One trend has dominated discussion about social media in the past two years: video. It’s no secret that social video has been growing at an exponential rate in recent times and with more than 70% of the global population expected to own a smartphone by 2020, the significance of optimising your video content for mobile viewing is huge.
Many people suggest that social video is expensive to create and that it takes a significant amount of resource to be successful. This, however, is no longer true. Brands and publishers should adapt to the changing consumption patterns and create purposeful, engaging video so as not to be left behind.
Here’s five tips that can help you create successful social video for your audience:
1. Keep it short
Social video has always been short and platforms like Vine, Snapchat and Instagram extended this trend. Most social video is viewed on mobile, consumers want the content ‘right now’ and many are watching on-the-go. Attention spans are shorter than ever online. Brands, rights holders and publishers must meet consumer expectations by providing short-form content that fits into the daily behavioural patterns of their customers.
By providing real-time, bite-sized chunks of entertainment, content distributors are able to connect with millions of fans in an instant and, by adding links and calls-to-action within the videos, have an opportunity to drive wider marketing objectives.
In a recent Grabyo survey 83.72% of premium rights holder respondents said that their social videos averaged between 30 seconds and 2mins in length. Fewer than 10% of respondents shared video content over five minutes in length to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
It will be interesting to track whether this changes as social platforms such as Facebook roll-out specific ‘sections’ of their app for video viewing, which in turn may encourage longer watch-time and a shift towards longer format clips.
2. Make it square
Square video is not just for Instagram. Few people have recognised that:
- Square video is supported on Twitter and Facebook’s native video players.
- Square video clips takes up significant more space in a ‘mobile newsfeed’ which gives fans a greater viewing experience, leading to higher engagement.
Taking up more screen space, square video creates the least friction for mobile users when viewing content on mobile devices. With horizontal content, to view across the entirety of the screen, users are required to turn their device horizontally – this is not a natural behaviour when holding a phone (and most people don’t bother…).
However, when viewing square videos, users do not need to move their phone to get the best viewing experience – it is the same in every orientation. Grabyo customers sharing clips in square, and vertical format are already seeing greater engagement levels – this is also a trend followed by advertisers who recognise the power of the square format.
3. Use links and calls-to-action
Every video that distributed to social media should have a specific purpose and objective. If you are publishing video for the ‘sake’ of publishing video, then you are doing it wrong! Social video presents a clear opportunity to increase brand awareness, create a loyal fan base, drive tune-in or OTT subscriptions, increase sales or support wider advertising campaign objectives.
Getting consumers to watch and share a video is fantastic and if you create engaging content then fans will be open to associated marketing messages and calls-to-action. Grabyo customers use our ‘creative sets’ to drive tune-in and promotion of marketing objectives and to to drive traffic to campaign pages or owned and operated websites and mobile apps.
For example, Sky News can direct viewers to tune-in to the full live broadcast on TV; Hunter can show fans where they can buy the latest clothing and footwear range and Chelsea FC can provide fans with a link to purchase match-day tickets or a ChelseaTV subscription.
4. Mentions (user tagging)
“The message is your medium”. When you post a video to social media, the message you add to the post/tweet can be just as important as the clip. Where possible, tailor the message for each platform and the post should also be specific to the audience on each channel.
However, just because Facebook does not have a strict character limit like Twitter it does not mean you should write paragraphs of copy. Keep it short and sweet to keep your audience engaged and encourage them to view, and more importantly share, your videos with friends and followers.
A ‘user tag’ on Twitter or Facebook ensures the video is more likely to be displayed in the feed of a user or followers of your account. For example, if you publish a video that includes Thierry Henry, you can ‘tag’ him in the message, by doing so the content is more likely to appear in Thierry’s fans’ timeline – even if they do not follow you directly.
User tagging and mentions is a quick and easy way to increase your reach, and ultimately, video views.
5. No audio – the power of “autoplay”
Facebook and Twitter introduced autoplay for video content last year and consumers no longer expect to have to click a video to watch it. When a video ‘autoplays’ on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter it will not include audio – this is an important consideration for social video publishing.
Traditionally, advertisers and content creators have distributed video to TV where users watch a full-screen experience with the sound turned up. Now, a very different creative strategy is required for small-screen viewing, in ‘feed’, without sound.
As mobile usage surges and content consumption happens on-the-go (often in public places), viewers frequently play videos without audio by default. Autoplay exacerbates this trend by playing the content as users scroll through their feeds:
Will your audience understand your video without any sound?
Will your fans be enticed to watch your content for longer than 3-seconds if no audio is playing?
How can you provide assistance to viewer to compensate for the lack of sound?
Graphic overlays are a great way to engage users before they have even begun watching the video. This is a common tactic by YouTube influencers, and a fast-growing trend on Twitter and Facebook as content creators (and advertisers) recognise that a growing percentage of their audience are watching video in autoplay-mode.
There you have it. Five quick tips that you can put into practice to develop your social videos and improve the content you share with fans, subscribe to our blog for future updates, hints and tips to enhance your social video publishing strategies and achieve better results.
If you’re interested in using Grabyo, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org