By the time you read this, you’ll be gone. Just kidding – sort of. Recent research from the University of Hamburg and the University of Hannover found that more than 50 percent of Internet users remain on a Web page for fewer than 10 seconds. With the rise of Instagram Video, Snapchat Stories, and six-second Vine clips, 10 seconds may be optimistic.
As marketers build their media plans, dollars continue to shift to content – especially short-form “micro-content” designed for social media channels. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), content now represents 30 percent of the average marketing budget, and 58 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content production spend this year.
The adoption’s there, but the confidence isn’t. While 87 percent of marketers use social media to distribute their content – a whopping six platforms, on average – fewer than 25 percent of marketers say their efforts on Instagram or Vine were effective, according to the CMI. Here, a look at five best practices for creating successful short-form branded videos for the likes of Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine:
1. Make Them Laugh
Nielsen polled more than 29,000 Internet users in 58 countries to measure consumer sentiment across 19 forms of paid, earned, and owned media. Forty-seven percent of global respondents said humorous ads resonated most. Tide got moms and teens alike laughing with its Halloween campaign, spoofing famous moments from scary movies, including Carrie, Poltergeist, and The Ring.
2. Teach Them Something
Back in 2011, the content most likely to be shared was informative or how-to in nature, according to a study my team at AOL commissioned with Nielsen. Turns out the same still holds true. Lowe’s proved six seconds is more than enough time to impart wisdom with its “Fix in Six” campaign, which shares more than 50 tips and tricks for home improvement, including this one for removing a stripped screw. The campaign recently won the 4A’s O’TooleBox Award and the videos have been shared tens of thousands of times.
3. Embrace the Medium
Snapchat posts are ephemeral. Vine videos repeat. Success in this short-form environment requires understanding the formats’ limitations and using them to your brand’s advantage. Taco Bell recently used Snapchat to announce the newest flavor for its Doritos Locos Tacos, premiering the first-ever “Snapchat Live Film,” through Snapchat Stories. Taco Bell released bits of the film throughout the day, ending with the flavor’s reveal. Samsung is similarly successful in embracing the medium with this fun piece, proving that a well-executed Vine ending can be just another beginning.
4. Invite the Crowd
GE sparked international engagement last August with its Vine-based “6-Second Science Fair.” More than 600 users submitted entries for the Web-only science fair, building buzz for goodwill for GE as a curator, as well as sparking conversation around innovation, a key theme for GE.
5. More Is More
The campaigns above all have something in common: they were campaigns, not one-offs. Each vignette is part of a series, driving further user engagement and telling a story that goes beyond the six-second piece itself. With short-form content, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
YouTube is said to be preparing new non-video features that will allow content creators to interact with their viewers through photos, text posts, links and polls.
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