It’s a tough time for businesses around the world with COVID-19 heavily impacting retailers in particular. Foot traffic has decreased, if not ceased in stores, and retailers are increasingly heading online as a means of continuing business with its customers. Mobile content has become a critical avenue for brands to successfully reach and engage with their customers, as they pivot their strategies during the pandemic.

With decreased print ad spend, video content is booming across channels — from content on owned websites and platforms to social media. However, the demand for video leaves brands with limited resources, with a real challenge of producing creative, authentic video content that can quickly and easily resonate with target audiences.

As retailers grapple with digital transformation, it’s essential that they optimise their workflow to create and share mobile-friendly video that achieves results in a content-hungry world.

The power of video 

Research suggests that the human brain can process video content in just 13 milliseconds — 60,000 times faster than it takes to process text. With this in mind, retailers are turning to video content as a way of effectively communicating and engaging with their customers.

Video content also allows retailers to connect on a more relatable level with consumers, especially in challenging times. Take cosmetics brand Lush, which has continuously used video content on its Instagram feed to engage with its followers during COVID-19.

Video content enables brands to quickly and easily tell their brand message, highlight personas and engage on a deeper level with customers. Lush successfully does this by frequently sharing stories and videos on their Instagram page. Videos range from updating customers on new products or simply “checking in” and sharing inspiring messaging to uplift their followers during this global crisis. Brands are choosing to share video content across social media channels to entertain, inform, inspire and further develop relationships on a more human level at this time.

Having a mobile-first mindset

Aussies are using smartphones more than ever and the number of smartphone users are increasing year on year. Having a mobile-first approach to content creation is important for brands.

Shutterstock recently made its entire video collection available for download on its mobile applications for this reason. Seeing the video content creation trends means the expectations were already there for content creators.

Improving the access to millions of footage clips gives content creators the opportunity to create engaging video content from their mobile or tablet devices. This means that the workflow for creating mobile-first content can be entirely completed on a mobile device, without compromising on the quality.

With social selling on mobile also on the rise through platforms like Instagram, the value of video has never been higher as brands are able to showcase products and services through content more easily.

Creating engaging content  

Leading social networks including Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are seeing many retailers engaging with their audience through video.

In the past year, we have seen the likes of Superdry dabbling in the world of TikTok, to connect with consumers and build engagement.

We’re also seeing customers produce their own individual content creating a two way dialogue between brands and their own followers. TikTok, not only is used by brands and marketers, but is renowned for its user-generated content — specifically influencers who often create authentic, user generated content for brands using stock footage.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, where many people around the world are recommended to self-isolate, social channels are allowing people globally to stay connected to brands. The power of video provides retailers with an opportunity to communicate and engage with consumers in a meaningful way — providing an authentic touchpoint, particularly when physical connection is restricted.

Erin Essex is director of product design at Shutterstock