How to engage global audiences through video marketing | Blog

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On the bus, at the gym, in the Starbucks queue… wherever they are, whatever the occasion, people are guaranteed to be watching some form of video content. It comes as no surprise, then, that video has become the most popular type of content across the world. In fact, over 90% of internet users in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and China, and over 85% in Spain, Mexico and Australia, tune into video content every single day (and that’s just to name a few regions).

Of course, taking your video campaign global can be complicated. So we’ve put together our top tips and insights to help you create a video marketing strategy that works for you and your video-addicted audiences…

There’s so much variation in video, which formats should I consider? 

Keep it Short and Sweet

Thanks to a daily barrage of ads, today’s audiences are growing less and less interested. In fact, more than a quarter of an ad’s audience gets lost within the first 30 seconds (source: Ad Age). Bite-sized content means viewers are less likely to press the dreaded skip button. But, it’s not a case of simply sending out snappy ads across the globe, you’ve got to consider your markets. For example, in China, a massive censorship campaign has been targeting short video apps, with strict regulations on what can and can’t be shown including anything seemingly explicit, like kissing.

But Don’t Rule out Long-Form

It’s no secret that consumers are growing tired of a constant stream of short, unvaried ads. If you’re looking to inspire, long-form video is proving an effective way to cut through the noise. Long-form gives brands more time to engage with their audience through meaningful content, allowing it to resonate with viewers around the world. According to Tubular Insights, long-form is making a particular impact on German audiences who prefer watching lengthier content on YouTube. So far in 2019, YouTube has hit around 24.6B views in Germany (and the year’s not over yet!), with the highest ranking video lasting for an impressive 10 minutes. The long and short of it is this: consider your target market and get clued up on their responses to certain platforms and video lengths. For inspiration, check out Patagonia’s thought-provoking content:

The Customer is Always (Up)right

New York, London, Marrakech or Beijing… whatever their location, people are holding their phones the same way: vertically. Going vertical with your video is crucial for engaging with international audiences. The big social platforms have already adopted it, applying in-app features, like swipe ups, polls and mentions, to help you maximise your engagement. Another plus? You don’t need to go big budget. Vertical lends itself to ‘organic looking’ content which is cheaper to deliver. Just make sure you know who you want to target and what channels you’ll need to use. Instagram might seem like a safe bet, with roughly 500M accounts using Stories worldwide (source: Buffer). However, in China, Instagram is banned so perhaps you should consider Douyin (the original name for TikTok) which sees interaction from 400M users a month, with half of those tuning in daily (source: Business of Apps).

Make an Impact with Interactive

For modern consumers, simply consuming content is not enough, it’s all about the experience. You can profit from this desire with AR, which augments reality, and VR, which immerses users in a virtual world. These interactive formats are set to take over the world as they tap into the consumer desire to play a part in a brand’s story. It’s predicted that by 2023, 68.6 million units of AR and VR hardware will be shipped worldwide (source: Statista). Clearly, heightening consumers’ realities is a trend to seriously consider for your video strategy if you want to stay ahead. Need some AR inspo? Check out this classic campaign from Ikea:


Now I know what type of video I want to create, how should I approach production? 

Set Your Strategy

It’s time to get into the nitty gritty: strategy. Will you use one video globally or will you produce different videos for different regions? If you’re going to use one video globally, you’ll want to get a global script approved; one that’s more generic but that will connect with your various markets at a topline level. If you’re going to produce different videos, you’ll want to localise your scripts to each region. Whatever happens, you’ll want to make sure that your videos aren’t offensive or unrelatable in your target markets, which leads us to our next point…

Don’t Localise Alone

Today’s geo-targeting technology is rapidly improving with the ability to target small tribes within a postcode; this means your audience is becoming more and more niche. To make sure your video content speaks their language, invest in some social listening tools (or an agency who can provide it) and get to know your audience. Once you’ve got the elements for your video: creative, linguistic and visual, it’s probably best to run them all past in-market specials as they’ll know what does and doesn’t work for your chosen audience. Taking a humorous approach? Let the specialists analyse your scripts (no one wants to tell a bad joke, or worse, an offensive one). Adding a splash of colour to your video? Check the context behind your chosen colour palette across your target markets. Finally, get in-market specialists to vet your chosen cast as small details unnoticeable to you, like tattoos, might produce an entirely different reaction in other parts of the world.

Lights, Camera, Action

Organising video shoots across different markets can be extremely costly and complicated, so keep things simple. To maintain brand consistency, use the same treatments across all your video content. For production, plan multiple shoots together and manage the post-production as one single project, this will help achieve cost and time efficiencies. Selecting the right specialist to carry out the project is key, especially when it comes to international shoots; you’ll want to choose a supplier with experience in running international campaigns. Also, think about hiring local interpreters to facilitate communication on the shoot.

Say it with Subtitles

Witty, enlightening, on-brand… your final video might tick all the boxes in your target markets, but there’s a catch; no one’s listening. Why? People don’t scroll with sound on. 85% of video ads on Facebook are viewed without sound across the world, with similar stats on other channels (source: Biteable). To overcome this, we’d recommend adding subtitles to any video going online in all your target market languages, thus allowing your words to catch the eyes of consumers worldwide. An implementation agency can help you with getting the right translation for your subtitles, ensuring your copy remains just as relevant and engaging in all markets.

So, next time you’re mapping our your global marketing strategy, make sure to consider these approaches to video. For more, download our latest guide on Taking Your Brand Global.


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