When you’re around some of the most creative and innovative minds in the marketing industry, it would be churlish not to pick their brains and see what wisdom emerges.

The main trend – and no, it’s not a massive surprise - is that video is going to dominate content over the next few years. Phil Cunningham of Wistia (above), the video hosting company, said that this is because of the continuing sway of Facebook as the behemoth of social media.

But even though we still think of it as a social media, Facebook is at times the world’s biggest mobile web browser: bigger than Chrome, Safari or Firefox. That’s because when you click on a link in your news feed you’re still within the Facebook browser… and ultimately the Facebook ecosystem where it can monetise this attention.

There are a few things Cunningham recommends when it comes to videos on Facebook. Firstly, 95 percent of people watch the videos without the audio turned on. This is in complete contrast to YouTube, which many people think is similar but is actually quite a different medium. Facebook is primarily a visible medium, whereas YouTube’s biggest viewed videos are all music.

Making an emotional connection

Cunningham says that the approach people have to take when it comes to making videos online is to think of old Charlie Chaplin movies. They didn’t have sound, but they were short, engaging and more importantly, they made an emotional connection with the audience.

The above video illustrates the Wistia take on video. He says that you have to see videos as ‘snacks’ – something that customer can be quickly entertained by.

But he does urge caution when it comes to measuring campaign effectiveness on Facebook. “Views are a bit misleading on Facebook,” he warns. “Three seconds is a bit of a leap. You have to remember that the number of impressions is not the number of people who were impressed.”

True, that.

To combat this, Cunningham says that videos should be targeted on Facebook to ensure that they reach the largest amount of people possible. He says the groups that should be targeted are;

  • People who’ve watched more than 75 percent of your other videos.
  • People who look like your existing ‘likes’ (lookalike audiences).
  • People who look like your existing customers.

If these groups are targeted – the results can be phenomenal when compared with non-targeted videos.

When it comes to Facebook Live, Cunningham says that the three questions you should ask before the event are:

  1. Do I have an exclusive event?
  2. Do I have an interesting manufacturing space to show off?
  3. Is there an exciting physical space here?

He says that unless you are answering ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions, then Facebook Live is probably not the place for you.

Don’t just replicate content everywhere… customise it

One of the big problems when it comes to video is that brands are making it and then just dumping it on YouTube, Facebook and maybe Twitter along with their company website – and then they hope for the best.

But YouTube and Facebook in particular are massively different media. Cunningham gave the example of Jamie Oliver’s YouTube channel, where the motto is TL:DW - that’s Too Long, Didn’t Watch, if you’re not a Reddit devotee.

So, to negate that, on Facebook, they produce short, snappy recipe videos and use them almost like trailers for the full-length videos on the Jamie Oliver YouTube channel.

Overall, Cunningham says that over 70 percent of the world’s content will be produced in video form by the year 2019. Not only that – but the majority will be filmed and produced on mobile devices – no more big cameras.

The challenge though, is convincing brands that this is the way forward. That’s the test for all of us.

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