Social media consumption is growing at breakneck speed, and consumers are increasingly demanding engaging, easily-digestible content. These two forces have combined to form the next evolution of storytelling: video. This year has effectively transformed video marketing from an optional tactic to a core business strategy. For marketers, this means that to reach your target audience and drive real business results in 2019, video needs to be a top priority.
Videos continue to usurp all other forms of media when it comes to grabbing and keeping consumers’ limited attention. On YouTube, which has over one billion users, people watch 500 million hours of video every day. What’s more, a Facebook executive recently predicted that their platform will be all video in less than five years. Apart from sheer volume, studies show that videos get more engagement than other types of posts, and video ads are two times more memorable than photos.
Needless to say, the ubiquity of video can no longer be ignored. To capitalize on this paradigm shift in consumption behaviors and expectations, brands are being challenged to look beyond traditional 30-second TV spots and create compelling digital video content.
Here are four tips to maximize the effectiveness of your video marketing campaigns.
Optimize for mobile
Considering that the majority of video ads will be viewed on smartphones, it’s important to keep the mobile experience in mind.
Deliver early because the non-linear nature of mobile means that people are consuming video content faster and more frequently than ever before. In order to capture and maintain the consumers’ attention, your videos should tell a concise story, with the message clear in the first few seconds. Messaging must also work with the sound off. Prominent branding is also a critical element of mobile video. Ensure your logo is displayed early and often, as ad recall is 60 percent higher for video ads with consistent logo placement.
If your brand is not already harnessing the vertical, full-screen view, now is the time to start using vertical ratios. In fact, according to recent research, people hold their phones vertically about 90 percent of the time. This new reality means that optimizing for a vertical screen will help your branded videos appear more natural and less obtrusive. Vertical video also takes up more space on the news feed, giving your brand more attention than a horizontal ad. Vertical video has become particularly relevant when it comes to Instagram and Snapchat stories, as this type of content is almost always viewed with the phone being held in an upright position.
Sound can help add relevance to your video ads, however, given that a lot of mobile content is consumed on mute, your core message should be clear with or without sound. Facebook specifically has created an ecosystem that doesn’t require consumers to turn the sound up. Keeping this in mind, in order to get the user to stop scrolling and fix their gaze on your content, focus on using bright colors and eye-catching movements that capture attention, not on storylines and narratives that will be lost without audio.
Creating enough custom, mobile-optimized videos to fuel social feeds may seem like a daunting and expensive feat, but it has actually never been easier or less expensive. Video production is expanding beyond traditional agency walls, and with the rise of the gig economy in the creative industry, more naturally talented consumers are emerging as viable content creators. These consumer content creators, or nanoinfluencers, are the answer to generating authentic video ads that are cost-effective, produced at speed and proven to perform.
Explore alternative video formats
In addition to new creatives entering the market, rapid technological advancements have also led to an explosion of alternative video formats. These emerging video trends are opening the door to endless possibilities for marketers, especially those looking to reap the benefits and high-performance rates of video ads without the drawn-out production times or expensive tabs.
The good news? Adding even a small amount of movement to a traditional image is enough to catch a person’s eye as it auto plays in their feed.
Stop motion videos use an animation technique where objects are moved in small increments between photographed frames to create the illusion of movement when played. Stop motion allows creators enormous control over the movement and action of a scene.
Motion stills are a photo editing method that add motion to static photos and are created by cutting various elements apart and reassembling them frame-by-frame. This method can be used as a creative refresh for brands who have a lot of static assets.
Another method is using cinemagraph video, which are minor, repeated movements that play in a never-ending, seamless loop to bring traditional images to life. You might not know these videos by name, but chances are you’ve already seen one. Cinemagraphs appear to be living photographs, where most everything is still except for a few elements that have movement. This blend of still life and subtle animation creates an almost magical effect and is far more engaging than a standalone image.
Test, learn, repeat
As your brand continues to run social video ad campaigns, you’ll gain an even better idea of what creative practices work best. Remember, there is no one proven recipe for success, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different video formats and trends. The key is to track the performance metrics of each initiative and use that data to create a continuous improvement loop for future content development. Over time, you’ll find what resonates with your target audiences, and the results will follow.
In sum, when it comes to brand marketing, our scope is no longer just limited to sales. Our mission should be building a holistic relationship with our consumers by leveraging the unique power of videos to engage and activate consumers at every point along their journey. The new year will be the time that brands level-up their video marketing strategies, moving from good to great. Are you ready?