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Video marketing set to fly

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Video should form the core of any content marketing strategy, but high data costs in South Africa means marketers are not getting the return that they should. ERNST WITTMANN of Alcatel SA, believes this will however begin to change.

If you want someone to remember your message, show them a picture. If you want them to act on your message and convert them to customers, show them a video.

Research has found that 65% of business decision makers visit a marketer’s website after viewing a branded video, and 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.

Video is expected to make up 74% of all Internet traffic this year and Cisco predicts this will rise to 80% by 2019.

We’re addicted to videos. They transmit messages faster, they’re engaging and we’re more likely to retain information that’s presented to us visually. It’s no wonder that video has become a huge focus for social media channels, with 300 hours’ worth of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, and Snapchat and Facebook, respectively, streaming two billion and four billion live videos every day.

Video should form the core of any content marketing strategy but high data costs in South Africa means marketers are not getting the return from video that they should be. Consumers are frugal with their data and video is the hungriest of them all. With options to turn off automatic video playback on social media in order to save data, it’s not likely that you’re getting the reach with your video marketing efforts that you could be.

But that could change soon.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) is conducting an inquiry into high data costs amid a growing demand by civil society that.

A drop in data charges will be a boon for marketers, especially with the continued roll-out of high-speed fibre across the country.

When consumers are not hamstrung by high data costs and low Internet speeds, video consumption will skyrocket and marketers can fully execute – and reward from – their video marketing strategies. In some instances, it may very well be groundbreaking.

Here are a few good reasons why every business should consider video content marketing:

·         It boosts your search engine optimisation (SEO). Content is 50x more likely to make it to the first page of Google results if it includes video.

·         It increases engagement. Social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and image combined.

·         It supports revenue growth. Marketers who use video grew revenue 49% faster than those who didn’t use video in their campaigns.

If you don’t yet have a video marketing plan in place, here are a few things to keep in mind:

·         Keep videos in line with your brand. Logos, fonts and colours should remain consistent.

·         Include a video on your landing page. Ideas include product demos, a different take on the ‘about us’ section, testimonials, how-tos and explainers. This could increase your conversion rates by an astonishing 80%.

·         Incorporate video into your email marketing for a chance to boost clickthrough rates by 200-300%.

·         Keep videos under five minutes. Videos up to two minutes long get the most engagement.

·         Tailor your content to the channel. Social videos have more engagement than any other content format but each platform uses video differently, e.g. Snapchat creates a sense of urgency and YouTube supports longevity. Understand these nuances to ensure you have maximum impact.

·         Optimise for mobile. Keep videos short and use compression technologies so that they load quickly and aren’t data hungry.

·         Include subtitles. Some 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound. Including subtitles ensures that your message still comes across.

·         Tell a story. People relate and engage with stories more than brand or product messaging. Stories are also more shareable.

With an increasing number of high-quality, free video editing tools available today, getting started with your video marketing strategy has never been easier or more cost-effective. Start playing around today and experimenting with lighting, styles and content so that you can hit the ground running once those data costs drop.

  • Ernst Wittmann, Global Account Director MEA & Country Manager – Southern Africa at Alcatel

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TikTok looks for SA talent

The fast-rising short-video platform has launched a #PickMe campaign to discover local stars.

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TikTok, which claims to be the world’s leading destination for short-form videos, launches its first PickMe campaign, an effort to discover creative talents and provide a stage to express themselves in South Africa. Starting March 1, TikTok kicked off a month-long search through participants’ 15-second videos under hashtag #PickMe.

TikTok says it is committed to investing in South Africa and discovering the local talents. The PickMe campaign is supported by its local partners like Huawei, MTV Base and Digify Africa.

Local stars, including comedian and singer Lasizwe and singer Nadia Jaftha, have joined the campaign and called for users to show their talents on TikTok.

There are 5 categories of video shooting in the campaign, namely dance, acting, comedy, singing and cosmetics. Participants need to shoot a 15-second video using TikTok using #PickMe and tag @tiktok_africa to participate in the challenge. The finalists will be selected based on their video performance. The most popular and talented participants will have the chance to win prizes like Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphones, a day at MTV Base, and a once-off-presenter opportunity and attendance at an intensive video production workshop delivered by Digify Africa.

“TikTok has definitely evolved into something that everyone loves and uses. It’s given creators a space to create more unique content and also help the creator gain a whole new kind of fan base, ” says Preven Reddy, Imbewu The Seed TV-star and Megazone radio host who is also a TikTok user.

Says TikTok video creator Mihlali Nxanga: “As a young South African working towards being in the entertainment industry, TikTok has given me the platform to grow my following tremendously. Within 6 months, my fan base has grown by a whopping 90 000, and not only from South Africa, but the whole world. For me, TikTok is not just a content platform, it is a global community.”

The campaign will wrap up on March 31. The list of the finalist will be announced in the app and on official Instagram @tiktok_southafrica. For more information, please visit the TikTok app.

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Rugby fan experience transformed by digital platform

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The South African Rugby Federation has embraced digitalisation as a key enabler of its strategic aspirations. It has worked with Accenture to transform fan engagement for Springbok supporters with the launch of a digital fan platform.

“Digital technology and social media have transformed how modern fans watch, support and engage with their favourite teams,” says SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux. “To maintain our relevance amid this new market dynamic, and grow our fan base, we’ve acknowledged the vital need to digitally transform our organisation.”

Wayne Hull, managing director for Accenture Digital in Africa, says: “SA Rugby’s ambition to pivot to a more fan-centric strategy requires digital design, content, platforms and insights because modern consumers, including loyal Springbok supporters, engage predominantly via mobile digital channels and expect hyper-personalised experiences.”

Accenture Digital’s development process started with quantitative and qualitative research, which informed the user experience (UX) design guidelines and content strategy for the digital fan engagement platform.

“To know what fans want, we needed to understand the fans themselves,” says Hull. “The Accenture Digital team mined the research data and identified multiple fan ‘personas’, which all have different content consumption, platform functionality and engagement preferences.”

The platform development team focused on three critical elements to meet these requirements – the customer experience (CX), the engagement engine and cloud-based deployment.

“To deliver a memorable and engaging CX, Accenture Digital leveraged leading digital experience software,” says Hull. “The result is a fully integrated and responsive platform that creates seamless, personalised digital fan experiences across SA Rugby’s content, commerce and digital marketing initiatives in a manner that makes fans feel recognised and connected to the players and the game.”

The new platform will serve as the first point of call for any rugby fan who wants to get their data fix with exclusive statistics, analytics and insights. The platform’s content style will include more visual elements – videos and images – with more concise articles that are easier to digest, in accordance with evolving content consumption preferences on mobile screens. This will complement long-form thought leadership and insight pieces. 

In addition, fans will enjoy exclusive access to player-related content, such as behind-the-scenes footage and game and training performance stats. SA Rugby will also benefit from the ability to track comments and mentions via the Sitecore analytics platform Accenture Digital implemented, to respond and engage in the conversations Springbok fans are having on social media about the game, the teams or the players.

To do this, SA Rugby required a consolidated view of the customer. However, data resided in disparate sites across ticketing providers and SA Rugby’s e-commerce and online magazine databases. This information will be consolidated into the CRM system, with multiple integration points available to leverage this data.

The CRM system’s functionality will help to reveal insights such as fan communication preferences and their likes and dislikes, which will place hyper-relevance at the core of SA Rugby’s fan experience and engagement strategy.

 The final element in the platform development was cloud deployment, which allows fans to access the platform from any device that has an internet connection. The platform is hosted within the Microsoft Azure environment, which is stable, secure and fully redundant. It gives SA Rugby the flexibility to manage the platform themselves, with the option to integrate or scale additional functionality down the line.

Based on the outcome, Hull believes that Accenture Digital has successfully reimagined, built and delivered a world-class, modern and mobile-friendly digital fan platform that creates a fun, immersive and engaging experience for fans.

“It’s a major step towards helping SA Rugby realise its ambition to become a fan-centric, forward-looking and nimble organisation, and we look forward to building and developing the platform further with the team as their digital fan engagement requirements evolve,” says Hull

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