The book world is becoming increasingly digital. And the opportunities are multiplying, especially when it comes to video. In this post, we will look at the pillars and best practices for building the best digital video strategy for the publishing industry.
The publishing industry is not just an industry. It has its specificities, of course, but above all it has a central value for our societies; a value that, at times, is in danger of being overshadowed.
This very complicated period in which we are all still immersed has demonstrated this very well.
The book was recognized as an “essential good.” But it wasn’t just a matter of labels or legislative decrees. It’s the people themselves who have “certified” it; and it’s the data itself that says so.
We refer to the data, which is truly surprising, on the sector’s resilience in 2020, the year that was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Italian publishing industry closed the last 12 months with a plus sign; to be precise + 2.4% compared to 2019. The figure becomes even more interesting because it fits into a European trend that reflects (with some exceptions) the same unexpected growth. (source: ilPost).
The first question to ask is this: What has allowed this resistance (or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say “resilience”) in the sector? There is no single answer, of course.
There are individual choices, first and foremost, which are related to people’s leisure time. Then there is also help in terms of regulations. But the aspect that emerges most strongly is one: Digital. The massive and rapid implementation of digital in a sector that, historically, has proven slower and more reluctant on this front.
It is important to clear the field of misunderstandings right away. This is not about replacing paper books with digital media. There is a factor, but the numbers tell us that it is not the central one. Rather, it’s about everything that revolves around the book, from marketing, to sales (even for small bookstores), to loyalty, and the building of a more intimate and multi-channel relationship with readers.
We have dedicated an entire post to this topic, dissecting the various opportunities that Digital Transformation opens up for the publishing industry.
Now, however, we want to focus on a specific and decisive aspect, on the tool that has proven to be most effective in the digital ecosystem: Let’s talk about video, and let’s talk about the importance of implementing a video strategy in digital publishing.
Follow us carefully, because, for a publishing industry video strategy, the margins to be attacked are really important. Let’s start right away with some numbers that, on their own, say a lot about the effectiveness of this tool today.
The effectiveness of the video tool in numbers
So, video is the king of digital content, the most effective, the one capable of attracting the maximum attention of users.
Without wasting too many words, let’s look at the data that supports this:
- Today, around 82% of all internet traffic is generated by video. In 2017, this percentage was 72.3% (source: Cisco Annual Internet Report).
- More than 1 billion hours of video are viewed each day on YouTube alone (source: YouTube).
- Around 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook, and this is steadily increasing (source: 99firms).
- On Instagram, posts containing videos have a 38% higher average engagement than those containing images (source: Mention.com).
That’s in terms of the absolute numbers. Now let’s focus on the attention front:
- 55% of people pay more attention the moment they approach video than any other type of content (source: Omnikick).
- When viewing a video, the average user retains 95% of the message it contains; when it comes to text, that percentage plummets to 10% (source: Insivia).
- It’s no coincidence that 85% of marketers consider video to be the best tool for gaining attention online (source: Animoto).
Speaking of marketing: let’s consider, finally, some statistics from experts in the field:
- 87% of marketers use video in their strategies (source: Wyzowl).
- And 88% of them say they are satisfied with the ROI generated by video marketing campaigns (source: Wyzowl).
- According to 97% of marketers, video is critical to getting customers to have a better understanding of products and services (source: Hubspot).
- Today, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. The increase from last year was a whopping 63% (source: Hubspot).
And, given all these numbers, the figure doesn’t surprise us at all!
The pillars of an effective video strategy in digital publishing
The numbers we’ve discussed in the previous paragraph clearly and eloquently demonstrate that video is the most effective medium in the digital ecosystem; and that, as a result, there are more and more videos online.
And that brings us to the other side of the coin. In the midst of this crowding, how do you differentiate yourself and capture the attention of the right audience while conveying the right messages?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, of course. But there are some fixed points: and a publishing industry video strategy should be built on these.
The first is very simple… but only in appearance. First of all, it’s a matter of understanding “who you are” and with what “tone of voice” you want to present yourself: a tone of voice that must be as consistent as possible over time.
The second point concerns the channel: Communicative coherence must not be blind and monolithic. Creating a video that will be distributed only on your website is different, for example, from creating a video for social media.
There are also important differences between videos distributed through Instagram versus Facebook or – even more so – through TikTok (if you want to target younger people). Each platform has its own rules and best practices in terms of duration, format, potential targets, attention, and engagement mechanisms.
In addition, this should always be kept in mind: the experience of viewing a video from the desktop is very different from a tablet and – above all – from mobile. That’s why, in this field, the key word is: omnichannel optimization (but with an eye to the world of smartphones; this is the main tool through which we access the internet; this tendency will be more and more marked over time).
The third point concerns the audience, therefore the recipients. And we will return to this point at the end of this post, when we talk about the theme of personalization (on which we’ll focus in this series dedicated to publishing in the digital world).
In short, these are the three main pillars for setting up an effective video strategy. But we believe it’s important to add these additional aspects, which should be monitored very carefully:
- Study the competition: Trying to imitate the video-marketing campaigns of companies in other industries can be counterproductive. It’s better to try to be the best in your field; understand what works and what doesn’t: take a cue, but always be careful to stand out.
- Be regular: An orderly, recurrent cadence is a fundamental requirement for effective video strategy in digital publishing. It’s a cadence that all types of platforms, from YouTube to social, reward regularity.
- Create partnerships: this is the best way to expand the firepower of your video marketing campaigns…but without aiming at a massive audience. The publishing industry, in this field, has great opportunities to exploit. There are the so-called “book influencers,” sure. But there are also writers with large and established fan bases. Bookstores that, more and more, know how to move nimbly even in the digital world. But that’s not all: the ecosystem of books is truly vast; think of journalism, current affairs, but also fashion, sports, and science (just to give a few examples).
In short, a book always creates connections between worlds: it’s a matter of learning how to translate these connections into the digital world as well, with all the power of the video tool.
What are some concrete examples of the use of video in the editorial world?
The examples include: Book trailers (which still have enormous margins for growth), book presentations (with the outbreak of the pandemic, this practice has quickly become widespread), interviews with authors, spin-offs of in-depth analysis starting from the books, in some cases you can go as far as creating micro-documentaries.
Be careful, however, not to forget the most important junction of any kind of strategy: the final recipient. This is the point on which we will focus our final section.
The ultimate breakthrough? Personalized videos
We’ve stressed the basic importance of knowing your target audience to design the best video strategy in digital publishing. And we have already mentioned a formidable tool that points perfectly in this direction: personalized videos. We’ll dedicate the next article in this series to the publishing industry.
However, we think it’s important to start telling you what it’s all about.
Personalized videos are videos built according to the characteristics of the person they are aimed at. But that’s not all: they adapt to the user, even in real time, and they are interactive. They are all based on data: which – as is well known – is the greatest asset in the digital ecosystem.
In short, we are no longer talking about one “target,” but as many targets as there are people viewing.
These personalization tools are made available by specialized companies like Doxee. And the real turning point is the passage from a one-to-many communication strategy to a one-to-one communication, tailor-made… personalized communication strategy.
It’s easy to understand, then, how valuable this type of tool can be when the goal is to establish an intimate and dynamic dialog with your readers, boosting involvement and loyalty. This is exactly what Doxee Pvideo® solutions make possible.
And so the circle closes: book publishing relies on digital to do what it has always done, but with new tools: to establish a connection with the reader and forge an intimate, lasting relationship.