Optimising video content for social channels
By Faye Jackson, Head of Digital Marketing, The Edge
“YOUR ACTUAL GOAL IS NOT SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS — IT’S TO SELL A PRODUCT, CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY, OR FURTHER A CAUSE. SOCIAL MEDIA IS JUST A TACTIC YOU CAN USE TO HELP ACHIEVE THAT GOAL.”
Making content for social media use demands a different approach. Attention spans are shorter, competition against other content is greater and so your video needs to work harder to grab their attention, show relevance and deliver its message.
So how do you distil your message into short videos, maximise relevant content, connect with the viewer consistently, earn likes, more views, get someone to subscribe, build a tribe…on a regular basis!?
(We never said this was easy, but there is a process to making it easier!!)
Let’s start with…
1. Defining your approach
What is the ultimate goal of your interaction, or alternatively, when everything is flowing and happening as you’ve dreamed it would, what exactly are people doing? Define the big goal in as much detail as possible then create mini, uncomplicated waypoints to smash through on the way to the big G.
Thinking creatively and unrestrained at the beginning (refining comes later) gets you to think of social platforms as tools for your purpose, rather than allowing them to shape your marketing thoughts. Your strategy for social is far more important than your social management (yes, that piece of software is wonderful the way it automatically provides the best hashtags and posts messages is incredible!), but what else is just as important? Having a conversion plan alongside your social strategy. It might sound obvious, but what do you want people to do after watching the video? ‘Watch another’, then you might ensure that other content is promoted/linked at the end of your video. ‘Follow the series’, you might create an exciting pre-roll to promote your new channel. Whatever it is, keep it simple, consistent and easy to do.
Now, let’s think about…
2. Connecting with your audience
Understand your customer by standing in their shoes, it’s a key element to shaping your social strategy. How do they think? What influences their decisions? When are they likely to have breaks or watch video? How much time will they have? What do they like to watch/read?
Creating customer journeys and mapping the potential ways people can discover and watch your content, with the various actions they could take after (following your calls to action) will highlight opportunities for additional marketing collateral or touchpoints, such as a Landing Page to download a related brochure or complete a form.
3. Being Unique
Be curious, have a look at what competitors, other influences (identified from the journeys in your persona profiles) and industry leaders are doing, making, saying. Read comments, watch videos, click links to see where you go. All the while, think about what makes you different.
Why should people choose you? What makes you stand out from the crowd, what qualities define you? What makes your tone of voice? The traits that make you, you. Keep them. It’s what makes your social/digital presence authentic and real.
In a world where individuality and self is constantly being asserted and celebrated. Stand out. Be you.
“VIDEO INFORMS AND ENTERTAINS PEOPLE AND, GOOD OR BAD, TODAY MOST PEOPLE PREFER TO WATCH A VIDEO RATHER THAN READ A PAGE OF TEXT.” – LISA LUBIN
Any time taken to conceptualise and plan will help reduce creative blocks. So now we’ve established a few guiding principles to optimise our decision-making process. Devising mini-campaigns or themes to meet the objectives of your waypoints become easier, and it’s a less daunting task to fill your timeline with relevant, targeted and topical content.
Video content is one of the fastest-growing forms of marketing and according to Forbes, 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. Behind every profile (well almost) there’s a person. So once the creative is complete, the marketers are itching to pull the trigger. Before you unleash your campaign onto the social platforms, here are a few essential insights for Youtube, Twitter and Facebook to ensure your content is optimised for each platform to maximise delivery.
Best Practice For YouTube
• Give the viewer a reason to continue watching – Ensure that the video continues to entertain and inform beyond the 5s.
• Clear call to action – Video should finish with a clear next step for the viewer – subscribe, visit a website, share this video.
• Make 5s Video – Grab the viewers attention and deliver your message within the 5s skippable time.
Best Practice For Twitter
• Go big on branding – Include the brand logo in the first few frames to aid ad recall.
• Sound off – As with Instagram and Facebook, ensure your ads are still effective without sound as many mobile viewers will view without sound.
• Make 6s Video – Twitter recommends ads be 15 secs or less and cite 6 secs as the brand affinity ‘sweet-spot’.
Best Practice For Facebook
• Put a call to actions in the middle – If you’re using a call to action, put it in the middle of the video.
• Check your video ad spec – Ideally, we recommend 1:1 – a perfect square, or 9:16 vertical videos.
• Keep it short – Facebook recommends video ads be 5-15 seconds long. Mention the brand name within 3 seconds.
At The Edge we’ve produced many of award-winning films for social platforms Educating (8 Asks For The 8th), Inspiring (Where The Best Gets Better), Teaching (Believe In This), Highlighting (A London Conversation), Challenging (Teenage Cybercrime #Cyberchoices) and Changing Minds (The Emir Cup – The Referee) for brands such as International Rescue Committee, Barclays and the National Crime Agency across the globe.
Take a look in our portfolio or contact us to see how we can help you connect with your audience.