In 2017, video once again grabbed the attention of businesses looking to connect with consumers. Brands flocked to Facebook’s new video platform in hopes of reaching a wider audience, Snapchat redesigned its platform in hopes of attracting content creators, and many companies began to seriously invest in their online video presence — and it looks like 2018 will follow the same track. In fact, over 70% of media companies said “Yes” or “probably yes” when asked if their company would increase spending on video in 2018, according to a recent survey conducted by Wochit.
“Our organization is noting increases in video consumption nearing 200% year-on- year. In addition, South Africans are developing an appetite for live-streamed events and follow these closely,” Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath of News24 in South Africa
The survey, which consisted of 348 responses, with the majority (64.1%) coming from individuals working at a publisher or media company, also suggested that companies are looking to experiment in new formats, with a large focus on live streaming. Seventy-five percent of all participants and 82.9% of the publisher/media group expressed their interest in experimenting with the format. In second place was 360 degree video followed by interactive video.
Video Strategy Goals for 2018
“It’s an obviously growing space. More clients want video and more people are consuming video. It would be stupid not to be investing in video,” Christian Hull, Digital Video Producer at Australian media company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).
Despite money making the world go round, when asked to project the primary goal of their video strategy in 2018, a slight majority (50.9%) of survey participants cited growing social audience as their key objective — of course, the larger the following, the higher probability of increasing revenue.
Monetization was markedly behind, with only 23.5% of all respondents citing increased advertising dollars as the primary goal, however this was higher among publishers/media (29.6% vs. 12.8% of non-publisher/media respondents). The non-publisher/media group placed a larger emphasis on the need to keep up with changing consumer interests, with 32.0% selecting this as the main goal.
Where do publishers plan to focus their video-posting energy?
When it comes to finding the right outlet to reach audiences there are several companies that come to mind, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. But which one seems to have the most appeal to publishers? According to the survey 90.8% of all respondents, 94.4% in the media/publisher group, planned to focus their video posting efforts on Facebook this coming year. YouTube was cited as on the plan for two-thirds of respondents, slightly less (58.9%) in the media/publisher group.
Biggest Challenge of Online Video
While most content creators plan to double-down on video in 2018, challenges and questions about the future remain. The most common point of concern is resource related, with frequent questioning of just how much personnel, technology, time and money, are needed to execute an effective video program. In Wochit’s survey, 69.5% cited the time and effort needed to craft compelling videos as the biggest challenges with which they struggle.
“Skills, equipment and time are among the most challenging obstacles. We need to be able to create high quality video with minimal equipment quickly,” Sean Heisey of the York Daily Record
The second most prominent concern voiced by participants is that of ROI. With available metrics often seeming rather opaque, especially regarding the types of content audiences enjoy and want to see more of, 36.2% felt they couldn’t necessarily understand what factors would enable them to boost their relative success.
Biggest grower of 2017
The biggest grower of 2017 was Instagram, which made it on the target list for 61% of publishers and media companies. The platform’s Stories feature, which added 200 million new users since the beginning of the year, officially surpassed the size of its biggest influence, Snapchat. With just 166 million users, Snap only registered on the radar of 17.7% in our survey.
Twitter remains a contender, with 55.1% looking to engage on the platform, and even LinkedIn
is of interest to 16.7% of those surveyed.