The Silent Social Feed: Creating Video in an “Audio Optional” World

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If you’re not building mobile-first videos because you can’t stomach the additional production dollars, you’re doing the same thing users are doing in their feeds—not listening. In fact, 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound.

And with video consumption on the rise across all social platforms, mastering the ability to create video that works with or without sound is key to success in the feed. Instagram’s video consumption has increased by 40% in the past 6 months, and Facebook is reporting that the shift to video consumption is bigger than our shift from desktop to mobile. Pause and take that in.

Yes, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. “We didn’t budget for this!” you’re thinking. Unfortunately, the data makes it even clearer that stuffing your :30 and :60 minute TV cuts into a pair of social skinny jeans isn’t the way forward. It’s time to learn how to live in an “audio optional” world.

To succeed in our already inundated feeds, follow these seven best practices for social video:

1. DON’T BET ON CAPTION FUNCTIONALITY

Because of auto-play functionality, videos are mostly consumed with the sound off, so creating videos that make sense to users without sound is imperative to not only capturing their attention to watch the entire video, but also to ensuring recall. You might argue that Facebook has a nifty new caption functionality within its platform, but those captions aren’t always accurate and there’s no creative control over the text placement. Additionally, other networks (namely Twitter and Snapchat) don’t have this capability.

2. THE SHORTER THE BETTER

Focus on stories that can be told very quickly. If you’re working from a TV spot, think about your spot in vignettes. Are there parts that can be told more quickly, or segments that can be removed, leaving the story intact?

3. DON’T BURY THE LEAD

In social, keeping your video’s point a mystery for too long will hurt you. People just won’t watch. I’m not saying you have to give away the whole ice cream truck, but you do need to give out some free cones in the form of some type of action or expected result. Often brands will put the end result in the first 3 seconds (the time that’s needed to count as a view), include some sort of title card, and then work back up to the end in the meat of the video. Additionally, videos that feature people in its opening moments generally drive more qualified video views (meaning users who are actually interested in the content, who watch through to the end). However you decide to approach it, the video’s focus should be clear in the first few seconds, otherwise you’ll lose the user.

4. ACTION, THEN BRAND

Your brand doesn’t need to be front and center throughout the entire video. But, if you’re running any kind of brand awareness study alongside your creative, you’ll want to make sure that, no matter what, you include your brand within the first 3 seconds. That counts as a view, so it’s either that or #forgetaboutit. Again, you don’t need to create an overlay (though you can), but you could subtly place your product, or insert “XYZBRAND presents”, but make sure it’s in the beginning of your video. Obviously, it’s better to start with some sort of action to capture the user, so if you can get your brand in there, great. If not, add that title frame in there before the 2.5-second mark and you’re golden.

5. CREATE CLEAR STORY ARCS

One caveat. No matter how you reveal the focus of your video, storytelling always wins. Videos with clear story arcs (e.g. a beginning, middle and an end), are more memorable and according to Twitter, drive lifts in purchase intent. So if you’re working with longer form video (meaning 1-minute plus), think of ways to first capture the user and then build a story that maps to the storytelling arc you learned in 3rd grade.

6. TEXT OVERLAYS

Okay, you don’t need to go as far as captions for your videos, but there are definitely creative ways you can incorporate text overlays into your videos to help move the story along more quickly and in an engaging way. Take this Wrigley’s ad for example.

Here’s the TV ad:

Here’s the Facebook ad:

 

facebook wrigley 1

 

facebook wrigley 2facebook wrigley 3

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Though we don’t have the entire video playing here, you can see that they’ve taken the same concept from the TV ad and shortened it significantly and added the “Will he dare? Skinny Dip” text overlay, to give a better idea of what the user is viewing. It also does a great job of getting the branding in early!

7. GO LIVE

Last but not least, when it’s feasible, consider going live with video. It doesn’t make sense in all scenarios, but when it can be tied to an event IRL (in real life), it’s one of the most engaging video formats. Facebook reports that its live videos receive 10x more comments than regular videos and Twitter reports that Live video on its platform drives the highest levels of favorability in online video.

 

Originally posted on digitasdose.com

Twitter Ads: Convert & Converse

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Twitter AdvertisingThough paid social has been around for a while, right now we’re experiencing a real boom in its global acceptance across industries. It may be the shiny, new ad products or (and more likely), it’s because we’re finding that paid social ads work, especially Twitter ads.

There’s a whole army of social ad types including: LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, Promoted Facebook Posts, YouTube Video ads and Twitter Promoted Tweets (Instagram ads are in the pipeline as well as Promoted Pins on Pinterest & Promoted blogs on Tumblr). However, as is often the case, with more options comes greater confusion, which can ultimately paralyze a brand from using any paid social at all. Or worse, to use some paid social haphazardly without reaping the full benefits. Which is why we’ve been getting more and more inquiries from our clients about how best to leverage paid social.

Choosing a social ad type should depend on the answers to the following questions: Where’s your target audience? How do you want to engage with them? What are your goals?

Because of its ubiquity and conversational manner, we are actually pretty partial to Twitter’s ads products. And there’s one more important reason we include them in our recommendations: Promoted Tweets are actually proven to convert more prospects than organic tweets –  yep, Twitter ads were more than twice as likely as organic tweets to convert users (Convertro 2014).

Why is this? Twitter has a unique combination of targeting, timing, and ad unit options that are both engaging and effective.

In addition to the normal demographic, location and device-based advertising, when we target with Twitter, we’re also able to use strong relational and interest-based targeting. We’re able to target users based on hashtags, interest categories, the Twitter handles they follow, etc. We can even upload our own list of prospects to either include OR (and this is new) exclude. And, if you use Sysomos or SimplyMeasured, you’ll soon be able to target users by the specific keywords in their Twitter bios or based on things they’ve tweeted about in the past 30 days. So as long as you’re smart about what you advertise, to who and when, you can easily create something very relevant using Twitter.

This is especially so, because of the amount of ad units available. Twitter gets it. They know brands need to be able to justify media spends with clear metrics. Depending on your objective, you can usually find a Twitter ad unit that allows you to reach a goal AND to engage–convert & converse! And isn’t this nice – we’re here to help you navigate through them. Here are a few of Twitter’s ad types and best practices:

Promoted Tweets
If a brand is looking to engage with its target audience, increase its followers, and create a conversation, Promoted Tweets are the way to go. These tweets appear in a user’s timeline, in search results or in a user’s Hootsuite dashboard, and can contain images or links. The best way to use them is by including great stats, quotes, promoting new blogs or articles you’ve created, or simply by participating in a Twitter chat.

Twitter Promoted Tweet Example

Promoted Account
An offshoot of the Promoted Tweet, Promoted Account ads allow brands to get their Twitter handle in front of a specific target audience AND, in conjunction with a tweet, make a case for why a user should follow them. Users see these ads in the “Who to Follow” area and the tweet appears in their timelines. Promoted Account ads are very successful when done alongside traditional Promoted Tweet campaigns and really do result in high new follower counts. The catch? You have to engage with those new followers ASAP. Give them content they want to consume, or you’re very likely to drop off their radar.

Twitter Promoted Account Ad - Example

Lead Gen Cards/Website Cards
Oh how we love Twitter Cards! Introduced a little over a year ago, Twitter’s Lead Gen Cards allow advertisers to showcase an offer, a piece of content, a registration, really anything in exchange for that user’s information. And it all happens with the click of a button. Lead Gen Cards appear as a link within a tweet and upon click, expand into a user’s timeline. Once a user clicks to claim your offer or read your white paper, Twitter automatically collects and provides their twitter handle, name and email address. You can even have this information automatically imported into your CRM so that you can follow up with an email. Post-click users are then directed to a custom landing page of your choice.

When to use these? Well if your goal is to generate leads it’s an obvious choice. But it’s also great if you have pieces of content you know your target audience would love to read OR if you have a great discount to promo.

Recently, Twitter also unveiled Website Cards, which are similar to Lead Gen Cards, except the offer is always your website or landing page. Good to use if you have a game or something experiential on your landing page to provide users.

Twitter Lead Gen Card Example

Promoted Video
Still in beta, Twitter’s Promoted Video ads will be available as a self serve option for all brands soon. These are done on a cost-per-view model (vs. cost-per-enagement for the other ad units) and streamlines video playback with a one-tap viewing experience. These ads create an even richer sense of engagement with your target audience. An average Promoted Tweet costs anywhere from $1.50-$3.00 (depending on audience size). So if Promoted Videos stick to the standard, brands could also use these as a way to test out various videos before launching with larger online video or even TV strategies.

Twitter Promoted Video - Example

Promoted Trend
Last, and most expensive, is the Promoted Trend. This was Twitter’s earliest ad unit, as it places your hashtag in user’s trending topics area. However, from our experience promoting a trend for just one day can cost you $15,000! And you would be remiss if you promoted a trend without using Promoted Tweets and Promoted Account ads in conjunction. So, you’re likely going to exceed $20,000 for just one day of exposure. And you have no control over the other trending topics your hashtag might be showcased alongside.

However, if you’re looking for mass exposure, Promoted Trends are the way to go. These are great when used to enhance other large PR announcements to exponentially increase impressions and awareness of this news.

Twitter Promoted Trend Example

 

For more information about Twitter’s ad units or other paid social media efforts, feel free to contact allie_rees@lpp.com.