We all know that in 2018, video is the king of all content, accounting for more than 74% of all internet traffic. But whilst YouTube vloggers are earning millions and web platforms scramble to integrate video content hosting into their offerings, what are some of the online video options for brands?
One of the strongest ways for a brand to authentically connect with their demographic is to create content that engages the interests of their target audience. Whilst that sentence sounds obvious, brands continually fail when it comes to the authentic. Branded content is one of the strongest ways to create an authentic personality for your brand. The content created does not centre on the brand, does not directly push any product nor deliver any strongly branded messaging, but becomes a creative space to create an emotional bond with your audience. (See: Why Use Emotive Storytelling In Your Creative?)
Cornetto has been using this method for the past few years, with their Cupidity series, a series of long-form content about romance, spanning their international market, with special focuses in the UK and Turkey. Watch to see the subtle brand integration through graphics, background branding that is appropriate to the story, “presents” crediting.
Branded content doesn’t have to be fictional. Branded documentary content is a where DOTF started, with SpeakerTV. Whilst the primary focus of the show was taking viewers behind the scenes of music, fashion and culture around the country, we worked closely with brands to integrate their products and messaging into the segments.
The majority of the time, a brand video will be a sort of mini-documentary, an explanation of a brand’s ethos, a promotion for what it does, how it sees itself and why you should be interested. These videos can take similar forms to branded content, they can be a single video, or a cinematic series – however, the difference is the focus on the video. Where as branded content focuses on the content, with the brand as the cherry on top, brand videos focus on the brand. A brand video is what you think about when you think about an ad.
The difference between a traditional ad, and a brand video, however, is that there are few time restraints online, so that a brand can take its time, and create a mood and a world. They can use techniques similar to branded content, use ambassadors or not, use a fly-on-the-wall documentary approach, a fictional filmic world, any kind of approach.
Whilst brand videos are frequently longer than a standard social media edit, they’re generally kept around a three-minute maximum, to ensure that messaging is delivered efficiently and effectively to the viewing audience.
If you’re looking to enter into video content with your brand, a brand video should be your first step.
In 2018, a content agency should always offer social vignettes for any video content. Whether a brand video, a particular promo or a call-to-action, shorter promos for socials should be part of the package.
RMIT Gaming (social media edit) from Department of the Future on Vimeo.
Whilst social media such as Facebook or Instagram is frequently the main point of distribution for the primary video, social vignettes can go across other forms of social media to direct attention from all platforms. For example, a brand video is posted to Facebook, with social vignettes on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn, directing viewers on those platforms to engage with the content on Facebook.
OW002 – Video 1 – Babysitter – socials from Department of the Future on Vimeo.
All social vignettes should be created in at least two formats, the original 16:9 widescreen (for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and 9:16 vertical (for Instagram Stories and Snapchat). A 1:1 ratio format for Instagram (although content on Instagram is no longer locked to this size), and in-feed viewing on Facebook is another option, although not as necessary as vertical content.
Most of the time, social vignettes will be honed from the longer form edit, however, it is becoming increasingly common to create exclusive content for social vignettes.
Microcontent is exactly how it sounds – if you hit 15 seconds, you’re getting too long. More of an exercise in a quick promotion and establishing an aesthetic or tone for your brand, the increasing prominence shows the way that people are engaging with video on their devices.
Somewhat of a hail back to the television commercial, microcontent requires effiency of video language, and a single focus to the brand’s message, and should be a planned part of every brand’s suite of video content, to maintain an ongoing conversation with your audience.