Bhushan explains how social video is disrupting the way businesses connect with consumers today
Today, nearly 70%-80% of all data consumed in the country is through video. This has transformed the concept of entertainment, given rise to a new creator economy, and generated new avenues for businesses to connect with their customers. With video consumption growing, both long and short-form videos are making deep inroads into the digital lifestyles of netizens, converting India into a video-first country.
Video is a social experience
At Facebook, our vision for video is built on the notion that people don’t merely watch video content but that they also use it as a medium to express themselves and connect with each other. A Facebook commissioned study indicated that people are highly engaged in watching publisher videos - 94% of those who watch publisher videos on Facebook, share them. And 82% share to inspire their friends and communities! As people look to deepen their online connections, both with their friends and families as well as businesses whose products and services they use, social video will become an even more integral part of our lives.
From defining cultural moments to delivering business impact
Video is defining culture and consequently engagement with communities, whether those are around causes or businesses. Over the last two years, we’ve learnt that experiences and passions cannot just be seamlessly experienced but also amplified in a socially distanced world through engaging videos - whether through Stories, Lives, or Reels.
When it comes to brands, consumers are not just engaged but actually connected with businesses through video. A Facebook commissioned study with IPSOS in fact found that one in three people watch videos on Facebook to connect with brands. The unique format of Facebook and Instagram Lives creates discovery - a Facebook commissioned a study by YouGov discovered that nearly 2 out of 5 consumers say they discover deals through Lives.
Everyday, I am inspired by examples of how small and large businesses are using distinct video formats for every part of the consumer journey, from engagement to sales - from small businesses such as the luxury shawl maker Paashtush in Amritsar to HDFC Life that drove a +19% increase in sales for their Click 2 Wealth product using Instream video ads. Spotify used Reels to host the biggest Reels Holi party, #SpotifywaaliHoli, with more than 40+ creators that garnered 60 million views and amplified their playlist proposition.
Similarly, we see strong engagement emerging on Facebook Watch around sports content, and our groundbreaking partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) has only strengthened this. During the India-New Zealand final in Southampton in June, ICC digital platforms witnessed total views of more than 500 million across all video content watched during the match window with Facebook providing most of the consumption across ICC digital assets with 423 million views.
For the upcoming ICC T20 Men’s World Cup, we’re bringing cricket to India in a uniquely social way. We’re launching a dedicated Cricket tab on Watch, the Facebook video destination, for the duration of the tournament. We’re also working with many brands to help them leverage the massive engagement on cricket on our platform through unique partnerships with creators and through advertising on Instream.
Unlocking new opportunities for brands
The road ahead is full of promises with social video generating new opportunities for businesses and the creator economy. Augmented Reality, for instance, has shown a massive potential to revolutionize video and immersive experiences. On Facebook, AR has been creating a new path to customer engagement and conversion, with a whopping 169% year-on-year growth in the membership of Facebook Groups related to Augmented and Virtual Reality. The YouGov study also showed that shoppers are increasingly influenced by virtual demos in their purchase decisions on key occasions such as festivals - 58% for Apparel, 59% for Health & Beauty, 64% for Cars, and 59% for mobile phones. This is an inspiring illustration of how mobile experiences are mitigating the challenges of social distancing and geographical access.
Instagram Reels too has seen exponential growth and has driven expression at a scale never seen before, with more than 6 million Reels being produced in India every day! This creates a natural partnership between people, influencers and brands. The multiple ways in which people and businesses can engage using video has created new possibilities for every community.
With technology now enabling exciting expression and wide connections through social video, businesses have the opportunity to impact the more than 430M Indians on Facebook to achieve every outcome they need.
The Author is Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook India.
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