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:

 

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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

B2B Video Marketing: Why B2B companies should use YouTube

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Considering the videos you watch on YouTube, you might not think that it’s the right place for B2B companies to communicate. Isn’t it for videos of cute kittens and babies? But as online video consumption increases, YouTube is becoming a top online destination for everyone, including the B2B industry. Increasingly, video is proving it can engage users much more than any other medium, no matter who they are.

Why should B2B marketers use YouTube?

YouTube has evolved over the years from a novelty into a mainstream method for executives to receive business information. In fact 75% of executives watch work-related videos each week (Forbes Insights). Studies show that decision-makers increasingly want to watch, not read.

You can probably draw from your own experience. How many times have you reverted to YouTube to learn more about a company ? Or to learn more about some business-related subject matter?

B2B companies often have involved concepts and processes that are hard to explain with text. A dynamic video can explain these much more efficiently and in a more captivating way than a long text-filled web page.

Not only will executives appreciate the brevity and ease of a video that can spark their interest, but they’re also apt to share it with their colleagues. Younger execs, in particular, are more inclined not only to view video but to also create and share it over the business-oriented social web. The more your videos are shared, the greater the likelihood that other people will watch it.

If we haven’t given you reason enough to consider YouTube as part of your B2B marketing strategy consider this:

Studies show that people who have seen a video are more likely to convert to a lead.

So, YouTube is not only helping B2B marketers build incremental reach among decision makers, but it’s also helping to engage and convert them. All in all, YouTube is helping B2B organizations sustain long-term customer relationships and carve out potential leads.

Using YouTube has a few other added bonuses:

  •  YouTube improves a brand’s SEO and natural search rankings. Because Google knows that people prefer videos, a keyword-titled video shows up in search results much more often than a written post. In fact, videos attract 300% more traffic than a plain-text article, according to Marketing Sherpa.
  • On YouTube people are able to leave comments, creating an even stronger bond between them and your brand.
  •  YouTube provides comprehensive reporting and analytics to track your efforts, so that you can be absolutely sure you’re creating the right content for your target.

How to properly take advantage of YouTube & video marketing for your organization?

B2B marketers who use YouTube can increase awareness and preference, demonstrate products, share knowledge, and put a likeable, human face on their company, but it takes a sound strategy in order to do this. This strategy is built by learning what information and content your current and prospective clients are looking for and what they want to know about you. American Express has done a wonderful job leveraging YouTube for their B2B communication needs: Amex Open Forum.

Craving more information? Leave a comment below with your questions or email amwassum@gmail.com for more specific strategic approaches to YouTube as well as information about YouTube advertising!

The Short-Form Video Revolution: Vine, Instagram Video, or Both?

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It’s no surprise that video, in general, is on the rise. It’s been talked about by marketers since YouTube became a major player. But video consumption has increased substantially in the past year. Video plays on smartphones tripled from 2011 to 2012 (Adobe). The viral reach of video is also now outpacing any other type of content, with the viral share-of-reach for video growing from 55% in 2011 to 77% in 2012 (versus non-video content) (Adobe).

Being a part of the video game is now an option marketers are being forced to consider. But, the creation of videos can often seem daunting for marketing managers. How high quality should the videos be? How long should they be? What should be included?  All of these questions have become barriers preventing brands from diving into video content creation.

Fortunately with the introduction of both Vine and Instagram Video, most of these difficult decisions can be avoided. Not only do these apps make videos easy to create and upload, but consumers also seem to prefer this type of short-form video over static images. In fact, before Instagram Video was available, Vine videos were shared 4 times more than any other video on the internet (Unruly Media), and the number of Vine video links posted on Twitter surpassed the number of Instagram photos posted (Nick Bilton, NY Times Columnist).

Because of its unique video platform, Vine quickly became one of the most popular apps available, but as soon as Instagram introduced “Instavideo,” its popularity started to wain. Using Topsy analytics, we put together a chart of the past 2 weeks, showing the amount of Vine and Instagram links shared on Twitter. From the graph you can tell that more Instagram links (including both photos and videos) are being shared on Twitter. This is due to one thing: short-form video.

Instagram Shares vs. Vine Shares

Now that there are two players in the short-form video world, marketers who wish to engage with users in this way must decide which app to use. From the chart, one might be quick to assert that Instagram Video is the best avenue as Instagram Video has had a major effect on the amount of Vine videos created and shared. On June 26, less than 900,000 Vine links were shared on Twitter, compared with nearly 3 million shared on June 15 (as reported by Marketing Land). So does this mean that brands should opt for Instagram Video over Vine?

We’re not so sure. There are too many differentiators keeping the two video content creation apps from usurping the other. AND, don’t forget that each will continue to develop their platforms to keep their loyal users around.

If you have the time, why not create a presence on both apps? If you really must choose one, consider your audience and the types of videos you want to share. Where do they fit the best? No matter which app you choose, though, you’re doing something right by engaging with your audience using short-form videos.

As for us, we got hooked on Vine from the get-go and haven’t been able to stop. But we also love Instagram Video because we already have an Instagram account, the videos are unintrusive, and the footage is undeniably beautiful.

Interested in some of my Vines? Look up social_allie when you’re on the Vine app.

Which video app do you prefer?

http://sixstoriesup.com/watch-out-vine-instagram-video-cinema-announced-today/

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Today Facebook & Instagram confirmed our suspicions. Instagram has incorporated video into their platform!

It’s seamless, beautiful and available today. Here’s the down & dirty on what makes it different from Vine:

  1. Instagram videos can be up to 15 seconds long, as opposed to Vine’s video lengths which are capped at 6 seconds. According to Instagram’s co-founder it’s the “perfect medium” between longer format videos and ultra-short videos.Instagram Video Record Button
  2. With Instagram’s video interface, users will be able to edit bits of their video and re-record. Whereas on Vine if you need to edit a clip users are forced to re-record the entire video (though it seems this may be changing soon).Instagram Video Editing Clips
  3. Instagram is known for beautiful photography and according to today’s announcement videography will be no different. Instagram has developed 13 unique filters into its interface, made specifically for videos. These filters are similar to the filters for photographs, but are all their own. With Vine there is currently no filter option – what you see is what you get.Instagram Video Filter Capabilities
  4. With Instagram Video, users can now select their own cover photo. This cover frame is the image that will be published to their friends feeds. With Vine, there is no option to select your own cover photo, it just automatically assigns one.Instagram Video Cover Photo
  5. Instagram Cinema is here and pretty groundbreaking. Instagram teamed up with video scientists all over the world to create a stabilization feature within their camera interface so that no Instagram Videos are wobbly. This is a pretty remarkable feature that will allow users to seem like professional videographers (much like how Instagram pictures allow users to seem like professional photographers).
  6. There is no loop. On Vine, videos automatically play when you scroll through your feed and they also loop over and over again. With Instagram Videos, the cover photo is what appears in a users’ feed, with an overlay of a video icon. As soon as users lift their finger while scrolling through their feed the video plays. Seamless and unobtrusive.Instagram Video In Feed
  7. All Instagram videos will be on the web as well as on the app, so that users can link to their Instagram profile or specific video. With Vine, users must point their friends to the app if they want to share their profile or video or ask people to follow them.

Instagram Video seems to be “everything we know and love,” about Instagram already, “but it moves.” Oh…and did I mention it’s available right now on both Android and iOS?

Will you ditch Vine for Instagram Video?