After 5 years of recession, Irish consumers are going digital, the result of which is that a growing share of consumer spending has become ‘invisible’ in the wider economy.
61% of consumers bought Christmas gifts online last year with an average spend of €219 = €385 million …75% of our online sales go overseas.
Source: Amárach Omnibus, January 2014 survey of 1,000 adults.
The value of online spending has risen from €3.7bn in 2012 to €4bn in 2013 which is expected to rise to €4.5bn by the end of this year with an eventual expected spend estimate of €5.7bn in 2016.
Shoppers are now becoming what’s known as ‘smart shoppers’ doing their product research online to find the most suitable product for their needs via product videos and customer reviews, and of course researching the best price to pay.
49% have used smartphones to check for lower prices while still in a shop, while 59% have checked out a product in a shop before buying it online.
Source: Amárach survey of smartphone owners November 2013.
More and more we are seeing retail ‘showrooms’ moving away from the traditional static shop front to a more economical web based environment. Businesses are offering ‘online exclusive’ offers to entice shoppers to move online. More social interaction is involved with shoppers reviewing goods and services establishing a sense of trust and transparency online.
Now it's more important than ever to have a good online presence, the traditional idea of an office space or shop front is becoming a thing of the past. Location, Location, Location in the geographical sense is no longer the mantra of the retailer but rather Location, Location, Location, in terms of Google ranking and social media interaction.
Using video to promote your product or brand online is becoming increasingly important.
Video advertising as opposed to traditional print advertising is cost effective, once your video is produced and uploaded to the web, that single video can be:
- Posted on your website
- Shared on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Sent to present or prospective clients via email newsletters
- Video is search engine friendly
- Uploading a video to Youtube exposes your product or brand not only to an Irish audience, but to 800 million monthly users worldwide
- Sharing a video on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter is free
- Including video in your digital marketing campaign can increase sales by up to 50%
According to a report by PwC and IAB Ireland, the only segment of the Irish market set again for double digit growth over the period (2012-2016) will be internet advertising, at 15.4% CAGR. In 2011, the Irish internet advertising market was valued at US$187 million (based on the annual study of the industry conducted by PwC on behalf of IAB Ireland), and this is predicted to grow to US$383 million in 2016. This will position internet advertising as the largest advertising channel in Ireland, representing almost 30% of the total 2016 advertising market.
The following are the UK IAB’s digital advertising spend figures, which include online, mobile and tablets, showing details of the full year 2012.
- Video up 46% to £160m; social media up 24% to £328m.
- Mobile spend crosses half billion £ mark; now accounting for 10% of digital spend.
- Digital advertising up £607m; mobile driving over half this growth.
- FMCG overtakes Finance as biggest digital display advertiser.
This tracking study, dating back to 1997, represents the official industry figures and acts as the barometer for the health of the market.
It should be established by now that there are currently clear benefits in using online video content to communicate with your customers. Furthermore, it will not come as a shock to you that the video content you are putting out there should be of a high quality. However, it is important to investigate exactly what we believe to be quality video and how it can be achieved.
We won't be undertaking a study into what quality itself is - you can read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for that. Rather we'll be looking at user expectations, technical requirements and how extremely easy it is to get these all horribly wrong and the consequences to your brand.
Getting stuck right in.. Sound quality is paramount - your dialogue contains your message and expresses character through the actor or voiceover (VO) artist whereas suitable music or effects can introduce a relevant mood. These elements are all necessarily of a high standard to ensure your viewer continues viewing, and has a favorable perception of your product impressed upon them
To achieve good sound you need, in a nutshell, professional quality microphones of a type suitable for the shoot, positioned correctly. The audio must be recorded onto a high quality digital recording device in an uncompressed format to eliminate noise and to retain the original quality. It's necessary to be familiar with the recording device in order to set the recording format and levels correctly. If any of these factors are compromised at all, the viewer will immediately be aware and they will probably move on.
An iPhone shoots HD video right? Your little handicam has a tripod adaptor, can we shoot on that? Absolutely this will not do. A better quality video in the right hands can be shot on a 10 year old video camera than on a modern camera in the hands of an amateur. Also, using a brand new device does not mean the light passing through its lens will be of any use to you or the poor editor who has to work with it.
There are so many boxes to tick here and considerations to explore. Your camera should have a high quality lens or your footage will be fuzzy, dark, the colours will be drab and poor overall. A good tripod is necessary to ensure a stable image when necessary, and smooth pans when called for. A wobbly image or jerky pan will destroy the quality of your video.
Again, a whole world of clamps, bulbs, filters, gels to contend with. But it all boils down to the art of making sure your subject is lit well, which means ensuring there are no unflattering shadows and they are neither too dark nor too bright. Using the correct lighting kit is important, particularly when mixing daylight with artificial light, or you might find your blue sky looks great but your interviewee has turned green.
Almost every computer in the world now has an application installed to edit video. But this doesn't mean that everyone who takes advantage of this fact is producing great videos. iMovie and Movie Maker are great but professional packages such as Sony Vegas, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro are expensive for a reason and their users study those applications and take exams for a reason, which is that they are very flexible, powerful and riddled with features that enhance and enrich the end product.
We hope this has given you some insight into the complexities of video production, and some pointers on how to get it right if you decide to do it yourself. However, of course we're recommending that the best course of action is to outsource the production to a company who specialises in online video production. They should be able to take your current branding guidelines and incorporate them into any new video content so it seamlessly integrates with your existing website content.
YouTube, probably the best known video sharing site online today receives over 5,000,000 hits a month from Ireland alone and uploading a video to YouTube also means you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn in fact anywhere on the web!
The search engine Google recently announced changes to the way it ranks content, pages/sites now ranked highest are sites publishing original content which is relevent and interesting. One way Google do this is by taking note of social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The ‘Like” button introduced first on Facebook closely followed by YouTube and soon to be introduced on Google itself as the +1 button, enables the viewer to vote on content and is seen as a public stamp of approval.
The pace at which people are uploading videos to social media sites is growing quickly. A good quality video can now be easily shared across a network of social media sites by anyone with an internet connection. If the video is ‘liked’ or receives positive feeback in the form of ‘comments’ together with proper titling and tagging an online video may well outrank its normal text based site.
The example used is an online product demonstration video for Irish college Gaelchultúr which MediaConnect recently produced. The video showcases the product ‘Quickguide Irish Grammar’. Within 4 minutes the viewer has seen the guide, its unique design, its size, its branding, they’re shown how to use the guide, given examples as to who might use the guide and given an online link where they can purchase the guide. After only 3 weeks online the video had already received over 3,000 views. Published in January 2011, QuickGuide Irish Grammar is Gaelchultúr’s fastest-selling product.
Link here to watch the video.
This is a clear example of how effective online video can be for Irish businesss.
With the advent of Google TV and Ireland’s move towards the new digital age, the internet will no longer be something we view solely on computers - TV will be the viewing station of the not too distant future. This change will see a huge shift from text based websites to online video.
This trend can already be seen in the UK with internet traffic to video websites up 40.7% over the past year, while in the US online video is predicted to surpass broadcast TV by 2020.
Most brand websites already feature online video. Findings from “Online Video & Media Industry” indicate that nearly 85% of brand managers surveyed currently use online video for marketing products or services while 75% of those not using video plan to do so in the next 12 months.
According to PwC Ireland’s ‘Entertainment and Media Outlook’ report, “Over the next five years digital technologies will progressively increase their impact across all segments of entertainment and media (E&M) as digital transformation continues to expand and escalate. The uncertain economic background has done nothing to slow the ever advancing digital transformation or the rapid consumer uptake of new media experiences. With internet advertising showing growth of 12.2% in 2010 and 16.3% compounded annually over the five year forecast.”
The reality is that 85% of the population are online on a regular basis, either for work or for personal use and with so much information available on the web, demand is growing for instant communication. Given the option, people prefer both the personal quality a video provides and the ease with which it can be viewed. A one minute video introduces the person, the product and the business and may be all that’s necessary for a viewer to become a client or customer.
Case study: Gaelchultúr Irish Language College, Dublin.
In 2009, Gaelchultúr began commissioning video content for use on their e-learning website, to be used alongside audio and text-based course material. Furthermore, video podcasts were produced following tutor-led classroom-based activities that can then be viewed by an expanding overseas audience or those who wish to study in their own time. User feedback has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the use of video and is saving many hours of teaching time by having video teaching materials available on demand.
It appears that the commercial digital divide in Ireland will be brought about by those presenting high quality video content versus those who try to make do without. The key to effectively engaging with the digital audience will be the growing market of media production houses and the search engine gurus directing hoards of visitors to see your video content.
Article written by Ruth Tuite – Online media specialist with MediaConnect.ie