As brands and retailers vie against each other in a burgeoning – and increasingly diverse – attention economy, video commerce marketing will be a valuable resource in their arsenals.
Of course, the attention economy is not the only thing that is burgeoning – so is the field of artificial intelligence (AI). So at Firework, we were wondering, what are AI’s thoughts on the kind of impact video commerce can have in the attention economy.
What is the attention economy? And why does it matter?
According to American psychologist and economist Herbert A. Simon, who coined the term, “attention economy” refers to the scarcity of human attention in an information-rich world. It also encompasses all the infrastructure and platforms that businesses rely on for winning consumer attention.
According to a recent Microsoft study, the average human attention span is now just over 8 seconds. That is less than the attention span of a goldfish.
The attention span of the average human has been slumping since the advent of the internet, the lowest in human history in the smartphone era. And while reduced attention spans is hardly good news for people’s personal lives, it’s even worse news for brands.
After all, consumer attention is key for marketing efforts in any business model to be successful.
Engaging and converting consumers has always been a challenging task. But now, their attention is proving to be the true currency that marketers are competing for in a society where people’s cognitive resources are the limiting factor.
What AI thinks about video commerce impacting the attention economy
As the world looks to AI for answers on everything – from homework assignments to legal decisions – we figured asking AI about the attention economy couldn’t hurt. So, we fired up Open AI’s ChatGPT and asked “Dear ChatGPT, how can I win in the attention economy with video commerce?”
We then cross-checked with Firework’s in-house experts to see if AI has got it spot on, or if the attention economy is too much of a minefield for ChatGPT to navigate.
So, let’s dive right in to see what ChatGPT has to say:
1. Identify your target audience
AI says: “Understand their pain points, interests, and behaviors to create content that appeals to them.”
Firework says: “Well, the good news is ChatGPT knows the basics of marketing 101. But it does make a lot of sense from the video commerce perspective. In the end, it is the attention grabbing content that drives the ‘video’ part of video commerce, and tailoring your content for the target consumer is always step one.”
2. Create engaging and informative videos
AI says: “Use high-quality visuals, sound, and storytelling to showcase your products and how they can solve problems for your target audience.”
Firework says: “100% agree! When paying attention is scarce, engaging your audience and keeping them engaged is critical. Every aspect of the video content plays a role towards achieving this goal. If you want customers buying your products or services, showcasing them effectively is critical.”
3. Optimize for discoverability
AI says: “Use keywords, captions, and descriptions to make your videos easily discoverable on search engines and social media platforms.”
Firework says: “Interesting point. Most people don’t usually think of associating SEO with video commerce and live shopping. Maybe that’s a thing brands should really double down on.
Yes, at the end of the day, social media will still be king when it comes to discoverability. But with the open web ready to thrive, can brands afford to overlook the basics anymore?”
4. Promote your videos
AI says: “Leverage paid advertising, influencer marketing, and email campaigns to reach a larger audience and drive traffic to your videos.”
Firework says: “High engagement and CTA rates only truly matter if you have a wide audience base to begin with. When it comes to video commerce, specifically live shopping events, it isn’t just a case of ‘build it and they will come.’
While solutions like shoppable videos are fine as they are, where they are on a brand’s site, something like a live shopping event will require brands to make a conscious effort to promote them. Again, let’s not forget just how competitive things are in the attention-based economy.”
5. Interact with your audience
AI says: “Encourage comments, likes, and shares by responding to comments and creating interactive elements in your videos.”
Firework says: “One of video’s greatest strengths, compared to all the other formats out there, is its ability to create customer engagement. Whether it is shoppable videos or a livestream shopping event, consumer interaction and engagement is easy to encourage if done correctly.
You’ve worked so hard to get their attention; it would be a waste to not have them interact and engage.”
6. Measure and adjust
AI says: “Analyze the performance of your videos using metrics like views, engagement, and conversions to make informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t.”
Firework says: “No one in their right minds will argue against this, and we certainly won’t. Every single piece of video commerce content that a brand puts out is a trove of data.
At Firework, we like to remind marketers that the learning never stops, and no matter how well a brand thinks their video commerce effort is going, we can help them do better. This is absolutely critical when it comes to staying on top of the attention economy.”
Why did AI make these suggestions?
So ChatGPT did a (somewhat) great job of explaining how video commerce can help brands win in the attention economy, regardless of the business model. But the ‘why’ is something it doesn’t really touch upon.
Thankfully, we’re here to provide some insights of our own, specifically why video commerce works so well in an environment where user attention is scarce:
1. Standing out in a crowded marketplace
Consumers automatically gravitate towards brands that project a unique identity. As competition grows for a dwindling attention span, a brand’s video commerce efforts can be the differentiating factor that makes it stand out, while effectively shrinking the gap between discovery and purchase.
2. Creating memorable experiences
ChatGPT brings up interaction and engagement as important factors, which is very true. In the end, both these things contribute towards building and delivering a memorable experience. In a time when consumers are bombarded with more ads across social media platforms and paying attention to them feels like a chore, the brand recall generated from these memorable experiences is invaluable.
3. Engaging with customers ingeniously
Not only are users losing their attention spans but they’re also increasingly wary of how brands try to engage, treating it all like they’re ads. Younger consumers in particular are very conscious about the ‘hard sell.’ Video commerce, in the form of shoppertainment, gets past these defenses to engage Gen Z with content that that are actively looking for.
Our final assessment
For the most part, ChatGPT gets it right. Every one of the points raised by it is something that marketers need to consider when putting together their video commerce strategies.
Besides giving us answers, AI will soon also be looped into developing marketing strategies. Former theoretical physicist Michael Goldhaber once wrote in a Wired article that attention has its own behavior, its own dynamics, its own consequences.
In the information age where attention spans continue to dwindle, both video commerce and AI have key roles to play going forward.