We recently met a senior marketing manager who expressed a challenge: How could her organization move from an ad realm where two TV spots are created annually to a new world where brands need micro-content created each week, or even each day? Videos are powerful tools in micro-content, but the dynamics on small social screens (usually meaning mobile) are obviously different than on large, hi-def TVs. So, what video works best in social?
Facebook recently released study data showing top practices for creating video for social sharing. “It’s critical to connect with your audience and capture attention right away,” Facebook noted. About 65% of people who watch at least the first three seconds of a video will stick around for 10, and 45% will watch for 30 seconds – so grabbing the viewer immediately is vital. This can include front-loading product shots; including brand imagery and text in the first few seconds; and using popular spokespeople. In March 2015, Geico garnered buzz with video ads in which the entire ad story was told in the first 5 seconds, basically rendering the ads “unskippable.” As critic Tim Nudd noted in Adweek, “if you don’t hook people then, you’ll lose them.”
Facebook also recommends designing video ads for the “sound off,” since most video ads on mobile feeds are watched without sound. Subtitles, please! In one great case study, Seda Sunsilk promoted an anti-dandruff shampoo to Brazilian women with video tutorials that used creatively designed text on the screen, so the images were easily understood with no sound. The campaign resulted in a 7-point lift in unaided brand awareness. Kleenex is another brand that has scored big using videos in social media with text overlays, as well as the what-used-to-be-heavy-handed approach of putting the brand logo on the screen, too.
Facebook’s biggest tip is also the simplest: Experiment. With video editing costs falling, and the ability for digital media to report on everything from clicks to views to video completion rates, you might as well try numerous versions of your video creative to see what works best. Test at small budgets, then quickly pivot to what works. Seriously, try skipping this: