Professor Robert Kelly would have never imagined that a video blooper during his interview with BBC would capture the world’s attention. Robert was obviously flattered by the many ‘gentle sentiments’ that his family received after millions had watched the video online. In fact, one version of the video uploaded on Facebook had over 86 million views. Robert’s story demonstrates the power that video commands today.
For brands, videos still resemble a large piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Most still unraveling the mysteries of crafting of content that would finally click with the audience. For few YouTube creators are the final resort while linkage to the brand might be questionable but eyeballs add up for the difference.
Lilly Singh is among one such YouTube creators voted as the Adweek digital creator of the year. Lilly’s YouTube channel has over 13 million subscribers and reportedly earned over $7.5 million dollars in 2016. Lilly has developed ads and co-branded products with brands like Coca-Cola, Skittles, Smash Box and more. Lilly’s channel crafts episodic videos which are positive & uplifting and as Lauren Johnson staff writer with Adweek rightly says ‘She gets millennials.’
Marketers inability to craft great video content can be attributed to the rise of mobile. Yes, if you are born in late 80’s you would have grown up on a 16:9 resolution that meant wide viewing angels while your counterpart who is a digital native consumes more content in portrait mode. That’s among one of the many differences that marketers fail to understand.
DEATH OF THE TRADITIONAL NARRATIVE ARC
Facebook Content Shop in Europe led by Ian Crocombe believes that the traditional narrative arc which started with the premise, build-up and ended with conclusion will not work on social media. Studies conducted by Facebook reveal that on mobile attention span drops after the initial five seconds. So to sum up the old Dhara ad where the boy who returns home for Jalebi might not work today.
Facebook has also demonstrated how new arcs could replace the traditional narrative arc. One such example is the Zig Zag Arc where something keeps happening on the screen after every 7 – 8 seconds to keep the users engaged. Brands like Pepsi & Honest Company have already crafted content based on the Zig Zag Arc. The advantage of using new forms of narrative arc is that the user remains engaged even with shorter attention span. Ian Crocombe’s team at Facebook is working with brands to develop new narrative arcs that could apply to any form of a story.
REPLACE VIRAL WITH A RIPPLE EFFECT
Yes, for folks working on agency side the word ‘Viral’ rings bells, whistles, and gongs. Most folks would have heard it countless times. Brands should instead aim for a ripple effect. A ripple effect occurs when a new video content catalyzes the viewership of existing content.
When the team at Star Wars uploaded the Star Wars: Force Awakens video clip on its channel it had a 5.3x impact on the daily viewership catalyzing the older content on the channel. Ripple effect addresses the problem of marketer’s singular approach to building videos. Yes, most conversions on video usually boil down to how the content could go viral. Instead, marketers should create a series of content that is interlinked and episodic in nature. For instance, Rand Fishkin, the co-founder of Moz (a popular SEO tool) runs a popular video series for digital marketers called Whiteboard Friday where he covers a sub-topic in SEO with great detailing every week.
Ripple effect doesn’t entail a lot of investment it can also be built by repurposing an existing asset into multiple formats. BMW used the same asset and repurposed it into multiple formats for its campaign ‘Eyes of Gigi’ last year.
BUILD THE RULES
Most brands fail to create great video content due to lack of a clear strategy. YouTube creators tend to publish content more frequently compared to brands. Brands need to identify episodic content that they can produce every week to keep the users engaged. A good strategy starts by outlining the objectives and building a publishing calendar for the year.
A proactive approach towards building content calendar would mean that your audience can look forward to what to expect from your brand. Also create tent-pole content (yes, consider this as your 10-second spot for the IPL) around the year. For a B2B brand, this could be a large research study similarly for a B2C brand; this could be a short film that revolves around the value created for its users.
Lastly, not everybody catapults into global attention like Robert Kelly if you are a brand you need to get your basics right & need to bend the rules when required to get noticed.
#1 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-kelly-interview-idUSKBN16M0R7 – Robert Kelly Interview
#2 https://youtu.be/TMkvNYOhpOk – IAB UK – Ian Crocombe, Facebook Content Shop
#3 http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150930005862/en/Video-Advertising-Trigger-Ripple-Effect-Result-Lasting – Ripple Effect – Business Wire