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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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YouTube Music announces Smart Downloads, SA playlists

The service has introduced Smart Downloads which takes allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically.

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The latest updates from YouTube Music, for subscribers of its Music Premium and Premium services, include a new feature that allows users to switch seamlessly between a song and its music video for an uninterrupted experience.

It has also introduced Smart Downloads which takes the work out of downloading music, allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically. YouTube Music has also announced new playlists for South Africa. 

The updates all reflect features that are popular on the global leader in music streaming, Spotify, and that have been key to its growth.

YouTube said in a statement on Friday: “Imagine listening to a new track by your favourite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video – no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple tap that keeps the music flowing. This standout new feature from YouTube Music allows YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers to make a seamless transition between a song and its music video for uninterrupted listening and/or watching. Whether you’re in the mood for listening or watching (or a little of both)… it’s all here – no app switching required.”

With Smart Downloads, YouTube Music automatically saves music at night, when connected to Wi-Fi, helping subscribers to use less mobile data, enjoy a smoother updating experience and save up to 500 songs offline using Liked Songs playlist as well as other playlists and albums. 


Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, they select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings. This means YouTube Music Premium subscribers with Smart Downloads enabled on their mobile devices can now access hundreds of tracks regardless of connectivity. 

This feature is currently available on Android, with plans to bring it to iOS in the future.

Click here to read more about YouTube Music playlists, and find out what is inside them.

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Make cars, not waste

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Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. 

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.

Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material. 

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**. 

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.

“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”

This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. 

Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Editor’s notes:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.

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