Sahail Ashraf posted on 12 October 2017
Okay, who is the most influential and powerful person on social media these days? That’s right, Mr Zuckerberg. He is widely respected, and brutally honest about the state of social media. This is because he basically made it what it is today. And in addition to all of this, his personality also includes a huge amount of intelligence.
Take a look at this article here. Zuckerberg has spoken on the topic of video before of course, and everyone knows how powerful it can be. But he believes that video will be what Facebook is all about within just a few years time.
This puts anyone who does video well (and even those who are beginning to do it well) in an interesting position. Basically, video will be even bigger in the future.
This is easy to say, and if you’re creating great video, more power to you. But just in case you’re becoming complacent, or finding it difficult to raise your game, here are a few key elements of great video that every digital agency should have in place. Sorry, scratch that. Not should, but must have in place.
That is what Zuckerberg thinks about video. He has been quite accurate with recent industry predictions and there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of this one.
If we were to pick out one factor in any online video’s success it would be the length. Video has now become the online equivalent of a short snack. Any longer than just a few minutes and you will most likely get ditched by your audience. If you find this hard to believe, just think about those spam emails that many marketers send, with ‘short videos’ that can be accessed via a link in the email. Click on one of the links and you will soon become incredibly frustrated as the narrator or person on screen spends a very long time introducing the topic. And that’s before you get to the point of the video.
Long video does not work. It is as simple as that. So the creative team needs to focus on getting better at shooting very short videos. If we were to be honest about it, we would say 30 seconds is ample time to convey a message, engage and entertain. Why 30 seconds? Well, TV ads do all of that in the same amount of time.
That’s right, the instructional video is making a bit of a comeback. The expertise that an audience expects is now best served with sound and image. The ability to illustrate (quickly of course, unless you’re doing a series) the process involved in doing something is perfect for keeping audiences engaged.
Think about it, if you have a product and it’s a physical one, one of the very best ways you can make it easier on prospective buyers is to show how to set it up. Or you could shoot a video that shows how it works, and how it adds value. Think of the sales pitch in the traditional sense, and that’s what we’re talking about. You can gain a lot of engagement with a high quality instructional video.
Take this one step further and create videos that offer tips or ‘hacks’ that make the product even more useful for people. This works particularly well if the product has been bought quite consistently, and has a reputation.
If the audience needs to know how to get the best out of it (like with a phone, for example), a video that takes them through this in easy steps is a sure-fire way of earning engagement and loyalty. So tell someone how to do something, or show them how to do it better.
There are probably some brands out there who only use one platform for video. This may well be Facebook (chiming in nicely with what Zuckerberg said). If that is working for them then that’s absolutely fine.
If you only use one space, this has to be because the biggest chunk of your audience is in that space. It also has to be a qualified space in that you know that the audience will engage with the video. It is made for them, to serve them in other words.
Venturing beyond this means that you are diluting your efforts. It is much better to focus on one or two areas that will bring maximum yield. Take a look at your channels and craft video accordingly. And don’t be afraid to say video ‘won’t work’ with this or that audience segment. It’s intelligent, and it allows resources to go off and have maximum impact.
Video may need to be short if it is to get any real engagement, but this doesn’t mean that the rest of the footage has to be thrown away. Some of the very best video campaigns are a series of posts that tell a story or knit together a theme. It’s obviously up to creatives to work out what that story or theme is, but if your initial video is a hit, sending out the rest of the footage can lead to some major connections happening.
You can spice this up a little by including a contest that people can only enter once they have watched all the videos. Or you could have a gimmick like a mascot or a character who is odd. The whole thing needs a lot of work and plenty of input from various people, but once the idea is there, you can start creating a quality series that builds engagement.
Now, perhaps more than ever, user-generated content is highly important. The more you get your audience to submit videos to your feed, the stronger the connection with that audience. Users can create fun, different content that is unique to them. This makes for an insight into what your audience is all about, and the more examples of this that come in, the more likely you will build a community of people all united by their preference for your product.
The quickest way to make this happen is to have a competition where video is the mode of entry. Keep them short (as part of the rules) and ask for funny, distinctive or just plain honest. Perhaps let everyone win something. Then, as the videos come in, share them, everywhere. This will show other people that you have a community and a voice within that group.
Video is going to become even bigger. Zuckerberg is right about that. But it still requires work and commitment from brands. The better a brand gets at this skill right now, the more likely that brand will rise above the noise in just a few years time.
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