Social Video Best Practices for Digital-first Brands

Posted on by Chris Pape

The prominence of social video has skyrocketed in the past several years—and adopting a social-first video strategy will put agile brands ahead of the curve. Social video allows modern marketers to address the true engagement habits of their audience while also creating an unprecedented opportunity to tap into the resultant power of social data. This data will shine a new light on insights that can in turn, shape the course of their broadcast campaign.

There are already a few social video best practices that are putting digital-first brands on top:

1. The Three-Second Audition

In order for a Facebook video to gain a “view,” the user has to have eyeballs on the creative for at least three seconds. Let’s call this the Three-Second Audition. In this audition the creative needs to do three things:

• Grab the user’s attention

• Show solid brand recognition

• Captivate the viewer with compelling storytelling

This video for category-leading health & beauty product Amopé is an example of how all three marks can be hit in that timeframe. Amopé leveraged these best practices so prospective buyers stopped scrolling through their feed, quickly registered the Amopé brand and were enticed to enjoy the full narrative.

2. Revive the Silent Film

Facebook autoplay starts every video in silence, so the Three-Second Audition has to rely on vivid visuals. With Amopé, there’s a distinct visual point of view for every video in their most recent social video campaigns. Press play on any of their thirty (30) videos and a unique and cohesive “Behind the Heel” perspective is presented, with a stop motion-esque shooting style that creates a well-branded visual identity for the products. Developed to play without sound, each video is a branded short film in which every frame has an expressive purpose in support of the story being told.

As an example, check out this “Date Night” social video.

3. Data Drives the Arc of the Story

When users engage with a social campaign, it creates a fertile and valuable set of data and insights. In doing so, social can provide a new testing ground for effective broadcast prototyping.

But this isn’t a 1:1 conversion from social to TV.

First, the realities of social engagement dictate that social video differs fundamentally from television spots. Social is not a “go big or go home” approach. Social viewers have all the power, so the story must be one that is well told, has meaning, value and currency for sharing. Brands can take advantage of this dynamic by efficiently creating a wide variety of entry points and conversation starters…and easily see what’s working.

After the first view has been recorded and the value exchange has begun, brands can start seeing valuable metrics. From here, data-driven media tactics including retargeting, preference data and segmentation seamlessly guide interested consumers across the arc of the brand and deeper into the nuances of the product story towards goals such as intent, promotion, purchase or advocacy.

On the other hand, TV’s captured audience gives brands one precious shot to break through clutter, user control and distractions, grab the viewer’s attention and then project its key messages. These realities often result in densely packed and high impact “push” messaging.

Brands can’t just throw that “push” TV spot into the social stream and expect it to perform. Conversely, brands can’t just throw a well-crafted social video up in your broadcast plan. It’s necessary to take into careful consideration the idiosyncrasies and implications of each medium and how audiences engage with them.

Amopé took this social-first approach to test and validate their campaign via real-time customer experience learnings and then successfully expanded it to television. While the core of the story remained cohesive, the television spot was adapted for formatting and perspective, deeper product info and demonstrations, voiceover and a strong bookend of brand ID.

“Having a robust digital platform for Amopé has allowed us to gain invaluable information about what content resonates and drives the highest consumer engagement. This has allowed us to be agile and inform our broadcast strategy at a much quicker speed,” says Gary Rizzo, senior brand manager, Amopé.

Now see how it became a “Date Night” broadcast commercial.

The result? Campaigns that bypass expensive guesswork, leap ahead with creative that’s tested in real-time then translated for the most compelling story across every screen. It’s the full, true power of social video delivering results across a marketing strategy for the agile brands of the future.

Chris Pape is founder and executive creative director at Genuine. He can be reached at cpape@wearegenuine.com.

This article first appeared on Chief Marketer in February 2016 and is updated regularly.

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