Marketing in disrupted times, all sectors appear to have fallen in love with video. Yet it remains a tentative marketing vertical for betting incumbents. Aaron Duckmanton, Head Of Marketing & Content at real-time video editing technology Grabyo, puts the industry straight on Video dynamics… Pay attention, please!
SBC: Hi Aaron, thanks for the interview. As a medium, how has video disrupted but also further complicated marketing disciplines for all business stakeholders?
Aaron Duckmanton: Thanks, It’s a pleasure to speak to SBC, it’s certainly an interesting time for sports and brands looking to leverage video content.
Since it was labelled a ‘megatrend’ by Zuckerberg in 2017, video has arguably become the most important tool for marketers looking to create any form of relationship with new, existing and importantly, young audiences. Particularly across digital and social platforms.
We now consume 66 minutes of video daily, and it estimated we will be watching an extra 9 minutes a day by 2020. So video is no longer that megatrend, it forms the makeup of our daily routine and represents the best medium to reach, educate, entertain, engage and monetise audiences.
The growth in video consumption has been driven by the advance in mobile technology and connectivity, coupled with the proliferation of social digital and OTT platforms. Video viewing has made it possible for brands to deliver video content to any audience, anywhere, anytime. As consumers continue to watch more video content across more platforms, marketers are forced with the continuing challenge to find ways to super-serve audiences.
This has placed the onus on marketers and brands to continually evolve the way they produce video content and embrace technologies and platforms. It’s no longer just enough to produce one piece of content and share it across multiple platforms; audiences expect different viewing experiences tailored to their chosen platforms, they demand the flexibility to watch on-demand, live but retain the control to decide what content is of interest and which is not.
This means brands, especially betting companies, need to understand which video format, length and story will work with audiences on each platform – understanding this and having an effective strategy for multi-platform video delivery is key to ensuring success.
We are also at a point where as marketers we are getting more actionable insights from video, which is shaping the way we understand our audiences, target them and ultimately convert them.
SBC: In 2018, why is it such an important function for sports brands to be active and immersive storytellers? And why is video the best tool for building brand narratives?
AD: When storytelling is put at the heart of video content, audiences find themselves more connected and engaged with a brand, done correctly video content drives emotion and generates real-time interaction that other mediums can’t provide.
Video provides sports brands, teams and broadcasters with the platform to transport audiences from their phones and into the narrative of a story. Can’t make a game? Your club’s Instagram feed will feature enough content each Saturday to make it feel as if you were actually in the tunnel before the game – or if you missed the game on T.V, there are multiple options to watch the key moments, goals or highlights on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
The number of platforms for sports brands, rights holders and broadcasters can be looked at as a production headache, but for those who embrace each platform as its own individual entity, they each represent a unique opportunity to bring immersive storytelling to multiple audiences through different video content types.
In recent years the biggest tool for sports storytelling has been the adoption of live content on social and digital platforms. By embracing live video, brands, particularly sports brands are able to create new content formats that drive community participation and engagement. Direct to social or digital live shows provide a huge opportunity for forward-thinking brands to come up with new creative ideas and formats that offer a complimentary viewing experience away from traditional TV.
The flexibility that going live on social platforms offers allows brands to control their own schedule, going live around key events and peak times for traffics, i.e. 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon. Taking advantage of this real-time delivery is still one area that the betting and gaming industry needs to catch up.
Gambling is no longer a high street activity, we all bet on the go, on our mobile phones and use social platforms to discuss and engage with friends and directly with online sportsbooks, we are all part of the ‘request-a-bet’ movement, yet there is still no video content that reflects this, the market is primed for someone to come in and disrupt the way consumers interact with
SBC: What traditional marketing values do you believe Video content directly challenges. What factors are becoming obsolete due to video engagement and trends?
AD: Video has directly disrupted one of the cornerstones of marketing: brand retention. Consumers report retaining 95% of a message after watching a video, and only 10% after reading. This present opportunities and challenges for brands, but most of all highlights the most effective form of content marketing.
Engagement numbers tell us that real-time and live video is where the market is going. Brands must create video with the purpose to create conversations across social and digital platforms. Gone are the days that simply creating content was enough to win customers. Interactive video content creates memorable experiences for consumers, while quality video clips ensure multiple positive touchpoints with high retention.
Video is an extremely measurable marketing tool; views, engagement, shares – the resonance of video campaigns is easily analysed. A wider trend in marketing, measurability justifies the spend and video metrics are rarely disappointing when compared to other mediums.
SBC: From a brand development perspective, how should traditional marketing teams be set-up, to take advantage of video production and output?
AD: We are heading to a point where marketing and social teams have to be skilled at producing video content, specifically when it comes to content on social platforms. There are a number of tools out there now that have removed the complex nature of quick video production allowing almost any marketing professional to quickly capture video content, edit aspect ratios, add text, graphics and branding and distribute to multiple platforms.
This has been driven by the real-time nature of audience consumption, for sports brands and companies. It’s essentially an arms race to get quality, well-produced video content out before your competitors. Everyone is fighting for the same eyeballs across the same platforms and as much as storytelling, production values and quality count, so does speed – It’s now essential for marketers/social managers to be able to produce and distribute content in real-time.
SBC: As a marketer, can you point to a video campaign that has personally blown you away and why so?
AD: Like most, I was fascinated by the most recent campaign by Nike – the use of talent to convey raw emotion through video, whilst tackling prominent social issues head-on was brilliant, similarly with Gatorade’s content for this years NCAA season. These are two giants of the video advertising world, and we have come to expect more from them.
The most noticeable use of video for me, however, came from The English Football Association, who did a fantastic job this year using video as a key medium to bring the England fans closer to the national team. An effective video strategy that started with the team announcement, and rolled all the way through and after the World Cup removed many of the barriers that have plagued the relationship between England and the fans at major tournaments.
The highlight was ‘The Lions Den’, a daily YouTube show which was hosted from inside the England hotel. This was a creative and brilliant way to make the most out of the available rights and access the FA had. With so many commitments to their broadcast partners and sponsors, The Lions Den was a show in which the FA controlled the narrative, guests and owned the content.
The team behind video, social and marketing were brave enough to do this each day and would do so win, lose or draw, creating a live forum for fans to have their say in real-time, even talking directly to players and the manager from time to time. It was the perfect use case of ‘social first’ broadcasting where interactivity, access and the fans were put at the heart of the production.
SBC: Finally, where is video heading, what should all marketing stakeholders be prioritising in terms of their brand and content?
AD: Put simply video should be the number one priority when it comes to content.
The evolution of video and consumer habits have been symbiotic. As viewers look to break free from the restrictions of traditional broadcast media and begin to use better mobile devices on faster networks, online video has become more accessible, and consumption has risen.
Video then started to advance in quality and quantity, as publishers fight for audiences. The market has become busier, servicing even niche interests across a range of platforms, including social media. Today, cross-platform delivery and innovation is critical to winning views, achieving brand retention and winning customers.
Video is going nowhere. A sentiment that is largely shared by the major social media platforms, most of whom are vying to become entertainment venues as well as networking tools. The recent launches of Facebook Watch and IGTV show how the market is shaping up, and publishers have already started to take note of the significant engagement and reach social video achieves.
In terms of content, live video will be the key to capturing these vast social video audiences. Audience participation through live polls and comments create communal experiences for viewers, shaping a positive brand sentiment and creating a loyal audience who will watch more often and for longer.
We also can’t forget about VR, AR and 4K. Consumers are looking for new and exciting innovation in video content, and publishers who satisfy this demand will consistently come out on top. Consumers expect brands to keep improving and delivering new content in order to hold their interest.
Aaron Duckmanton – Grabyo – Head Of Marketing & Content