The world of digital publishing has changed tremendously over the years, with the rise of heavy social media consumption initiating a major transformation in content creation and distribution.
Research firm The Diffusion Group recently found that consumers now spend at least 50 hours a week in front of a digital screen, with smartphones quickly becoming the preferred device, Rapid TV News reported. Much of this time spent on mobile is on social media networks, giving rise to "social-mobile," or SoMo - a new focus area for marketers and publishers.
The effects social media has had on digital publishing are already apparent. Many users now use social media networks as their primary source of news. Stories are published and shared individually, attracting viewership on a per article basis, rather than drawing readers to the publication as a whole. Each piece of content needs to be created and designed in a way that is most likely to grab attention - a task that has become increasingly harder to do where online platforms are crowded with content and competition. The attention span of readers is waning. Everything from the headline to the format of the article and multimedia elements must be optimized to spark engagement, fueling the pressure for publishers to adopt a strategic approach to digital content distribution.
"Mobile usage is shifting towards social networking apps, and social networking apps are shifting towards video," TDG Senior Analyst Joel Espelien explained to Rapid TV News "All the trends are lining up in favor of massive growth in SoMo Video over the next decade."
The future of digital videos
When it comes to the various digital content formats available to publishers and marketers today, video is an incredibly versatile option - which also helps explain its massive popularity. The multimedia tool can be used for entertainment, promotions, instruction and education, across virtually every field. Web and social videos have even played a role in the medical and scientific research community: Two years ago, people used social videos to promote the "Ice Bucket Challenge" in an attempt to grow awareness and raise money for ALS. Recently, The ALS Association announced that it actually worked and led to a major research breakthrough by discovering a new gene. Video has also been heavily adopted for its convenient application in academic and eLearning environments. However, one area where it is poised to undergo incredible growth is the marketing realm. According to Animoto research:
- 80 percent of consumers find product demo videos helpful.
- 1 in 4 lose interest in businesses without a video.
- Consumers are twice as likely to read an email newsletter if it has a link to a video in it.
Drew Harwell, a reporter for The Washington Post, explained that the amount of ad spending on web video has doubled over the past couple years, now reaching $10 billion. Furthermore, the source added, earlier this year, the vice president of Facebook named it as "the best way to tell stories in this world," predicting that, over the next five years, the social media network would evolve entirely to video. Given these statistics and trends, it's hard to ignore the critical role that video plays in a publisher's digital content strategy. As Harwell pointed out, businesses must adapt their approach to content creation and distribution in a way that caters to this "new generation of viewers."
"Digital publishers must evolve content strategies."
Preparing for a social video strategy
With new digital platforms and channels come new viewer expectations - and opportunities for publishers to expand their reach. Staying ahead of the latest content development tools, trends and technologies can be difficult. Publishing digital media that is still somewhat in its infancy can be overwhelming and complex to navigate; the landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, with developers now having to tailor content to ensure seamless translation across more devices and systems than ever before.
As social-mobile continues to evolve and disrupt the digital publishing landscape, it is going to become increasingly necessary for businesses to innovate and adapt their content creation and distribution strategy. Videos are an unfamiliar territory for many organizations and, as with any type of content or media creation, it should be optimized properly - which requires certain technical skills and software solutions.
If marketers and publishers are interested in capitalizing on the value social-mobile and video content has to offer, while simultaneously minimizing operations costs and overhead, it is highly recommended to partner with a third-party service provider that specializes in digital production and can guarantee measurable results.