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6 min read

Is Video the Answer to ‘Peak Content Consumption’?

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

This blog was inspired by the keynote at PPC Hero Conference in October, hosted by Facebook’s US Agency Development Lead, Jason Dailey. Jason’s keynote wasn’t explicitly about content consumption, or even about video on Facebook. But for anybody interested in the psychology of marketing, the keynote was a thought-provoking look at content consumption in 2017 and beyond, raising the question; have we reached peak consumption?

Interestingly, the answer to (or rather the way to tackle) this pointed in one very clear direction… video. 


Why Everyone is a Performance Marketer

With search and social advertising becoming the essential ingredients of any successful marketing program, Jason argued that every type of marketer is now a performance marketer; driving consumer outcomes with data-driven channels and high volumes of content.

Even typically ‘old school’ channels such as out-of-home advertising and television are becoming ever more data-driven with increasing options for advertisers to personalise the experience for their audience (something Ben recently addressed in his blog; Digital Marketing 2037), with video being the primary enabler of this. This naturally progresses advertisers towards the methods used by performance marketers.

Both search and social, though fundamentally different, have proven to be highly effective and efficient for customer demand generation and fulfillment. Jason pointed out that;

Search, with its ability to ‘pull’ users into a brand’s message and social, with its ability to ‘push’ a message to a highly targeted audience are capturing a greater portion of global advertising dollars every year.

Jason addressed the question every marketer has asked (or been asked by their client, CEO, etc)… “How can I get more bang for my buck?”, or more specifically; “How can I get my channels working together to increase my sales/leads”. With billions of pieces of marketing content being produced every year (and ‘content’ itself covering a huge range of mediums), all competing for your target audience’s attention, this becomes a big challenge. 

Jason’s answer to this was, you guessed it, video. And more specifically, video on mobile.


Let’s Start with Some Mind Blowing Stats

On mobile, one quarter of all time is spent on Facebook properties (Facebook itself, Instagram and Facebook Messenger), dominating the social media market in the West.

On Facebook, on mobile alone, 100,000,000 hours of video is consumed every single day.

As if that wasn’t enough, it is predicted that by 2020, 75% of all mobile data usage will be video.

Not only is Facebook and video changing mobile usage, it’s also changing the way content is consumed. Video is watched fast; the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. It’s watched frequently; the average user will check in on their Facebook feed ten to fifteen times per day. And finally, video is most commonly watched with sound off, primarily due to the environments in which users are consuming this content medium (on public transport, in queues, etc).


It’s a Millennial Thing

Interestingly, Jason shared the insight that Facebook has identified a difference in demographics in the ways users consume new mediums of content.

Mobile scroll speed is much higher for millennials than older audiences who are not digital natives. It’s proven that humans are not only consuming but also retaining, information faster than ever before (i.e Millennials have evolved for Facebook!)

On the one hand, this is good news; more content consumption means more opportunities for marketers. But the flip side of this is, your brand’s content is competing for your target audience’s attention.

Is video the ‘thumb-stopping’ content that cuts through the noise? While users may be consuming more than ever before, does this quantity mean quality is being compromised?


Quality of Engagement

A study looking at a gargantuan 50 million pieces of content across all primary social media channels found that despite 75.7 billion interactions, average engagement has decreased by 17%. But when it comes to video, this is not necessarily the case…

A further neuromarketing study, carried out by Facebook, showed that when on a mobile device, users paid 82% more attention to the content they were consuming. In addition to this, the rate of distraction was 79% lower than when they were shown the same content on a television.

The same study showed that users typically felt more relaxed when watching a video ad on their TV screen (as we are generally in a more relaxed state when watching TV). Whereas the parts of the brain that control emotions such as excitement, or feeling inspired, were being triggered at a much higher rate when users saw the ad on a mobile device.

All good news for marketers in the mobile-first (and increasingly video-first) world.


Tackle Peak Consumption with Video

With all of this is mind, Jason ended his talk by giving delegates his top tips for using video on mobile to cut through the noise, reduce ‘peak consumption’ fatigue, and create truly thumb-stopping content;

  • Collaborate. Don’t create silos between search and social teams; the brand message being carried by your shiny new video should also be present, not only in search campaigns, but in all marketing collateral. The message will resonate and be remembered by your audience at their various brand touchpoints.
  • Design for sound off. Watch your video on mute; if it doesn’t convey the message you’re aiming for, demonstrating your products USPs, etc, then consider adding subtitles, or even reproducing the video specifically for use on social media.
  • Increase visibility with square video rather than horizontal to gain more real estate in social media feeds.
  • Introduce your brand early. Studies have shown that brand recognition and recall are highest when the brand is introduced within the first 12 seconds.
  • Create a fast and frictionless mobile experiences. Make sure your file size and format don’t result in the dreaded buffer wheel.
  • If you don’t have the budget for video production, use lightweight motion, GIFs or twitch motions to capture your audience’s attention.
  • Don’t wait for purchase intent. Create it by collapsing the marketing funnel. Marketers can bridge the gap between discovery and purchase by know when customers are ready to buy, and presenting the right content at the right time.
  • Test, test, and test again. Audiences, ad copy, video content, soundtrack (and more!) should all play a part in structured split tests.
  • Consider how your campaigns are using attribution models. The new customer journey requires new measurement solutions. Last click attribution doesn’t give the full picture and linear doesn’t give accurate credit; beware that clicks can lead you astray. Shift your campaign’s measurement methods to the cross-everything world!


If you’d like to speak to a member of Impression’s PPC team about how your brand can leverage the power of video for social media advertising, get in touch!