As brands become more aware of the need for video content, social media sites and content creators are proving their worth through livestreaming, tailoring video options to screen size and launching several variations of short, disappearing ‘live’ videos.
The way content is created, branded and shared is constantly evolving. Here Marketing Week explores some of the newest options in video.
The rise of live video
Livestreaming is currently being tried, tested and launched via various platforms. Twitter announced its plans for a 24/7 live video stream in April, Facebook and YouTube continue to try and grow their live offering and other players in the market are proving their worth.
Brands can advertise against live video streams to reach a desired audience but increasingly it’s a way for brands to create their own live content.
Aside from creating this content with Google, Facebook and Twitter, other platforms are emerging that offer the tools to take control and brand a video experience rather than having to use the existing platforms and all that comes with them.
One example is Telefónica’s livestreaming tool Xtreamr, which is designed to help brands, content producers and TV broadcasters create interactive live experiences for audiences via a web tool and mobile app.
Ahead of launching the service Ana Cattell, head of commercial innovation at Telefónica, and her team did some research into livestreaming to assess the current landscape.
They discovered brands felt they were being “sent to third-party sites or ecosystems where they would have to fit in with the norms that were being dictated,” she claims. “They didn’t have the ability to fully brand the experience and they were rescinding ownership of the video created.”
The Xtreamr app is designed to alleviate some of the barriers to content creation, equipping brands with the tools and allowing them to fully own and brand the experience themselves without third parties.
Despite the excitement around live video, Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson believes “livestreaming is just the latest in a line of nausea-inducing trends that have no impact or reach but are still lapped up by credulous marketers”.
Making video fit for purpose
It’s no longer a viable option for brands to simply repurpose TV ads for use on other channels, instead content should be created especially for each screen.
“Tailoring video marketing to the environment has never been more important. A 30-second spot which works well as a pre-roll may not work as well in an autoplay format in a news or social feed,” says Nigel Clarkson, managing director and country commercial director UK of Oath.
Clarkson says understanding users’ context is also key. He adds: “Matching context is one of the key benefits of native video, as the format is designed to seamlessly blend into the stream of content that the user is viewing at the time, without disrupting their experience.”
Context also means thinking about how that video is being viewed, this is often without sound, “which on face value presents a challenge for marketers” according to Clarkson, but he believes “it also presents a chance to work with content designed to be viewed muted”.
He says: “Marketers are adapting to this and creating their videos for autoplay, keeping in mind viewers without audio who might be sitting in the doctor’s office or on the train by using captions and on-screen graphics to deliver their stories.”
Tailoring video marketing to the environment has never been more important.
Nigel Clarkson, Yahoo UK
Justin Taylor, UK managing director at native video company Teads, sees a shift towards content created for screen size to be more relevant to the device, particularly mobile.
Teads’ research, conducted with Ipsos, shows that mobile-optimised square video formats drive 66% more completed views than horizontal creative when viewed on mobile devices.
It also shows that outstream vertical and square formats are the least intrusive of all mobile ads, driving a 39% enhancement in user experience. Vertical formats achieve 83% higher ad recall than the horizontal format, with square ads achieving 60% better ad recall.
But Taylor says there is still “catch-up” needed by creative agencies and investment in making video fit for various screens. He says: “There’s still a traditional approach to AV production but these types of stats will shift the change.”
Innovation in video creation will also aid this move. Taylor says clients and creative agencies are going to need to have “systems that add and build efficiency” to get the reach and frequency via video.
To bring content to life brands are also adding haptic technology to mobile video, which causes it to vibrate in time with the visual and audio experience. Ahead of the release of the Jason Bourne movie, for example, Teads and developer Immersion, created a trailer for the mobile that vibrated when explosions were seen on screen.
Creating these videos can require a lot of investment from brands, not just budget but time and effort. Tech startup Vidsy – one of Marketing Week’s 100 Disruptive Brands 2017 – creates mobile video ads for brands through a collaborative video production model, where multiple ‘creators’ simultaneously produce videos around a brand brief through a tech platform.
This enables a marketer to produce 30-50 original videos, ready-made for platforms like Facebook and Snapchat.
“There are a lot of brands struggling with the traditional way of producing video because the infrastructure used was designed for TV and it’s slow, complex and often too expensive for mobile and social,” says Pedro Carvalho, head of marketing at Vidsy.
Building brand stories
Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all offer a ‘stories’ function on their sites. Stories originated with Snapchat in 2013 and allows users of the social media platform to play a series of ‘snaps’ or videos in one sequence to share with friends and followers that disappears after a certain amount of time.
Instagram and Facebook followed suit in 2016 and 2017 with their own not dissimilar versions of the feature. And Facebook this week made its ‘Stories’ feature public, allowing influencers and celebrities to share their photos and videos beyond their immediate network of friends to extend reach.
A report in TechCrunch found that view counts on Snapchat Stories dropped by 15-40% after the launch of Instagram Stories, and posting volume declined as well so there is much competition in this area.
These functions are now open to brands to create their own stories and Instagram seems to be stealing a lot of the limelight.
Airbnb has used Instagram Stories to build awareness of Airbnb Experiences, a product which launched in December 2016 where local experts give travellers their curated recommendation of a town or excursion.
Fashion retailer Asos has also trialled ads on Instagram Stories to raise brand awareness among teens and millennial customers in the US and in the UK. The campaign targeted men and women aged over 18, with the aim of diving into certain fashion and pop culture interests through targeting.
Instagram says 200 million people are using Instagram Stories every day with 70% of stories watched with the sound on. Brands’ stories have proved popular with a third of the most viewed stories coming from businesses.
Delivering personalised video at scale
National Lottery owner Camelot set up a personalised video campaign during the Rio Olympics to show the support funding provides Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The Games provided an opportunity to thank National Lottery players for the difference they make, says Camelot campaign manager Priya Patel. Working with Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, and using EchoMany technology across Twitter, Camelot was able to deliver a personalised campaign at scale.
“As a business we’re focused on driving more engaging and personalised relationships with our players,” says Patel. “When a [lottery] player tweeted #IAmTeamGB or #IAmParalympicsGB they instantly received a personalised video response from one of over 70 athletes saying thank you.”
The campaign led to engagement on Camelot’s Twitter account increasing by 460%, as well as 51% of the personalised replies being retweeted, which contributed to the National Lottery being one of the most talked about brands on Twitter during Rio 2016.
Following the success of the campaign, Camelot continues to use video personalisation. The most recent campaign is #ThanksToYou, focusing on players’ contributions to The National Trust, The Royal British Legion, The Natural History Museum and British Film Institute.