One of the big challenges for video in social media has been that it has failed to be as easily digested.
For example, Twitter and Facebook can provide quick updates in the form of a status or tweet, but YouTube videos tend to be a longer time commitment for viewers and sometimes the videos don’t get viewed because the viewer doesn’t have the time to invest in watching it.
It is also hard to create short interesting content. Many people are reluctant to click a YouTube link for fear that it won’t be worth their time. That being said, there are some new apps out that are making video content more sharable and within reach of more companies.
The first is a Twitter owned company called Vine, a video app that puts a 6 second limit on the videos users can create. In just six months, they’ve reached 13 million users and are continuing to grow rapidly. YouTube says that you have have 15 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. With Vine’s short length, you don’t have to worry about viewer shutting off your video halfway through because they know that it will only last 6 seconds of their time. As soon as they click, they’ll most likely watch it until the end.
As a business, you have 2 main concerns: how can you get people to click your video and how can you get your company’s message across in such a short amount of time. It all goes back to creating good content. I was involved in another conversation this week where, unfortunately, the VP of marketing was willing to create really poor content just for the sake of having content. The days of this being acceptable for a professional brand are gone. Content, even something as simple as a Vine or Twitter post, need to be intentional and have the professionalism that represents the brand.
If you are new to Vine we have created a quick how to guide on our website. Now that you know how to operate the app how do you engage your audience using Vine? For people to click your Vine video, you will need an interesting thumbnail and a good title. You can utilize hashtags, like on Twitter and Facebook, to increase your viewership and let people know what type of video they are going to be watching. Hashtags expand your audience to potentially include anyone who is watching a video with the same hashtag that you have on your video. By clicking the hashtag, users can see a list of all of the other videos with the same tag; which can broaden your audience. Put that together with a good title and an intriguing thumbnail, and you’re off to a great start!
Another great thing about Vine is that it has made looking behind the scenes of your company incredibly easy. Previously, you had to shoot a video at your office, upload it to YouTube and then post it to Facebook or Twitter. With Vine, all of this happens within the app. These behind the scenes videos are great because they give people a sneak peek into the day-to-day operations of your company. It also makes you more transparent to your customers and helps to build their trust.
Humor may not be the right fit for every company, but it has played a big role in the success of Vines. It can be difficult to get a lot of content crammed into 6 seconds, but you can easily make someone laugh in that time. If humor isn’t right for your company, consider using stop motion in clever and original ways.
One thing that is frequently overlooked is the role sound plays in your videos. Most Vines are muted by default, so your videos should be able to stand up on their own without audio. However, be careful about talking while you are recording and make sure to take note of whatever other background noise might be present. Distracting sound can pull the viewer out of the moment and ruin your ability to get a message across.
Just last week, Instagram, in addition to being a photography service, will begin integrating video as well. Instagram’s user base is 10 times as large as Vine’s and Instagram videos can be 15 seconds long, instead of just 6. Most of what has been written above applies equally to Instagram videos. With Instagram videos, you have more time to get content across; which may be the better option for some businesses. Keep in mind that the longer running time may make people less likely to click your video. Because Instagram also hosts photos, it is still easy to mistake a video for a photo and scroll by it without even knowing that it is a video. Both Vine and Instagram are viable options right now if your company is looking to integrate video in social media.
What story will your company tell in 6 or 15 seconds?