Online video can be crowded out

In our latest series of blogs, we examine the evolution of video’s role in marketing and reasons why the medium is now starting to take hold in direct mail.

Reason 3: Online video can be crowded out

With more than 3.25 billion hours of video being watched on YouTube each month, it is inevitable that the proliferation of choice is having a negative effect on our ability to focus. The average attention span of an individual is now as low as eight seconds, a statistic that is said to be declining by a staggering 88 per cent each year. Research indicates that UK adults spend around 24 hours – the equivalent of one whole day – online every week.

Types of video continue to grow and develop as brands unleash their creativity on this highly flexible and increasing accessible medium. Video can be recorded live, generated by users (UGC), depict virtual reality, or immerse you in a 360-degree experience. It can be filmed from the sky by drone camera, incorporate graphics or animation, be created with big-budget resources or simply captured on a smartphone. What all these types of video have in common is that they can easily be interrupted if they are published online. Because video so often exists within the uber-stimulating world of the internet, it must work increasingly hard to make an impact.

While video online is eye-catching and its immediacy grabs the attention, there is no doubt that it is surrounded by distractions from intrusive third-party advertisements and tempting links leading to alternative or additional content.

Reason 4: Video in print stands out

When video is delivered through the medium of print, it reaches the recipient almost in a different space-time continuum. Royal Mail commissioned a neuroscience study to investigate the effects of a range of communications methods. The report, ‘Why mail cuts through’ demonstrates that mail is more likely to be remembered, stimulating long-term memory 49 per cent more than email and 35 per cent more than social media advertising.

Video in print is free from distractions. Recipients can choose when to open the covers of a video brochure and are more likely to do so when they have the time to absorb the information in a spare moment or a calm setting. Viewers display a preference for watching video on horizontal screens which match the alignment of the eyes. With a video brochure, you can keep competitors at bay because there is nothing else happening: no pop-ups, no ‘Skip ad’ countdowns, and no links that might lead them elsewhere.

Using a combination of print and digital channels, video brochures start to sound like a compelling option. And the medium works harder still through its ability to enhance the power of personalisation and the tangibility of print.

Read all seven reasons to use video in direct mail here.

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