Commentary

The Moment Has Arrived For 'In-The-Moment' Video

Video will make up two-thirds of all mobile traffic by 2016 and is expected to surpass text and images as the preferred form of mobile communication in the next five years. The transformation is already underway:

  • Facebook's global user base is posting 75% more videos in 2015 than 2014; in the U.S. it's up 100%
  • Snapchat, with its 400 million-plus Snaps per day, is transforming into a video-first platform 

More recently, Twitter's live-streaming video app, Periscope, won boxing's biggest night, as an untold number of fight fans broadcast the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao championship bout to their followers. And Periscope's main competitor, the upstart Meerkat, just hired an executive from Yahoo's Tumblr to court Hollywood creatives to make content for its platform.

Taken together, these data points all suggest one thing: the moment has arrived for “in-the-moment” video. The key phrase here is “in the moment.” This is the common thread that unites user-generated video on Facebook, video snaps on Snapchat and live streams through Periscope or Meerkat. For the most part, these platforms are not populated with highly produced or celebrity-connected clips — although those do exist. Rather, the videos that break out to go viral or become memes are more typically spontaneous snapshots of everyday life shot by regular people looking to share with friends, family and followers. The emergence of these new channels is prompting agencies and advertisers to reevaluate how they are using video in their social media campaigns. With that in mind, here are a few tips that marketers should consider when building video strategies across social and chat platforms:
  • Customize for the environment. The content and viewing experience for video on social platforms is markedly different from TV. Audiences are likely to be mobile and seeking shorter-form content. Understand what makes each social platform unique and important to your customers, and tailor content and format accordingly.
  • Create “in the moment” stories.  Use video to share meaningful moments in real-time, just as consumers do. Last month, for instance, my feeds were filled with videos of children finding Easter baskets, stunning sunsets from tropical spring-breakers and the celebrations of triumphant Duke fans after the NCAA victory over Wisconsin. Brands can play key roles in enhancing meaningful moments, and marketers have more opportunity than ever to tell these brand stories with sight, sound and motion.
  • Personalize the content.  Your customers are increasingly using video for personal and even one-to-one communication through video snaps on Snapchat. Think about how you can leverage data, targeting and creativity to tell your brand's story in more personalized ways.

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The rise of “in-the-moment” video represents a new opportunity for brands to connect with people. But remember, people drive technology, not the other way around. When experimenting with these new platforms always remember the cardinal rule of marketing: Be authentic.

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