Over the last decade marketing has entered a weird space where buzz words like mobile first, content led, viral posts and video, video, video seem to fly around and then disappear just as quickly as they came.
When Facebook first announced the big 'pivot to video' - that's another buzz word for you, in this case to describe the video, video, video buzz of the last five years - Mark Zuckerberg confidently set the advertising and marketing world into a flurry of hysteria.
Agencies were pitching social media videos to every client with the now infamous Zuckerberg line that in five years time Facebook would be mostly video content. Here's a deeper analysis from Vanity Fair on that one.
There's this phenomenon in marketing and agency life to never be in the dark about the next big thing. Because what if a competitor cracks that secret, platform or trend first. Think of it as major FOMO (fear of missing out) times ten. You'd hate to be the last agency to suggest your client got a Snapchat but when it comes to snap announcements we're big fans of missing out on the initial rush. Hello all the brands that rushed to do Facebook Live and now can't even think of ways to use live effectively. And when Facebook announced this back in 2015, everyone scurried to start making video, video, video. There was no real reason why at that point; it was only because Mark Zuckerberg had said so. Which is bit silly when you think about it but also wildly important for those who have watched the evolution of social media content over the last five years.
Our approach to industry hype is to get schooled before sitting back to observe and really get to learning. See what works and work doesn't. Which industries do these developments really work for? And which can give it a wide miss. Who really loves this content format? And who is out there trailblazing organic content production? It's the same with social video. As we've quietly observed over the years we've learnt a lot about what makes an awesome social media video and when it should be used. We've also learnt that sometimes you just want to make a fun video to help a brand position themselves in a new way on social media and that's fine too.
LIKE THE TIME WE PRODUCED THIS SCOUTING FOR GIRLS VIDEO!
Facebook were right in that video would become a big dominator. Not in the way they had thought but in the way users on other platforms were showing them. YouTube blew Facebook apart first, then came Snapchat, and TikTok is doing the same for taking its share of young, creative video whizzes. Facebook responded how Facebook knows best and copied the Snapchat format and took it over to its newly acquired Instagram platform. It pushed native feed video until users began to get used to it and then Instagram Stories & IGTV came along to shake it all up.
MAKING VIDEO WORK FOR YOU
So, what top tips can we take with us into the next decade when it comes to social media videos? Here's our top five tips for brands, agencies and social media managers alike.
1. Create videos that can be repurposed easily. Every platform has a different format that works best for it and it's important you understand what users are watching videos for on each platform. For example the Scouting for Girls video above was turned into GIFs for posting on Twitter and short snippets to post on Instagram, with the full version featuring on YouTube.
2. Learn how to shoot videos in portrait on your mobile. You don't need a whole studio setup to shoot great social media videos for your accounts. Most of us are a dab hand at shooting in landscape but vertical videos (like those found on TikTok and Instagram Stories) will only become more popular in the twenties.
3. Develop the knack for creating GIFs that can be shared as video content. We'll do a whole fan moment on GIF and how brands should use GIFs to elevate their social media but for now a great tip is to storyboard which scenes and frames will make amazing GIFs. Mark them and go through the GIF concepts with your video team and this way your final outputs will have all of the shiny GIF stuffs you need to really create a brand buzz on social media.
4. Collaborate with YouTube video content producers to learn the tricks of the trade. Who better to teach you how to create killer content that YouTube vloggers and content creators. Commission them to make a brand video or better yet invite them to work with you on a production you have planned. Getting them involved from the very beginning will allow you to better understand how the very best video content creators do it. This is probably a great time to let you know that our all new influencer service launches in 2020 and our family of talented content creators are just an email away. Check them out and then get in touch to do stuffs.
5. Accessibility. Have you factored in adding subtitles to your videos and translations if you're an international player. Or how about explainer videos which help make your brand more accessible to a range of audiences. Do you distribute to a wide audience through various platforms tailored for each? And are you actively including diversity in your content so that your content is accessible to as many people as possible?
It's a lot to think about hey. But that's why creative and social media agencies like ourselves spend a big chunk of our time watching videos across social to understand what works and what doesn't. Over on our Instagram Stories you can check out the behind the scenes action from this video production and more.
Here's to be rocking video content for you in 2020 and beyond.