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The Wistia Guide to Social Media Video

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Picture this: It’s Saturday morning and you’ve already watched a video on social media before crawling out of bed. Sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone. After all, video accounts for a staggering 75% of all internet traffic, and 6o% of people actually prefer online video platforms to live TV — go figure! So, while scrolling through your social feeds before even brushing your teeth in the morning might not be the healthiest habit ever, it does speak to the power of video on social media.

Whether you’re just diving into the world of video marketing or you’re already a seasoned pro, these ever-evolving social media channels force us marketers to stay on our toes, following the latest trends and adapting our video creation strategy to meet the needs of our unique audiences on every channel.

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In this guide, we’ll teach you some best practices for creating content for channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Plus, you’ll learn how to measure success once your videos are out in the world! Don’t have time to read the whole thing in one sitting? Bookmark the guide for when you’re feeling inspired and have some extra time on your hands.

What do peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, Lenny and baby carrots, and video and social media all have in common? You guessed it, they all work oh so well together. People spend tons of time on social media these days, and video is the perfect medium for conveying information both quickly and effectively. Afterall, our brains are immediately hardwired to respond to visual information — it’s easier for us to understand video and remember it, which is one of the reasons why marketing videos tend to be so successful for businesses.

As a general principle, as folks scroll through their feeds every day, they’re typically looking to fulfill one of the following desires:

  • Making connections: They’re looking for a way to keep in touch with friends, meet people with shared interests, and find business contacts.
  • Consuming information: They’re looking for answers to questions, news about the world, and solutions to problems.
  • Being entertained: They’re looking for ways to spend time, laugh, and blow off steam.

Because social media feeds are filled with tons of photos, texts, memes, GIFs, and videos from close friends, influencers, businesses, brands, and more, it’s the perfect place to experiment and break the rules of convention. You can start to uncover what makes your audience tick and spark valuable conversations by using video across social media platforms.

“You can start to uncover what makes your audience tick and spark valuable conversations by using video across social media platforms.”

But, before you start whipping up those eye-catching videos, you should make sure your business has a solid social video strategy in place. Getting in front of the right people at the right time will make all the difference, so let’s dig into the keys to success.

First and foremost, set some specific, measurable goals for video at your business and create a clear roadmap for how you plan to achieve them. For example, if your goal is to generate brand awareness with video on social media, you could put 4–5 videos on your roadmap that are catered specifically to Facebook, have broad appeal, and might resonate well with your target audience. This type of plan will help form the basis of your social video strategy moving forward, so be sure to have one in place before you start shooting!

Setting an explicit social video strategy saves you from having to scramble for content ideas on a daily basis (which is something we learned the hard way). It also comes in handy in the future when you set out to identify new opportunities or channels to explore, and when you need to reflect on the relative successes or failures of certain campaigns. Most importantly, your strategy keeps you on track, reminding you why you’re even making videos in the first place, and who specfically you’re making them for.

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Now, for some super-strategic resources:

Crafting a Social Video Strategy: If you’re looking for a broad overview of how to approach video on each social media platform, this guide is your best bet! It has everything you need to know about taking the leap from syndicated videos to native content creation for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, so give it a read if you’re just starting to lay down your social video foundation!

Creating a Channel-Specific Video Strategy: If an instructional video is more your speed, then this one’s for you! This in-depth webinar hosted by our own video strategist, Phil Nottingham, covers the ins-and-outs of setting up an effective video strategy. Phil addresses lots of topics, including:

  • Differences between site video and social video
  • How to get the most traffic and conversions from videos on your website
  • What kind of content works on YouTube vs. Facebook
  • How to maximize viral potential

Choosing the Ideal Aspect Ratio for Your Video: Before you hit the “record” button, there are a few key creative decisions to make — and aspect ratio is one of them. Aspect ratio determines how you frame your videos and what your viewer will focus on. Deciding on an aspect ratio depends on where you’ll be sharing your video. Here, we show you how to use the handy Wistia Aspect Ratio calculator, and offer some tips and suggestions about ideal aspect ratios for every platform.

How to Edit Video for Social Media: When it comes to editing video for social media, it’s all about getting the right state of mind. Always start your video with a bang, consider the sound-off experience, and take advantage of the tools that are already in your toolbox. In this post, we walk through the basics of video editing for social media so you can plan ahead. We cover editing best practices, such as:

  • Setting your video intentions
  • Starting in the middle of the action
  • Optimizing for sound off
  • Downloading the right out-of-the-box tools
  • Adjusting your video to look platform-native

Now that you’ve got the lay of the land and know where you want to go with your social video strategy, you can dive deep into the content creation side of things. Start first by familiarizing yourself with the ways people engage with one other on each social platform.

There are key differences between posting videos on Instagram and Facebook, and even bigger differences between YouTube and LinkedIn. And of course, posting videos to social media yields different results than embedding videos on your website. It sounds like a lot to consider, and the truth is — it is! But don’t worry, we’ll break it all down by platform in just a bit, so wipe that sweat off your forehead.

“Start first by familiarizing yourself with the ways people engage with one other on each social platform.”

For marketers, it’s especially important to know where people are making purchasing decisions. According to one report, consumers engage with branded videos the most on Facebook (49%), followed by YouTube (32%), then Instagram (24%), and finally Twitter (22%). So, keep that in mind when considering the goals you hope to achieve with the help of video, as thast could influence where you invest most of your time and effort.

Once you understand the way people behave on each app, you can factor that into the creative decisions you make when it comes time to create your content. Now, without further adieu, let’s take a closer look at the unique features of each social platform and what that means for the types of videos you create!

IG

Instagram

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social networks, as well as one of the fastest-growing advertising networks in the entire world. In 2018, there was a 17% increase in the number of people who reported making a purchase based on something they saw on Instagram — now that’s wild! Because Instagram is a visual-first platform, it’s a really fun place to experiment creatively with content that can make people feel more emotionally connected to your brand.

Ready to explore video on Instagram? Check out these posts:

Best Practices for Instagram Video: Videos on the Instagram feed can be up to 60-seconds long, which gives you quite a bit of leeway when it comes to telling your story. Learn how to shoot, edit, and share a video in the Instagram feed to increase your reach and create a unique aesthetic in this post!

How to Start Creating Videos for IGTV: What exactly is IGTV and how can it help your business? Instagram’s newest video channel is entirely focused on long-form, vertical video. If you’ve never produced this type of video before but you’re interested in seeing what it’s all about, this how-to guide has you covered. You’ll learn technical facts like video specs and CTAs, as well as the strategic benefits of IGTV.

How to Make Square Videos for Social Media: Instagram was the original “square-format” platform, but now lots of other platforms are making room for squares. Square video is a versatile format with a major benefit: It takes up more real estate on mobile devices than the traditional landscape video. In this article, we teach you how to shoot square video on an iPhone as well as edit existing videos on your desktop to fit the square format.

Instagram Stories

You can’t talk about video on Instagram without mentioning Instagram Stories. You probably know by now how irresistable those tappable, 15-second videos can be. The hugely popular feature has 500 million daily users as of January 2019. Well-made stories can be extremely engaging, leading to increased brand awareness and purchase intent. Here’s how to make your Instagram Stories videos stay top of mind (and top of feed).

How to Tell an Effective Story with Vertical Video: Instagram Stories have made vertical video wildly popular. But the best Stories are like nothing you’ve seen before. To make an impact with Stories, don’t just take out your camera phone and hope for the best — use these innovative ideas we’ve laid out for you!

How to Shoot Professional Instagram Stories for Your Business: Looking to level up your Instagram Stories content? Want to increase sound quality, or add a little extra flair with effects you can’t get within the Instagram app? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s some insider advice about techniques and equipment you can use to polish up your stories.

Using Instagram Story Highlights to Show Off Your Business: While most Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, some stories are built to last. In this article, we show you how to humanize and promote your brand by posting video highlights in 4 categories: product, team, learn, brand.

How to Tell an Effective Story with Vertical Video: Instagram Stories have made vertical video wildly popular. But the best Stories are like nothing you’ve seen before. To make an impact with Stories, don’t just take out your camera phone and hope for the best — use these innovative tips we’ve laid out for you!

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social network on the planet — and one of the most competitive platforms for marketers. In 2019, it’s no secret that video can help you stand out on this social channel. Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities makes it easier than ever for marketers to reach new audiences, and with video being the most favored content type on the platform, combining these forces can yield some pretty powerful results. For instance, did you know that users linger on videos 5x longer than other types of posts on Facebook? Whether you’re using Facebook Live, 360 videos, Stories, or plain-old video posts, you can carve out a niche for your brand on Facebook using video.

“Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities makes it easier than ever for marketers to reach new audiences, and with video being the most favored content type on the platform, combining these forces can yield some pretty powerful results.”

Get in on all the Facebook action by cruisin’ through these posts:

Becoming More Intentional with Your Video Ad Strategy on Facebook: On Facebook, creative efforts and measurable goals go hand in hand — afterall, you want to make sure you’re reaching the right people with the right message! In this article, we offer a step-by-step process for setting up Facebook video ads, from narrowing down your audience and deciding who to feature in your videos, to testing organic content and finally launching your video ads and measuring ROI.

Don’t Let Algorithms Crush Your Creativity: Facebook has been known to change its product unexpectedly, but don’t let algorithms get you down! What’s good for the user is good for marketers, too. In this post, we discuss recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm and how you can let those changes inform and inspire your next batch of Facebook videos.

Before You Make a Facebook Teaser Video, Consider This: Facebook posts are optimized to keep people on Facebook for as long as possible. Therefore, your videos should be easy to enjoy right there and then on Facebook. This article explains why it’s best to keep it simple and make videos that will entertain or inform people and not try too hard to get people back to your site.

Here’s an example of a video we created that (in our humble opinion) is perfectly suited for Facebook. We jumped on a Snapchat trend, and ended up with tens of thousands of views on this one silly video. Enter: Hot Dog Man.

How Video Could Improve Your Next Retargeting Campaign: Retargeting serves ads to people who have visited your site or specific sections of your site. Familiar faces are a lot easier to convert than people discovering your brand for the first time. In this article, we show you how to set up events using your Facebook pixel in order to capture these valuable leads.

YouTube

If you’re looking to expand your reach, then YouTube is a great channel to explore (so long as you’re taking a strategic approach). What does it mean to be strategic in this instance? So glad you asked! For businesses, when increasing your overall reach becomes more important than traffic acquisition (ie. driving viewers back to your company’s website), then investing in a well-thought out YouTube strategy makes sense. Remember, success on YouTube requires work and planning — don’t just throw every video you’ve ever made on there and call it a day!

Looking to take a more informed approach to YouTube? Check out these posts:

Developing a Better YouTube Strategy: Are you using YouTube as a video dumping ground for random ads, TV spots, and product demos? There’s a better way. Here we analyze whether you should be using YouTube for marketing in the first place and then discuss how to target your audience with original content and advertising on YouTube.

What Changes to YouTube Video Embeds Means for Your Business: YouTube can be a great platform for your audience to discover your content, but it’s important to be strategic with your approach. We don’t recommend using YouTube embeds to serve the videos on your website, however, using YouTube strategically to get more eyes on relevant content could be great for you business. Learn what the changes mean for your in this Q&A style post!

LinkedIn

As of just last year, businesses are finally able to upload video natively to the LinkedIn platform. And while LinkedIn may have been slow to jump on the video bandwagon, now that folks can upload content natively, we’re seeing tons of new videos pop up in our feeds every single day. Another bonus, is that many of LinkedIn’s users happen to be business-minded professionals, which means they might yield some significant buying power at their respective businesses. And what better way to tap into that with an engaging video?

The Guide to Getting Started with LinkedIn Video: You may have heard of “thought leadership” blog posts, but what about “thought leadership videos”? Now we’re cooking with gas! Set your business apart and become a thought leader in your own right by using video on LinkedIn. From video ideas and best practices, to how marketers and salespeople alike can take advantage of this platform, let us guide you through your LinkedIn video strategy!

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Streaming and live video

Whether they’re hosted on Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform, livestreamed videos are still relatively new for most businesses. That means if your company can master the livestream video-game early, there’s a huge opportunity for growth! At Wistia, we’re really excited about the ways businesses can use livestreams to be more transparent, share knowledge and expertise, and ultimately, engage with customers and prospects.

“We’re really excited about the ways businesses can use livestreams to be more transparent, share knowledge and expertise, and ultimately, engage with customers and prospects.”

Who said livestreams have to be hard? Get inspired by these posts:

How to Set Yourself Up for Livestreaming Success: Want to learn how to develop ideas for livestreams, compare all the different platforms, and even build a DIY set for filming? It’s all here in this one-stop shop for setting up and executing your first (of many) livestream videos.

Is Your Business Ready for Facebook Live?: To stream or not to stream? That is the question for many Facebook marketers. Facebook’s algorithm favors live videos, but on the other hand … your audience won’t really leave the app (or necssarily ever visit your site!). In this post, we break down why it’s worth it to give live video a whirl anyways, and what you can learn from stepping into this somewhat uncharted territory.

Tips for Engaging Your Audience with Live Video: When done right, livestreaming can bring you closer to your customers. Afterall, it’s a shared experience that only happens once! In this article, we discuss how to communicate on livestreams, from promoting the stream in advance to responding to comments, to going off script. With these tips, you can put on a fun live event that also builds deeper relationships.

Need a little inspiration? Check out this Q&A we recently held on Facebook Live featuring Chris and Dan, two producers from our new video series, “One, Ten, One Hundred.”

We’ve talked a lot about ways to set your social video strategy for each channel, but here’s where it really all comes together: promotion and performance. Video “promotion” means more than just posting your video on social media and waiting for the magic to happen. It’s about knowing what kinds of interactions mean the most on each platform, and how to get the greatest return on your video investment. Let’s talk numbers!

Get the biggest bang for your buck with these social video resources:

12 Ways to Promote Your Video on a Budget: You’ve spent weeks planning, filming, and editing your videos, so don’t forget the final step! Here, we walk through 12 simple and affordable ways to show your video off, from emailing your videos, to participating in niche online communities, to taking advantage of prime real estate on your social pages.

Evaluating Your Video’s Performance Across Multiple Channels: When it comes to video metrics, one size does not fit all. In all seriousness, the hardest part of understanding your video’s performance is figuring out exactly what to measure. This post will show you what metrics to pay attention to across several platforms, including website videos, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Where to Share Your Social Videos if You’re a Small Business: Social media video is a great equalizer. Many small businesses beat out competitors twice their size because of their social media marketing. The secret is not to spread yourself too thin. Pick out the channels that make the most sense for your goals and then double down. We’ll show you which platforms give you the most bang for your buck.

Learning from Influencers About Growing an Audience with Video: While not everyone has the resources to invest in influencer campaigns, there are many valuable lessons you can learn from influencers about marketing yourself on social media. In this article, we discuss how to build a word-of-mouth brand.

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Promoting “One, Ten, One Hundred” on Social Media — The Perks of Repurposing: If you’ve made something you’re really proud of, you should share it in as many ways and places as possible! But that doesn’t mean just posting a link and calling it a day. You need to give people opportunities to discover your content in new and exciting ways. Here we use the example of our documentary series, “One, Ten, One Hundred,” to inspire you to build related content around your best, most buzzworthy work.

Introducing Publish to Social — Share Your Wistia Videos on Facebook and YouTube: At Wistia, our core product has always been about posting videos you own, styled to fit your brand, on your own website. But we also want to make it easy to build your audience and get the views, comments, and conversions you need on the wider web. That means producing native videos for social media. Our latest product, Publish to Social, can help you do that right within Wistia!

Social media is an amplification tool for your brand, and video is the quickest, most effective way to reach the people you want to talk to. By now you should be psyched about all the informative, entertaining videos you can create and share on social media. Always remember to set some clear goals around your video, and keep in mind that most platforms don’t play by the same rules!

Start increasing your business’ odds for discovery by promoting your videos and measuring your success. We hope that with these resources top of mind you’ll be able to compound the value of the content you create. So go on, get out there and make your first video for social media!



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Video Marketing

4 Ways to Make Your Wistia Channel Shine

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If you’ve decided that Wistia Channels is the best place to showcase your videos on your site, then you’ll be pleased to know you’re already on the right track for building an engaging brand. When it comes to setting up your Channel for success, all it takes is a little attention to detail on your part to truly make your content shine in the eyes of your viewers.

In this post, we’ll cover exactly how you can make a beautiful, brag-worthy Wistia Channel for your business. From name-picking and color-matching to thumbnail creation and embedding, there are plenty of small tweaks you can make to your Channel to improve the overall presentation of your content. Keep reading to learn how you can leave your audience impressed and coming back for more!

Channels Dan

Whether you’re in the pre-production stages of your business’s first branded series or you’re grouping together related content under one roof, choosing a name for your Channel is a major decision. The name you pick may ultimately influence the number of clicks, views, and video engagement you receive. When it comes to landing on the perfect name for your Channel, there are three key factors you should consider: branding, discoverability, and shareability.

“The name you pick may ultimately influence the number of clicks, views, and video engagement you receive.”

Here’s how we break these three factors down:

  • Branding — the “identity” factor: The name you pick will be very public, so it needs to accurately reflect your videos and your brand.
  • Discoverability — the “index” factor: The Channel name comes up in search, so you want people searching for a relevant topic to find your video content fast — and first.
  • Shareability — the “click” factor: Your audience watches a lot of stuff online. A catchy name for your Channel will make it easy for people to remember. That means when it comes time to share your videos, they’ll be able to pull up your Channel and link to it instantly.
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Don’t Fret Guitar Repair? Talk about click-worthy!

Considering these factors as you set up your Wistia Channel will help you grow your audience and brand over time. Head on over to this post to dig a little deeper into these terms and learn more tips for simplifying the process of picking a Channel name that positions your brand for success!

As we mentioned before, branding is a super important factor for naming, but it also plays a big role in how your business and your content are visually perceived. You want to leave a positive first impression, right? Luckily, with Wistia Channels you have the ability to choose a font and color scheme that aligns with your company’s existing brand, set thumbnails to match, and even upload an eye-catching header.

To customize the look of your Channel to align with your brand:

  • Select “Edit” and “Banner” to add a video header (which will loop silently at the top of your Channel) or upload a static banner image
  • Click “Text” to add a project title and description, and change the font to match your site. While you’re there, switch up the size to whatever you fancy as well!
  • Click “Color” and use the picker to change the overall color scheme.

You can also choose between Light or Dark Mode for your Wistia Channel depending on the look and feel of your brand (and the content you have displayed). When you’re viewing a project, simply go to Edit > Color > Background to modify this setting. It’s as easy as flipping a switch!

For your banner, instead of a static image, you have the option to throw in a looping video background as we mentioned before. Want to see this feature in action? Check out how Nextiny, an inbound marketing and sales agency, uses a snazzy looping video to showcase their content and intrigue visitors on their site.

If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, you can find a few more examples of Channels we love in this post. These aesthetic changes may seem small, but they’ll ultimately lend to a more sleek-looking collection of videos for your site.

With Wistia Channels, you have the power to choose whether to embed your Channel as an Inline embed (meaning your audience will see your entire Channel “inline” with the rest of your content) or as a Popover (meaning your audience will click on a single image or video to launch your Channel full-screen). Plus, any updates you make to your Project will automatically be reflected on your Channel — no need to replace the embed!

While it’s super simple to add all your videos to your site with just one embed, deciding where to place your Channel will impact who discovers and engages with your content. We recommend making the call based on the type of content you’re presenting to your audience.

“While it’s super simple to add all your videos to your site with just one embed, deciding where to place your Channel will impact who discovers and engages with your content.”

For example, if your Channel consists of informational or educational videos, putting it on your homepage might not make sense to someone visiting for the first time. On the other hand, if you have a blog, a Channel like this may fit well amongst your other educational content. Those who frequent your blog looking to learn from your expertise will easily discover your shiny, new collection of videos and be over the moon!

You can also easily share your professional-looking Channel across your business’ social media platforms with a public URL. Get more personal and direct with your communication efforts by popping the link to your Wistia Channel right in an email or newsletter to get more eyes on your content.

When you’re ready to share your Channel:

  • Select “Share” from the menu options
  • Select whether to share your Channel via “Embed” or “Public URL”
  • If embedding: Select your “Embed Type,” whether “Inline” or “Popover”
    • Choose a “Responsive” or “Fixed size”
  • If sharing the public URL: Just hit “Copy” and paste the link where ever your heart desires!

Once you’ve got some action on your Wistia Channel, don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the contact information of the folks interested in consuming your videos. While you’re customizing your Channel, you also have the option to add an Email Collector — not just any old Email Collector, but one that comes in a few flavors. Aside from requiring viewers to enter their email in order to view your content, we have two Email Collector options you can start experimenting with today. The first option is called “Overlay on hover.” Here’s an example from Zaius to showcase what this looks like in reality:

In this scenario, an email collection form will overlay when someone hovers over your video with their mouse. Your video will keep playing while displaying several fields, including a place for folks to enter their names as well as text fields you can customize, depending on the Call to Action that makes the most sense in the given context — something like, “Enter your email address to view this video.” The second option is “Conditional,” which means each video will maintain the email collecting pre-sets you’ve already set up in your Wistia account when the content is embedded on your Channel.

Using Email Collectors is a sure-fire way to get the most out of your Wistia Channel. You can bet the people who enter their information are interested in the value you offer and will be more likely to check out future content you create. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to communicate with them more often and let them know when you’ve got a new video for them to watch!

A Wistia Channel is only as great as the sum of its parts — names, colors, fonts, banners, email collectors and more all add up to create a beautiful video collection you’re proud to share. Start engaging your audience with the videos you’ve worked so hard to create and build stronger brand affinity in the long-run. We’d love to see your next Channel out in the wild, so be sure to throw a link to it in the comments below!

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7 Examples That Show the Best of Long-Form Video

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Whether it’s the hottest new web series or an in-depth TED Talk, people love to watch long-form video — and businesses are catching on to the trend.

Unlike shorter, product-centeric videos, long-form content offers companies the opportunity to show their commitment to their mission and connect with viewers on a deeper, more emotional level. Longer content also enables intensive educational experiences for the viewer, whether the video covers exciting industry trends or specific approaches to tackling problems.

What does “long-form” video really mean? To put it simply, long-form videos are a type of video content that are usually longer than 5 minutes in duration.

We put together a list of long-form video series and one-off productions to showcase how companies live and breathe their values through video. Small to medium-sized businesses can use this list of branded content to get inspired when it comes to creating content for their own brands. Let’s get into it!

trevor

InVision is swinging for the fences with long-form video. On their blog, Inside Design, InVision shares videos about design trends and tips, many explaining how to use Sketch and get the most out of it. InVision’s site is filled with robust product tutorials, but these pieces focusing on larger, fundamental design principles — between two and seven minutes long — will help anyone strengthen their overall design foundation. The company has even created a full-length documentary about design thinking at IBM called “The Loop.”

InVision’s stated mission is to help users create digital content that people love, so it’s fitting that the company offers viewers new strategies and approaches for designing that go beyond merely using their own tools. The longer format allows viewers to learn the details involved in the execution of new techniques.

InVision examples:

  • Design Systems Manager Master Class: In this two-hour, 6-episode series, InVision explores how to create a design system for an entire organization, from start to finish. It taps three design experts to walk through the challenges of product design at scale.
  • Design Disrupters: In this series, InVision showcases top designers at the world’s smartest companies and dives into how design has become the new language of business in the 21st century.

With the shift to long-form video, InVision shows they are true leaders in the field of design — not just a tool for designers.

On their Price Intelligently blog, ProfitWell conducts video “teardown” case studies, in which they focus on one to three company pricing pages and talk about what works and what needs improvement. Videos usually feature a lighthearted (though occasionally heated!) conversation between executives Patrick Campbell and Peter Zotto and typically are just under 10 minutes long.

ProfitWell’s long-form videos are conversational, appealing to viewers who gravitate toward podcasts or other content that affords hosts the chance to riff on their knowledge and the topic at hand. Rather than focusing on their own software, ProfitWell’s teardowns appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs and startup leaders looking to discover best practices from successful companies and competitors.

“ProfitWell’s long-form videos are conversational, appealing to viewers who gravitate toward podcasts or other content that affords hosts the chance to riff on their knowledge and the topic at hand.”

ProfitWell examples:

The longer format of these videos enables hosts to slowly walk viewers through the pricing pages in question, ensuring that the pace of the content can fit a wide number of learning styles. There’s a healthy mix of commentary and visual aids made with original data, which shows that the company is committed to making the most of the long-form branded video format.

Mailchimp’s core focus is email marketing, but their target audience is far more broad than just those interested in sending tons of emails. Experienced business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs alike may find inspiration in the “Mailchimp Presents” video series.

Using high-quality production techniques and clever editing, the videos attach Mailchimp to buzzworthy brands and their founders who, incidentally, use email to communicate with customers. The style of the videos is closer to an independent documentary than to a typical SaaS product video, giving viewers a chance to sit back and enjoy a theatrical glimpse into creative spaces and minds.

Mailchimp examples:

  • Hamburger Eyes: In this documentary, we get a behind-the-scenes look at a one-man photography project that evolved into a thriving community of artists based in San Francisco. Mailchimp knows its audience and stays true to its brand by focusing on a creative-centric topic that anyone with a pulse and an appreciation for photography could get behind.
  • Taking Stock: A fictional video series about a young female photographer navigating the complexities of agency life, Taking Stock delves into the realities of working in the world of tech and design, giving viewers a chance to see inside the life of a creative. We learn much about the subject’s life here — what drives her, what a typical day looks like — helping the viewer associate Mailchimp with the driven professionals who make the world of entrepreneurship thrive.

Mailchimp has been a visionary brand when it comes to creative storytelling. Ever since they sponsored the first season of Serial, the company has attached itself to big ideas, and, through their own example, they’ve proved that every business can affect a wide audience if they tell a powerful story.

mailchimp
Still from “Taking Stock” courtesy of Mailchimp.

Intercom features videos regularly on its blog, with experts speaking on topics like support, growth, product, and design. Many of the videos are talks that the team and others have done at different conferences, which is a great way for people to see talks that they weren’t geographically capable of attending.

Intercom’s videos educate viewers on new ways to approach Intercom’s core competency — customer support and communication — in a format that encourages in-depth exploration and tutorials. Instead of merely chopping up key takeaways from the talks, long-form video enables the brand to include the overall conference context, linking together key concepts and materials.

Intercom example:

  • 5 lessons learned from growing a support team: In this conference video, Intercom’s customer support lead, Sharon Moorhouse, shares five lessons that the company has learned as it has scaled its support operations. It’s meant to engage growing companies, regardless of the industry, and appeal to audiences that may lie outside of the scope of Intercom’s typical customer profile. Sharon’s talk is engaging and packed with visual examples, making the most of the video format and capturing the energy and excitement that she brought to the conference.

Conferences are affirming experiences, where people in the same field can form new connections, get new ideas, and become excited about trends and developments. Intercom’s focus on opening up their otherwise siloed conference material gives audiences a chance to connect with the brand even if they’re far away from the talks or sessions. It shows the company living out its mission of “keeping business personal” by opening up access to the conference experience.

Patagonia makes documentary-style videos about real people doing the things they love and excel at in the outdoors. The videos are extremely high-quality, featuring breathtaking visuals and rare glimpses of some of nature’s best vistas.

Instead of merely focusing on their well-loved products, Patagonia’s longer-form content serves as an inspiring reminder of the brand’s central ethos — saving our planet. It’s hard not to fall deeper in love with the earth after watching these pieces, and viewers certainly can see that the brand is about far more than just making outerwear and camping gear.

“Instead of merely focusing on their well-loved products, Patagonia’s longer-form content serves as an inspiring reminder of the brand’s central ethos — saving our planet.”

Patagonia examples:

  • Wolfpack: This video follows the training efforts of a group of trail runners living in isolation. Drone shots and ultra-slow-motion close-ups abound, giving the pieces a cinematic quality that is certain to move viewers on an emotional level. The family’s extreme choice to live in the wild is likely outside the desires of most of Patagonia’s customers, but their way of life can inspire viewers to think about how to better connect with planet Earth.
  • Takayna: Takayana (Tarkine) is one of the last remaining old-growth rainforests in the world, yet it’s increasingly threatened by mining and other destructive activities. This video highlights the beauty and fragility of the landscape by intercutting meditative shots of flora and fauna with images of devastating excavation and logging. Patagonia is clearly living its mission here — seeking to save the planet by raising awareness about protecting one of our most precious earthly resources.

Patagonia’s mission is one of the most ambitious of any brand out there, and that’s what makes them so successful. By taking a stance on major issues and creating beautiful visual content, they’re proving to an audience why it’s cool to care about more than just clothes and gear. To change the world, Patagonia is leading by example.

patagonia
Still from “Wolfpack” courtesy of Patagonia.

Many beauty brands rely on mere testimonials to push their products. But Glossier opts to show how their products weave neatly into the lives of their customers. They have a series called “Get Ready with Me” (based on the popular)YouTube trend that follows the morning routine of influencers and creatives. The hashtag for the campaign — #GRWM — encourages customers to create their own content and further engage with the brand.

The pieces also have a casual instructional approach, giving them an educational component that goes beyond a shorter “how-to” piece. They’re showing you how to create a look rather than telling you how to do it.

Glossier example:

  • Get Ready With Me: feat. Annahstasia + Glossier: Here, an influencer’s morning routine is shown in real time. In several meditative shots, the camera lingers over Annahstasia going about her morning. It’s easy to imagine someone watching this piece they start their own day to find inspiration and calm from the emotional music and beautiful cinematography.

Glossier, known for its colorful Instagram account and vibrant pop-up stores, creates a calm atmosphere throughout their videos. They create intimacy with the way their videos are shot, and that intimacy will contribute to a long-lasting and better customer relationship than a typical advertisement or commercial.

Over the years, Airbnb has evolved beyond being just a website for booking rooms and homes, becoming a platform for finding community through unique experiences. Recently, Airbnb launched an Adventure series featuring hosts and people from all over the world. By focusing on the curated experiences offered through Airbnb’s “Adventures” programs, the brand helps establish itself as far more than a travel app.

Airbnb example:

  • Six Strangers: In this 12-minute video, six strangers take an unexpected trip together. Like the other pieces in this series, the length of this video enables a more TV-like viewing experience that mirrors popular reality shows like Naked and Afraid and Survivor.

Through their long-form videos, Airbnb is expressing one of their most significant brand values: “Belong anywhere.” The Adventure series is all about breaking down barriers to find out what people have in common with each other. When people think of Airbnb in this way, the company starts to symbolize connections between people, not just cool destinations.

“When people think of Airbnb in this way, the company starts to symbolize connections between people, not just cool destinations.”

More and more brands are reaping the benefits of thinking (and acting!) like media companies. With the wealth of high-quality content vying for their attention, viewers are demanding highly engaging work from companies they encounter. Investing in rich long-form content enables brands to tap into the growing binge-watching habits of their followers while expressing the values that matter most to them and finding deeper ways to connect with customers.

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Video Marketing

Introducing “Brandwagon”—It’s like a Talk Show, but for Marketers

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These days, it’s harder than ever to be successful with your marketing campaigns. From keeping up with ever-changing SEO tactics to shouldering the burden of growing advertising spend to shouting into the void that is social media, it can feel like even your most successful initiative is, well, kind of a flop.

That’s why I’m super excited to introduce you to Brandwagon, Wistia’s newest series from the team that brought you One, Ten, One Hundred. As the host of this talk show for marketers, I’m going to be chatting with business leaders who are doing things differently when it comes to marketing their businesses and building their brands. Find out how they’re seeing such success and learn what tactics they’re using to stand out in a sea of “meh” marketing.

Hop on the Brandwagon and come along for the ride each week as we uncover what’s working in the world of modern marketing. The first episode hits the road this summer, so be sure to enter your email below to stay in the loop and get notified when new episodes come out.

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