hospitality. While most UGC encompasses static elements like written user reviews and still images, video is becoming not only more prevalent but also more valuable.

When incorporating video-based UGC, brands need to think not just about incorporating quality standards, but also about content moderation, permissioning and the security of each post. This will ensure a trustworthy platform that encourages customers to post their user-generated videos, essentially handing over control of their content to a brand to promote as they see fit.

Related Article: How to Mitigate the Risks of User Generated Content

4. Optimize the Video Distribution Process

Even if the bulk of a brand’s video assets are self-created and not user-generated, developers still need to evaluate the process of tagging and sharing these assets in a way that's scalable, especially for a company with a large internal team and plenty of stakeholders. 

Brands need a single source of truth within the organization to access the master asset and use that as a potential source for various versions of video that gets shared across different platforms. A unified content hub will create a strong workflow across all teams, making it easier and faster to deliver and publish videos.

5. Don’t Forget About the Sharing You Can’t See

Finally, brands must understand that social sharing of content via microbrowsers, whether images or videos, has a huge impact on engagement. Microbrowsers are previews of web pages inside private message discussions that create the brand’s first impression and play a big role in whether or not the person on the receiving end will click through to buy, read or engage. 

Developers should ensure that the company’s website is set up to take advantage of those microbrowser opportunities, especially given the engagement impact of videos in general. This means selecting specific videos to unfurl so that it displays correctly when shared via messaging apps like WhatsApp. 

For microbrowsers that currently display video, these short ‘nanostories’ can increase views, engagement and, ultimately, conversions. It’s by focusing on the small yet meaningful details that brands can make a big impact with video.

Related Article: Simple Ways to Improve Video ROI

Become a Master in Video Marketing

There’s a lot to learn in the expansive world of video marketing. However, by following these five simple steps, brands will be well on their way to mastering their video strategy and delivering compelling and persuasive content that tells a brand’s story best. Because in the end, it’s the brands that improve their video literacy that will make the strongest impact from video, while creating the most optimal viewing experience for their users.