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Use these best practices to test and optimize creative video content

In the era of social and digital media, there’s an underlying best practice that’s applicable for marketers of any industry. Video content is critical to success.

Videos are dynamic pieces of content that allow brands and consumers to interact in meaningful ways. Videos are easily digestible, attributes that are key to success in the social and digital era. The fact is that the average human attention span has fallen below that of a goldfish.

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Create the right types of videos for optimal performance

As a marketer, this means that the content and the message you want to convey will only resonate for a few seconds at a time. You need to produce content that aligns with consumer behavior to increase the likelihood that your message sticks in your consumers’ minds.

Videos are the right format to achieve your goals.

Research on content consumption behaviors indicates that people are more likely to actually consume video content compared to other formats that are more likely to be skimmed. People will mentally consume and process video content over other assets.

All that being said, it takes the right types of videos to have the kind of impact you need for success. If you simply promote a 30 second TV spot on social media, it’s unlikely people will remain engaged for the entire presentation. Repurposing that initial video into several bite-sized formats is, typically speaking, far more effective at capturing and retaining attention rates.

To create more dynamic video content, here are a few best practices to test and optimize video content production and performance.

Keep your videos short, sweet, and vertical

Given that consumer attention rates are at all-time lows, videos that are short and easy to digest tend to perform at optimal rates. Data collected by Vidyard, and presented by HubSpot, illustrates how short, snackable, and personalized video content performed in a study of 250,000 published videos.

  • The top 5% of videos retain as many as 77% of viewers to the final second

  • On average, 37% of viewers will watch a piece of video content to the end

  • Videos under 90 seconds in length retain 53% of viewers to the final frame

  • Personalized videos improve attentiveness by 35% than non-personalized videos

Let these numbers paint you a picture. If you can produce an interesting video that both captures and retains people’s attention, the majority of your viewers will watch your content all the way to the end.

Then you can launch new promotions and keep them engaged with your brand.

The other creative consideration is verticalized video. No matter how large, small, or non-consumer facing your brand, most businesses use videos to build relationships with their customers.

Consider the consumer experience on a mobile device when you produce your videos. How many times have you clicked to watch a video on your phone and been forced to turn the phone horizontally to see the video on a full screen? It’s an annoying habit and one that your consumers also can’t stand.

All of these best practices are why marketers must produce verticalized video content.

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Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and many others provide clear instructions for marketers to produce high-quality vertical video content. Among the most important instructions are the aspect ratios, which vary by platform. Make sure that you promote the right vertical videos on the right platform to maintain the highest quality resolution.

You’ll also want to include creative nuances, settings, and angles within your videos that are most likely to capture people’s attention. These were the trends throughout 2017 that improved the quality of vertical video content.

  • Sweeping cityscapes

  • Intimate moments

  • New traditions

  • Video portraits

  • Immersive technology

  • Drone footage

  • Top-down view

Use each of these creative considerations to customize the look and feel of your video content.

Scale video production and test, test, test

There are many variables that impact the performance of your video content. That means you need to determine which variables translate into higher engagement rates with your audience.

To calculate these results, you need to run ads with different versions of your videos.

Thanks to technology, any piece of content can become a video. Many marketers specifically create content for Instagram Stories to use for social video advertising. Others will turn a batch of still photographs into animated GIFs, cinemagraphs, or parallax to run in social news feeds. Facebook and Instagram live videos can be archived and repurposed into dynamic video ads.

Odds are your target audience is a vast group of people. There will be common interests and values within the group, but the type of content used to express those shared values will make all the difference within certain segments of your target audience. That’s why you need to test the performance of each of these video formats.

Here’s some interesting data to help you test and optimize your plans for video advertising.

  • People typically consume content 41% faster on mobile vs. desktop screens

  • More than half of adults check their phones over 30 times in a given day

  • During that time on a phone, people check their Facebook page 13.3 times per day

Let’s paint another picture with numbers. The majority of people use mobile to engage with social and digital video content. A simple click on an app allows the consumer to enter Facebook or any other social platform, which is why people check their social accounts over a dozen times each day.

That’s over a dozen times, on average, you can reach each individual person that fits the profile of your target audience. Multiply those opportunities by the number of people targeted by your ads and your videos suddenly attract thousands, possibly millions of eyes.

Even if you only capture their attention for a few seconds, you’re promoting your brand and helping people remember your identity. They’ll check their phones again and, provided you have enough video content, have the opportunity to view another of your videos. These are micro-moments powerful as they tell your brand’s story and nurture the consumer relationship.

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Here’s another interesting fact. The average cost to produce a 30 second TV video is, conservatively speaking, $344K. If you want to test the effectiveness of your video content, you need to run ads that feature many different video formats.

Think about that production cost for a moment. Do you really have room in your budget to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for each video you want to produce? Even if you split that 30-second spot into several bite-sized videos, that’s still a lot of money to pay for effective tests.

That’s why marketers are turning to more agile and cost-efficient content creation solutions. Technology is a wonderful thing and can help you create custom video content at scale so you can run as many tests as warranted to tell the most compelling and engaging story.

Use technology to connect with creative talent in localized markets. These creative specialists can ramp up production of video content and give you more creative formats to test without delay. This is the best way to produce social video ads that will deliver results.

Interested in learning more about how to create custom video content? Listen to our “How to create amazing custom videos to engage your audience” webinar for tips and best practices on how to capture and retain people’s attention through video content.