We meant it when we said creating the video using impact for impact’s sake will not work, at least not anymore. Heck, we even made a video reminding viewers (see elsewhere on this site). When videos are rolled out like a burst dam with the last count of approximately 400 hours of content uploaded on YouTube every minute, content publishers are bound to chase attention and views. Who can blame them (us) as higher view translates to greater popularity and indirectly equates success in monetary forms or otherwise?
Here-in lies the question within the “New Video Environment” when anyone and everyone is creating video content, how do we ensure we are not hurting our brands in the long run? To answer this question let’s move back to early 2010 when the video for marketing is starting to gain attention from marketers and brand owners. It was still a “do I or do I not” include video as part of the brand building arsenal. Video had a few false starts in those early years as different industry leaders made different claims and eventually lead to less than expected outcome. YouTube brought us the extraordinary concept of online video and it simply sparked so many imagination ever since. It has now taken another decade since its introduction of the video for marketing to finally come to the fore as we are today.
Coming back to the main point about the new environment where content creators are fighting for attention, the obvious route just like in advertising, was to shock and awe viewers, therein lies the impact. It was creatively an easy way out to impress in hope that viewers would remember who delivered that impact once it was viewed. Now that strategy totally disregards the principles of great brand building—if shock and awe wasn’t the brand’s DNA, to begin with. It happened briefly with United Colours of Benetton but it died swiftly eventually because of it. And just like many videos where weak branding and short-sighted marketing managers jump onto the bandwagon with the same intention and a confused strategy.
Recent YouTube influencer Logan Paul’s disaster is another example of chasing viewers through the strategy of impact for impact’s sake. His video created a huge controversy when he shared a dead body hanging on a tree in Japan’s Aokigahara forest nicknamed “Suicide Forest” and he adamantly wrote about his “find”. We all knew by now how that went for him as the petition to cancel his YouTube account picks up steam is soon reaching 200,00 signatures.
The moral of the lesson is that creating video content requires mindful and strategic planning for brands. While the impact is sometimes effective and even useful, it has to be thought out carefully. There are far too many video publishers and content creators making videos without proper brand considerations and it is another Logan Paul in waiting.
Picture courtesy of Pixabay