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Africa's appetite for video and how to take a bite out of the competition

By Anish Abraham - Digital Account Manager, DUO Marketing

Increased access to smartphones and internet connectivity across the African continent has led to an explosion in the number of users consuming online video. It won't end anytime soon either, as internet penetration improves and smartphones become more affordable, brands should capitalise on the increasi
ng reach and engagement value video can provide. 

More people across the African continent are watching video content online, be it through social media platforms, streaming services, or through hosting sites like YouTube. These numbers are set to keep growing at a rapid rate, with Ericsson's Consumer Lab Report stating that online video consumption will grow by 55% per year until 2019.

Brands can take advantage of this trend by supplementing traditional press releases with insightful, short, sharp videos that provide exclusive comments not to be found in the written versions. This not only makes watching the videos worthwhile, but provides additional value to news outlets that have an active and sizable online presence.

While short video has for long been the preferred choice, increased access to broadband connectivity and declining data costs are seeing more in-depth and long form video being shared online. In a comprehensive survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), titled 'Mobile Video Usage: A Global Perspective', 36% of respondents said they watched videos of over 5 minutes or more daily.

This growing appetite for online video has led to the birth of several video-on-demand (VOD) providers across the content, like Nigerian giant iROKOtv, as well as attracting global players like Netflix. The market potential has even persuaded established satellite TV providers like Multichoice to launch a VOD offering.

East AfricaCom showcased the rise of digital broadcasting, this year by introducing a stream dedicated to broadcasting in the digital era. The two day conference included a workshop session focusing on creating and provisioning content for a multi-platform, multimedia environment, as well as panel discussion on the future of thematic channels in the digital space, together with commercial viability and effective regulation.

Video for business
The apatite for video on the continent makes a clear case for increasing the use of video in webinars, marketing materials, social media, and even for landing page introductory videos.

A list of interesting stats from Insivia shows that:

  • Unbounce reports that include video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
  • 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Invodo.
  • 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing a video ad, according to the Online Publishers Association.
  • 96% of B2B (business-to-business) organisations use video in some capacity in their marketing campaigns of which 73% report positive results to their ROI, according to a survey conducted by ReelSEO.
  • Including a video on your homepage can increase conversion rates by 20% or more, according to ReelSEO.

While brands might not necessarily have the financial or human resources to indulge in large scale productions that result in well-packaged videos for marketing and advertising, they should not ignore the possibilities of short video. 

Cost-effective options

These can be filmed on mobile devices, with minimal post editing, and can be used with great effect across a company's social media platforms, helping break the monotony of static text and images on a timeline. Twitter and Instagram allow for short video to be natively shot and uploaded from a mobile device, and brands have had huge success with increased video content on the latter.

They're a relatively quick way to bring social media platforms to life by using spokespeople to give the company a human face, deliver meaningful messages and build a closer relationship with social media fans.
Being inexpensive means that short video also provides companies with an ideal way to start using more visually appealing content on their online and social media platforms in a cost-effective manner.

About Anish Abraham: 

Anish Abraham has over 10 years’ digital media and online publishing experience, as well as a background in journalism. He is able to not only write the content, but does so with an eye on search engine optimisation and inclusion of relevant keywords. Anish has a passion for content creation and curation, digital/social amplification and, most importantly, reporting. He has worked on several content management systems, and has basic HTML knowledge.

Anish has a Bachellor of Technology Degree in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology, as well as short-course certificates in International Environmental Politics from TUT/Stanford University, and in Basic Financial Reporting from the University of the Witwatersrand. 

You can follow Anish on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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