Social video: the planner’s perspective

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Social Video

Over the past five years, we’ve seen a massive shift in social media trends, with clients using both paid and earned media to make social sit at the heart of many campaigns.

It’s the closest a brand can get to their consumer – to listen, to learn and most importantly to engage and inform opinions – so for many it’s not a surprising move.

The most exciting development in recent years is the increased and optimised way in which of video is used. Thanks to algorithms on most social channels favouring engagement – the higher engagement levels, the further your content will travel and more eyeballs you’ll get on your brand.

For 18 to 34 year olds video has long been the key to converting engagements but we’re now seeing this trend grow across other demographics, with video performing growing significantly and audiences more likely to take action after seeing a piece of video content.

Therefore, it’s not surprising how heavily social features in the marketing plan, and how heavily video content features within the social plans.

Although many brands out there are embracing video and doing a fantastic job of making it work for them, there are as many who should consider a couple of simple rules.

Be platform specific

Gone are the ‘one-size-fits-all’ days where clients could simply post TV ads across multiple platforms. To maximise video engagement it’s essential to convert them at the best spec for their location.

With browsing on the go more popular than ever, be sure to consider mobile. We see the best results on social we edit the content to work as a square video (1×1). These formats look best on mobile devices and give the user a more seamless experience when scrolling through their feed.

Top tip: Facebook and Instagram recently launched vertical videos (1×2). A fantastic opportunity to post content that takes up the whole of a mobile screen without the user needing to do anything – leading to greater engagement and therefore interactions.

Lead with the punchline

With so many distractions building up to a crescendo no longer works. The viewer needs to be hooked in the first five seconds otherwise you’ve lost them.

While autoplay videos across social channels may seem like a gift from the social gods, the content must start with a bang and you need to get the viewer hooked. Otherwise they’ll just scroll on by, and with no sound until users interact; so brands need to get creative.

Top tip: With user initiated sound the norm on most platforms, and most people choosing to keep it that way due to public browsing, the introduction of dynamic text (or fancy subtitles) has allowed us to bring the dialogue to life in a much more interesting and creative way – again keeping the user engaged for longer.

Consider length

Video length has been very much a product of paid media and the restrictions set about by the channels itself, take Snapchat 's 10” vertical video length for example. The assumption that nobody is interested in longform copy is a myth, and longform videos have a place; if they didn’t the age of YouTubers wouldn’t exist. However, as always, it’s all dependent on the content and the objectives.

Top tip: 94% of pre-roll on YouTube is skipped after five seconds – so you don’t have long to grab viewer's attention.

Know your channel, know your audience

It’s a no-brainer but it’s essential to be clued up on your audience, what interests them, where are they and how they engage with content on which social channels before you start getting creative – the best results are always born from well-planned targeted relevant video content and placements.

Top tip: Younger audiences tend to favour shorter content on Facebook, while those aged 35 and over don’t mind sitting down to watch longer form videos. In addition, average engagement rates vary a lot across different platforms: for Instagram its 0.84%; Facebook is 0.53% and Twitter, 0.04%. Bear this in mind when choosing where to place your content.

And finally…

Video has a place in all aspects of a social campaign, and the effects can be incredibly powerful, but it’s essential clients move forward from a one-size-fits-all approach to ensure fans are tuned in to their messaging and willing to engage with their brand in a very personal space.

Amy Jones is an account director at Spinnaker.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.