By: Seyi Adeyemi
The past decade would be marked as the era of Africa’s technological explosion, as artificial intelligence and information technology covering a plethora of content forms now dominate the social and business spaces. Multimedia content is one of the evolutionary elements of contemporary information technology with colossal effects on businesses. According to Upland, 47% of buyers consume between three and five pieces of content before they ever talk to a sales rep. Also, 57% of consumers say that watching videos makes them more confident in their purchasing decisions.

Before COVID-19, realists would never have expected the sort of digital wave now seen in Africa. The continent has surprised naysayers as it has taken a quantum leap to join the rest of the world in the digital race, particularly in content dynamism, churning out evocative content that help brands reach their target audience within and outside the continent. Sultan Quadri of Techcabal writes, “More Africans are online, they are spending more time on the internet and relying more on digital media than ever.”

It is pertinent to understand the audience in contemporary content creation. One key trait is that they are largely on the internet which has the basic attribute of being fast-paced. A report by Africa Business Pages states that, “In 2019, more people in Africa accessed the internet than did in Latin America, North America, or the Middle East and that people using the Internet increased from just 2.1% in 2005 to over 25% in 2019.” This position is supported by André-Michel Essoungou of the United Nations who writes that “Now, with more than 400 million mobile phones subscribers, Africa’s market is larger than North America’s.” The pace of this progression is astounding.

Social media is now a huge attraction to Africans. Multimedia content contributes to the appeal and potency of the space. While multimedia content is not a polysemous phrase, Devrix posits that “It is the perfect way to energize a text-heavy content mix.” It further explains that “Videos and business infographics enable a brand to communicate its message to visual learners, liven up the brand, make its site more dynamic, increase social media sharing, and boost traffic.” Suffice it to say that these activities are critical to survival in the digital haze in which businesses now find themselves. The digital space is saturated with a myriad of exciting content such that low-quality content is overlooked and considered ineffective, with resultant effects on a company’s bottom line (depending on the industry).

Multimedia content creators operate in a very competitive industry as brands are in perpetual search of the most talented creators. Human psychology is heavily factored into this. According to the New York Times, humans have an attention span of 8 seconds, and younger generations, particularly Gen Z, have shorter attention spans as well as a preference for visual content. Also, the human mind is more inclined to get hooked to visual content than long text. Hence, the sector is not just about creativity; it now embodies and applies extensive research into producing content that grabs and compels specific actions.
Whatever a company’s social media goals may be, the following best practices are recommended ways to use video content to grab users’ attention on social media and ultimately get them to interact with the brand:

  1. Use Concise and Attention-Grabbing Titles
    Before viewers click ‘play’, they need to know exactly what to expect from a video, so let them know up front by giving it a meaningful title that explains its subject.

A great title should:

Be between 60-70 characters in length
Convey the content truthfully
Spark curiosity
  1. Employ Click-Worthy Video Covers/Thumbnails
    People can view a video’s cover image before clicking the play button to choose whether they want to go to the next step – the click. According to Youtube, 90% of the most popular videos on the platform feature a custom thumbnail.

Some great qualities of a good video cover include:

The video cover accurately and concisely describes the video. 
The video cover is distinctive.
The video cover and the title of the video complement one another.
  1. Make the Audience Ask “Tell Me More” in the Introduction and Every Frame that Follows
    Every frame of a film should act as an invitation to viewers to learn more about the subject at hand in order to keep them watching from beginning to end.
  2. Utilise CTAs that are Obvious to Encourage People to Take your Intended Actions
    Each video to entice viewers to take action, whether that action is clicking to visit a website or following an account. It is not enough to have a large viewership on your best social media videos.

As a result, if you want to capture a viewer with limited attention span for videos, it’s important to add clear call to actions that accurately convey a brand’s narrative and objective.

Finally, Africa is no longer a crawler amid a sprinting world, as it has adopted multimedia content as a pace booster to spring its industries to global reckoning. A mere opening of any social media platform within Africa reveals extraordinary talent. It is also evident that big brands are making use of such talents to promote their campaigns and brands. It is also important to state that African content creators are making good returns on their creativity from brands within and outside the continent.

Seyi Adeyemi is a skilled Multimedia designer. He works with ID Africa as a Creative Video Producer