It’s taken content creators a long time to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but at the core, there are some shifts in technology and consumer habits that help define the new rules.
As I discussed in my last post, the good news is that most of these changes have made it much easier for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) to find their ideal customer. The following are absolute necessities to consider when developing your ongoing video content strategy.
1. Authenticity is the New Guiding Light of Content Development.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m already getting tired of hearing this call for authenticity, but I also realize just how far in the other direction we as a society have gone. Polished sets with polished actors delivering polished scripts that have been worded precisely to elicit the perfect response – that was the only method out there. I think it’s fair to say the transparent nature of social media became a sort of BS meter, and most video marketing content was hit hard. Suddenly the fancy-pants commercials didn’t sit right with audiences – especially on social media where they expected to connect in a more real way with people and brands.
What DOES play well on social networks is video content that features real people talking about real things. Surprisingly, a behind-the-scenes look at your business, messes and all, has an endearing effect on your followers. What this means is that you don’t need an expensive video production budget to start using the format that brings the highest levels of engagement. All you need is a smartphone, a few gadgets, and some basic tricks of the trade.
Now, reorient your mind around the whole concept of video. As awkward as it may seem, shooting videos about your products or services, processes, your team, your vision and mission, etc. will likely come off feeling more authentic. And thus, more engaging to the greater than 60% of the population who are avid social media users. While there is still some utility to Hollywood style promo video’s and TV commercials, they are no longer necessities for most company’s to acquire customers.
2. The Death of the Attention Span.
We could debate all day about how and when exactly this happened…probably began at the dawn of the Television age, ramped up it’s game when the Internet appeared, and went into full-on overdrive right about the time that Zuckerberg had his bright idea.
Today, we marketers are told we have roughly 3 seconds to capture people’s attention before they move on. And even if the content is amazing, we’re told we have about a minute before people move on. That’s a lot of pressure to get it right. Good luck achieving that consistently with the written word.
Capturing your audience in 3 seconds sounds scary, but as I mentioned in my last post, the key is video because that’s how the vast majority of consumers prefer to engage.
we have found that starting your video off with a question or a quick statement about what you’re going to share is enough to keep your audience watching, and the sixty to ninety second attention span actually helps in several ways. Firstly, writing scripts is the fastest way to take the authenticity right out of your content. However, most people can talk about a single subject for 60-90 seconds without a problem, especially when it’s an industry, product, or service they know well. It does take a little practice – learning to stick to one topic, learning through experience how to leave out the um’s, but it’s a shorter learning curve than you might expect. Secondly, shorter content means a slow drip of consistent content, rather than one video that will disappear from most feeds in short order. The task grows less daunting when you realize you can actually make more progress on social media by shooting short, single subject videos about a variety of topics within your company. In this respect, the trend towards shorter videos is a win-win for consumers AND businesses.
3. Technology Is Your Friend.
Up until very recently, there was really no meaningful option for shooting video content without dishing out at least a small chunk of change or hiring a production company to come in and shoot. That might be a viable option as a one-time expense for creating that single video for your website home-page, but is usually out of the question when it comes to creating ongoing video content – the very thing most businesses wish they could be doing. Fortunately, the tech industry is quickly realizing how powerful a tool your phone can be for shooting quality content, and are coming out with some amazing, inexpensive options for improving the quality of the video and sound when recording from your smart-phone. Our new service VidProQuo,(which is primarily about editing the videos you shoot) even comes with a kit for your smartphone which includes a mic and an LED light. It’s a very simple setup, requires little to no training, and puts you in a position to start shooting great content right out of the box.
As with all strategies, however, the key is execution.
Elaborate on the challenges with ongoing execution…
4. Web-Based Platforms and Mobile Apps Can Ease the Pain-Points.
Everywhere you turn there is a new subscription based model to help you deal with any pain-point in your life. And there’s good reason for it. These new models tend to be low cost solutions that help you manage otherwise complicated tasks. Mobile Apps such as Videoshop – Video Editor from Appsolute, Inc. allow you to edit video clips, splice multiple shots together, add music and sound effects, and even add basic graphics – all within your phone!
As another example, our new service VidProQuo is a subscription based model created to help businesses start using ongoing video content as part of their overall marketing strategy. We found that most businesses attempting to create video content in-house get stuck at postproduction. Even if there are apps to help with editing, they found it takes too much time and effort, and even if they can’t afford a big budget, they still have a standard to maintain when it comes to their brand, so their content has to look good. VidProQuo allows members to upload unlimited video clips directly from their smartphone into the cloud, where our professional editors will cut together their videos, including graphic bumpers, music, and any graphics needed. Members can then download the finished videos directly to their phone where they can share on whatever social media platform they prefer. The idea is to make the process easy and affordable. At $390 per month for unlimited content, ongoing video creation is no longer an impossibility for small business.
If the past ten years are any indication, we can expect BIG changes in the years to come. But unless things change dramatically, the trend is towards a more intimate connection between you and your customer. I believe that is why we are seeing such huge adoption of video on every single platform – nothing connects you to your audience better than video. No doubt the tools will keep evolving to make it easier and easier for you to create quality content without the huge budgets. My advice to everyone is to start getting comfortable with creating video – it may just end up being your best friend in the social media world.