Tag: video

How Reddit is Expanding its Video Presence with Dubsmash

2020 has seen a surge in the ever-expanding category of video offerings, particularly short-form, geared toward younger audiences. The latest to make a place in the space? Reddit.

The platform recently revealed its acquisition of short video platform Dubsmash. While the app will retain its own platform and brand, Reddit will integrate its video creation tools to help boost the creative opportunities available to creators and brands.

“Video is increasingly core to how people want to connect, and as we continue to grow our community, we’re committed to providing the best possible tools users need to find, create, and interact with one another through video,” Reddit shared in the official announcement.

The path towards video

Since launching native videos in 2017, Reddit reports usage has increased sharply, growing 2X in 2020 alone resulting in millions of organic video uploads. Separately, a spokesperson for Reddit shared with sources at Social Media Today that A Reddit spokesperson told SMT that, RPAN’s first year, over 291,000 streams were shared on the platform, by more than 54,000 streamers.

While initially these streams were capped at 45 minutes, there’s now a way to extend the length, which could open the window for creators to monetize their videos and tap into Dubsmash’s 52 million daily active users.

For some background, Dubsmash stands as one of TikTok’s biggest rivals that gained initial traction in 2015 as a lip-sync video app. In 2017, it broadened its appeal by incorporating more features that would earn it the title of social platform and moved its headquarters from Berlin to Brooklyn. Fast forward to this year, it had over one billion downloads and was second in the short-form video market.

Elevating underrepresented voices

Consumers prefer realistic portrayals of life versus displays of escapism, therefore it’s more important than ever to listen to their conversations rather than predict what they want or value.

In this vein, platforms must adapt as brands now take a stance on political and social issues far more than in previous decades, not only offering a branch of support but also acting as advocates for the consumers they represent and the issues they face.

Per the announcement, Dubsmash as a “welcoming platform for creators and users who are under-represented in social media.” Roughly 25 percent of all Black teens in the U.S and females represent 70 percent of Dubsmash users. This seems to align nicely with Reddit’s mission of fostering a sense of community and belonging via thousands of topics and passion points.

“In our years of building Dubsmash, we’ve learned how video can spark creativity, unlock interactions, and deepen connections within communities,” added Dubsmash’s co-founder and president, Suchit Dash. “Our focus is showing a different side of the internet.”

The transition to video — it’s only beginning

“The transition to video will be bigger than the transition to mobile,” explained Reddit Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Huffman in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “We’re still only at the beginning.”

Video streaming apps specifically saw a 40 percent YoY spike with games, (35%), financing and shopping apps (25%), and social and communications apps (20%) following closely behind. Overall, it’s safe to say mobile adoption was accelerated by the global pandemic in ways that simply cannot and will not be reversed. App Annie predicts we’re ahead by roughly 2 to 3 years.

As we look ahead, predictions show that video will account for 78 percent of mobile traffic by 2021, up from 60 percent today. TikTok may be the king for now, but that won’t stop others from making their mark.

In an era of empowered consumers, video will continue to a core format central to how we find, share, and relate to content. Experiences should be the primary focus for brands — and these have to be easy-to-navigate, immensely creative, and match the space and flow of communication. Video is one of these focus areas worth integrating into your content strategy.

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The post How Reddit is Expanding its Video Presence with Dubsmash appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/12/how-reddit-is-expanding-its-video-presence-with-dubsmash/

How Twitter is Driving Tweet Exposure and Virtual Hangouts

It’s hard to believe more than seven years ago Snapchat unveiled “Stories,” a feature allowing consumers to string together images and videos into a digestible, diary-esque sequence that would disappear after 24 hours. It proved so popular that several other prominent players including Instagram and LinkedIn created their own Stories doppelgängers.

Most recently, Twitter is carving its name in this space. Last month Twitter introduced its own take on stories—fleeting tweets called Fleets. Now it’s making it easier to share Tweets inside stories on other platforms.

Integrating Tweets into Instagram and Snapchat

In the latest move, users can transform Tweets into stickers within Snapchat, with the ability to customize content with other traditional creative elements found across other versions of Stories including captions, filters, and Bitmojis. Previously, if someone wanted to share a tweet on Snapchat, they’d have to resort to taking a screenshot of it and manually inserting it as an image, without having access to any of Snapchat’s camera or editing features for added flair.

Here’s the full breakdown:

  • Tap the share icon on a Tweet (it must be public — not a protected tweet)
  • Select the Snapchat icon at the bottom of the share menu to create the sticker. This will open directly to your iOS Camera and generate an immovable sticker if you are already signed in and not in the process of creating a separate Snap
  • Take your Snap — either photo or video — and customize with captions and Snapchat Creative Tools including your Bitmoji, Cameo and Filters
  • Select the blue “Send” button to distribute to individual friends or groups
  • Once shared, the Snap will link back to the Tweet  thread on Twitter where you can see the whole conversation

Outside of Snapchat, Twitter also revealed it will soon launch a small test of a similar feature to let iOS users share tweets in Instagram Stories.

Doubling down on virtual experiences and live video

In the virtual hangout realm, Twitter also announced its acquisition of the video app Squad. Per TechCrunch, the startup’s co-founders, CEO Esther Crawford and CTO Ethan Sutin, along with the rest of Squad’s team will now join Twitter’s team across its design, engineering and product departments.

Similar to the likes of Houseparty, Squad allows groups to connect with each other in real-time but the key differentiator that helps it rise above the noise is screen-sharing. As shown in this example, any chat participant can share their screen which can spur discussion around other platforms and content forms including private messages. Put differently, the objective here is context and facilitation of broader discussion around Tweets.
Squad will help Twitter “bring new ways for people to interact, express themselves, and join in the public conversation,” Twitter VP of Product, Ilya Brown, shared in a tweet.

Earlier this year, the startup noted that its usage had increased 1100% as a result of the lockdowns due to the global pandemic. It also garnered $7.2 million in venture capital from First Round, Y Combinator, betaworks, Halogen Ventures, and ex-TechCrunch editor Alexia Bonatsos’s Dream Machine amongst several other investors.

The future of multi-participant chat

2020 was a case in point that to succeed, platforms must innovate and provide new functionality to expand app usage. Tools including interactive Q&As, live chats, gaming, and livestreaming are golden tickets to ensuring longevity for their ability to help both creators and brands achieve more personal forms of entertainment and monetize their offerings.

While the future of Fleets may be uncertain, Twitter’s acquisition of Squad feels like a step in the right direction to standing the offering up. Connection to real-time trends and close friends is tablestakes in today’s landscape and perhaps this move will open the floodgate for a revamp of Twitter’s app. For instance, a dedicated tab emphasizing video clips and discussions via Squad. With the angle of simple, multi-participant chat, it also ticks another important box regarding consumers craving more intimate interactions that are welcomed versus those that are forced and disruptive.

Image credit via TechCrunch

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The post How Twitter is Driving Tweet Exposure and Virtual Hangouts appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/12/how-twitter-is-driving-tweet-exposure-and-virtual-hangouts/

7 Reasons To Invest In Video Content In 2020

Video content can combine information and entertainment more easily than ever before. The challenges in creating video content that seemed insurmountable less than a dozen years ago have been overcome with developments in technology. The following are seven reasons to invest in video content in 2020.

Make percentages work for you

As of this writing fully two-thirds of employees are working remotely for a portion of the week. 44% are working from home five days a week. The jump in percentages is approximately 17% greater than the numbers pre-pandemic. 

The pandemic has shifted the way people think about work. A majority appreciate gaining the time and money normally spent on travel to and from a shared office work site. The leap in the numbers of remote workers has led to changes in the way a company develops a marketing strategy. Online commerce is secured by content and the content that gains customers quickest is in video form. 

For example, if you’re producing content for a property management company, you might consider shooting videos about your new virtual tour tools to attract customers in a visual manner. 

Optimize Employee Training

Video content saves money. Comprehensive training programs for new hires or re-training are costly. Space, snacks, meals, beverages, and speakers or trainers for even a moderately sized group can cost thousands of dollars and take days to accomplish. 

The return on investment (ROI) for training videos is significant and in many cases, the videos can be used, with slight modifications, many times over. As a training tool, you can incorporate visual, aural, verbal, and logical learning styles. You can build in capabilities to monitor the individual achievements of trainees.

To increase the absorption of information, video training can be interactive with the addition of quizzes, multiple-choice questions, and review options. The incorporation of various activities throughout a training video will help employees retain more information.

Enhance Short-form Content

Marketing technologies have come a long way from Burma Shave signs, but the premise remains the same — capture someone’s attention. The growth of media technologies has proven that the world is a small place. Our connectivity has increased but our attention spans have decreased from an average 12 seconds to a mere eight. 

This is a small amount of time to work in. Video content is perhaps the most engaging method to convey a product or idea to another person. Over 500 million hours of video are watched daily on YouTube alone. Before you choose the type of video content you will produce, decide what your goal is. 

Short-form video content is a way to capture the viewer’s attention quickly. In the space of 15-60 seconds, you can engage the viewer and provide information about where more material, in longer form, can be attained. Think of it like snapping your fingers to get a kid’s attention.

Improve Long-form Content

The speed at which short-form video works to engage a viewer, raise brand awareness, and encourage further exploration is well documented by the marketing industry. Long-form content allows you to become more fully engaged with your target market. 

A four-to-ten-minute video gives you time to explain your brand, history, company intentions and generally allows the viewer a more intimate narrative. Long-form video content can be interviews, how-to videos, educational videos, demonstrations, and documentaries. 

The platform on which you choose to share long-form video content should be considered with your target audience in mind. You do not have to choose between short or long-form video content; for a comprehensive marketing strategy, consider using both.

Repurpose Written Content

Turn your written content into video content and the percentage of what the viewer remembers increases to 80% as opposed to the 20% remembered after reading. The staggering difference in these numbers is clearly a good reason to commit to video content as a marketing strategy. Do not burn all of your pencils yet. 

Quality video content begins with a well-written script. Research competitors and decide what you will be adding to the conversation in your industry. Write an outline of the key items or ideas you want to convey. Keep them in a chronological order and then flesh out the points with a combination of information and anecdotes or reflections.

The goal is to connect the viewer to you or your company on a more personal level — to engage on a human scale. If you are doing a live broadcast or interview, make an outline to allow the conversation to flow naturally and to keep it on point. 

Reach the right person

Just like Microsoft’s mail merge program allows you to create a document and personalize it for each recipient, there are platforms like Data Creative that allow you to create personalized videos. The ability to target specific individuals, companies, or groups helps assure that you reach those you intended to share information with. By sending video content through an email system you can track your marketing campaign and utilize the data to further refine your video content.

Find Your Brand Purpose

The purpose of a successful marketing campaign using video content is the same as any other strategy, to become the market leader in your industry. Well over two million searches a day can make content difficult to optimize, let alone stand out as unique. Investing time and money in video content will bring your customers to you, help them feel you value them, and increase awareness of your brand. 

A marketing campaign crafted with well-planned video content will help your search engine optimization (SEO) move to the top of the list in organic searches. As Neil Patel says, “If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.”

Optimize, experiment, use collected data, and adapt, and you will have a marketing program that can set you above others in your industry.

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The post 7 Reasons To Invest In Video Content In 2020 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/09/7-reasons-to-invest-in-video-content-in-2020/

YouTube Advertising: What Your Brand Needs to Know

In lieu of entertainment sources other than in-person events, COVID-19 pushed more people to social platforms as a way to engage with timely and relevant content. YouTube is no exception. Year over year, watch time on YouTube and YouTube on television screens jumped a whopping 80 percent underscoring the accelerating shift from linear to digital video and over 2 billion people globally are gravitating towards these new experiences.

As we continue to spend the bulk of our time at home, brands are making the most of YouTube’s massive reach and deeply relevant content to build brand awareness, and ultimately, drive results at scale. In response to this trend, the platform is adding some notable elements to help brands and marketers further hone their YouTube ad campaigns, including advanced data insights and new category targeting to help them show up in the right contexts for today’s consumers.

Here’s a peek into the updates and how you can start using them to enhance your efforts.

Advanced contextual targeting with dynamic lineups

A new study from YouTube parent company Google in partnership with Ipsos found that video advertising based on consumer interest and intent has significantly more impact than demo—with a 32 percent higher lift in ad recall and 100 percent higher lift in purchase intent.

To help further its ability to drive mass reach, YouTube is introducing dynamic lineups powered by advanced contextual targeting. Put differently, videos are segmented based on their content, with machine learning systems developed to best determine what each video is about and how to feed it to the right people at the right time. This is based on analysis of key elements spanning video imagery, sound, speech and text.

In addition to targeting broader categories like “home” or “lifestyle” or lifestyle, you can find more nuanced choices such as “home and garden” and “home improvement.” What this boils down to is “better access to customers with unique interests and needs—all with the brand suitability controls that are most important for your business,” explained Debbie Weinstein, Vice President, YouTube and Video Global Solution in the official announcement. More specifically, what this translates into is the ability to routinely engage with the right audience segments who are receptive and responsive and having to spend less to reach them. Sounds like a win-win.

An early adopter of dynamic lineups, Chrissie Hanson, Global Chief Strategy Officer at OMD said, “Using lineups powered by advanced contextual targeting delivers a more relevant and empathetic understanding of audiences. This in turn serves to drive more relevant reach and efficiencies for our customers, as part of a broader program that leverages audiences and other tactics across YouTube.”

Driving efficient reach with Nielsen TV data

Last year YouTube unveiled its integration with Nielsen TV data into its Reach Planner with the goal of helping marketers fuel their awareness strategies on YouTube and get a broader view of critical audience trends. Across 21 commissioned Share Shit studies, results showed that on average, advertisers that shifted just 20 percent of spend from TV to YouTube generated a 25 percent increase to the total campaign reach within their target audience, lowering the cost per reach point by almost 20 percent.

As part of its recent push to allow marketers to lean into the rise in YouTube viewership, the platform is expanding its Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings for advertisers in the UK and Italy, in addition to the US with initial efforts already showing promising results.

“PepsiCo Beverages turned to YouTube to drive scale and extend the reach of Pepsi’s ‘Gift it Forward’ Holiday campaign. The campaign did not disappoint – YouTube drove new brand buyers during the holiday season to the unique audience we wanted to reach.”

Video reach campaigns are a simpler way to buy efficient reach across ad formats and incrementally reach the right audiences at a more optimal frequency. Marion Carpentier, Omni Business Leader at French men’s wear brand, Jules, explained the company was able to achieve this specifically by combining skippable in-stream ads and bumpers into a single campaign and saw higher lifts in brand awareness (4.9%).

Beyond this, to support marketers looking to plan YouTube with other online video partners YouTube is providing new reach planning options within Display & Video 360 including YouTube, auction, and programmatic deals.

Catering your strategies with success stories and trends

Finally, to support marketers as they navigate a post-COVID era, YouTube is unveiling a new awareness collection within its Advertising Solutions Center spotlighting notable trends and case studies from companies that include PepsiCo, Domino’s, and Jules. The goal behind sharing these stories is to offer a more concrete understanding of YouTube’s product innovations and how they can be built to better meet your awareness objectives.

If the pandemic has proven anything, it’s that YouTube is behaving more like traditional TV with time. Those that understand the nuances of the platform as an alternative, will be able to deliver TV-like promotions with a higher degree of targeting but without derailing from their budget plans.

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The post YouTube Advertising: What Your Brand Needs to Know appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/09/youtube-advertising-what-your-brand-needs-to-know/

How to Use Video Marketing to Promote a Cause

Do you have a cause about which you are passionate, but your efforts have not returned the results you had hoped? Unfortunately, social media and blogging can only take you so far.

As a non-profit, or as someone concerned with a cause, funding is limited. So you might think that video marketing is beyond your capabilities, or maybe even too much trouble. However, producing video content is possible

The Power of Video Content

If we want to really see how valuable video marketing is, we should look at some statistics:

  • Blogspot reports that video marketing is being hailed as very important to 92% of marketers. Compare that to the 2015 figure, where only 78% said the same thing. This shows that the market for video content has really expanded.
  • Wordstream released some incredible figures. Among them, more than 50% of all video content is viewed on mobile devices. Of those videos viewed, Virtuets claims that 92% of those viewers share video content regularly.
  • MarketingCharts has predicted that by 2021, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching video content.
  • According to Youtube stats, 73% of American adults are consistent users of YouTube which is far more than Facebook, with 69% and Instagram with 37%

As you can see, video marketing is powerful and it is worth creating video content. You may still worry that it is too expensive or too difficult. Luckily, neither have to be the case!

Here are some common misconceptions about video marketing and how to get started.

Misconception #1: Video Marketing Requires Expensive Tools

Video marketing doesn’t require you to go out and buy expensive, fancy equipment before you get started. In fact, you may already have what you need right beside you. Smartphones have become incredible replacements for expensive cameras and can capture anything just as well as most digital camera models. You may want to get a tripod to keep it steady, which is fairly inexpensive.

Editing doesn’t have to be a hassle either. Tools like Renderforest are full video makers with a low subscription price and will help you along the way.

Hosting platforms like Vimeo have on-site video editing tools. If you don’t want to do it yourself, Fiverr has a large number of experienced video editors who you can pay to help you out for a much lower price than you would expect.

The point is, you have options that can fit your budget.

Misconception #2: I’m not Skilled enough to Make Videos About My Cause

Maybe you feel a little leery because you have never made a video before. Everyone feels this way when they first start doing video marketing. But you have a secret weapon up your sleeve: your passion for your cause. You are dedicated to seeing your message reach as far as possible, to spread that awareness.

This gives you an eye that you might not know you have. All you have to do is show others what is important to you. Let them see the subject directly, and show them, not just tell them. The results will be incredible.

If you need a quick tip to get started, create a video with many faces in it. It has been scientifically proven, that people relate better to content when they see faces in them. There is something about seeing a human face that gets the neurons in our brain excited and highly active when perceiving it Since most non-profits talk to people’s emotions and ampathy, this tactic perfectly applies to a non-profit video strategy.

Keeping an eye on your competitors or peers and monitoring what they are doing in terms video marketing is another good way to come up with content ideas.

Misconception #3: Getting Started With Video Marketing is too difficult

This is the best one of all. While it seems overwhelming, all it takes to start is a subject that you want to record. What would be most effective at telling the story of your cause? Every video should start out with this question, because you are going to be answering it every time you pick up your camera.

Next, you need to ask yourself what style you are looking for. Are you going to sit in front of the camera and talk? A live shoot? A storytime style video with clips, footage, voice-over and music? You are in control and so you will be deciding what your audience needs to see most and how.

Let’s look at a couple examples to help give you an idea of what has been effective in other non-profit campaigns:

High Jump Providing Tuition-Free School Programs For Middle Schoolers

High Jump is a non-profit that creates educational programs meant to help seventh and eighth grade students increase their knowledge in multiple categories, such as art and science. This video campaign netted them $215,000 donations from viewers.

LifeBuoy On A Mission To Save Children Around The World

Lifebuoy launched a campaign that followed Sangrah, an expecting mother. The purpose was to illustrate their efforts to help with prenatal and postnatal care. Their mission is to help children live to the age of five, which 6 million children per year never reach.

Handwashing was the primary focus on this particular experiment, which can help to strengthen the health of the fetus, as well as the mother. The video is incredibly well made and tells a story that makes you really care about the subject of the film.

Do you see how each of these videos uses a different storytelling style that still gets the message across? They also appealed to the emotional response of the viewer. Each was touching in its own way, but they both target different emotions. You should be asking yourself what emotion each video you create is trying to convey.

To get you started, here are a few helpful resources:

Misconception #4: Picking Metrics to monitor is too confusing

How do you know if your video is successful? For most companies, it would be based on views and conversions.

It is a little more complicated for non-profits and will depend on what you deem most important. Is it based on number of donations? If so, how many donations? Is it important for them to click through to your site? What social media activity are you looking to generate? You choose the metrics, so you control what defines a successful video marketing campaign.

One of the most universal metric monitoring tactics is to keep an eye on conversions a particular traffic source is generating. Finteza is a perfect tool for that because it allows you to easily narrow down your reports to a particular traffic source and measure incoming conversions:

Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay

Consumers are itching to support non-profits that promote causes close to their hearts, so your small investment in video marketing will pay off. Make sure to your story and decide on how you’re going to measure the success, and you will gain more support for your cause.

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The post How to Use Video Marketing to Promote a Cause appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/09/how-to-use-video-marketing-to-promote-a-cause/

How Pinterest is Embracing Inclusivity and Video Content

More than ever, people, especially younger demographics are looking to places like Pinterest to be inspired. They want to be represented and find inspiration that directly ties into their passions and primary interests. This has only been exacerbated by the global pandemic in addition to the industry seeing a massive shift towards video consumption and creation.

Here are a few ways Pinterest is doubling down on these trends and taking advantage of the whitespaces presented by COVID-19 to better connect with its audience and deliver meaningful experiences.

Embracing inclusivity and diversity

At the start of the pandemic, Pinterest reported a spike in shopping activity on the platform by nearly half (44%). Shortly after Pinterest launched new features including curated shopping lists from pinned boards, a Shop Similar algorithm, and shoppable style guides. To build on its most popular category, the platform decided to upgrade its skin tone feature launched initially in 2018, and open it to more countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

“No one should have to work extra hard to uncover personalized ideas, and all should feel welcome. A more diverse Pinterest is a more useful, positive, and powerful one.” said the company’s Annie Ta in an official statement. Ta also revealed that the app launched skin tone ranges because nearly 60 percent of searches involving “skin” included a specific tone, such as dark, olive, or pale.

Ultimately, with this move, Pinterest is demonstrating that it understands its users can’t feel inspired if they don’t feel represented. Powered by machine vision, the feature is aimed to make it easier to find relevant content specifically by offering searches including “grey hair on dark skin women,” “blonde hair color ideas for fair skin blue eyes,” and “soft natural makeup for Black women“ to deliver unique and hyper-refined results for every person.

Streamlining video pin creation

According to Pinterest data, video views on the platform have increased more than 3x in 2020 over the same period in 2019, while Pinners are also 2.6x more likely to make a purchase after viewing brand video content on the platform.

In response to the uptick in video creation, Pinterest is partnering with Vimeo in an effort to enable Pinners access to the newly launched Vimeo Create platform. By joining forces, users can upload their videos directly to Pinterest and more easily streamline their efforts. Launched in February, Vimeo Create allows brands and marketers to pick from pre-made, professionally curated video templates customizable to their specific needs or start a new video from scratch, integrating their own video footage. After the video is finalized, they can automatically tailor the content for each of their social channels in distinct versions depending on the format and aspect ratios needed: square, vertical, or horizontal.

“Designed for video newbies and experienced editors alike, Vimeo Create is built to help small businesses and scrappy creators craft video ads and social media content that drives engagement and builds brand buy-in, even if you’ve never made a video before. And now, you can seamlessly publish videos you make directly to Pinterest, no downloading or middleman required,” explained Vimeo’s Aubrey Page.

Maximize your Pinterest videos

To kick start your Pinterest video efforts — pocket these five key tips from Vimeo:

  • Ensure your information is fresh and spell out the details in your copy. Get in a DIY mindset to make it engaging and interactive as possible.
  • Brevity is key for maximizing impact and boosting shareability– the ideal Pinterest video length is between 6 and 15 seconds.
  • Be sure your clips are explained with captions and other visuals. Most will tune in with their sound off.
  • Carefully consider your thumbnail. This is the first piece people will see and it needs to be attention-grabbing, highlight your brand, and depict your aesthetic point of view.
  • Don’t overlook the power of prominent branding. Place your brand name as early as possible and leverage titles and descriptions to get this across and let people know where they can find more exciting video content.

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The post How Pinterest is Embracing Inclusivity and Video Content appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/08/how-pinterest-is-embracing-inclusivity-and-video-content/

How Brands Can Maximize Their Videos With TikTok for Business

Brands are a core part of the TikTok experience whether they use the platform to be at the front of emerging trends, connect with impressionable communities, or bring awareness to critical health and societal issues like a global pandemic and racial injustice. Just look no further than the #DistanceDance campaign featuring TikTok star Charli D’Amelio as an example of how TikTok continues to leverage its authentic spirit to offer users fresh ways to discover, engage, and make a difference IRL.

In this spirit, TikTok recently announced a new brand and platform specifically catered to helping marketers and brands thrive. Dubbed “TikTok For Business,” the platform will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands. These include ad formats such as TopView, which is the ad that appears when you first launch the TikTok app.

An audience for every voice

“The magic of TikTok is not just the chance to create, but the chance to discover – and to be found. With TikTok For Business, our goal is to give marketers the tools to be discovered and connect with the broader communities around them,” said TikTok’s Managing Director for Global Business Marketing, Katie Puris, in the official announcement. “For brands, this opens an entirely new window of opportunity to create content that speaks to people, to invite the community to join in the conversation, and…to Make TikToks,” she added.

Nodding to the ad slogan “Make TikToks — Not Ads,” the core mission behind TikTok for Business will be to encourage marketers to focus on aligning with more meaningful themes of creativity, expression, creator and brand unity, inclusivity, and a participatory community over interruptive, non-productive spots.

Branded effects, in-feed videos, and hashtag challenges

Amongst the new features and updates with Business for TikTok includes branded takeovers and a Branded Effects Partner Program that create seamless augmented reality experiences between brand and audiences.

With the help of partners including Tommy, Subvrsive, and Bare Tree Media, TikTok is launching a new AR effect called Branded Scan. At its core, Branded Scan allows brands to play a more integral role into the content creation behind ads. Specifically, by activating visual effects such as a brand logo or band product in a user’s 2D or 3D videos. These can also be combined with Hashtag Challenges to help drive engagement. In a time where we face an oversaturated attention economy, the simpler it is for brands to become involved in a conversation where users are already actively participating the better — and will only become more integral to our marketing decisions.

Separately, Brand Takeovers entail a three to a five-second advertisement featuring an image or video while In-Feed videos are longer in form, allowing brands up to 60 seconds of space and run with audio playing.

Maximizing Your Videos

Creativity aside, TikTok is also aware that brands must balance their objectives with what the data is telling them. In this vein, the company recently distilled down the three key elements that inform which videos appear in a user’s feed: user interactions, video information such as captions, specific sounds or songs, and hashtags, and device and account setting including language preference and mobile device type.

While the platform, like many others, largely seeks to show users more of the same content based on their engagement and interests, it also may show something out of the norm in an effort to promote diversity. “Our goal is to find balance between suggesting content that’s relevant to you while also helping you find content and creators that encourage you to explore experiences you might not otherwise see,” TikTok shared.

A few takeaways to note from these insights: when creating TikTok content bear in mind that each post is assessed independently, staying abreast of trending conversations will help you connect with a larger audience, and higher reach is contingent on viewers watching your videos in full.

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The post How Brands Can Maximize Their Videos With TikTok for Business appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/07/how-brands-can-maximize-their-videos-with-tiktok-for-business/

Why Your Brand Can No Longer Ignore TikTok

TikTok may be the biggest social media winner of COVID-19 lockdowns. Even though its audience skews exceptionally young (e.g., 60 percent of users are between 16 and 24), it’s hard to have missed a viral video on the music-infused, short-form video platform formerly known as Musical.ly in the past few months. 

Now with more than 800 million active users, the viral platform is moving beyond short dance videos reminiscent of the now-defunct Vine and into a broad category of influencers covering everything from cooking to digital learning

TikTok may have a significant climb to reach the pantheon of Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube, which account for more than six billion active users between them. However, the platform relies on something that can’t be measured by conventional metrics —virality and popularity among young people. 

It’s the cool new social media platform on the block — something that can no longer be ignored in the media world. 

A distinct algorithm

One of the defining characteristics of TikTok is that it relies on a unique algorithm that presents content in a different way than most social media platforms. The algorithm subtly displays content based on user preferences with what Jesse Hirsh, an established social media researcher, calls an “incredible” signal to noise ratio.

The power is in the details, where TikTok’s algorithm has some oddly compelling byproducts that encourage users to post content. For example, content from people that a user follows is divested from the main feed of viral content. Influencers don’t necessarily have to cater to their audiences when posting a video for it to go viral — an area where it differentiates itself from apps like Instagram

But what is most interesting is how common it is for new users to achieve impressive engagement numbers from the outset with a simple 10-second video. 

Reasons for this have been described as the “slow burn” of the algorithm where videos with poor engagement numbers went on to garner thousands or millions of views days or weeks later rather than being shuttered to the content attic. Compounding views can also catapult a random video to users’ “For You” page that is based on user preferences, regardless of their follower list. Consequently, videos rely less on hashtags and can aggregate views over extended periods without an established follower base. 

Since the videos are also only several seconds long, more content is churned throughout the platform at a higher clip. Compared to platforms like YouTube, which rely on longer engagement times, TikTok users can go viral much easier than other networks. And that’s precisely what ambitious teenagers are looking for. It’s also why 83 percent of users have posted a video — a telling metric. 

Its popularity is exploding

Facebook’s moat of social media apps dominates the entire landscape. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger are four of the most actively downloaded non-gaming apps in the world. But guess who is poised to surpass them in downloads? That’s right: TikTok. 

For context, TikTok ranked seventh in “The 10 Most Downloaded Apps of The 2010s” list from CNET. It finished ahead of both Twitter and YouTube, despite launching in 2016. Twitter launched in 2006 and YouTube in 2005.

When network effects are everything in social media, the notion that TikTok outpaced two social media behemoths in just under four years of going live is fairly amazing. 

Leveraging digital marketing strategies often encompasses projecting a future landscape of media, influencers, and clever marketing tactics. There’s a compelling opportunity for media agencies to tap into TikTok’s snowballing growth right now. 

Many people in older generations, even Millennials compared to their Gen Z counterparts, are entirely unaware of TikTok’s power or popularity. They blithely dismiss the platform as a venue for silly videos of teenagers and kids, but it’s much different now. 

One of the most intriguing changes induced by COVID-19 was the transition of TikTok away from mostly dance videos and Vine-like content. It caters to social movements, professional engagement with audiences of people looking to learn something during the quarantine, and even subtle political critiques. And that’s where it has capitalized on a unique method of capturing people’s attention. 

A unique market for capturing people’s attention

TikTok stands distinguished among its social media competitors. It may not be the digital forum for serious (and often toxic) debate like Twitter, which is now becoming a huge force in academia. And it may not be the ideal communication medium for real-time chats with friends like WhatsApp, which now comes included with a payment feature.  

But it is addicting, just in its own way. Zoom calls with funny backgrounds became pretty dull during the doldrums of quarantine. Twitter is more fascinating than Zoom but is often mired in toxic political discourse. And Instagram isn’t nearly as entertaining when everyone is locked inside and not exploring the world. Enter TikTok. 

Imagine a bartender out of a job, who decides to furnish drink-mixing tips to followers during quarantine, as many bartenders actually did. What’s the best platform to capture people’s attention: one where the algorithm displays short-form viral videos of newcomers persistently or YouTube? Or invite people to a Zoom call, which random people will likely not join? 

What about someone who wants to mix music with fun cooking videos while everyone decides whether or not to order out or prepare the same meal again the next night? That’s what TikTok personalities like The Pasta Queen did. Exploding in popularity during quarantine, doubling her followers in the last three weeks alone, Nadia’s (The Pasta Queen) goofy Italian cooking videos have raked in views in recent months. Originally from Rome and now living in the US, The Pasta Queen is a microcosm for a class of new personalities emerging on TikTok that have smashed the viral, short-form style of TikTok with educational tips you’d find on some shelved YouTube video.

It’s an interesting dynamic, and also represents the global appeal of TikTok, which is widely popular not just in the US but also in India and China, which together, account for the bulk of its users. Expect creative professionals to gravitate towards TikTok in coming months, and away from more restrictive platforms like YouTube, which even saw the departure of podcast king Joe Rogan recently. 

Creativity is where the clicks are

Piggybacking on the notion that TikTok is a black hole for young, ambitious personalities and professionals, its growing list of influencers may become the most dynamic in the social media space. More diverse influencers bring more diverse audiences and more advertising dollars. And It’s not just the users who gravitate to creative platforms (and the advertising dollars that follow them). 

Content creators who want more flexibility to impress the up-and-coming Gen Z horde, which will soon be the largest consumer generation in the world, are pursuing TikTok aspirations. Social commerce is an unstoppable trend, and if you want to brand like Supreme, you need to appeal to Gen Z. With the promise of going viral for your first video, why would an aspiring influencer not at least give TikTok a try? After all, leading influencers on TikTok haul in some eye-popping revenue

As a media professional, marketing aficionado, or advertising specialist, TikTok may currently fly under the radar of most conventional branding campaigns despite its surging popularity. Maybe due to a mix of its Tencent origins, pointed Congressional criticism, or young-skewed audience; it doesn’t matter anymore. TikTok has come out of the lockdowns as the dark horse platform to usurp the coveted circle of Facebook’s app hegemony. It’s now the king of creative social media content.  

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The post Why Your Brand Can No Longer Ignore TikTok appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/06/why-your-brand-can-no-longer-ignore-tiktok/

Why Houseparty and Facebook are Leading the Co-Watching Trend

While in-person events remain paused for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, connecting via streaming video is the closest replacement we have and is quickly gaining traction. Co-watching adds another element to that engagement and platforms are jumping quickly to be the first to mark their territory in this time.

Here are two recent examples that have recently evolved and are particularly noteworthy:

Houseparty’s Celebrity-Fronted Event Series

In the last week of March alone, Houseparty — the video chat app sensation owned by Fortnite developer Epic Games — raked in 2 million downloads worldwide, compared with around 130,000 the same week a month ago, according to data from App Annie. It currently ranks at number one in the Apple app store in 17 countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.

Seeking to expand its service in a new direction, Houseparty recently unveiled a new feature enabling the co-watching live video with friends. “In the House,” an experiential event series launched last week and featured over 40 celebrities including Alicia Keys, Derek Hough, Dua Lipa, John Legend, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Cam Newton, Gabi Butler, and more.

“This is not just another virtual music festival — this weekend’s lineup is a curation of shared experiences: cooking demos, comedy shows, fitness secrets, dance parties, sing-a-longs and more,” Houseparty spokesperson Kimberly Baumgarten shared in a statement to TechCrunch. “This content will be additive to the Houseparty video chat experience for our users.”

Houseparty owner Epic Games recently hosted some 12.3 million people in a major live-stream concert event, with Travis Scott performing a concert within Fortnite so the move made a lot of sense and, to no surprise, is being viewed as the first of many live co-watching experiences still to come.

While co-watching isn’t a new concept in and of itself, in terms of use cases it’s a nascent category that may open the window for brands seeking to connect with younger audiences in a space that isn’t already saturated with consumers and competition. What differentiates Houseparty’s effort is that it’s delivering planned and scheduled experiences — allowing users to coordinate in the moments that matter instead of leaving it up to chance. Other players, however, are willing to take this risk.

Facebook: Messenger Rooms

Last month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined a new option allowing people to set up virtual catch-ups with one another. Fast forward a week ago, and the platform globally rolled out Messenger Rooms, its newest group video chat service, supporting video calls with up to 50 participants with no time limits on call length.

Messenger Rooms is a drop-in video chat, so when a person using the feature creates a room, Facebook will alert other members via a new section in the news feed or push a notification to certain friends. Unlike its competitors like Zoom, it seeks to differentiate itself by not requiring users to pre-schedule these sessions upfront. For now, users can kick off a call from Messenger or the Facebook app and send out invites to users, even ones that don’t have a Facebook account.

The Future of Co-Watching: A Multi-Platform Offering

As Facebook alluded to initially, the offering will also be available from inside direct messages within Instagram, WhatsApp, and on Portal to officially make Rooms a company-wide endeavor. Separately, last month Instagram announced its own co-watching of feed photo and videos. With these pushes, more marketers may be open to streaming across multiple platforms at once on more than one device in an effort to better determine where they’re receiving the highest engagement.

From extensions to Netflix Party or Twitch “Watch Parties,” co-watching is an activity that continues to fill a critical role in fostering meaningful community relationships during this uncertain time. Looking ahead, and from a brand standpoint, it could open the door to establishing long-term relationships at scale that otherwise wouldn’t have presented themselves. As the saying goes, “every cloud has a silver lining.”

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The post Why Houseparty and Facebook are Leading the Co-Watching Trend appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/why-houseparty-and-facebook-are-leading-the-co-watching-trend/

Here are the Video Marketing Strategies You Need to Know from Vimeo’s CMO

Gone are the days where video is deemed a ‘nice to have’ in a marketer’s strategy. More than ever before, video is an essential medium for marketers no matter what your brand goals are or how big your business is. But, while businesses of all sizes are looking to create more content across multiple formats, there are still significant challenges faced in making good video at scale.

On the second day of #SMWONE, Vimeo CMO Harris Beber sat down with SMW Founder and Executive Director, Toby Daniels, to take a closer look at these barriers to entry, the state of video storytelling, tips for adapting content to today’s shorter attention spans, and much more.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Fear, cost, and complexity are the leading barriers to video
  • Frequency is the key to driving reach
  • Gradual engagement boils down to telling authentic brands stories

Bringing scalable video creation in house

Ninety-six percent of SMBs report that if obstacles like time, cost, and complexity were removed they would be integrating more video into their marketing approach. Only half (50%) are actually making video and of that percentage, 92 percent claim that making more video would help grow their business aren’t due to a lack of time and money, and a poor understanding in how to approach their video efforts.

Enter Vimeo Create. Available on desktop and as an app, brands can pick from pre-made, professionally curated video templates customizable to their specific needs or start a new video from scratch, integrating their own video footage. After the video is finalized, they can automatically tailor the content for each of their social channels in distinct versions depending on the format and aspect ratios needed: square, vertical, or horizontal.

Drive reach through frequency

Seventy-five percent of video views happen in the first four days. More frequent video is necessary to keep an engaged audience,” explained Beber.

For optimal reach, creating daily is ideal though this is not always feasible especially for smaller companies who are under-resourced. A simple hack to overcome this obstacle is creating in bulk, “Spend an hour or two a week on creating content so you can schedule that content out for the entire week,” explained Beber. Not every platform is the same, so testing the waters regularly will allow you to gauge how to share your story across different platforms and formats successfully. With each post, you’ll see the areas of improvement and you’ll feel less overwhelmed, Beber assured. “The first video is the hardest. Keep evolving,”

Despite that not every platform is created equal, a general rule to keep in mind to ensure your content is thumb-stopping? Capture your viewer’s attention in the first three seconds. “Start with the peak of your story, use bright colors, show faces, pets, motion, and your brand. We are fighting in 3-second increments when it comes to social engagement,” he explained.

Build engagement over time tell through authentic stories

Offering a powerful reminder on the impact of storytelling in videos, Beber urged attendees to prioritize authenticity over perfection and pushing the “shiny object.”

In a world where you have three seconds to capture someone’s attention, there’s still room to tell a longer story. “People buy from people. Tell your story; don’t sell products… If you can’t demonstrate value through the consumers’ eyes it doesn’t matter how great you think your product is.” he said. Now more than ever people crave community and brands have a significant opportunity to use this moment to cut through the noise in profound and positive ways.

But how exactly does a brand define authenticity in its own lens? Start at the end. Define the mission or purpose behind your message at the ground level. Once you’ve answered the “why,” the next question becomes what type of video will help you most directly in achieving this goal and every else — the format, the channel, the message — will fall into place in a holistic package.

“You may be 50 percent less likely to create, but 100 percent more likely to succeed if you do take the leap and try,” Beber shared to conclude the fireside.

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

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The post Here are the Video Marketing Strategies You Need to Know from Vimeo’s CMO appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/here-are-the-video-marketing-strategies-you-need-to-know-from-vimeos-cmo/

5 Apps to Help You Work From Home

As we strive to stay connected, positive, and productive during these challenging times, remote work can feel like a double-edged sword. We may not have to commute or dress as formally, but it can be harder to focus on the actual work at hand. Not to mention, the isolation can be a downer.

To help keep your new WFH regimen balanced — we’re rounding out a list of five apps you should have on your radar to get the most out of your day but also remain in touch with friends and family

Keeping the Spontaneity and Joy of Conversations

Video chat apps are seeing a substantial spike in downloads while stay-at-home orders remain in place for the majority of the country. When working from home, it can be easy to feel pressured to constantly “be on.” Now more than ever, it is important to take the time for yourself and relax and connect with others and app developers are taking this into consideration.

Acquired by Fortnite maker Epic Games in 2019, Houseparty, for example, has seen massive growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Per TechCrunch, the social networking app has seen 50 million downloads in a single month, a figure 70X above compared to pre-COVID levels in some markets. It’s currently the top-ranked social app in 80+ countries including the U.S., and #1 overall in 16 countries.

At a glance, Houseparty, billed the “face-to-face social network” is popular for its functionality that allows eight users group video chat via smartphone or desktop app. Tapping into other social networks including Facebook and Snapchat, it makes finding friends and family a seamless experience. The app alerts you when your friends are “in the house” and ready to chat and from there you can jump into a call or join another “party” and play games with quarantine friends like trivia and Ellen’s “Heads Up!”

The Makeshift Office

One of the largest changes introduced by COVID-19 is the global work from home movement. If you’ve been thrust into a remote work setup, there are a number of tools you can utilize to help make your new professional routine easier and fun.

There may not be that ideal replacement for those spontaneous conversations at one another’s desks or the office water cooler, but these apps deliver an element of spontaneity amidst the pre-mandated Zoom meetings, Slack threads and email chains we all need.

Loom

Launched in 2016, Loom is an enterprise collaboration video messaging service that allows for face-to-face time when you’re away from the office. Quickly record a video when you have a question or need to review a document or presentation as a group. Watch videos you receive from teammates when you’re in between tasks or meetings or taking a lunch break. To date, Loom is used by 2M+ users across more than 50k companies who record over 15 million minutes of video every month.

Around

Hitting the scene just last month, Around is the new video chat software targeted towards multitaskers.
Designed for laptop users, the app crops video call participants down to circles that float on your screen freeing up space for your other work in the background. It taps into auto-zoom functionality and noise-canceling features to ensure your face and voice remain in focus.

“People want to make eye contact. They want to connect. But they also want to get stuff done. Around treats video as the means to an end, not the end in itself,” explained Around CEO Domink Zane in a recent statement. Put simply, Around acknowledges the need for presence and connection today but designed so we have the proper space to remain in flow.

Screen

Screen is an interactive screen sharing app where everyone gets a cursor to control the window and collaborate across code, design, and writing.

A few concrete use cases of the app including chatting over audio or video calling in an overlaid window, overlay drawing on the screen to annotate items when working together in a document, and posting ephemeral text comments when someone else is speaking and you and other colleagues don’t want to interrupt. With Screen you can also launch meetings from Slack and schedule them with Google calendar integration.

Pragli

Think of Pragli as the Bitmoji for professionals.

Serving as an avatar-based virtual office, Pragli helps you know whether someone’s in a meeting, heads down on a deliverable, stepping out for a break, or unplugged for the day. Unlike Slack which can sometimes cause ambiguity as to whether someone is actually available or not, Pragli seeks to translate the real-world presence we’re unable to have today to the remote workspace.

In turn, you can make more informed decisions as to whether you do a quick audio call, reschedule a meeting for another day or time, send a chat message they can come back to later if the matter isn’t urgent, or schedule a longer video meeting.

“What Slack did for email, we want to do for video conferencing,” Pragli co-founder Doug Safreno explains. “Traditional video conferencing is exclusive by design, whereas Pragli is inclusive. Just like in an office, you can see who is talking to who.”

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The post 5 Apps to Help You Work From Home appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/5-apps-to-help-you-work-from-home/

How to Grow Your Business with Video

Gone are the days where video is deemed a ‘nice to have’ in a marketer’s strategy. Brand goals and company size aside, this powerful medium is one that is required in today’s digital landscape to connect on a meaningful level. However, there are numerous challenges to making quality video at scale including lack of time and money. This especially holds true for small businesses.

Vimeo is harnessing the power of video and making this medium accessible to businesses of all sizes. Most recently, the company launched a short-form, high-impact, video creation tool, Vimeo Create. Designed to be intuitive and easy-to-use, Vimeo Create is a brand new resource for making high-impact social videos, in minutes.

HOW IT WORKS

With Vimeo Create, available on desktop and as an app, businesses are able to choose from pre-made, professionally curated video templates customizable to their specific needs. Alternatively, more advanced users can take the experimenting even further by opting to start a new video from scratch, integrating their own video footage or selecting from millions of stock photos, videos and royalty-free music.

After the video is finalized, marketers can automatically tailor the content for each of their social channels in distinct versions depending on the format and aspect ratios needed: square, vertical or horizontal. Specifically, sharing is available across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

PERKS: RELEVANCE AT SCALE, DIVERSIFICATION & MORE

A number of brands have already onboarded to Vimeo Create. At a high-level, those utilizing the app point to an assortment of opportunities spanning content diversification, greater audience reach, and the creative ability to offer relevant, on-the-pulse content that resonates at scale.

Vocal, for instance, a platform with a mission to deliver storytelling tools, uses Vimeo clips paired with their own in-house visuals to help creators get discovered by engaged communities and gain support for their projects. This requires agility and the functionality to craft multiple creative messages targeted to different audiences. With Vimeo Create Vocal’s 500k+ creators can use the platform to promote their own stories with attention-grabbing assets.

Other businesses taking action to put their video strategies in motion include Lot 54 and start-up Supermaker, a new school media community providing content and community for startups and creators. A key theme they share from their experience is the ability to easily and efficiently diversify content and stay on top of the trending conversations that matter most to their brand.

“A tool like Vimeo Create will exponentially help small growing businesses like us because it allows us to diversify our content and keep things fresh for our customer base and potential future customers,” — Matthew Linman, Owner, Lot 54

Now more than ever marketers are turning to alternative ways to stay connected in an age of social distancing. New tools allow businesses to focus on creative insight and communicate meaningfully at scale, and eases some of the challenges presented by the modern video format. Vimeo is committed to empowering businesses and brands with the tools needed to create videos that drive business impact.

Get started on your new video strategy by trying Vimeo Create for free.

The post How to Grow Your Business with Video appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/how-to-grow-your-business-with-video/

How to Grow Your Business with Video

Gone are the days where video is deemed a ‘nice to have’ in a marketer’s strategy. Brand goals and company size aside, this powerful medium is one that is required in today’s digital landscape to connect on a meaningful level. However, there are numerous challenges to making quality video at scale including lack of time and money. This especially holds true for small businesses.

Vimeo is harnessing the power of video and making this medium accessible to businesses of all sizes. Most recently, the company launched a short-form, high-impact, video creation tool, Vimeo Create. Designed to be intuitive and easy-to-use, Vimeo Create is a brand new resource for making high-impact social videos, in minutes.

HOW IT WORKS

With Vimeo Create, available on desktop and as an app, businesses are able to choose from pre-made, professionally curated video templates customizable to their specific needs. Alternatively, more advanced users can take the experimenting even further by opting to start a new video from scratch, integrating their own video footage or selecting from millions of stock photos, videos and royalty-free music.

After the video is finalized, marketers can automatically tailor the content for each of their social channels in distinct versions depending on the format and aspect ratios needed: square, vertical or horizontal. Specifically, sharing is available across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

PERKS: RELEVANCE AT SCALE, DIVERSIFICATION & MORE

A number of brands have already onboarded to Vimeo Create. At a high-level, those utilizing the app point to an assortment of opportunities spanning content diversification, greater audience reach, and the creative ability to offer relevant, on-the-pulse content that resonates at scale.

Vocal, for instance, a platform with a mission to deliver storytelling tools, uses Vimeo clips paired with their own in-house visuals to help creators get discovered by engaged communities and gain support for their projects. This requires agility and the functionality to craft multiple creative messages targeted to different audiences. With Vimeo Create Vocal’s 500k+ creators can use the platform to promote their own stories with attention-grabbing assets.

Other businesses taking action to put their video strategies in motion include Lot 54 and start-up Supermaker, a new school media community providing content and community for startups and creators. A key theme they share from their experience is the ability to easily and efficiently diversify content and stay on top of the trending conversations that matter most to their brand.

“A tool like Vimeo Create will exponentially help small growing businesses like us because it allows us to diversify our content and keep things fresh for our customer base and potential future customers,” — Matthew Linman, Owner, Lot 54

Now more than ever marketers are turning to alternative ways to stay connected in an age of social distancing. New tools allow businesses to focus on creative insight and communicate meaningfully at scale, and eases some of the challenges presented by the modern video format. Vimeo is committed to empowering businesses and brands with the tools needed to create videos that drive business impact.

Get started on your new video strategy by trying Vimeo Create for free.

The post How to Grow Your Business with Video appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/04/how-to-grow-your-business-with-video/

YouTube Brings Shopping Ads to the Home Feed: What It Means for Your Visual Advertising Efforts

Nearly two-thirds of consumers claim that online video has informed and inspired their decision to make a purchase according to recent research and more than 90 percent report having discovered a new product or brand from YouTube.

To tap into this trend and how more shoppers are using video in their buying journey, the Google-owned platform is introducing Shopping ads to its home feed and search results.

Capture users earlier and make it personal

“Consumers are continuing to watch more content on the YouTube platform and we want to be where they are, to reach and engage them,” said Rick Almeida, Vice President of E-commerce at Puma Group. “This new opportunity will enable Puma to extend our shopping strategy into a new property and inspire consumers.”

Puma is just one debut advertiser of the Shopping ad product, but the company’s experience points to promising results for other brands eager to expand their visual advertising efforts.

As depicted below, the display will be very similar to other ads delivered through Google’s platform including Search, Shopping, and various partner websites and the larger Google Display network. More specifically, they’ll be targeted and delivered based on a user’s interest leveraging details about the product and the brand.

Instead of having to specifically enter the name “Puma” in a search bar to see ads for running shoes, simply expressing an interest in running could trigger ads from other retailers offering related gear highlighting different products and prices.

The new YouTube ads are just one update from Google as it looks to become more of a visual advertising option for brands.

Drive action through interactivity

The company also shared that it’s working towards enhancing the interactivity of ads within videos themselves so they’re more actionable. For example, clicking on a video to be directed to store location specifics and interest forms. In the coming months, this will be expanded to sitelink extensions for TrueView for action ads, making it more seamless to navigate to additional landing pages such as holiday catalogs. A beta test conducted with 30 advertisers yielded a 23 percent boost in conversions after added sitelinks.

Fuel inspiration through rich imagery

In a study led by Google in partnership with Ipsos, 85 percent of people take action within the first 24 hours of discovery — spanning actions including reading reviews, comparing prices, or committing to purchase.

In the spirit of these findings, Showcase Shopping ads are now available on Google Images with the intent of making it easier to browse more products from a single click through grouping related products together. With additional categories like cosmetics and electronics, the hope is to boost consideration and create a unique experience for those unfamiliar with a specific brand.

Online shopping is most definitely not a one-size-fits-all game. People expect personalization and targeted ads whether they’re shopping for themselves or someone else and they have less time to do it. It’s up to brands to make experiences frictionless and efficient through listening, anticipation, and being present when it matters.

WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

The post YouTube Brings Shopping Ads to the Home Feed: What It Means for Your Visual Advertising Efforts appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/11/youtube-brings-shopping-ads-to-the-home-feed-what-it-means-for-your-visual-advertising-efforts/

How Snapchat Can Elevate Your Gen Z Holiday Marketing Strategy

Snapchat is looking to give brands more room to share their stories ahead of the holiday season with a new advertising option for extended play commercials featuring video ads that last up to three minutes.

Establishing a deeper respect for consumer’s time and attention is a win-win strategy

Per AdWeek, this idea strives for a win-win scenario where users have the choice of opting out and skipping the mid-roll video ads after six seconds and brands the potential for longer video messaging to keep those genuinely interested engaged.

In a statement from the company’s Vice President of Global Agency partnerships, David Roter, he alluded to the benefits the flexibility of extended play commercials as the platforms looks to earn more of the video advertising market. Primarily, the offering opens the window for advertisers to tap into their existing video assets as opposed to manually cutting their length down to six seconds allowing for more seamless cross-promotion and engagement.

“We’re committed to building high-impact, long-form video ad formats, and extended play commercials are a great option for online video and TV buyers. Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Generation Z and millennial audience in Snapchat’s premium, brand-safe Discover content,” Roter said.

This notion was reinforced in a recent Snap Inc. report that explored buyer behavior trends amongst these exact demographics – namely, how they research and purchase, and how brands can connect with them via the app.

Connecting with Millenials and Gen Z Through Authentic Omnichannel Experiences

Together, Millennials and Gen Z have over $1 trillion in direct spending power and mobile commerce is projected to drive nearly half of all U.S. e-commerce sales during the 2019 season.

Sixty-four percent of Snapchat users are likely to start their shopping on Black Friday and 20 percent are choosing to make these purchases with their mobile devices. Looking at Gen Z specifically, over half plan to spend at least $250 during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

With these figures aside, what’s critical to note as marketers is that this shift in shopping behavior is paramount and will continue to define buying behavior. These younger audiences are unarguably valuable, but earning their attention and maintaining it is a separate story.

Here are a few highlights from the findings and research conducted last year to help you shape your strategy:

  • Snapchat users crave omnichannel experiences that they can navigate seamlessly. Compared to those who don’t use Snapchat, 1.5x research online before committing to an in-store person, 2.5x will research in-store and buy online, and 1.5x shop online and prefer to pick-up in the store
  • Snapchatters use the platform to consult friends and family throughout the buying journey. Thirty-nine percent send Snaps to their friends to gauge their opinions, and 35% Snap while they browse. A separate 35% send Snaps about the products they’re considering purchasing.
  • Snapchat is the leading platform for conversations during and after the shopping experience. While they shop, Snapchat users engage in the app 35% more compared to Twitter, 46% more than Instagram, 58% more than Facebook and 137% more than YouTube. After making their purchase, 65% of users share a post, 46% send a Snap to the brands they’ve purchased from, and 45% tag or mention a brand post-purchase.

Smartphones continue to be an integral source for gathering and sharing information as consumers shop. This isn’t to negate however the opportunity we have to impact the role these technologies ultimately play. Attention is every individual’s most valuable resource and our obligation as an industry is to respect this scarce investment by sharing the stories that meet people where they are and that deliver incredible experiences they willingly want to engage with.

Check out the full infographic below via Snapchat

WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

The post How Snapchat Can Elevate Your Gen Z Holiday Marketing Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/11/how-snapchat-can-elevate-your-gen-z-holiday-marketing-strategy/

2020 Video Marketing and Statistics: What Brands Need to Know

By 2022, the number of videos crossing the internet per second will approach 1 million translating into 82 percent of all online traffic.

Capitalizing on this trend, Hearst Magazines recently announced it is shopping around more than 80 experiences to advertisers in an effort to tap into additional revenue streams including video series, events, and new award franchises.

In particular, the company gave initial leaks into upcoming projects including a “Future of Beauty” award series from Elle Magazine and experiential events across Cosmopolitan and Marie Clare. Aside from video and experiential, data will be an influential guide as the company looks to better target to its audience.

As your brand continues its own preparation around a 2020 video strategy and the ways you can create your own unique experiences, here are a few important statistics to bear in mind:

Video usage and consumption

There has been a noticeable uptick in video usage over the past three years. A few stats evidencing this include that video consumption on mobile devices rises a whopping 100 percent each year.

In addition, 78 percent of people report watching videos online each week while 55 percent of those watch on a daily basis. More than half (54%) demand more video content on top of what they already consume.

Marketing trends and best practices for video on mobile devices

Viewers claim they retain 95 percent of a message when obtained via video and a significant 92 percent of mobile users report sharing videos with others.

The vast majority of businesses are shifting their strategies accordingly with 81 percent incorporating the tactic into the plans–a 63 percent increase year-over-year (YoY).

Ninety-nine percent of marketers claim they will continue to use video marketing in their approaches and 88 percent are committing to devoting more dollars to such campaigns in the future. This comes as no surprise as in the U.S. alone, the industry for video marketing has exploded and is now worth $135 billion.

Vertical video is the future of brand storytelling

An integral part of the growing demand for an enhanced mobile experience is vertical video and leading platforms like Instagram are putting their stake in the ground to lead the change.

For context, more than half (60%) of users film on their phone horizontally compared to 40 percent who report filming vertically. From a viewer’s standpoint, 75 percent prefer watching videos horizontally while only 25 percent prefer watching vertically.

Video marketing is at a critical point where it is driving more views, engagement and positive response compared to any other social post option. While users tend to skim text, videos have a competitive advantage when it comes to earning attention and recall. As you look to experiment, pocket these stats to help grow your audience and improve your presence.

Infographic via brednbeyond

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Advertising to the Next Generation: A Marketer’s Strategy Guide to TikTok

It’s been three years since TikTok, originally known as Musical.ly, ushered onto the scene, gaining traction of tweens and teens around the globe. The platform has since grown in size and scale, reaching over 1 billion downloads including 96 million in the United States alone. In terms of user base, there are 500 million across 150 countries.

Beyond lip-syncing Gen Z-ers, major brands and A-list celebs including Coca-Cola, Nike, Google and Khloé Kardashian are turning to TikTok to push sponsored posts or run ad campaigns. From a general community standpoint, the app also serves as a popular hub for extracting meme-able content.

For those unfamiliar, TikTok revolves around sharing 15-second video clips often set to music that is licensed from artists and record labels. If you’re a brand looking for new and creative ways to reach younger audience members, let’s take a look at what the app is all about and the basics for navigating its interface.

Setting up an account

By downloading the TikTok app, you can instantly browse any videos uploaded to the platform. However, to upload any yourself, you need to set up your own profile. Here are the basics for carrying out the process:

  • Set up an account by providing your email, phone number, or a third-party platform like Facebook
  • You will automatically be assigned an initial username by TikTok. If you provide a phone number this will take a very generic form such as user1234567 whereas providing your email will result in a more personalized result.
  • When you’re ready to change your username, tap the icon in the right bottom corner resembling a human’s upper body. Then hit ‘Edit Profile.’ In addition to swapping your picture, you can proceed to fill out a bio and set a Profile Video.

Browsing, sharing and reacting to TikToks

TikTok is divided into two basic feeds. Primarily, you’ll be shown the default titled, ‘For You,’ which contains algorithmically generated content comparable to Instagram’s Explore page. By swiping left, you’ll navigate over to the second of the feeds, ‘Following,’ which collects uploads from people you personally choose to follow. These can be influencers, comedy-focused accounts, whatever suits your daily entertainment needs.

To help curate your feed, hard press on a video to trigger a ‘Not Interested’ button that you can then select if you’d like to opt-out of that type of content going forward.

Each video you browse, you’ll see there are options to give the user a heart, like on Instagram and Facebook, and the ability to leave them a comment. To share your favorite TikToks to other platforms or via a text message, look for the symbol depicting a right-pointing arrow. By clicking on this, you’ll be provided with the specific link to use directly to that video,

Finally, to track a specific song that is being played in a TikTok, look for the symbol of a spinning record with music notes emanating from it. Tapping this will show you the track name, artist, as well as other TikToks that feature the song.

Recording and sharing your own TikTok

Now that you have that lay of the land, let’s walk through the steps for recording and sharing your own TikTok videos.

To record, select the plus sign symbol at the bottom of your screen. This will open your camera and reveal a red record button, much like you’d see if you were recording a video on Snapchat.

Here’s where you have a few options. You can either stick to the standard 15-second limit or record multiple clips and string them together for up to 60 seconds of total recording. Alternatively, you can upload even longer videos outside of TikTok and bring them into the platform later. Whichever you choose, you have the ability to use the timer feature so you don’t have to hold the record button the entire time.

To drop a song in your video, click ‘Add a Sound’ to the right of the recording screen. A menu of artists akin to what you’d see in your Spotify account will appear where you can either pick from the most popular tracks at the moment or look up a specific song in Apple Music. A caveat to note with this, however, is that TikTok’s short videos can’t be edited, meaning you can’t handpick a certain segment of the song to use. Some users have tried to get around this by using a third-party source to stream the full song, but at the risk of getting copyrighted.

Aside from music, TikTok offers an abundance of AR effects that can be accessed by selecting ‘Effects’ on the left-hand side. These range from filters intended for animals including dogs and cats to ones designed for humans. More specifically, the Beauty button will give you an assortment of options for enhancing your appearance such as removing dark circles under your eyes.

To help you keep track of who has liked or comment on one of your videos, viewed your profile, or started following you, select the notifications icon at the top of the home screen.

TikTok Challenges

‘Challenges’ are designed to bring TikTok users together through a lighthearted competition and brands are taking note for how they can get in on the action.

ABC, for instance, ran the #LikeAnAmericanIdol earlier this year encouraging users to share their singing skills. As of this year March, over 25 million users posted videos with the hashtag showing their participation. Separately, Chipotle partnered with an influencer for the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge seeing if users could replicate a trick involving the flipping of a Chipotle bowl’s lid. The campaign attracted 110,000 video submissions from fans.

What this translates into for brands are experimental ways to learn from a community, what they’re already engaging with and sharing, and then identify ways for their audiences to get involved in a way that is authentic to them.

Commenting on the creative opportunity for brands and marketers and why they’re flocking to use TikTok, Vice President, Blake Chandlee, recently shared at Advertising Week, “There’s been a real inflection point.” He underscored how the platform is unique in that it challenges marketers to produce something they can’t just replicate on other platforms. It’s a platform to be risky, be raw, and be a relevant storyteller in a way that aligns with today’s landscape that continues to be dynamic and unpredictable.

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Can you make a great six-second ad? Here’s what we learned from the best


When marketers wish for more time and resources, they often wish to spend it on video marketing.

Well, what if you only needed six seconds of video to make your impression?

The current run of 6-second ads on platforms like YouTube and Twitter has opened up new options for marketers who are looking to get their message heard via video without going overboard on video resources.

We’ve taken YouTube’s best practices and looked at the list of the best six-second ads to find all the secret ingredients behind short and snappy video marketing. We think these tips will help you craft the perfect YouTube bumper ad, Twitter video, Instagram story — you name it — and will make video marketing a cinch for you and your brand.


The benefits of being on YouTube

YouTube is a bit of a different animal when it comes to social media marketing, particularly because it has such a heavy emphasis on, well, video content. On Twitter, you can type out a message and hit send. On Instagram, you can upload a pretty photo or a meme.

On YouTube, you have to create a whole video!

We’ve written lots before about how to create awesome videos, whether you’re a newbie or on a budget .. or a seasoned pro. As with most marketing activities, it’s not as difficult as it might look at first. The hardest part is getting going.

Still, it can feel like a big hill to climb. 

So why bother climbing?

Well there are a couple strong points in your favor for putting in the work and making things happen on Youtube.

First, YouTube is gigantic.

Chances are that if you’re targeting consumers, then consumers will have some sort of connection with YouTube.

Take these stats for instance: 

Now, we’re not necessarily talking about becoming a YouTube influencer or growing your channel to millions of subscribers and views. That would be great, of course. But it’s not needed in order to get value from YouTube. 

Spending some of your ads budget on YouTube ads can help you reach a targeted audience through a medium that is engaging and very strong on the storytelling side. 

Which brings us to the second reason why it might make sense to invest some in YouTube advertising … 

One of YouTube’s best formats is six-second video ads.

You don’t have to make a mini movie or spend a lot of time and resources to build something long and lasting. You simply have to fill six seconds of time with a catchy, on-brand message. 

Seem doable? 

A lot of brands think so, which is why the ads format on YouTube has proliferated. There are a lot of options now — and if you spend much time on YouTube, you’ve probably seen a lot of variety in the ads also. It’s becoming a hot space. 

We’ll cover some of the basics of this ad format and then spend the majority of the episode diving into what makes a great YouTube ad by studying some of the best ones out there. 


Your YouTube ad options for videos

YouTube offers three types of video ads

  1. Skippable video ads that viewers can skip after five seconds. These ads come before, during, or after the main video.
  2. Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed. These are a maximum of 15-20 seconds long
  3. Non-skippable video ads that can be up to 6 seconds.

Specifically for this blog post, we’re going to focus on the six-second ads. These appear in the pre-roll — the ad that shows right before your video starts. 

Because of this, you pay for bumper ads by impressions. They are charged by CPM – cost per thousand impressions, meaning that you pay for a bumper ad for every 1,000 impressions of your video. 

YouTube ads typically have an average cost-per-view of $0.10 – $0.30. And according to an AdStage report, in 2018 the average CPM on YouTube was $9.68. Additionally, the average cost per click was $3.21 and the average click-through rate (CTR) on YouTube was 0.33%.

How does this compare to other social networks?

It’s on the higher end because of the high engagement on YouTube’s video ads. Facebook is near $9.00 CPM, but Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn benchmarks are closer to $6.00. 


Best examples of six-second ads on YouTube

YouTube recently announced its list of the top six-second ads from the past year. The list included:

  • Subaru
  • Frito-Lay
  • Doritos
  • Oreo
  • Eggo
  • Almond Joy
  • and many more

Personally, I love what Geico dos with six-second ads: they’re often quite brilliant and funny and play with the form really well. 

What do all these videos have in common? There are a few elements that we noticed, plus YouTube has shared some of the qualities that it believes are key to a successful ad and video on its network. 


How to make a successful YouTube ad

1. Put your brand front-and-center

There are a couple reasons for this. Featuring your brand early on will help orient the viewer and increase engagement with your ad. Also, the first few seconds of the video are crucial, whether you’re making a longform video or a six-second ad. 

YouTube recommends starting with a powerful brand moment rather than a slow build. And of course, when making a six-second ad, you don’t really have time for a slow build!

You can do this in a lot of different ways. If you have a product, you can feature it in the first frames, as Doritos does in its six-second ads. Other brands start with a shot of their logo or a logo overlay onto the video. 

2. Use catchy music and sounds. 

95% of video watched on YouTube are played with the sound on, so music and voice are an essential component to your ad’s success. This is a bit different from other social platforms where sound is often turned off and captions are necessary. You don’t need any captions here. 

If your ad doesn’t necessarily have a strong audio component, another way to capture attention is from quick editing. This is obviously used quite well in the six-second ad formats. 

By putting multiple shots into the first few seconds, you can capture attention quite well. 

Looking at some of the top 6-second ads on YouTube, for example, Doritos put five shots into its six seconds, and Dove had seven shots — more than one shot per second. 

3. Think mobile-first when building your ad.

The majority of YouTube watching happens on mobile devices, so you’ll want to consider this experience when you’re coming up with your ad idea and your production. For instance, consider how people are using their phones — people may be watching on battery saving mode which means darker screens and less visibility, so bright colors and big text will make the biggest impact in your ad. 

Ok, let’s take a quick music break and then come back with some final advice on making the most of your YouTube ads.


Strategy: What are six-second ads good for? 

It’s not a lot of time to drive an action from your viewer, which might be why a lot of brands use the short videos for increasing brand awareness. 
Of course, this comes with challenges of its own. How do you even measure brand awareness?

YouTube has thought of this. They offer a brand lift survey that you can run to measure the direct impact that your ad is having on the perception of your brand and the behaviors that you’re influencing. The survey measures a number of different factors: 

  • increases in brand awareness
  • ad recall
  • consideration
  • favorability
  • purchase intent
  • brand interest

They even let you optimize your campaigns while they’re happening, based on the results from this brand lift survey.

Of course, if a Youtube brand lift study is outside of your budget, there are other ways to measure its impact, too. You can look at foundational metrics like view rate and click-through rate to determine which of your ads are working well. 

Now there has been talk about the super-short ad format being too short to effectively communicate a message. There may be some truth to that, but at the same time, there is science and research behind just how quickly we’re able to process ads. 

In a recent study, brain researchers found that mobile ads can trigger an emotional response in less than half a second. The brain only needs 400 milliseconds to see and react emotionally to mobile ads. YouTube in particular has a couple things in its favor: video ads were twice as likely to stimulate an emotional response than static images, and mobile ads are a full one to two seconds faster to get a response than desktop ads.

Strategy: Cross-channel marketing

We’re big fans of repurposing content here at Buffer. We love taking a blog post and turning it into a SlideShare, a podcast episode, an infographic, and more. So we think it’s great to be able to do the same with ads.

Fortunately, there’s not much that needs changed with six-second videos because so many other places support this short format. 

I’m sure you’ve started to see this format on places like Hulu and other streaming services. On the social media side, Twitter has recently rolled out 6-second ads as a new ad type. Early tests with some brands on Twitter have shown up to a 22% increase in view rate.

What’s really interesting, as we mentioned earlier, not everyone browses Twitter with the sound on. So if you’re planning on using your short YouTube video ads on other social networks, it might be useful to really lean into the strong visual branding side of things.

In fact, a study by EyeSee showed that short-form videos with the sound-off that included clear branding, delivered a significantly better ad recall and message association compared to typical TV-style ads. 

Alright, one final strategic point we wanted to share is more like a quick time saver. When it comes to making short, six-second YouTube ads, you may not even need to start from scratch. 

Tip: You can repurpose existing ads and have YouTube cut them down to six seconds for you. 

That’s right, This year, YouTube began testing a tool called Bumper Machine that optimizes video ads for mobile audiences. The tool uses machine learning to pick out key moments from longer ads and convert them into the six-second bumper ads that we’ve been talking about this episode. 

Some of the elements that the machine learning algorithms are looking for are: 

  • human characters
  • motion
  • the sharpness of the video’s focus 
  • the quality of the framing

So if you’re looking to create a short ad to try out on YouTube, you may be able to test quite easily by repurposing a well-performing ad to work in the six-second format.

We’ve had a lot of fun researching short ads for this episode. If you have any personal favorites, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to send us a link on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and use hashtag #bufferpodcast so that we can spot it!

https://buffer.com/resources/six-second-video

4 Tips to Boost Your IGTV Strategy

When Instagram TV (IGTV) made its debut in June 2018, its slow start was the stuff of worry for some, and fodder for ridicule to others. But its viewership is picking up steam, and its potential to capture the attention of viewers cannot be ignored. Since Instagram started placing short clips of recommended IGTV broadcasts in its main feed, the feature’s usage has gone up—by at least 300% and by some measures, by nearly 1000%.

Given the feature’s change of fortune, you might want to reconsider earlier skepticism about your presence on IGTV. Here, we’ve got a few tips that’ll help you craft a winning strategy in this newly desirable space.

Honor Your Existing Following

Given Instagram’s blockbuster popularity, you likely already have a following of sorts on your current profile. Crowdfire notes that “if you already have a great following on Instagram,” the existence of this potentially powerful tool for the platform means “you don’t have to start from scratch building your audience.” To the contrary, you can mine the data that this following frequently provides you for content on IGTV.

For example, do you get frequent questions about how something works or why certain features exist as they do? A mid-length IGTV video could answer these questions with the tour of a facility or introductions to staff that work in a given area of the company. Have influencers who followers might want to get to know better? Use the platform to let users ask questions and get answers. Mine comments and interactions – for better or for worse – to map out a strategy for content development.

Thoughtfully Share Previews

Along with the addition of algorithmically generated IGTV previews to the feed, came the ability for IGTV publishers to share a clip on their main feed. You can crop up to a minute of your content and share it with prospective viewers. How will you use that time to tease something they’ll tune in to continue watching?

The first minute of any IGTV should be compelling enough that viewers want to hang in for more. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your preview should be the first sixty seconds. Are there other surprising snippets that surfaced over the course of the video? How about something hilarious? Don’t be afraid to dive deeper into the meat of the content, surfacing something that could pique interest- and then implore followers to find the rest on your channel.

Edit for Explore

A major drawback for IGTV is the inability to search by topic. In many ways, prospective viewers have to know who or what they’re looking for when they seek out video content. However, additional exposure is possible now that IGTV broadcasts can be discovered in Explore.

To heighten your chance of being featured in this increasingly trafficked corner of the app, consider aligning the content you create to Explore’s content tags: crafting content that can highlight food, travel, fitness, beauty, home, or its other categories could heighten your discoverability. Even if your product or service doesn’t naturally converge with these categories, there are likely ways to pull in influencers, share stories, or highlight interesting use cases that could make your video a welcome addition to these spaces. Combine your approach with common hashtags in these spaces, and you’ll stand to bring in new viewers as a result.

Allow for Accessibility

An evergreen challenge with video via mobile app is the ability to be viewed and understood without sound. Captioning is a common solution to this challenge, but it’s far from an intuitive process on Instagram. Using tools like Clipomatic (for iOS and Android) or Clips (for iOS) doesn’t only provided needed context for viewers watching without sound, it makes your video easier to follow. This ease of consumption likely explains the statistic that 80% of viewers will persist in watching a video when they see it’s been captioned.

However, accessibility is about more than ensuring that videos are captioned. Consider additional factors like color combinations, and detailed captions that can serve as image descriptions when teasing the final product on your main feed. Taking these additional steps can ensure that when viewers take the jump from their feed to IGTV, they can do so with confidence they’ll understand what they see…and greater trust in you, as a result.

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The Evolution of Storytelling with Video: What Works on Facebook, Won’t on Instagram (Or YouTube)

Successful social media content isn’t one size fits all. In 2019, telling the same story across all social platforms isn’t the most effective way to drive results. That’s why when it comes to crafting social videos that tell a story and stand out, it’s the platform that’s key.

Here’s some insight into what successful storytelling looks like on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and how you can create your own platform-specific videos.

On Facebook, share news and updates

About  88% of Facebook users browse on their mobile device and most watch videos without sound. Additionally, most users spend about 10-to-12 minutes on Facebook per visit. So you’ve got a limited amount of time to stop viewers from scrolling past your content.

How do you engage the Facebook audience? Stick to news and updates.

Consumers on this platform are expecting to stay updated or learn something new. For that reason, it’s the right platform to talk about something new, like a product, offering, launch, or location. Also, keep in mind that square videos take up 78% more space in the Facebook News Feed. To optimize for engagement in the Feed, stick to square video.

On Instagram, inspire with eye-catching videos

Instagram is the up-and-coming platform on social. In 2018, Instagram showed higher engagement and ad spend than Facebook. Furthermore, in a recent survey, 48% of consumers said they made a purchase after watching a brand’s video on Instagram— that’s up 17% from the previous year.

So what kind of content resonates with the Instagram audience? Think visually stunning imagery, and inspiring stories.

When approaching video creation for Instagram, start with something visually striking.Tell a story that inspires or intrigues or share a memorable quote. Posting the kind of content your audience prefers to consume helps your brand stand out on social.

On YouTube, educate with longform content

While sharing a longform video on Instagram or Facebook may not hold your audience’s attention, longer video content excels on YouTube. And since its what viewers expect on this platform, they are more likely to stay engaged till the end.

It’s also worth noting that your YouTube audience is looking for specific information, and most likely watching with the audio on. So, share educational content such as how-to videos or top 5 lists (2 out of 3 of consumers favorite types of videos on social) that’ll provide value to your audience.

On social, the success of a story is linked to the platform on which it is shared. And, catering your video content to viewers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube fosters a memorable connection to your audience. Incorporate these insights into your marketing strategy to create effective storytelling videos for each platform.

For more on effective storytelling with video, check out my session at Social Media Week NYC.

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YouTube’s Hunger for Engagement May Have Been Its Downfall, Says Bloomberg

Engagement is a metric that, for a time, many of us were willing to chase in pursuit of success. We wanted eyes on our articles, and lusted after the likes, favorites, and comments that would inevitably follow. But as a scathing Bloomberg report has revealed, this chase on the part of YouTube could lead to its downfall.

The Blind Dash to One Billion

Citing a 2012 decision to institute an objective of one billion hours of viewing a day on the platform, the expose explores how the site effectively rewrote its recommendation engine toward reaching that goal – at the expense of viewer safety, and despite the warnings of several YouTube and Google employees. The result? In some of its darkest corners, it ignored growing conspiratorial tendencies, allowing them to proliferate in dangerous ways. Bloomberg’s Mark Bergen put it ominously as he wrote:

The conundrum isn’t just that videos questioning the moon landing or the efficacy of vaccines are on YouTube. The massive “library,” generated by users with little editorial oversight, is bound to have untrue nonsense. Instead, YouTube’s problem is that it allows the nonsense to flourish. And, in some cases, through its powerful artificial intelligence system, it even provides the fuel that lets it spread.

Crushing Its Creator Community

In allowing this content—be it false or incendiary—to spread, it didn’t just hurt the platform’s users, who could easily be drawn into rabbit holes of questionable content. It also had an impact on its creator community, who had long been touted as the backbone of the platform. But the rise of this sort of spurious content happened to coincide with the demonetization and periodic hiding of high-profile creators’ products. And when these two streams of content intersected on occasion, as with PewDiePie’s since-removed anti-Semitic content or Logan Paul’s highly controversial “suicide forest video,” it did even more damage to their cache of creators.

Even as the platform (rightfully) de-emphasized the role these bad actors played in their overall strategy, many mid-level creators felt abandoned as a result. Said lifestyle vlogger Carrie Crista to The Verge last year, “YouTube seems to have forgotten who made the platform what it is.” As their unique, user-generated appeal started to cause problems, she said the site “[pushed] content creators away instead of inviting them to a social platform that encourages them to be creative in a way that other platforms can’t.”

Historically, YouTube’s strategy has been to pass the buck when faced with backlash; if its creators courted controversy, they’d highlight vetted and more secure bets (like late night content, musicians, or its marquee original programming). But at this stage, there may simply be too much to overcome without an overt pivot in strategy. Their attempted push into prestige programming has been walked back twice now; YouTube Red has pivoted from an original programming arm to a premium music service, and what was to be subscription-supported programming will now be supported by ads. A site that once rocketed to stratospheric viewership, runs a risk of cratering under the weight of its own scandals.

What Will it Take to Rebound?

The challenges that YouTube faces are multi-faceted: there is a clear need to repair its reputation with advertisers who see ample reasons to flee, to rebuild relationships with their creator community, and to minimize its role (perceived and actual) in the spread of misinformation.

In some ways, they are making clear progress. When faced with overwhelming evidence of their role in incubating child pornography rings, the site promised “blunt action” to prevent the monetization and recommendation of this content.

As Ars Technica has reported, “the company has changed many of its rules and regulations around the types of content that can be monetized on the platform, who can get paid from YouTube, and what content is explicitly banned from the site.” And once-overlooked suggestions like creating a tier of videos that, while technically within the Terms of Service, should not be amplified, have since been implemented, there remains a great deal of work to be done. But their communication with and treatment of their creator community still needs to be addressed. And in a larger sense, the company’s understanding of what’s important to their survival needs to be drastically reassessed.

A particularly prickly piece of Bloomberg’s testimony notes that when scores of YouTube and Google employees previously spoke up about the cutthroat strategy to growth, they were told “don’t rock the boat.” In these increasingly stormy seas, those times have passed. Now, drastic rerouting will need to take place to keep said boat afloat.

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Twitter Finally Adds Native Subtitling Options for Video

Around the world, 466 million people in the world are deaf or hard of hearing. And while social media platforms are making strides to create experiences that can level the playing field for these users—image descriptions, facial recognition, and alt-text tools that work seamlessly with screen readers—deployment of these features has been slow. Twitter’s support for subtitles is among the latest advances that will equalize the user experience for these users.

It should be noted that Twitter currently supports the closed captioning available for users who opt into accessibility tools in their settings. But closed captioning differs from subtitling, which the company defines as “transcripts of the dialog or audio in a video in .SRT files that are attached to videos.” These files can be attached via Twitter Media Studio, Twitter Ads, or Twitter’s application-programming interface for developers.

Given how much Twitter use takes place on mobile devices (93% of Twitter video views take place on mobile), the ability to effectively and easily subtitle videos is beneficial to deaf and hard-of-hearing users, but also for individuals viewing this content without sound. Further, in the highly competitive landscape of mobile-optimized social, platforms that can accommodate the needs of users with disabilities will ultimately win out. By comparison, for example, there is no native mechanism by which to caption Instagram videos or Instagram Stories. It will be interesting to see if availability of these utilities on other sites will pressure them into creating their own native tool for doing so.

But in the meantime, Twitter continues to shine in the area of making content on their platform accessible. To utilize this option for your own video, select a video in your Media Studio, select the “Subtitles” tab in the displayed pop-up window, select the language you’d like to subtitle the video in and upload the .SRT file that holds your video’s transcript.

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The post Twitter Finally Adds Native Subtitling Options for Video appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/04/twitter-finally-adds-native-subtitling-options-for-video/

PODCAST: How Video Can Drive eCommerce Conversions with Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO of MikMak

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO, MikMak, a next generation eCommerce platform.

Before founding MikMak, Rachel was the global director of social media at The Gap overseeing strategy, implementation and measurement.

During her career she has received a number of accolades including being named one of Forbes’ “30 under 30 Who Are Changing The World” and was one of AdAge’s “Most Creative People of The Year.”

During the conversation, Rachel discussed:

  • Her time at GAP and some of the strategic initiatives she led during her time
  • The journey between leaving GAP and starting MikMak
  • How brands are leveraging the MikMak platform
  • Her thoughts on Facebook’s recent announcements and what Instagram’s new checkout feature means for eCommerce companies

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

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The post PODCAST: How Video Can Drive eCommerce Conversions with Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO of MikMak appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/podcast-how-video-can-drive-ecommerce-conversions-with-rachel-tipograph-founder-ceo-of-mikmak/

Periscope’s Latest Update Cracks Down on Fake Engagement

Anywhere that engagement metrics like favorites, shares, and hearts can be used to signal success, ways to “fake” these numbers aren’t too far behind. Periscope is the latest platform to crack down on these faking and spamming efforts, as they revealed this week in a company Medium post.

“Periscope is a place for instant engagement and we’ve heard your concerns about spammy accounts and chats,” they said to open their statement. Indeed, Periscope users had been reporting artificial hearts, followers, viewers, and chats for quite some time. And while the company’s 2016 measures to cut down on spam viewers and commenters were successful in curbing abuse and noise on the platform, many of these “fakes” persisted—with the help of YouTube videos and other tutorials to further the practice.

But by finding ways to conflate spam engagement and fake engagement, this new policy seems to give their management efforts new heft and meaning. “Any artificial hearts, chats, followers and views violate our spam rules, and so will selling or promoting fake engagement,” the company said. To make the reporting process easier when these behaviors do arrive, “[Periscope] also focusing on proactive enforcement to help make chat quality better, and will soon launch account-level spam reporting options to let you report spammy behavior more easily.”

The last company to take such aggressive action on fake accounts was Instagram, who removed thousands of accounts en masse to contain the problem in November 2018. The move was remarkable at the time, and frankly continues to be; a number of other platforms have failed to take meaningful measures to control spam or fake accounts. As we’re learning, these efforts can contribute not only to inflated viewer numbers, but an inflated sense of influence for those accounts – contributing to misinformation or misplaced online authority. By taking on this issue so pointedly, Periscope is standing apart from other platforms that shy away from the issue…including its parent company, Twitter.

“We are always looking for ways to make Periscope feel safer and more authentic for our community,” the company’s Medium post concluded. It’ll be interesting to see how these latest measures affect the Periscope user experience, as well as if it’ll push other platforms to be similarly stringent in managing the scourge of fake accounts and engagement.

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The post Periscope’s Latest Update Cracks Down on Fake Engagement appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/periscopes-latest-update-cracks-down-on-fake-engagement/

PODCAST: What’s Next For Video Marketing with Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer of Animoto

This week’s bonus episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer at Animoto.

During the conversation, Jason discussed:

  • His early work at MTV and Comedy Central
  • His first foray into digital video in the mid-two thousands
  • How Animoto started out and has evolved over the years
  • How he has kept pace with the rapid changes in video technology and consumer behavior
  • and much more!

Jason will also be speaking at Social Media Week New York on May 1 and you can learn more his session by visiting socialmediaweek.org/newyork. Stay tuned for later in the episode for a special offer to attend the event which is only available for Leads2Scale listeners.

Listen and subscribe via the following platforms: Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, and Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post PODCAST: What’s Next For Video Marketing with Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer of Animoto appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/podcast-whats-next-for-video-marketing-with-jason-hsiao-co-founder-chief-video-officer-of-animoto/