Grab and Go: 7 Ways To Make Your Content Snackable Using Video
Today, one of the most engaging ways brands can connect with customers online is through video, but online content should be short and sweet.
Video is the most human form of digital communication. It provides a better sense of who people are and what they stand for. It’s also one of the most compelling sales tools because it enables brands to connect with their audiences through the power of storytelling.
We’re seeing more video on social media platforms. According to the most recently available data, views of branded videos on Facebook have increased 258 percent from 2016 to 2017 and by nearly 100 percent on YouTube during the same period. Videos are all over e-commerce sites of all sizes, too, from mom-and-pops to eBay and Amazon, because it helps consumers make a buying decision. They can get a better sense of the product and what it does — a digital proxy for the tactile experience that often happens in-store.
Video also keeps shoppers engaged, research shows. We recently surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers and found that more than half of respondents said they’re more willing to stay on a brand’s channel if it includes video content. There’s plenty of proof in the marketplace of this: on eBay, research has shown products with video generate higher sales. And in fashion retail, brands have seen fewer returns when they use video to showcase an item of clothing. That’s because video gives consumers greater confidence in the product they’re buying.
A well-done snackable video is immediate, authentic, and relevant to consumers. Want to be more successful in this medium? Try these seven tactics:
1. Keep it short
In our survey, 51 percent of respondents said they stop engaging with content altogether if it’s too long or is slow to load.
A snackable video is brief by definition. You’re producing the content to fit a small screen, so taking an analog approach and doing a 30-second spot that works on traditional TV won’t work for an audience that has embraced 6- to 10-second long Snapchat and Instagram videos.
Consumers are inundated with content and they often multitask when they engage with online videos, so you must grab their attention in the first six seconds. After that, they’re likely to move on. The golden triangle of snackable content is that it is short, it’s short and it’s short.
2. Optimize for mobile
Fifty percent of people use two digital devices either simultaneously or frequently. More than a quarter of millennials use three devices at once. Though people consume content on video game consoles and smart TVs, most use smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
This means you must optimize your brand videos for mobile users. How do you do that? Think about shooting your videos vertically — the same way people hold their smartphones. You can also leave out the soundtrack, so users don’t have to mute the sound (users watch 85 percent of Facebook videos with the sound off).
Half the people in our survey said they’d stop using video content if it loaded slowly or had poor resolution. Keep them watching with videos tweaked to look great on all their devices.
3. Personalize for B2C
Personalization makes videos more powerful. For example, OrangeTheory Fitness, which has more than 1,000 locations worldwide, recently sent a personalized video to each of its members via email. The videos featured information on the number of classes each member completed and the total number of calories he or she burned. Each Orangetheory member wears a sensor-based heart rate monitor during class, so the brand wouldn’t have been able to execute this type of personalized marketing without having that valuable data.
If your company wants to do something similar, first look at the data already at your disposal for opportunities to create personalized video content. You then can use this information to do look-alike modeling and extend your reach by targeting similar audience segments.
Data also can help you match videos with consumers’ habits. But don’t get too familiar: More than 80 percent of respondents in our survey said they’d stop purchasing from a brand if it crossed the line with a creepy personalized experience. Always be sure you’re building on brand values, not detracting from them.
4. Customize for B2B
You can keep videos short and sweet, but they must showcase business value if you’re targeting a B2B audience.
Training and onboarding are two of the best B2B use cases for video. For example, B2B salespeople often find that short video introductions do a much better job of breaking through to contacts than the conventional cold call. And once you convert these contacts, use video to showcase your product solution or to educate clients. If a process is too cumbersome or too dry to explain in text, use video to show people how to perform it instead.
Bottom line — show and don’t tell.
5. Take production in-house
Videos can be expensive, complex projects that require substantial skill and artistry. Snackable videos don’t have to be like that. With a smartphone and the right software you can shoot edit, brand and publish video easily.
More brands are bringing social media engagement in-house, giving video creation tools to a wide range of staff on their tablets and phones. We’ve seen companies ranging from mortgage companies to accountancy firms and sports brands making social video creation part of daily working life for many people in their organization, not just the communications teams.
Snackable videos can feel more authentic precisely because they are shot on a mobile phone. This builds a personal connection with consumers.
6. Invite users to share
User-generated content (UGC) can produce more immediacy and authenticity but don’t make the mistake of embracing user-generated content just because it seems inexpensive — it might not be.
The trick is filtering out and excluding content that doesn’t align with your brand values, that might potentially present legal issues and that doesn’t drive your core KPIs. And that might mean an investment in time and people.
If you’re careful and strategic with user-generated video, however, it can be as engaging as anything you produce in-house.
7. Put AI to work
Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can automate and streamline the production process for snackable video by:
- Combing the web for evidence of copyright violations.
- Scanning footage for objectionable content.
- Finding, tagging, and sorting brand assets.
- Create closed captioning tracks (most social videos are viewed with sound off)
- Reframing horizontal video into a vertical output
And that’s just a fraction of AI’s potential for video content. AI algorithms can predict the kind of content that generates the most user engagement, encouraging you to make more of the good stuff and less of the bad. It helps you get campaigns off the ground quicker and retire them sooner. AI also is integral to content personalization and advanced user testing.
Finding the right recipe for snackable video
It’s crucial that brands effectively use this medium to establish deep engagement with their customers.
There’s no single path to what will resonate most clearly — you have to test consistently to see what works. One important thing to keep in mind is that consumers engage with videos that fold into the context of their daily lives. Delivering an experience that is too long, irrelevant or confusing will make them feel as though you don’t value their investment of time. After all, time is your customer’s most valuable commodity.