Driving Engagement in an Audience

Video Content is Made to Drive Action. What Factors Should a Brand or Creator Look For?

September 24, 2021

What crucial component is needed to drive audience engagement?

When it comes to content, particularly branded content, effectiveness can only be truly judged by the effect it has on its audience. Video content is, by its very nature, a visual medium and relies upon an understanding of the specific optics that will prove dynamic and engaging enough for an audience to connect with. However, when it comes to branded videos, connection must spark engagement, and this can be difficult to motivate. Thus, a very simple question becomes crucial, what is that elusive factor that drives the creation of meaningful, engaging, and popular video content?

Engagement cannot be driven through exclusivity

It is no exaggeration to say that there is a surfeit of video content available; a statistic from 2019 revealed that 500 hours of video content is uploaded each and every minute on YouTube alone. This means that exclusivity of release is not an option when it comes to videos, particularly in the online space. Therefore, audience engagement must be achieved through other means and considerations.

Many pieces of video content are measured against the cost of their creation; with the rise in a video’s production values leading to increased expectations of its success in audience response and engagement. This is a natural development, with video content often proving to be a significant investment on the behalf of the brand it is being made for. 

“The Film”, a lavish production

“Le Film”, a 2004 video advertisement for Chanel is, to this day, the most expensive video advertisement ever made. Directed by Australian film auteur, Baz Luhrmann, and starring Nicole Kidman, this 180-second short film cost Chanel 33 million dollars to make and was initially screened in movie theatres; often at a higher production value than the movie it was accompanying. The short piece of video content conveys the atmosphere of a modern fairy tale, with the luxury and glamour of the brand on full display. This high-cost method has proved successful for Chanel, with the company going on to make similarly lavish productions following its innovative foray in 2004.

However, high production values can only guarantee so much. A video is made for an audience, and an understanding of what draws the audience to a brand is an exceedingly valuable insight.

“Cheers to All”, creative subversion in an advertisement

Cheers to All is a 2020 video advertisement, created by the Publicis Italy advertising agency for multinational brewing company, Heineken. The video, utilising a fast pace and a clever subversion of expectations, demonstrates how beer can be enjoyed by all and the importance of moving beyond tired stereotypes. The success of this video content is clear to see, with leading data-driven insight and consulting company, Kantar, naming this video as the most creative and effective ad for 2020.

Driving engagement through understanding

When it comes to a piece of video content, there are several factors that can contribute to its success. However, a discerning brand or content creator will always prioritise the need to understand their audience; empathising with the needs and desires that lead people to the brand. Today’s world has no shortage of content; a leading creator will, therefore, engage using empathy, intelligence, and understanding to drive engagement from the audience in turn.

Tim Keogh