16 Sep 2020 20:35 IST

Guidelines for creating unskippable videos for marketers

Short videos that make sense even on mute can boost engagement by reducing bounce rate

Millennials are increasingly leaning towards engaging with brands and individuals through byte-sized audiovisuals. Gone are the days when videos were a subset of marketing campaigns. Considering that online videos contribute to 75 per cent of all mobile traffic, videos have now become the cornerstone of every campaign.

The fact that YouTube has 256 million and counting monthly active users, higher than any TV channel has ever had in India, is very telling of the scope of this medium. While YouTube may be the biggest video-based platform, Facebook thumb stoppers, and Instagram Reels are quickly catching up giving brands immense scope to drive home their message through videos. Here are five things to keep in mind while concocting a killer video marketing strategy:

Watch time

Did you know that the average attention span of any millennial is approximately twice the time it took you to read this sentence? That’s right! Recent studies show that the average attention span is eight seconds, which is a sharp decline from what it was in 2000s — 12 seconds.

This only goes on to show that the consumer attention spans are in a downward spiralling pattern. Not only are millennials the fastest-growing group of consumers, but they are also the most prominent stakeholders of most of the video-based platforms. It is important to advertise in a way that matches their needs. Make catchy, concise videos that grab eyeballs within the first three seconds or your user is most likely to bounce!

Making sense with or without audio

There is no predicting when or where a user could be consuming your content. It could be while commuting in a crowded local train, at the shopping mall, or even on the can. It would be prudent to design videos that are a delight with the sound on but make no sense when consumed on mute. For maximum reach, make videos with captions or text or add glaringly obvious call-to-action alerts such as or “Tap for Sound” or “Swipe Up” to nudge users to actively engage with your video.

Right platform

The magnitude of user engagement is subject to vary depending on the device and platform the content is being viewed on. For instance, users are likely to only passively engage with the content shown on TV — being a form of mass media — which is not the case with phones where there is a lot of scope for content personalisation. It is imperative to be conscious of the platform you are advertising on. Social media isn’t the only platform that helps propagate video content consumption.

Various OTT platforms include, but are not limited to, Disney + Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Zee5, Alt Balaji, SonyLIV, Sun NXT, BIGFlix, Voot, Arre, and MX Player. These are an excellent avenues to advertise to the select target audience. For example, if you are a kitchen brand looking to advertise modular kitchens or kitchenware, you can have your advertisement aired along with a culinary program such as Masterchef on an OTT platform. Not only does this strategy help you target the right kind of audience, but it also has a higher audience engagement rate and is relatively cheaper than TVCs. To add to that, an average Indian individual spends a minimum of 40 minutes per day on one of these platforms.

Easy access

Responsive videos are those videos that adapt to the orientation of the device it is being viewed on while maintaining its original aspect ratio. Strive to design responsive videos that don’t display black bars along the borders of the device to optimise screen space.

It is an added bonus if the videos make sense irrespective of whether it is being viewed in landscape (16:9), square (1:1), or vertical orientation (9:16). Additionally, videos with closed captions (aside from functioning as a good opportunity to rank for keywords) facilitate an equivalent experience to users that are unable to hear the audio for whatever reason. Ensure that these captions don’t come in the way of the visibility of the video.

Make videos in vernacular

Since the onset of Jio’s cheap and easily accessible network plans, Google has witnessed a 2.5X spike in Indian language searches. 64 per cent of content on Indian platforms are in Hindi, either original or dubbed. Other languages are not far behind. Languages such as English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi are widely consumed as well. Leveraging on this trend can take brands a long way! Brands can widen their reach and acquire more consumers simply by tweaking the language their videos are being broadcasted in.

Focus on delivering only one key point through your video and ensure you are amplifying it to the right target group. Once you have integrated all these elements in your video making strategy and it is in circulation, make a pit stop to analyze insights and ascertain if a change in strategy if necessary. It is estimated that by 2023, we will have more than 500 Million online video consumers in India. What are you still waiting for? Get cracking now to get ahead of the curve!