"Going viral" has always been the Holy Grail of online video success and the ultimate goal for brands and their marketing teams. But, with the industry evolving so fast and viewers becoming increasingly more sophisticated by the day, how do we make that connection with our audience? Our attention spans are getting shorter and the amount of content we get to choose from is exploding and this is the reality that content creators are forced to navigate just to be heard above the noise. So how do you connect with a viewer that that is juggling multiple distractions at any given time? On the "Viral Evolved: Creating Social Value with Online Video" panel at the Liveclicker Video Commerce Summit, John Weaver of Fanatics Inc and Max Kaiser, Director of Hand Crank Films gave us some tips and advice on how to stand out and create real social value with video:
It's Never Been Easier To Add Video Into Your Marketing Strategy
John Weaver, In-House Video Producer at Fanatics, Inc., has more than 10 years experience in video production for clients such as NBC Sports and the Chicago Bulls. He explained how to take advantage of new video platforms like Vine to cut through the clutter and slot into today's always-on digital lifestyle.
Social video allows us to go outside of the boundaries of our own website and meet the customer or potential customer where they socialise. Social media has truly embraced video and users are already very familiar with apps like Vine and Instagram. Those viewers will also accept videos created on mobile devices and accept the technical and creative limitations of those videos as long as brands are creative and play within the 'rules' of social media. Social video apps have caused a revolution in the industry, allowing you to push your content straight out to your social networks - there's no barrier to entry so it's affordable. Social video is also developing its own culture and language - learn it or be ignored!
Of course, there are some technical challenges that come along with the new apps but these can be overcome with some forward thinking:
Because there are no post production features on the Vine and Instgram apps, you'll need to do what you can during the actual filming, including:
- If you have professional video equipment in-house then use it!
- Bring your speakers as near to the mobile device as possible.
- Be aware of branding at all times. Print out your logo onto a transparency and shoot through that. Experiment to see what works.
- Lock your camera down to a tripod for the most professional shoot.
Creativity will prevail over technology - if your message is clear and relevant it will get through, no matter the platform you use. It's never been easier to incorporate video in your marketing strategy and you can get away with lower production values if you are truly authentic with the message.
The Secret Of Viral Video: Emotionally Connect With Your Audience
Max Kaiser, award winning Director of Hand Crank Films has 20 years experience in video and films, and his company now specialise in high end, long form emotionally charged films for brands and non-proft organisations. The aim is engagement and one example is the video that they made for Bellingham's bid to bring Google Fiber to the town, it didn't win (due to a telegraph pole issue) but the video had fantastic engagement and generated a global huge buzz about the town. Views were good but it really hit home just what engagement meant as a metric.
Hand Crank also created a video for the national stage and focused on the issues stirred up by the plan to build a mosque next to Ground Zero in Manhattan. They were asked to make a film by the Muslim Advocacy group, CAIR to address the very negative publicity surrounding the plan. The "9/11 Happened To Us All" video was created to change the public's perception of the tragedy and address who "owns" the 9/11 story. It got around 1 Million views across various platforms including the home page of Yahoo and a 10 minute profile on CNN. It added the client's voice to the debate and allowed them to start changing the conversation around this social issue.
Kaisers tips for finding that common ground with your audience included:
- Look for something sympathetic that you can build a story around.
- Always include the audience - never “tell” them.
- However, it's OK to use persuasion to promote the “right” thing.
- The #1 thing people are looking for in advertising is the truth. Put your heart into it.
- Sentimentally works - as long as it's truthful
- Brands no longer want to just sell products, they want to be your friend but don't start with that as your goal! Find out the best way to share your message instead
- A great video not only works outside of the company, it can work inside of the company too, lifting morale and redefining how employees regards their role and place in the company.