- Watch Carmilla Series, a single-camera web series set at fictional Silas University in Styria, Austria and involving a perky journalist investigating mysterious student disappearances, a sulky lesbian vampire, and a destructive angler fish god. This series pairs good storytelling with much-needed positive queer representation and for its sponsor, Kotex, is a brilliant example of multi-platform marketing.
- Start every video with a plan. Before diving into a fun video project, create a project brief that answers the following questions: Why are we making this video? Who is it for? What do we want our audience to do or feel after watching the video? How will the video accomplish this? How will we deliver the video to our audience? How can we measure success for this project? If you get into the habit of knowing the purpose of your work, you'll always have a way of making the most of limited resources.
- Meet your audience where they are, and more likely than not, that means a mobile-first strategy for video. Public Relations Today states that vertical videos have 90% higher completion rates on social media when compared to horizontal videos. It's hard to argue with a number like that. Check out this cool use of vertical real estate and start using IGTV if you're not already.
- Hook your audience in the first 1-2 seconds. Social Media Today proposes that Facebook best practices mean capturing your user's attention in the first 3 seconds of a video. Some ways to do this include using a dynamic and concise text in the first second of video, reconsidering intros that don't provide necessary context to engage a viewer, and getting creative with using vertical real estate to fill a user's screen.
- Keep videos very short for social media platforms, which means less than 1 minute for Facebook and even shorter for Twitter. For the University of Iowa, 3 of our top 5 video tweets for 2018 in terms of retention were 15 seconds or shorter. On YouTube, by contrast, content that retains an audience for longer is favored. For The University of Iowa, top-viewed videos include this lecture on ancient crocodiles (is this helping our brand?), and this 35-minute video breaking down the neuroscience of a Hawkeye play that seamlessly combines our strength in neuroanatomy with the appeal of a famous Hawkeye play.
- Pay to boost video posts. Facebook knows video leads in terms of engagement and in the last year, it made an algorithm shift that resulted in brands having to pay for their videos to show up in feeds. Putting down $25-$100 to boost a post you've already invested time, energy, and money to produce just makes sense. You're not just paying for views, you are investing in high-value engagement like shares and comments.
- Find out where your audience's interests and your brand's purpose overlap. Gone are the days when a brand can just talk about itself because people can choose to click away, keep scrolling, or remove ads. You'll have to find the natural places where the things your audience is invested in, the things that make them feel something like pride, inspiration, or hope, and your brand's purpose overlap. For the University of Iowa, two successful posts include any content about the end of first quarter wave to the UI Children's Hospital and a story about 67-year-old graduate Bernadine Franks who finally fulfilled a 50-year promise to her mother to graduate from college.
What else can brands do to get video right?