Author: Michael Litt
Startups, here’s how to keep up with ‘video natives’
They’re more likely to share an Instagram Story than send an email. They own Snapchat Spectacles and aren’t shy to wear them.
Published by Tech in Asia
on 02 Oct 2017
Day after day, week after week, they document their lives in HD video and share it with their network. They think YouTube is old school.
Meet the planet’s first generation of “video natives.” They’re some of the youngest members of the digital-savvy millennial cohort, and they’re more comfortable making and consuming digital video than any other generation in history.
The first wave of video natives were born in the late 1990s. They came of age on Snapchat, spending their teenage years honing skills before turning their video virtuosity to other platforms. Communicating via video is second nature for this generation.
Just like the current generation of social media natives has changed how businesses engage with customers, video natives will come with its own set of challenges and rewards for companies. Here’s a look at how businesses can keep pace.
Forget what you think you know about video
Sixty-two percent of millennials prefer to watch a video from a company rather than read something, for instance. They learn by video, and they’re even starting to ditch texting altogether in favor of sharing quick Snaps with their friends.
But whether they’re producing or consuming video, video natives crave authenticity. Short, casual videos resonate more than over-produced, big-budget clips. For businesses, this means that while high production value still has its place, it’s key to embrace video as a more casual, everyday communication tool as well.
Salesforce’s how-to videos on YouTube, for example, are just screen captures with a voiceover, a low-budget way to communicate with an audience eager to engage with video. Hubspot has a whole YouTube channel dedicated to Q&As with expert staff members. Slack’s customer testimonial video is mostly talking heads filmed at their desks.
Now that everyone has an HD camera, it’s time to take a cue from the video natives and democratize video creation.
Find video natives in their natural habitat
If video natives are the audience you want to reach (and you should because they are young professionals with disposable incomes), you need to go where they are.
Critically, they tend to let content find them via apps and social feeds rather than search for content. This represents a significant departure from the previous generation of digital pioneers who turn to search engines first to find content. In other words, you might have done all the best SEO techniques in the world but still be virtually invisible to video natives.
So, how do you actually find your way onto their feeds? This starts not with any technical gimmickry or optimization but with creating video that they actually want to see and share. That means content that entertains, informs, and surprises. Just delivering a sales pitch doesn’t cut it.
SolarWinds is a good example here. Though they deal in IT management software, which isn’t always the most interesting topic, they’ve built an engaging Instagram feed featuring videos of funny product tutorials, sidekick bracket competitions, and relatable #ITProblems.
Rethink workplace communication
The video native wave also has real implications on how we communicate inside the workplace. At Vidyard, video natives, who make up about half of our staff, are more likely to fire off a quick video to co-workers or clients than to draft a perfect email. And I think that’s a good thing. At the same time, video is an invaluable way to bridge the divide for the remote workforce.
Personally, I’ve also adopted this approach at an executive level, sending out monthly video dispatches to my entire team of nearly 200 employees. It’s a clickable way to get the message out and offers a chance to show a human side while sharing complex ideas. Deeper still, the right analytics tools mean I can see exactly how many people are watching and engaging. And this is something very difficult to do via email or even in an in-person presentation.
One important caveat
Though video natives may be the most avid video users now, the medium’s appeal transcends any age group. One-third of all online activities is currently spent watching video, a figure that’s rising fast. Just as social media started with a young, digital-savvy generation and spread outward, we’re all slowly but surely becoming honorary video natives.
For entrepreneurs, focusing on video means future-proofing your businesses for a world where text is fast becoming an afterthought for all of us.
Original Article From Tech in Asia