THE INTERNET CONTINUES TO AMAZE ME
At home, I'm able to order a TV mount from Amazon that’ll arrive within two days, stream my latest favorite movie (Arrival) through my Apple TV, and share my thoughts about the film through social media to friends and family all over the world - all because of the Internet.
At work, I utilize email to communicate with clients, share graphics to all of RedFork's social media channels through Buffer, and format our new blog posts for our website - all because of the Internet.
It’s truly incredible that practically everything we do today would be impossible without the Internet. It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t fully understand its full potential and just how the web would affect our lives. Check out this clip of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel discussing the “@” symbol in the mid-90s.
In the video Gumbel is asking for clarity on what the “@“ symbol stands for, to which Katie responds with “about” or “around.” Then Gumbel exclaims, “What is the internet anyway?”
That question seems absolutely hilarious today. The “@” symbol has become such an important part of defining, finding, and communicating with people and companies online - especially with social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
In one of our recent blog posts, Arthur (my partner in blog writing crime) cited a great quote by Gary V about the Internet and social media - “Social media is a slang term for the current state of the Internet.” I couldn’t agree more.
So many of the ways we communicate, learn about news, sports, and entertainment comes from using social media.
We spend a third of our time each day browsing through social media, and since every business needs marketing, keeping up-to-date with social media trends is crucial to being relevant to the consumers of today and tomorrow.
So when it comes to the latest content trend, all signs point to… Video 🎥
Video Is The Future Of Social Media
Which of the social media giants (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) do you think has the most daily users?
Well Facebook undoubtedly leads the pack at allowing people to be digitally connected, but when it comes to the amount is active daily users, you might be surprised to learn that YouTube is the top social network. And not only that, YouTube is the second most popular search engine, second only to Google (both a product of the Alphabet company).
YouTube allows users to watch, upload, and share videos with the world. From first-person, spontaneous videos to well-produced web series, you can watch anything on YouTube. But why is video so compelling?
It has to do with empathy.
We love connecting to stories, and video is this best when it comes to storytelling content. Video can make us feel like we’re there, actually experiencing whatever it is that we’re viewing.
Cisco “predicts that by 2020, 82% of the internet traffic will be video.” That’s an incredible prediction, and whether it’ll come to fruition or not, there’s something about video that catches our attention.
The combination of social media adoption and pockets cameras, by way of smartphones, has empowered people to record, share, and watch more. It’s even causing a shift in the way we view fame.
A recent survey by Variety found that teens are more influenced by Internet stars than pop culture stars. “YouTubers were judged to be more engaging, extraordinary and relatable than mainstream stars.”
Casey, who truly rose from rags to riches, provides his viewers with an inside look into his personal life, his work, and inspires them to work hard. And he’s just one of the many YouTubers who hold millions of subscribers who tune in monthly, weekly, or even daily, just to see their latest video upload.
As people shift towards more video consumption through the Internet, understanding how to use different video outlets in order to engage consumers is integral to the future of your marketing strategies.
Here are a few video creation and publishing tips to help you step into the future of social media.
7 TIPS TO MAKING BETTER VIDEOS
1. Find Your Audience
As with any marketing strategy, you should start your video project by identifying your audience and where they consume their content.
People watch video on multiple platforms, so you need to know how to maximize your content for different platforms.
- Does my audience prefer long form or short form?
- Where do they watch their videos? (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
- What type of video are they looking for? (Entertaining, educational, first person, etc.)
Answering these questions will help you figure out the type of videos you need to create in order to reach your target audience.
2. Remember: Story Is King
One of the biggest setbacks for those who want to become creators is lacking the right equipment - but honestly, that’s just an excuse.
Creating relatable stories is the most important thing.
So don't let not having the best/newest camera, microphone, or tripod
stall your desire to create. Your audiences won’t care as long as you captivate them with a great story.
To improve your storytelling skills, think about:
- The purpose of your video
- A call-to-action (CTA) that goes along with your story's purpose
- The beginning and end of your story
- Highlight the “problem” and showcase how to overcome it
And as far as your equipment goes...
There are plenty of inexpensive options to start with. A wise one once said, "The best camera is the one that’s always on you." Most smartphones have camera sensors that shoot high-definition video, so you can use your phone to:
- Record audio and video
- Edit the video using third-party apps
- Share your project with friends, family, and followers online
So no more excuses! Focus on a great story and worry about upgrading your equipment later.
3. Catch Their Attention Within 5 Seconds
You might have heard that people’s attention spans have decreased substantially… Squirrel! 😜
Research suggests that people who regularly use multiple screens have shorter attention spans. Don’t believe me? Well, I’d like to pose a quick question:
Did you actually read this blog post or did you skim through it? More than likely you skimmed, and the same applies for video. Consumers are skimming through their feeds waiting to be enticed.
So when creating video, it’s extremely important the content entices viewers to keep watching within the first 5 seconds.
The best way of doing this, is by creating a scene that makes your viewers want to know what happens next. It could be shocking, funny, or even informative, just make sure it doesn't fully divulge the purpose or learn of the story.
A Quick Example
The RedFork Vlog series gave a behind-the-scenes look into the daily operations at RedFork while also providing helpful marketing tips. During Episode 44, we showcased some of the photography we did for the #OrlandoUnitedPin Project.
One of the photos involved capturing the pin on the train tracks in downtown Orlando, so we thought it’d be a good opportunity to have some fun and create something interesting for the intro of our vlog. Watch it below!
4. Start With 3 Minutes Or Less
Going along with keeping your audience’s attention, it is also important to understand how long is too long.
It’s already a difficult task attracting people online, but keeping your video relatively short can help capturing people's attention.
Online, we’re constantly looking for instant gratification, so watching a 10-minute video can seem like an insurmountable task (as crazy as that sounds). To create videos that are compelling and informative while also keeping them within 3 minutes can be difficult at first, but keep working at it and you’ll get there.
- Splitting your content across multiple videos
- Creating a multi-episode series
- Considering what’s most necessary to the story
Later on, as you gain traction and more followers, you can increase the length of your videos, so long as you stick to providing a great story.
5. Upload Your Content Separately, Don't Share It
Each social network prefers to host user content directly on their platform rather than displaying links to content on other social channels (e.g. posting a video directly on Facebook rather than posting links on Facebook to a YouTube Video). Why is this important? Because all social networks are competing for users, and having unique content on their platform provides a better experience.
What you don’t see is that on the back-end they will promote your content more if it originates from their social network. So if you want to reach more people, upload separately to each network, and don’t share your video from one network to another.
Yes, this is a tedious task, but it will surely pay off when more people see your videos.
6. Use On-Screen Text
Like the previous tip, this is an easy task to execute, but can certainly be time-consuming.
Due to our "scroll culture", skimming through lots of content on social media, videos can easily get overlooked. Using text that is displayed with the video can entice more people to keep watching.
A lot of times people scroll through their feed and hover over a video. As they hover the video starts to play but without any audio, and that’s where the practice of overlaying text started.
You can use text to create a very attractive subject line, or you can use it in a subtitle-type fashion that tells the story throughout the video.
Here are a few examples:
7. Build A Format
The last tip is all about consistency. People love the consistency in their content, like knowing the segments of a late-night talk show.
So before you start recording, consider your format. Think about:
- Your intro sequence
- How to introduce the content
- What type of transitions you will need
- Create names for your segments
- How you will end the video
- When and where in the video will you present your CTAs
A perfect example is the GEOGRAPHY NOW! YouTube channel.
The premise of GEOGRAPHY NOW! is to teach viewers about a new country every week.
Their format is easy going and fun. They start with a witty intro regarding the featured country. Then they lead into segments such as a flag breakdown, an outline of the political geography, an overview of the physical geography, and a review of the country's demographics. They also have a cool segment called the Friendzone (which is basically a review of the country's allies).
Each segment teacesh viewers about different aspects of the country.
Viewers love to become familiar with these segments, and after consistently watching the series, they expect these segments. That's why consistency is key - it helps us better understand the information being provided.
There's a sense of excitement in knowing what to expect, so strive to build a consistent format. Your viewers will surely appreciate it!
Which of the tips above did you find most helpful? Are there any tips you feel should be added to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.