Image Is Everything Part 3: Video, the Experience Maker — or Breaker

Image source: Adobe Stock by Gorodenkoff.
Image Is Everything Part 3: Video, the Experience Maker — or Breaker
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How can brands be successful in an atmosphere that requires so much content? Consumers expect unique, engaging, quality experiences, and videos make or break those customer experiences. The 2019 Adobe Brand Content Survey reveals that 54% of consumers are willing to stay on a brand’s channel if video is present. Millennials love video-rich experiences so much that 65% of them engage more when video is present. But 50% of all visitors will abandon a slow-loading or poor resolution video.

Many of the marketers I talk with have video as a key part of their strategy. Our survey of participants in the Image Is Everything webinar series revealed that 33% employ auto-play looping video, 40% offer tutorials, 73% publish video to YouTube, and 13% use video for banners or backgrounds.

Take a look at these great examples of how leading brands use video:

  • Audi’s landing pages for car models have auto loading and looping video at the top, and by including rollover effects and additional video banners they create an even more engaging experience.
  • Asos offers short videos for almost every product. They quickly produce these videos in their own studio as part of their standard workflow.
  • Burberry’s home-page features an engaging seasonal editorial fashion video teaser that quickly grabs attention and encourages users to explore the site.
  • Seattle Coffee Gear offers tutorial video on product detail pages. This presents the company as a subject matter expert, provides useful content for customers, and builds loyalty.

Clearly, video is a high-value asset. Experiences that contain video dramatically increase how much customers engage and the amount of time they interact with your brand. In turn, this leads to higher satisfaction and conversion. Customers see greater value in your brand when they experience high-quality video and visuals.

Video can be difficult to create, edit, resize, and deliver, leading many companies to simply give up or avoid video completely. How can we reap the brand benefits from video without getting bogged down by cost and workflow complexity?

In our survey of webinar series participants, 25% of those not using video cited expense as a reason. The top challenges cited include sizing (58%), optimization (67%), and scaling workflows to meet content demands (58%).

What makes a bad video experience?

How do you spot bad video before it makes it to your experiences? First, you should pick a few still frames within the source video. You are looking for grain, pixelization, or areas that lack sharpness. Next, play the video and look for pixelization, stuttering, and missed frames. Are the scenes sharp and crisp? If the video has sound, is the volume balanced, too loud, or too low? Editorial video may be grainy and out of focus by design, but this shouldn’t be the case for product video.

My recommendations for quality video

Thankfully most video problems can be solved with re-encoding, which helps you avoid reshooting your video. Here are some tips and levers that you can control to improve the quality of your video:

1. Start with a quality source video. If the video that you’ll use to create various sizes for all device types — your source video — has poor quality, so will all versions created from it.

  • Dimensions: 1920 x 1080 video resolution puts high definition video at your disposal without having to incur the high cost of shooting video at 5k or 4k. Don’t pay for a larger resolution than your experiences require.
  • Codec: AAC H.264 has become the standard codec for digital experiences and offers that supports a wide range of device types. Combined with Advanced Audio Encoding (AAC) for audio, this codec ticks all the boxes.
  • Format: MP4 is universally supported by all browsers. Format is the same as container, and it’s useful to know that codecs and containers are partners. If you chose the wrong codec/container combo, you won’t stream effectively, content won’t look its best, and you may not have access to all required features like closed-caption support and others.

2. Adaptive video encoding. Dynamic Media within Adobe Experience Manager Assets and Dynamic Media Classic include the ability to generate an adaptive video encoding set from your source video. This transcodes, or sizes, your source video into a number of smaller versions, assuring you have the widest device support. Adaptive sets are important for video workflow because they:

  • Flexibly let you create recipes to match your brand’s experience needs.
  • Automate and eliminate video workflow complexity.
  • Scale to manage all the sizes you need for each video, and guarantee full device support for quality video.

3. Video viewers (players). How do consumers experience the video? Dynamic Media and Dynamic Media Classic include modern and flexible HTML5-based viewers, and also offer support for your viewer of choice. Be it these built-in viewers or your own, some required features you should consider include:

  • Based in HTML5.
  • Flexibility to control playback speed, automatic play, looping, appearance, and more.
  • Intelligent detection of device type and available bandwidth.
  • Lightweight, so it has low impact on page/experience weight.
  • Support for desktop and mobile offered.

Keeping up the momentum

Now that you’ve started updating your rich media strategy, here are three ways you can keep that going:

  1. Engage with the three-part Image Is Everything webinar series to get practical tips and learn how Dynamic Media and Dynamic Media Classic help you evolve your strategy. The webinars explain how to develop a well-defined rich media strategy for optimal experiences, optimize webpage layouts for speed or quality, optimize video experiences, and avoid rich media gotchas.
  2. Use our Rich Media Strategy Kickstart Guide and Rich Media Strategy Image Preset Guide to perfect your strategy.
  3. Follow the Dynamic Media and Dynamic Media Classic blog for tips and guidance with top posts like Has your Rich Media Strategy Expired? and It’s Never Just a Blur — Quality Versus Speed.

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