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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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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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