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What can you learn from over 200 brand videos?

Nov 29, 2022

If you got over 9,000 participants in five markets to watch over 200 pieces of video content while a voluntary software programme watches their facial expressions and gauges their emotions, what would you learn?

That’s the question BBC Storyworks asked when it analysed video content from clients like HSBC, Mazda and Huawei.

“We took over 200 brand videos that we created with our clients over the past two years and wanted to discover what were the common themes that drove audience engagement most effectively. When you study that many films, you’re really able to pull out some key data points,” Richard Pattinson, Senior Vice President of BBC StoryWorks, tells the Native Advertising Institute.

Four key findings from 200 brand videos

BBC StoryWorks identified the trends of the branded films that audiences completed and compared them to those that only held the audience’s interest for roughly the first quarter of their running time.

“What came through really clearly were four key findings,” Pattinson says.

The four key findings were:

1. Set the scene vividly

“I think the reason why setting the scene matters so much is because you need to be taken in, you need to become a part of the story. You need to relate to the characters and understand where they’re coming from, and the most powerful and authentic way you can do that is by providing that context and background where the character is bringing their problem to the audience,” Pattinson says.

2. Establish a strong emotional connection to characters

“Emotion is really important in branded content and native advertising. There are two reasons for that. Number one is because it draws people in. We know when people connect on an emotional level there is a better chance that they’re going to stay and engage with the content piece. And that’s what you hope for. Number two is that the emotional connection drives a better brand outcome. As well as engaging audiences more with the stories themselves, it also results in a better outcome for the brand,” he says.

3. Use authentic and believable voices

“It’s incredibly important that the voices that you choose to tell the story are authentic. Audiences are time-poor and they can tell if a person doesn’t really have a place in the story that you want them to engage with and that turns them off and often make them less engaged,” he explains.

4. Present solutions

“Solution-based journalism is incredibly important in the way we work at the BBC. Our audiences of course want to engage with news but what they really want to engage with is content that presents a solution to a problem or a challenge. That format works really well for branded content, and if brands can be presented as a part of that solution then it’s beneficial to the brand,” Pattinson says.

Alexander Højfeldt Lund er Head of Writing hos det prisvindende content marketing-bureau Brand Movers. Han har været involveret i flere prisvindende content marketing-projekter, hvor han har haft det overordnede ansvar for tekstproduktionen. I Brand Movers leder han tekstafdelingen, der hver dag producerer indhold til store nationale og internationale kunder. Primært er hans ansvar at sikre høj kvalitet i alle tekster, der forlader bureauet og samtidig være katalysator for kreative løsninger og ideer til indholdsproduktionen. Alexander Højfeldt Lund er uddannet journalist og har arbejdet som journalist på Fyens Stiftstidende, redaktør på Jyllands-Posten og redaktionschef i det journalistiske produktionsselskab Media Movers. Den journalistiske baggrund præger Alexander Højfeldt Lunds tilgang til content marketing. Han er vild med de historier, som brands kan fortælle, men han går også meget op i troværdighed, og han insisterer på at udfordre de brands, han arbejder med. På den måde laver man det bedste indhold, mener han.

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