“We actually compete with sleep.” —Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix
From Slack to Twitter to HBO to e-mail, it’s estimated that consumers switch screens 21 times per hour and, on average, consume media for approximately 12 hours a day. It’s crystal-clear that competition for people’s time is a fierce as ever.
Many companies have focused on creating better creative to cut through the “noise” of it all. But when customers interact with your content, every part of the encounter matters. This is quite prevalent in my world of digital video, where viewers are interacting with content on their phones, TVs, laptops, and tablets from wherever they might be.
The experience for audiences in the ever-connected ecosystem not only needs to catch their attention, but it requires a seamless user experience, from choosing a video, watching a video, and then transitioning back to your site.
So how do you ensure that technology supports, rather than deters, your creativity?
Make Every Play Count
Scale is great. But scale means nothing if you don’t know who is watching.
For example, on many social platforms, brands get millions of video views, but when asked who those viewers are, they have no idea. The same goes for whether those viewers watched for the entire show or clip or just accidentally dropped by for a second or three.
Each video play is a new opportunity to shape your viewer’s experience of the world and your brand. And each play contains insight about your audiences—such as completion rates, audience segmentation, and engagement metrics—that can inform you about what is and isn’t working, how to adjust, and what to consider for future campaigns.
Those combined insights, along with the ability to shape the perception of your brand, are crucial to making the most of the content being distributed. A good example of an actionable insight is if your audience isn't watching your videos to the very end, but instead only tuning in to the first 20 seconds. This would tell a brand to make sure the most important content is in the first 20 seconds.
Tidy Up Your Tech
Author (and now Netflix star) Marie Kondo created the KonMari method of organizing that centers on keeping only the things that “spark joy.”
That notion applies to those of us in media and advertising, too. Many times we bring on a multitude of technology partners in order to help solve small but seemingly important problems. I see this constantly with media companies and brands that are setting up their ad tech stacks so as to maximize revenue and capture every interaction a consumer has with its content.
But that can require heavy reliance on tags and beacons—which could create a slow, clunky viewing experience for the audience, ultimately reducing engagement.
By streamlining and optimizing even the most basic advertising and marketing technologies on your owned and operated properties, you will be able to give the creative and content you host a boost by creating a faster, more enjoyable experience for your audience.
Controlling your Destiny
Crafting authentic, timely, and relevant experiences is a goal of all marketers leveraging video to tell stories that engage their audiences and build enduring relationships with them. And the more direct, unmediated connection that you have with your audiences, the more you are in control of your own destiny as a business.
But the details matter, and that’s why it starts and ends with open, complete, and flexible solutions that enable you to create unforgettable experiences for your viewers. When competing in the attention economy, you cannot leave those details up to chance—especially when sleep is your main competitor.