Staff Reporters
Mar 11, 2016

The drag on adopting video marketing

Video has become an important medium for brand marketing but adoption is still low, especially in Asia-Pacific. We asked the industry experts why and what’s taking it so long.

L-R: Tony Chow, Andrew Ballen, Alice Song
L-R: Tony Chow, Andrew Ballen, Alice Song

Tony Chow
Director, creative and content marketing
Marriott APAC

The popularity of YouTube is a good case in point, but there is an overabundance of videos. Many types of videos are online but varied in quality. Some top brands like Red Bull, PepsiCo and Airbnb are increasingly using the video medium as part of their content marketing to tell engaging stories. Video marketing has the power to entertain  consumers and the ability to build a stronger emotional connection. The challenge is how our videos can stand out from the clutter and be compelling enough to be shared. 

In Asia, adoption of video marketing is still low due to the production cost and time, and the lack of a content marketing team to provide a clear direction to support business objectives. So many brands prefer to write a blog or create a white paper, as the turnaround time is faster. There is also the question of ROI. As with any content marketing strategy, the conversion rate takes a while and consistent publication of video content will be required to see an impact. When producing videos, we need to ask ourselves: is video the best way to communicate the intended message instead of text? Who are the target audiences and what’s the story we wish to tell?

Andrew Ballen
CEO and founder
AVD Digital Media

The largest impediment to video marketing, part of a global consumer-content ‘revolution’, is the somewhat incestuous relationship between media buyers’ KPIs and online video platforms’ business models of yesteryear. For a decade, they have been selling jam-it-in-your-face ads—preroll, pop-up and banner display—purchased based on a greatly inflated CPM (cost per thousand impressions) count. This is untenable for digital-native consumers and economically unsustainable.

Simply put, digital natives don’t want to see these ‘push’ ads, best indicated by the meteoric rise in ad-blockers in web browsers like UC Browser with over 500 million users in India and China alone.

Equally, clients are aghast as they realise these ads are a monumental waste of good money and may even be harming their brands by annoying the very consumers they seek to form lasting bonds with.

These are the key issues to faster monetisation from video content. A change in thinking is what is needed. There are more efficient ways of generating audience engagement, brand affinity and, subsequently, data than preroll and banner-display ads. Video audiences—digital natives to be precise—are pining and ready for a frictionless way to engage with what they view and take an interest in.

Alice Song
Senior planning director
Grey Beijing

When we compare advertising with video marketing, advertising is clearer in sales direction, quicker and relatively lower in cost, whereas video marketing helps in building relationships with consumers and changing people’s perceptions and ultimately behaviour—but gradually.

In China, video marketing for most enterprises are still in early stages as they are more impatient, short-sighted and profit-driven. It is related to how determined they are to establish genuine brands. They don’t have sufficient confidence in video marketing initiatives that may not directly produce sales results.

We’ve all seen how insurance firms in Thailand make videos to tell emotional stories incorporating their brand values. These outstanding micro-movies add a touch of altruism to people’s lives and, in doing so, these firms have gained goodwill and trust among consumers.

I have worked on some very large Chinese insurance corporations, no doubt having the ability and resources to produce videos with a more CSR nature. But they are often worried those would overshadow their product messages and chose to focus on conventional ad in the end.

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