Video is the perfect storytelling medium for social media, but it’s also the fastest-moving, argues videographer Rich Tipple.
Every year we learn more about just how consumers consume. We learn their habits, their likes and their dislikes. We learn when they watch video, where they watch it and how long they watch it for. And all this data is collected, analysed and implemented.
This has resulted in a huge culture shift in the way video producers like myself create content. It’s meant we’ve had to adapt, creating different forms of video, or re-versioning content for different devices and platforms. We don’t just edit differently, we produce, plan and film differently.
Figures suggest that some 85per cent of video views are now played without sound. As consumers watch video on their phones, on the go.
Facebook introduced auto-play and found consumers were happy to watch in silence. Content creators quickly noticed the trend and produced video that was captioned or subtitled.
Facebook counts a view only after three seconds have elapsed – so we have to capture consumers’ attention immediately, and without the use of sound. It’s a marked shift from the by-contrast lackadaisical five seconds YouTube grants us.
Facebook’s algorithms place higher priority on video than other forms of content, which means in the arms race for attention, video is packing the most firepower. So if your content can tell a story without the need for sound, you’ve probably approached the creative correctly and executed well.
But this sort of adaptation for social content isn’t new. It’s been happening for years. The real shift is how we approach a ‘sticky’ audience – those viewers who are heavily invested in the content you’re creating. They may be a member of a niche demographic or have an interest in a specialist discipline.
The approach here isn’t necessarily to grab their attention in three seconds flat – it’s to impress them, taking them on a journey with some clever storytelling. It’s challenging producers and directors to tell the story uniquely to earn that audience’s time.
Content of this nature does three things: it educates, it empathises and it drives a call-to-action.
If we’re using video as a tool to support a campaign aimed at a ’sticky’ audience, then we are no longer asking “Shall we put money behind this?” but “Where are we seeding this and to whom?”
In order to stay ahead of the curve, videographers need to keep in touch with the next innovation. They need to work hand-in-hand with digital expertise to track, analyse and assign value to the user experience.
In order to make good videos great, video storytelling will need to remain fluid and adaptable to each new trend.