Livestream video apps, like Periscope and MeerKat, captivated audiences at industry events and discussions earlier this year. But I’m betting that autoplay takes the title for hottest video topic of 2015.
Autoplay has exploded into the market and it’s taking mobile and social video by storm. A February 2015 study found that not long after Facebook implemented autoplay onto users’ newsfeeds, 54% of U.S. marketers were either very likely or somewhat likely to purchase Facebook autoplay video ads. And like Instagram and Facebook before it,
Twitter’s new “see more, tap less” campaign is a perfect example of how autoplay can enhance the user experience and allow viewers to see videos organically as they scroll through social timelines.
With Facebook reportedly serving up more than 4 billion video views a day and mobile video viewing up more than 16 times what it was in 2011, now is the time for advertisers to get ahead of the trend lines, adjust their strategies and take advantage of the benefits autoplay can offer them.
Here are 3 tips for advertisers looking to create autoplay video ads:
Optimize style for each distinct platform
Video autoplay isn’t experienced the same way across all social mediums; what video strategies work on Facebook don’t necessarily resonate on Instagram. Know your platform and its users in order to capture their attention and foster engagement, and tailor your campaigns so that specific types of content are exclusive to certain platforms.
Facebook, for example, will allow for lengthier videos that can be experienced more like traditional commercial slots. However, micro video apps such as Vine and Snapchat require quick-glance storytelling that needs to be executed in a matter of seconds.
Don’t rely on sound to sell your story
Autoplay videos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are muted until a user clicks for sound. Unlike autoplay ads of the past, which often distracted with blaring soundtracks or jingles, advertisers now need to utilize graphics and text to create emotional narratives that grab an audience's attention. Sounds can and should be included, but it should be assumed that the user will never un-mute.
Much like in silent films, text can act as a fundamental element that ensures audiences will understand a story or topic regardless of sound. Text can be used to move story lines along, create a specific call to action or to identify key themes.
Refinery29 is particularly adept at including text in their Facebook autoplay content, and a majority of their videos can be viewed to completion and fully understood without ever having to turn up audio.
Video advertisements sometimes slowly unveil the key points of a story, or wait until the end of the video to reveal the product being featured. Smoke and mirrors don’t get you very far in the age of autoplay, as audience attention wanes scrolling through cluttered newsfeeds.
Instead, juicy details and captivating images should be reordered to the opening frames in order to stop the scroll and influence consumers to click unmute. When these guidelines are followed, autoplay offers a cohesive video experience.
Autoplay will be ubiquitous within the next few years, and is slated to next take over mobile. Advertisers would be doing a disservice to not only themselves, but also to social media users if they don’t adopt this new advancement in video technology.