The Social Video Truths

Progressive publishers know that social video is a crucial part of any cross-platform content strategy.  That being said, all video is not created equal -- especially when it comes to social consumption. A recent study by Trusted Media Brands found that 65% of marketers think social platforms are the most important platforms for video campaigns.  So, just as one wouldn’t shove a VHS tape into a Blu-Ray player, why are many marketers and publishers still trying to cram commercialized destination video into social?

We’ve found that a few basic truths are key to adapting your video strategy to fit social. First off, content and reaction time is crucial. Being able to respond quickly to trending topics and even create evergreen moments are key to engaging and igniting conversation among social users.

In terms of video creation, social video needs to work both with and without sound. Viewers need to understand the focus of the video during their “scroll down” -- enough to warrant them to stop and pay attention. Adding subtitles or closed captions might seem like a way to free yourself from the soundless shackles; however, most people just want to have a quick laugh, not watch a foreign film. If it doesn’t work without sound, it doesn’t work.



With social video, there is no time for the typical broadcast lead-in. The video needs to get right to the action -- and, more importantly, maintain viewer interest, even if it’s for a short duration of time. The optimal length depends on the platform and in some cases, subject matter.  As an example, Facebook’s auto-playback is optimized for 30- to 45-second videos. But while on Instagram, 15 seconds or less is ideal. Modification of content by social platform creates less friction when trying to capture this fickle user’s attention.

It’s also important that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Content that is fun and irreverent is often the most memorable and shared. Users are much more likely to reward a publisher for not sticking to the status quo, so don’t shy away from thinking outside of the box.

And finally, don’t be afraid to push the envelope, since the rules change constantly. With commitment to the right tone and voice, and to exploring new formats, you’ll eventually achieve earned audience: the highest form of media flattery.

1 comment about "The Social Video Truths".
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  1. Ari Rosenberg from Performance Pricing Holdings, LLC, August 11, 2016 at 1:59 p.m.

    Great insights on how to succeed in the video social media space.  These are some powerful, yet simple truths well told Rich. 

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