The way audiences consume video content is changing; YouTube reaches more 18-34 year olds on mobile alone than any US cable network, Facebook is currently driving 8bn video views per day, Cisco says that 80% of Internet users own smartphones and by 2020, 75% of mobile traffic will be video.
Mobile video versus traditional video
Taking into consideration time limitations and the accessibility requirements of modern day living, mobile video content is one of the most effective ways to engage with an audience and build a narrative. It should be given even more care and attention than TV spots, with different cuts based on data. Key considerations in this area are relevancy, platform, attention to scale, audio and messaging. Creative video formats such as vertical and the use of kinetic typography are also evolving at speed and should be thought about when planning a mobile video strategy.
The film industry is one of the best-placed industries to be driving forward innovation in mobile video. There are so many opportunities to create authentic, emotive and relevant content. Live and 360 for example, are perfect formats to deliver engaging behind-the-scenes teasers or Q&A sessions for fans. Over the past decade, we have seen many brands from various industries draw upon the entertainment industry for inspiration to create content.
Brands getting it right
Burberry is doing some really interesting work in the brand film realm, releasing a commercial which has been created in the style of a short film. Coors Light has created some engaging 360º mobile video ads, Adidas seem to be positioning themselves as leaders in mobile video, and Spotify’s branded moments have really embraced vertical video.
A vertical importance
We all need to be thinking in terms of square or portrait content. There is also evidence that vertical content has a higher number of views, share/engagement rate too, with Snapchat claiming for over a year now that vertical ads are viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones.
Creating bespoke content for native marketing
Audiences are smart. They know what they want and they know when something isn't quite right. Just as when a tweet strikes the wrong tone, it’s the same with incorrectly repurposed video. The key is to build a narrative with video and deliver relevant content to audiences in their time, which will encourage sharing. While TV commercials are generally product-centric, native video ads are guided by editorial, which leads to a highly shareable end product.
Cut to the chase
Facebook says three seconds constitutes a video view. Some might argue with that, but for a six-second piece of video content, it works. They have also just announced that they are investing heavily in short form video content, so priority is being placed on digestible formats to feed audience appetite. It’s interesting that a few months ago Instagram increased the maximum length of a video advert to 60 seconds to allow advertisers to use their existing content, repurposed. I think that goes against the spirit of native video. The trailer and the TV spot will need to be reinvented for these environments. The overall trick of course, is to tell your story through video in as short a time as possible!
Know your product, know your audience
Silence, the recent movie from Studiocanal, had its online trailer launch held back precisely because of the epic, panoramic cinematography of the movie. They wanted to ensure that audiences experienced it on the big screen first, in its native form. This technique shows a great understanding of the audience and limitations of certain platforms, they wanted to present the movie in its truest sense. Further to this, data on audience viewing habits should also be constantly analysed to inform creative content decisions
With all the various permutations, through Facebook to Snapchat to Instagram and beyond, it becomes cost-prohibitive. But that’s precisely why it’s important to identify which content needs to be created, for which audiences and which platforms, based on the marketing strategy, the data and analytics. Making these decisions pay dividends in marketing success and are essential to remain competitive.
Daniel Robey is founder and CEO of London based marketing agency ThinkJam.