Make Your Videos Unskippable

September 16, 2019

When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? What about Instagram or Twitter? My guess it was in the last day.

The reason for my guess is that the appetite for social media video continues to amaze. Facebook video is now up to 8 billion views a day. YouTube has over a billion users, reaching more 18-49 year olds than ANY cable network in the U.S. Add in other social media platforms and you quickly realize that this is the ideal ad space for marketers.

There are many scenarios in which you might create a video. Although only a very small percentage of people actually click on ads and buy anything immediately, but your impressions can still have a real impact.

Telling Stories

People don’t like ads and want something else. Storytelling has emerged as a way to spark a conversation and get people to talk about your brand. As legendary marketer Seth Godin said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

Learn to tell stories in a way that is accessible to the readers and users. Great storytellers do not complicate things unnecessarily; they just keep it simple.

Storytelling can be as simple as piquing curiosity and presenting content in an entertaining way. The first step is not “How do I talk about myself?” It’s “How can I delight my audience in the short time I have?” The true success of storytelling in social media is how your customer feels or what they do after consuming it. Focus on entertaining the viewer and piquing their curiosity. This commercial for Amazon Prime captures the viewer by showing two very different religious figures, a Priest and an Iman, and how they are able to connect over shared interests.

Relevant

People love themselves more than they love you, just the way it should be. If nothing else remember this, make your story and your content more about them than you. Put yourself in the eyes of your audience. What motivates them? What do they care about?

The right message, creative, and format are key to successfully grabbing a viewer’s attention. People expect videos to be made just for them, including showing experiences that are tailored to the location they’re in right now.

Sometimes customized content is the way to go. McDonald’s recently created 75 different six-second ads to drive relevancy for the Big Mac with millennials. They were targeted to its audience’s viewing interests, such as watching a movie trailer or live comedy clip. The customized ads earned more than double the ad recall of other ads in the campaign.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Finding the right aesthetic for your videos is challenging. But with the overwhelming amount of content to compete with, it’s critical that brands blend ad content into their videos naturally.

Shooting beautiful imagery in one of the best ways to inspire an audience. Gorgeous content makes people stop and want to know more about the location and who’s capturing this. Although it’s easy for anyone to pick up an iPhone and shoot a video, the time spent working with professionals who know how to compose, light and frame images shows itself in video analytics. Viewers love pretty pictures!

Enterprise uses video to promote its Enterprise Inspires campaign, which highlights various trips and beautiful spots around the country. Often involving nature, Enterprise’s videos stop the scroll with natural and beautiful videos that capture a viewers attention.

The visuals should tell the complete story. If it isn’t, that’s a problem. People are moving fast through their feeds when commuting, walking, and eating. Sound is often not viable for messaging – yet they still want to see what’s going on.

Cut to the Chase

With the viewer attention spans of a goldfish, videos need to be attention grabbing right from the start. Marketers have just 10 seconds to capture and engage an audience before they continue to scroll down or click away; and engagement drops off significantly beyond that. If you have not fully engaged your audience after the first 30 seconds, you’ve likely lost 33% of viewers; and after one minute, 45% of viewers have stopped watching.

Assume you need to cut to the chase in the first five seconds with your audience. Strip down your message and put the most crucial, attention-grabbing content into those first few seconds. Ideally, this open will encourage them to watch more, but even if it doesn’t, you’ve at least left them with a good impression of your brand.

Short and Sweet

One unmistakeable trend in social media is viewers like their videos to be short and sweet… and marketers have responded. Last year, 73% of all videos published were less than 2 minutes long. The days of long corporate videos are long gone.

Length is somewhat platform-dependent. Facebook’s auto-playback feature makes 30- to 45-second videos optimal; while Instagram and TikTok have fueled the demand for less-engineered, “micro-videos” that are 15 seconds or less. And tutorial videos on YouTube or gamer content on Twitch can be much longer… but those are very specific audiences.

Each platform has benefits and considerations, such as pre-roll ads or competing content, that play an important role in the need for a good user experience for your videos.

Make something worth watching – something that your customers will want to watch over and over again. Your goal should be more than to sell your product or service – you are creating a video that will be on the Internet for anyone to watch. It should be engaging and speak to your unique brand voice

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