Have we lost the art of storytelling?

Seven Media
Author: Gregg Fray

The way things are going, we’re in danger of completely saturating the digital world with video content. 

Some 500 million hours of video is watched on YouTube each week and – according to a recent report by Hootsuite – more video content is uploaded online every 30 days than the major US TV networks have created in the last 30 years.

With so much noise being created – and so much time spent consuming thousands of hours of instantly forgettable moving images – it is time to remind ourselves that we appear to have forgotten the art of storytelling.

This is easily done when we consider that even the worst of advertisements, if executed properly through social media channels, can reach millions of customers around the globe.

Virtually anyone can make a video and upload it, but we seem to have forgotten to ask ourselves the basics: Does it convey a message? Does it have a purpose? And the number one question … is it any good?

If you do get it right, you’re in luck, as there are now more social media platforms than ever before – from the 1 billion people who watch YouTube to the 165million active monthly Facebook users based here in the MENA region. That’s a lot of people literally waiting to be served decent content. 

Video is definitely the right way to target your audience as it has a 95 per cent retention rate. When you compare this to the 21 per cent retention rate of print, it’s already evident that video can guarantee more emotion, influence and action than any other form of advertising media. 

In this fast-paced world where an entire conversations can be summarised into 145 character Tweets, customers are becoming adverse to the verbose and wordy. They want their comms to be attention grabbing and entertaining. 

It has been proven that customers are 27 per cent more likely to click on a video than a standard ad on a web page. It is video that appeals to our senses and makes us curious to find out more and once we do, we’re share 12 times more on social than text and images combined. 

So, it’s been proven that video is the most effective media, but the best tends to mean the most expensive, right? Wrong. If targeted effectively, the cost per view can result in being as low as AED 0.01 per view – and that’s views of exactly the sort of person you want to see it.

The beauty of social media is that there are demographic tools, so you can set the advertisements to arrive straight on the screen of your dream customer. You can eliminate the unsuitable age groups, gender and geographic region so you have the best chance of reaching exactly who you want and need for your product. You can even target people who are active fans of your competitors! 

The initial creation of video can also be tailored to your budget as well. Gone are the Mad Men-style agencies filled with suits creating million-dollar blockbuster adverts. Now, audiences want their advertising to be authentic and tell a story. Recently, Seven Studios was hired to do a behind-the-scenes style video, in conjunction with a big budget advertisement. The result? Our behind-the-scenes video received higher engagement, because it was more relatable and interesting for the consumer. 

In this region, there is a place that consumes more videos daily than anywhere else around the entire globe. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 98 per cent of KSA can be reached through video. Previously, this KSA audience seemed a distant dream to many brands, especially those outside of the Middle East, but thanks to video, this important market can now be fully engaged. 

So before you decide to make a video for your brand, organisation or movement, it’s important to speak to a company that is able to understand your story and create something relevant and meaningful. They will be able to advise how and where to target the video, what social media channels are most relevant and the most effective way to boost through spend. As an award-winning social media agency in Dubai, we can help.

Until then, please, just don’t create video for video’s sake.