Since time immemorial, television has been a common feature of humanity. It’s quite interesting to note that social media has also become heavily characterised by video as the dominant form of content. Actually the total amount of social media video content produced so far eclipses all total television content ever produced. It is projected that by the end of this year at least 80% of total global consumer-related traffic on the internet will be video-based. Projections are also placing the proportion of businesses using videos for ads at over 85%. Some global surveys conducted unearthed that approximately 65% of respondents exhibited a preference for videos as the most potent means of raising brand awareness. Why is this so though? Let’s discuss.

Retention Of Information

I have in several instances indicated that human attention spans are shortening. It is suggested that it has plummeted to levels lower than that of goldfish (goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds). This is a disaster when you are dealing with text-based content as virtually little or no information gets internalized. Videos, however, account for approximately 95% of internalization of information by the brain. Why is this so? Videos don’t exert cognitive stress on the brain thereby making it easy to internalize & retain information communicated.

Video Content Is Engaging

The sole purpose of producing content is to engage people so that they make the decision to associate with your brand. Implicitly, this means that subsequent conversions are driven by high levels of engagement. It only takes on average, the first 10 seconds for one to make a decision of continuing to watch a video or not. No wonder videos are effective because you only need 10 seconds to capture the attention of someone (unlike text which takes time). Video content has proven that it elicits very high levels of engagements. The moment you incorporate video into your content, you increase engagement rates by at least 30%. In comparison to other forms of content e.g. text, videos are at least 1000% more likely to be shared. Video-premised content can attribute to at least 60% surge in leads with brand visibility being augmented by a factor of over 5 out 10.

Favourable to Search Engine Algorithms

Here is the catch, I have already indicated that videos drive high engagement rates right? What this translates to is a scenario where lots of people interact with your content and also in turn, share it. Search engine (Google, for instance) algorithms are programmed to recognize any content that is highly viewed or interacted with. So with video it can only get better as more people get to view the videos due to their easy discoverability in search engine searches.

Bridging The Virtual Barrier

Social media is characterised by impersonal interactions that are devoid of physical interactions. This can make people very sceptical or suspicious of having to interact with people virtually without a face put to their personalities. This here is why video is so potent – it bridges that gap. Video means you get to put the face to the personalities. You also get to make body language & emotive inferences since you get to interact with people by actually seeing them. Aspects such as sincerity, emotional connections & trust can be fostered effectively by video-based interactions. In a way you can say that video creates a semblance of physical interaction in a very compelling way & this makes it very popular.

Video Content Encapsulates 3 Key Winning Ingredients

Basic knowledge on how people learn or assimilate information cites different ways in which people do that. Some of the common ways are visual learning, auditory learning & kinaesthetic (story-telling or demos) learning. So the thrust to produce potent content will be to come up with content that’s all-encompassing i.e. appeals to people’s different learning styles. Video content encapsulates all those 3 in one package; making it far-reaching because people with different learning styles can benefit from just one video. The visual, auditory & kinaesthetic aspects can all be coalesced in a video.

The Youth Demographic Loves Video

A third of total internet users are on YouTube (this translates into over half a billion video views daily on the platform). Facebook boasts of over 8 billion video views daily. You might want to know that the majority of users on these platforms are in the 18 to 34 age group. This also happens to be the most populated age group (with for instance, 70% of the African continent’s population being aged below 30). My point is this: video content is so popular because young people love videos so much. Youths have a high affinity for watching videos due to their curious and explorative nature – a young person can devote hours a day to watching anything video-based.

Just Pure Statistics

The other reason that has epitomized video content as the king of content is just pure statistics. Some people don’t even empirically know why video content is the most effective; all they know is it works (simply because the stats indicate that). A lot of people or businesses now employing the use of video content were inspired by the statistics.

Where Zimbabwe Stands On This

Zimbabwe, as is the case for most trends, is playing catch-up – but I can say we are doing great. If you go on Facebook, Instagram etc, you will see that Zimbabweans are now big on producing and propagating video content.

The effectiveness of video content is off-the-charts with some placing it at over 500% more potent that all other forms put together. Did you know that if we were to translate every detail of a video into text – that would be, on average, almost 2 million words/minute. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; I can safely say a video is worth a million words. That’s what makes the video the lion of the content jungle.