The secret to creating video content that really sticks

Posted by Jennifer Marlo on January 2nd, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Did you know that 90 percent of the world’s data was created within the last 2 years? No wonder we're all tired of the concept of "big data," as the sheer volume of information available today is both intimidating and overwhelming. The million dollar question is: what does it all mean?

"Data is meaningless and powerless without a good story," said Edwin Wong, Senior Director, Product & Media Insights, Yahoo, during his presentation at the thinkLA Video Summit in December.

According to Wong, the real secret to creating truly successful content is to foster daily habits in consumers. And those habits are formed when three major ingredients work together: access, content, and discovery.

Edwin Wong. Photo courtesy of thinkLA and photoLouis

Wong defines access as "the ability to watch where I want, when I want." An astounding 38 percent of consumers choose publishers that allow for this kind of viewing flexibility. Think of it this way: we all know that viewing behaviors change throughout the course of the day. When we're commuting in the morning and evening, we're watching content on our mobile devices. When we're at work, we’re watching videos on our desktop, and in the evening we're sitting in front of our TVs. If you can't access content where and when you want it, you are probably not ever going to view it.

If access is all about the where and when, content is about the what. These concepts are married to each other – when you're commuting and on your mobile device you're going to watch shorter-form content that usually takes shape as music or comedy. You’re also watching "snackable" content at your desk because, you know, you’re supposed to be working. Conversely, when you're at home at night, you're watching longer form content such as TV shows and movies. Therefore access, time of day, and type of content are directly correlated.

Discovery takes an even deeper dive into consumer psychology by asking the question "why are consumers sharing this video?" According to Wong, three of the most compelling reasons are:

I share video because I want to be cool
I share for shock to get a reaction
I share so you’ll share with me

That last point -- I share so you’ll share with me -- is what it really boils down to. We expect our friends to curate content for us, and they expect the same in return. So unless your video elicits a strong emotional reaction, is really informative, shocking, beautiful, or funny, that content will not be shared.

"We’re entering an age of reciprocity," said Wong. "When it comes to the ad model, we need to think about where ads go that will fulfill consumer needs. We’re moving away from broad mass-reach. We’re changing the way we act with consumers." Wong went on to stipulate that consumers are happy to share their personal shopping habits for more targeted ads -- as long as those ads are engaging, relevant, and "give something back"

For advertisers, this ultimately means not getting in the way of the user and using data respectfully. It also means working with publishers that have the right access points and understanding what types of content will be viewed where and when.

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