We know by now, that there are only split seconds to wow someone with content in today’s fast-paced digital time, therefore marketing messages must be compelling, easy to read, and can’t be too long. Media companies and brands that got it, therefore provide more and more often snackable content, which means short, concise, fast and preferably good content with qualitative added value.
For instance, advertisers have less than a minute to make their point via video, after which viewership drops off dramatically, according to AOL. And with most brand videos not getting past eight seconds, marketers clearly have to start thinking differently and find unexpected and interesting ways to hold attention and be relevant. In fact, the attention spans of consumers across all video platforms is declining and this move, as well as the creation of more “bumper” ad formats, will help to re-address the balance between user experience and expectation and ad revenue, Google believes. So, the trend is clearly heading towards smaller and shorter marketing messages, which means for brands condensing their messages into an elevator pitch to get it across in the first few seconds.
Balance between user experience, expectation, and ad revenue
Unfortunately, too often a spurious construct is concealed behind such content just to schmooze users on the web. Affiliate link portals, SEO tricksters and traffic junkies, are trying for some time to capitalize on the short and striking ‘snackable’ content.
Online editorial offices are particularly in a balancing act between good content and the pressure of monetarization: Short content, which requires only a few seconds of attention, is designed to enable companies in these environments to optimally position advertising that pleases brands and publishers - the more the merrier. So, snackable content ensures the media houses the needed traffic for their marketing strategy and allows them to optimally play out their core competences of user guidance with regards to content. Snackable content helps to increase brand awareness, promotes branding, brings benefits in the competition, improves customer satisfaction and increases customer loyalty to the brand.
However, the approach to put less emphasis on striking advertising and to publish subtle-charming content instead, remains only suitable for some brands and can be completely wrong for others. Anything that is not relevant - or won’t benefit the user - will fail, but as soon as emotions are provoked and content makes a splash, brands have almost won.
Certainly, the behavior of the users has changed. Whether it's Tweets, Gifs, Instagram Photos, Haikus or Memes, as soon as the actual content becomes obsolete and its expiration date reaches its zenith, new information is needed to keep the user happy.
Content, specifically designed for mobile and “snackable video”
Today, it is important that customers like the fish together with the bait, but if it stinks from the head, you should better keep your hands off. Snackable content must act as an attractant for the users. If a short video or a funny picture is creating a buzz, the content stays in a viewer’s mind. And if everything goes well, consumers hopefully associate a positive experience with the brand, despite an expiration date.
To provide a better user experience is for sure the main reason why Google decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018, and to focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers. YouTube viewers will then no longer be forced to watch 30-second unskippable ads, although the 20-second and 6-second unskippable formats will still remain. That way, Google intends to keep consumers engaged on YouTube while allowing advertisers to continue to pay per view of their video content.
Not to mention that by reducing the number of ad formats and making them as light and as fast as possible, lag time is reduced and customer experience improved, YouTube knows, and for sure live video adoption will continue to rise and be confined more to the new form of content marketing.
By Daniela La Marca