As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions and how to better ourselves in the coming year. For brands, this process is no different. Surely by now you’ve learned that your brand needs video marketing, and how visual storytelling techniques can be applied to any industry.
This time last year, HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan said that 50% of the content a brand’s marketing team produces in 2017 should be video. Did you follow that advice?
It’s estimated that video content represented 74 percent of all internet traffic this year, and it would be crazy to think that number will decrease in 2018. Let us share with you what we believe will be the upcoming trends for video marketing in the new year, and how to position your brand to take advantage of them.
Some call it brand journalism. Others say it’s content marketing or corporate storytelling. Regardless, it’s all original content. The original content trend will continue its upward climb in 2018, so brands should start getting comfortable with thinking about themselves as content creators (not advertisers). No one does this better right now than YETI. The stories on their channel are not about the brand’s products. They’re about the people living the brand promise. Instead of marketing products, they’re branded entertainment for YETI’s outdoor-enthusiast audience. Very little product placement is to be found, maximizing viewer benefit.
This year was also another giant leap forward for streaming video, with companies like Netflix taking home a whopping 20 Emmys thanks to their focus on producing original programming. Other tech giants like Amazon and Facebook have taken notice; the latter of which recently rolled out a new “Watch” tab on its desktop, mobile, and TV apps to house all the new shows created by their partners. They even struck a deal with Major League Baseball to broadcast one game a week on Facebook Live, positioning their site as a one-stop shop for social and video content.
Not to be outdone, Apple has cannonballed into the streaming video pool by announcing they plan to invest over $1 billion on creating and cultivating original content for their Apple TV platform. If there’s one thing Apple does better than almost any company on the planet, it’s marketing their brand. They know the future of consumer/brand relations is in video marketing and video content, which allows them to grow their audience while still satisfying their current customer base – something all brands should strive for.
Optimized Video Length
Every year, the debate rages. What’s the best length for video? Online videos come in all shapes and sizes, but over half of the videos published to every online platform are less than two minutes long on average (Vidyard, 2016). When you visit different social media sites, you have different expectations for the type of content you’ll find. Therefore, videos published to these platforms must vary in length depending on where they’re uploaded:
- Instagram: HubSpot found that, on average, videos with the most comments averaged 26 seconds
- Twitter: The site’s #VideoOfTheDay averages around 43 seconds.
- Facebook: With the death of Vine, Facebook has taken over as a headquarters for microvideos, or very short videos no more than 14 seconds in length (Facebook’s optimum). Longer videos can do well, but no longer than one minute.
- YouTube: YouTube is unique in that two types of videos do equally well: Short, punchy ones that average around two minutes, and longer, TED Talk-style deep dives upward of 20 minutes. YouTube acknowledges and cultivates this duality by providing a search filter for “short” (sub-four minutes) and “long” (more than 20 minutes) videos.
Now that you know you need to crop your videos to fit each environment, how can you do it while keeping your messaging intact? Video atomization may be your answer. This technique involves breaking down longer video campaigns into multiple pieces that offer multiple touchpoints for engaging viewers. Compare two of Scenic Road’s videos for our client Theorie: this 30-second ad
and the accompanying six-second microvideo.
One easy way to apply atomization to your current video marketing strategy is to create a playlist. Divide larger videos with multiple topics up into digestible chunks that deal with each segment individually. This puts your messaging better in line with your consumers’ attention spans (or lack thereof), and makes more difficult topics easier to understand.
Video Atomization also means editing optimal lengths for specific platforms (i.e., :06 or :14 for Facebook, :30 for broadcast or email) to “tease” your content in order to push people to experience the full-length version on your website. You can also re-use the same original footage by editing it with different graphics for new campaigns or sales throughout they year.
However, every rule is made to be broken. Certain videos dictate less atomization. A “tease” video or video revision is almost always appropriate, but putting portions of videos into a playlist sometimes isn’t the best approach. If your CEO gave an absolutely killer keynote that you want to share with your stakeholders, don’t ruin it by chopping it into pieces. Trust that the topic is engaging enough for viewers to sit back and absorb it all at once. As long as you put the viewers’ desired experience first, the strategy will follow.
The best thing about visual storytelling for video marketing is that it’s future-proof. Creating captivating videos that tell stories in fascinating ways will never go out of style. In fact, using proper visual storytelling techniques will only become more important for your marketing strategy. Consider the fact that 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Your brand needs to think creatively in order to clear this hurdle.
Consider also that consumers are becoming increasingly desensitized to standard media. Millennials in particular have grown up with the same old ads blaring in the background, and they’ve become adept at tuning them out. They expect (even demand) a sense of transparency from brands, and are more likely to give their time and money to those that appear more authentic and human.
The video marketing gurus at the Digital Marketing Institute put it pretty simply: “Moving forward, brands need to focus on transparency and disclosure to close this gap as much as possible.” This is where visual storytelling, and again, original content come in.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO has past the realm of being a “nice to have” and now is a “must have.” We live in the Age of Analytics, and if your brand isn’t harnessing the power of Big Data to set benchmarks for your video marketing strategy, you might as well be running a race with both shoelaces tied together. The good news is best SEO practices are fairly standard across all content types, and are easy enough to implement if you take the time:
- Conduct keyword research to figure out what types of videos users search for the most. On YouTube, “How-To” videos are especially popular.
- You want to include your focus keyword in your video title, and you should also solve a problem with your title.
- Encourage viewers to like, comment, and subscribe (do this both in the description and the video itself when appropriate).
- Did you know that closed captions are crawlable by search engines? YouTube can generate them for you (sometimes quite poorly), but here’s how to do it yourself.
- Promote your videos on other social media platforms. Cross-posting will ensure your videos are seen by a larger audience, and allow your customers to share them with others. But don’t post the same video everywhere; remember video atomization is best.
Jump-Start Your Video Marketing Strategies for 2018
Where would you like your brand to go in the new year? In this day and age, even treading water is a bad sign; the good news is that an effective video marketing strategy can act as a life preserver, or even better, a speed boat. By embracing the best practices for video we’ve discussed in this blog, you’ll be surprised how much better your brand will be at satisfying your current customers – and gaining new ones.
Not sure where to start? Let us help you out. Check out our work and subscribe to our email list for more video marketing pro tips from Scenic Road. Email us if your brand would like to share a case study of your video marketing efforts. We could feature it in an upcoming blog.