Why haven't you added video to your marketing plan this year?

Reim El Houni is an award winning Executive Producer and CEO of Ti22 Films, with extensive experience in the worlds of broadcast, corporate media, events and online. Reim worked on several IVCA winning projects and international live broadcasts in the corporate realm before moving to Dubai and creating the first English Language TV show at Dubai One - Out & About. Winner of 10 New York Festival Awards and a Cannes Award, Reim is also the founder of Dubai on Demand a growing lifestyle online presenter led channel. At Ti22 Films Reim consults multinationals, government entities and organisations and supports them with their video requirements.
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The new year is always a time of finding a new direction, usually after having reviewed whether or not a company met their KPIs the previous year. As you look back over 2016 and think through whether you did everything you could with your marketing efforts, please consider the list below of the top 5 video takeaways that every business needs to consider to make the most of 2017:

Produce Video

Simple! If you currently are not producing any video content, start! There has never been a time in the Middle East where consumers have been this engaged or consuming as much video content as they are right now. Across MENA we are consuming double the amount of video content online than the rest of the world. 

If you are trying to sell a product, raise awareness, educate a group, send a message—whatever your mission, a video will help you achieve that result and reach your audience in the fastest way.

So if your marketing plan currently does not include video, get on that.

Keep it short 

It’s a common mistake in the Middle East, as unfortunately, many local professionals associate value with length. Viewer retention is dropping, and over the last few months, various reports have stated that online audience retention has dropped even further from one minute forty seconds to one minute thirty seconds. 

Remember your video content should not feel like a shopping list. Your video needs to be short, impactful and to the point and give just enough information to grab someone’s attention to follow through with the call to action. The rest of the information about your products and services will be presented to the audience on your website or brochure or at the follow-up meeting. Do not make the deadly mistake of putting all your company information in one long feature film which no one will watch.

Have a different strategy for each social media platform 

Social media consumption is on the increase in the MENA region and video content, in particular, has the highest engagement, with 135% compared to photos. It is in your interest to be producing videos for all the various platforms you are using whether its Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snap Chat and so on. 

The key here is to identify what is working on each platform and have a different strategy for each.  

Perhaps Instagram works well to put your teaser video content up; Facebook is where put up behind the scenes videos; while your main content sits on YouTube.  

Different content for different platforms that has been thought out and created appropriately ensures a higher success rate.

Experiment with going live 

Going live was the ‘in’ thing for 2016! We’ve seen apps come and go in this space with Meerkat and Periscope—but Facebook Live has made going live from your events or announcements a very real possibility and allows the audience that exclusive ‘in the moment’ feel of being right there with you. 

If your company has not experimented with going live, I would recommend that you do and utilize the ability to ask your audience for feedback and gather their comments for insights into your business. 

Going live will help you develop a more personal relationship with your customers and allow you to give them access to a more ‘raw’ authentic version of the company.

Perception is reality 

Just because people are watching your brand on social media, does not mean that you can get away with promoting your brand in a ‘cheaper’ way. At the end of the day, your video communication is still an extension of your brand. You need to be smarter with your video content to make it engaging, and often you will need more of it to keep the video content consistent. 

However, this does not mean you cut corners with the production process. At the end of the day, like it or not, the audience is judging a book by its cover, only these days they are judging your company by its video, so please make it a good one!