Watch a stop motion video made entirely in Snapchat

snapchat_stop_motion


MysteryGuitarMan decided to make a stop motion video. Sounds pretty standard. Oh. You want to know the catch? MysteryGuitarMan filmed his crazy clip entirely in Snapchat.

The video description explains that creating the video only required three components: “some fruits, Snapchat, and a LOT of free time.” Unfortunately, I only have the first one, and even if I were to get back on Snapchat, I seriously doubt I’ll ever have enough of the third component.

But it’s the catchy music that particularly draws me in, almost to the point that I wish this was a real game I could play on my phone:

The vertical video is really my only complaint, though I’m told that this is just the way Snapchat is. It turns out you can film and send horizontal videos in the app, but no one does this.

Also, Snapchat doesn’t have any built-in games. If this doesn’t inspire the team, I’m not sure what will.


Breaking: Tesla finally unveils the Model 3, its first car for the masses


Social – VentureBeat

Snapchat seamlessly combines video, audio, GIFs, stickers in “Chat 2.0”

Snapchat Chat 2.0 Say what you want, how you want. That’s how Snapchat’s reps say CEO Evan Spiegel describes Chat 2.0, a massive set of new features launching today. It lets private conversations morph between mediums depending on what users want to show or tell, and whether they can speak up or must stay silent. As WhatsApp focuses on simplicity and Facebook Messenger chases commerce, Snapchat… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

How to Improve Your Revenue Using Video Ads

As a marketer, you always want to be ahead of the curve.

The most effective tactics are always the ones that the majority of marketers either haven’t adopted yet or haven’t been successful with yet.

One of the current tactics that fall into that category is the use of video in advertising.

Very few marketers have tried to create video ads, but that will change in the coming years.

The consumption of video in general is growing at a rapid pace. Over half (55 percent) of people watch at least one video a day. Some watch several dozen.

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In order to make revenue from the videos they host, video sites (e.g., YouTube, Dailymotion, etc.) have a few options.

They can overlay some text ads. It doesn’t generate much revenue for them, so they don’t do this if they have a better option.

That better option is to play a paid video advertisement before playing the video a user clicked to watch.

Guess how much better these are.

One analysis found that users are 27 times more likely to click on a video ad than a regular ad.

Do I need to say more?

Although video sites are starting to get a wider inventory of video ads to play, they’re not even close to being saturated.

There are still plenty of text ads being shown because the sites have no other option.

On top of that, the video ads that they do have are often shown for unrelated videos (a bad thing) because they’re the best they have right now.

This is your opportunity to learn how to create effective video ads and reap the rewards while you still can.

I’ve created a full guide to creating YouTube video ads in the past.

But today, I want to take it further. If you understand the basics of video ads, it’s time to create video ads that perform even better than you thought they could.

We’re going to look at 6 different ways that you can make video ads that convert better than you ever thought possible. 

A quick look at where video ads are most effective: Before we dive in, you need to understand where video ads are used best.

The biggest key component of an effective video ad network is the size of its audience. Some of the tips in this post require a large potential audience so that you can narrow your targeting down and still have an audience left.

There are two main video advertising networks that fulfill this condition: YouTube and Facebook.

image05

I’ll be writing the rest of this post mostly with Facebook and YouTube video advertising in mind although most of the information will apply to other networks as well.

Don’t be afraid to try out video advertising on other networks, but I recommend starting on one of these two.

Want to improve your revenue using video ads? Then download this how to guide.

They are big enough to have just about every audience you can imagine, including yours.

Let’s look at the 6 tips now.

1. Take full advantage of custom audience options

Like I mentioned before, many video ads are being shown to users who are not actively interested in the advertised product.

While some of those advertisements are purely for brand recognition, the mismatch between the ad and the viewer interest highlights a bigger issue.

Say you were running an advertisement for a new car. In which situation do you think the ad would perform better?

Shown before a video about home decorating.

OR

Shown before a video clip from Top Gear (a show about cars).

It’s pretty clear that the second option is better.

You’ll have a targeted audience of car buyers, who are expecting to watch a video about cars. That’s doubly good!

When someone is planning to watch a video about home decorating and on comes a video about a new car, they’re not happy—understandably—and skip it as soon as possible.

The first major thing that you can do to lower your ad prices and improve your click-through rate is to improve your targeting.

Not only should you use targeting to make sure your ads are being shown to your actual target audience, but you should segment your audience further so that different parts of your audience see different ads.

Let’s look at some common effective examples of segmenting audiences.

Possible group #1 – Potential customers who are aware of brand or product: Your highest conversion rates when selling a product will always be from people who have heard of your brand or product.

Many in this audience just need a little nudge to get them to make a purchase.

You can target these people if you’re active on the platforms you’re advertising on.

For example, you can target people who have already “liked” your Facebook page:

image11

If someone’s done that, they probably have a good idea of what your products are and why someone might want them.

To advertise effectively to this segment, you need to create video ads that show your product doing something great for them.

If you were selling a personal finance tool, you would show in your ad how someone saved hundreds of dollars using the tool.

That will give your viewers the nudge they need to make a purchase.

Possible group #2 – No brand recognition, but interest in your type of product: This group refers to people who don’t know you, your brand, or your products.

However, they have an interest in your industry.

If I was selling a link building tool, I could target people with an interest in SEO.

Facebook and YouTube both have this type of targeting, and most other video advertising platforms do as well.

But remember that targeting is just one part of the equation. You also have to choose what to show your audience.

Since they don’t know you or your products, your first goal with these types of ads shouldn’t be to get the viewers to buy your products right away.

Instead, create a short, interesting video that teaches them something about your niche.

Going back to my SEO example…I wouldn’t even mention a link building tool, but I could create a video that showed that someone was able to rank #1 using a technique I created in the past.

Then, I would link to a detailed case study from the video.

Guess what would be in that case study?

That’s right, a mention of my productthe link building tool. The case study would also give the readers an opportunity to sign up for an email list.

Alternatively, you could link to a landing page from the video, asking viewers to opt in to an email list to receive the full report. Either option could work well.

The point is to establish contact, expose your potential customers to your product and brand, and get them on an email list. Then, you would continue sending them free content, and eventually you can target them like I showed you above in group #1.

Possible group #3 – Target by location: You should only target your video ad to countries and locations that you actually sell to. It sounds like common sense, but many businesses neglect to do it.

On top of that, you can also improve your results by creating videos for specific audiences.

For example, let’s say you sell a lawn care tool.

You wouldn’t want to show the same video ad to Australians, who have warm weather year round, and to Canadians, who have drastically different seasons.

To the Australians, you’d want to emphasize such features as durability and year-round suitability.

To the Canadians, you’d want to emphasize such features as easy storage during the colder months.

Take a second to think about your product and the different locations of your customers (cities, states, provinces, countries, etc.).

Do people in those different locations vary in how much they care about the features you offer?

If so, create specific video ads for each location. You might be able to reuse ads for different locations with a bit of clever editing.

Possible group #4 – Sell to multiple countries? Cover your languages: This type of grouping relates to the last point.

Did you know that you can target users based on language?

If you sell to people in countries that use two or more languages, you should be creating video ads in multiple languages and targeting by language.

image06

If you’re only targeting the main language, you might be missing out on a solid chunk of your potential market.

Recognize the unique properties of your products: The last two groups I showed you won’t apply to every product out there.

But they illustrate an important concept.

Targeting depends on analyzing your potential audience and determining how different parts of that audience think.

Then, you’ll need to find a way to target specific portions of your target audience and create ads specifically for them.

I’ve shown you four possible groups, but there are dozens for all major ad networks. Don’t be afraid to go beyond these four.

2. All good video ads take on an interesting angle: Start with the concept

Some businesses are finally starting to “get it.”

For video ads to be successful, they need to be interesting.

When they’re done right, video ads can actually be shared and go viral. There are many cases that prove this.

image12

While you may not have the budget of any of those companies, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach a large audience with an interesting advertisement.

How do you make an interesting video ad? The first thing you need to do is forget the word “advertisement.”

Yes, you’re paying to display it, but beyond that, your advertisement is just a video.

For some reason, many marketers think an ad needs to shove a product in someone’s face, which just isn’t true.

The vast majority of people on YouTube and Facebook are watching videos for entertainment, so if your video isn’t entertaining, they are going to ignore it or skip it as soon as possible.

And getting pitched a product is not entertaining, so don’t do it.

Instead, create or find an interesting story to tell.

Let me walk you through an example.

Fanpage.it is an Italian news site of sorts, so they focus mainly on current issues.

They were able to create a video, advertise it, and then have it go viral with over 2.3 million views:

image10

They started with a concept. In this case, they thought about a way to make a video about attitudes towards violence against women interesting.

It might seem a little sad that it’s not enough for the subject matter to be important, that it has to be interesting, but the reason I’ve repeated it a few times is because it’s crucial to your success.

There are many ways to make something interesting:

  • tell a story
  • make it funny
  • make it surprising
  • make it unusual

In this case, they combined most of these elements.

They introduced a girl to several boys and asked them about her. At the end, they asked them to slap the girl. The boys, of course, innocently said that they would never do that.

I was glued to my screen for the entire 3 minutes, and it took me from smiling to thinking about the issue at hand.

The biggest concern marketers have is whether this approach is effective or not. How does an engaging story translate into page views and revenue?

If you’re able to tell a story, with your product being at the center of it, people will want it and seek it out.

Although Fanpage.it wasn’t constantly saying, “We have the best content on social issues out there; visit us now!”—viewers still made that connection.

They understand that if they want clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking content, they should click through to the site.

Telling an interesting story is not easy. That’s why the people who are great at it are paid well.

However, it’s a skill like any other that can be developed. I’ve written extensively about it in the past:

  • How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions
  • How to Engage and Persuade People Through Storytelling
  • Tell Your Brand’s Story

3. Know when you need professional help

The thing that scares most marketers away from video advertising is that they can’t do it themselves.

Although you could try to make one with your iPhone (or whatever you use), chances are the video would suck.

And that’s just a basic video. When you consider animation, editing, and voiceovers, it’s just too much for a marketer to learn how to do.

That’s what scares marketers.

We love to do everything, including marketing, sales, product development, and just about anything else that needs to be done.

But creating a high quality video isn’t something that you can learn in a few days or even months.

And if you want to be successful with video advertising, quality has to come first.

People expect almost television-like quality for any video they watch:

image16

This means that your video must have:

  • no blurriness
  • good lighting
  • no background noises or echoes
  • no stuttering or unclear speech

You need to recognize when you are out of your depth and bring in professionals to supplement your marketing expertise.

Putting together a high quality video: A video ad might only be 15 seconds long, but it can often take hours to make.

It will depend on the kind of video you are creating, of course, but a ton of work goes into creating even short videos.

The first step is to decide what type of video you’d like to create.

There are two main types of video ads.

The most common is a standard video with actors in it.

However, animated videos are really popular, particularly if you’re creating a tutorial or an educational video:

image04

Your next step is to hire a professional to help you. This will include:

  • freelance animators
  • video creators (videographers)
  • video editors

As a marketer, you can probably handle the script writing yourself, but that’s another area you could potentially get some help with.

Video editors and animators are very easy to find online. Just browse for them (or post a job ad) on any of the following freelance job boards:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Videopixie

However, if you’re looking to include actors in the video, you’ll have to find local videographers.

Unfortunately, you can’t effectively narrow down the location of videographers on those freelance sites.

Instead, I recommend going to LinkedIn.

Search for “videographer” or “freelance videographer” in the search bar, and narrow down the results using the “people” filter in the sidebar.

Finally, choose “Add” under the location filter, and type in your city:

image13

Not only will you find local professionals, but you will also find people who have worked with some of your existing connections. That’ll allow you to ask your connections about their experiences with the professionals you are considering to hire.

After you’ve found someone to work with, you need to develop a video outline and script. Again, you can probably handle this if you have some experience with storytelling.

image07

Once you’ve gone over these details with your freelancer(s), they will create the video for you. Make it clear that you’re happy to get involved when necessary and answer any questions.

The last thing you want is to be unhappy with the final video because it’s a pain (and expensive) to reshoot.

For the most part, trust your freelancers. If you’ve hired experienced professionals, they will know how to bring your vision to life.

Ideally, you want to establish a relationship with freelancers so that they can continue to create videos for you in the future. It will save you the time of having to find someone new every time you need a video created.

4. Shorter is usually better

You need to be careful, especially if you embrace the tips I’ve shown you so far.

It’s common to get excited about producing a video, aiming for the best, and end up with a video that’s 3, 5, or even 10 minutes long.

Keep in mind that when users see your ads, they see them before the content they actually want to see.

Even if your video is fairly entertaining, most will pick the “skip” option that comes up shortly after your video starts—especially if they see that there’s another 3 minutes to go.

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As a general rule, keep your video ads under 1 minute long. Under 30 seconds is better.

This forces you to focus on the most important parts of your message.

According to one analysis, only 36 percent of video ads are longer than 30 seconds.

Further, 13 percent are shorter than 15 seconds, which means that 51 percent of ads are between 15 and 30 seconds long. Aim for that range whenever possible.

The good news is that if you are able to keep your ad within that range, people will usually watch your full video.

The same research found that 79 percent of video ads are watched to their middle points, and 72 percent are watched to the very end. This means that if you can intrigue your viewers in the first half of your ad, almost all of them will stick with you to the end.

5. Videos may be different, but you can (and should) split test them

To edit a landing page, you need to click only a few buttons.

To edit an image, you need to do a bit more.

Video is far more complicated to edit than images or landing pages.

That’s why most marketers produce a video ad, put it out there, and hope for the best.

But you know me—I like to measure and improve everything. And I hope that you have a similar attitude.

When it comes to ads of any kind, including video ads, you must split test.

What’s split testing? A quick answer: If you’ve never done split testing, it’s a simple but powerful concept.

Most things are not optimized when you first create them.

What you can do is create two versions of something and then send visitors to both versions.

By measuring the results, you can see which version performs better.

Typically, you’ll use A/B split testing, which helps you learn about which elements work and don’t work.

With A/B testing, both versions are exactly the same, except for one change.

image01

That way, you know that any difference in the results is caused by that one change. Then, you keep the better performing version and do a new test with a different element.

I’ve written a complete guide to split testing if you’d like a detailed guide; otherwise, let’s move on to how you would do split testing for your video ads.

Step #1 – Identify major elements: The reason why most marketers don’t split test video ads is because they know that editing a video is a pain.

But most split testing doesn’t even need to involve editing the video.

Start by looking at how your video ad will show up:

image15

Then, make a list of the most important elements.

From the above, the most visible elements are:

  • the description
  • the video
  • the brand name

You can’t change the brand name, and you probably don’t want to edit the video (although that’s an option), but you can change the description.

Let half of the audience view one version of the description, and let the other half view the other version.

Alternatively, you can also split test different targeting options.

For example, you could show the exact same ad to two different groups of people. You could divide them based on interests, behaviors, or demographic options.

image02

This will tell you which audiences are best to target, and that information will help you create more effective video ads in the future.

Step #2 – Create different versions of the ad based on those elements:  Once you know which element you will be changing (e.g., description or targeting options), all you need to do is create the two different ads and buy a similar number of views for each.

Here’s a guide to split testing on Facebook, and another for split testing in Google Adwords (for YouTube).

Step #3 – Decide which metrics are most important, and compare: Finally, the most important thing you need to do is decide what your goals for the video ad are.

Usually, it’s going to be cost per click-through. Sometimes, you’ll have to use your click-through rate percentage instead.

Once you have a valid sample size, you can compare the results and determine the winner.

A neat little tool to help you figure out the significance of your test is Isvalid.org.

Enter the number of samples for both the original and experiment videos as well as the conversions (clicks or whatever metric you’re using):

image09

The tool will calculate the conversion rate of each test. More importantly, it will give you a significance rate (how often your conclusion will be correct) and a measure of how much better the winning test is:

image08

Aim for a significance of at least 95%.

Remember that split testing typically gives you small improvements. However, those small improvements add up over time, so keep iterating and making changes until you’ve optimized your video ad.

6. Studies have shown that music impacts emotion—use it wisely

The final tip I have for you is to use music in your videos, but use it intelligently.

To begin with, always remember that videos are mainly focused on visual content. That should remain the main focus of your video ads.

However, music in the background can make your message more powerful.

The effect of music on mood: One study recruited subjects to determine what effect music has on our moods.

They found that both happy and sad music affects our perception. When subjects heard the happy music and then were shown a person with a neutral expression, they were more likely to say that the person was happy.

Conversely, the other subjects who heard sad music thought that the exact same person was sad.

Basically, we match our perception with the tone of music we hear.

image00

The takeaway is simple:

If you want your viewers to feel a certain way during parts of your video, use music that corresponds to that feeling (e.g., sad music for a sad feeling).

You can use this to nudge viewers to feel happy, then sad, to make your video more impactful.

Music improves focus: You want your viewers to be glued to the screen while your ad is playing.

But if the ad has no sound, no matter how good your video is, most viewers will get bored and zone out.

A study looked at how listening to different sounds affects focus.

The researchers found that listening to either classical music, white noise, or silence improved visual attention. The greatest effect, however, was produced by classical music, followed by white noise. Silence produced the least effect.

The takeaway:

Play some sort of music in the background throughout most of your ads to help your viewers pay attention to your video. If classical music suits the tone of your video, it’s probably the optimal choice.

Music should accent, not distract: Finally, there’s one more study about music and focus that you need to know about.

The researchers tested how music affected the rate of driving mistakes in teenagers.

The bottom line was that when the drivers got to pick their own music, they drove more aggressively and made more mistakes. It makes sense as they were more focused on the music than their environment.

On the other hand, when they listened to “safe” music that was picked by the researchers, they drove better.

The takeaway:

Use music in your ads, but make sure it’s not so loud or catchy that your viewers focus more on the music than your video’s images.

Conclusion

Video advertising is one of the most exciting advertising opportunities that is still maturing.

If you take action right now, you will learn how to profit from video ads before the rest of marketers catch on.

I’ve shown you 6 key principles and tips of effective video ads that you can use to reach profitability quickly.

Once you have a profitable campaign, scale it up and enjoy the results.

I understand that creating video ads isn’t easy. So, if you have any questions, leave me a comment below, and I’ll try to clear things up.


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BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27:  Fans react to The Wailers performing live on stage at the 2016 Byron Bay Bluesfest on March 27, 2016 in Byron Bay, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) It has never been worth it for celebrities to respond to their endless digital fan mail — until now. TipTalk lets them set a price for a private text, photo or video response. The idea is that in their downtime, they could forge deeper relationships with their audience while earning enough to warrant at least a few seconds of their attention. Considering how the public comment reels… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

Clarifying the Noise: The Content Marketing Spectrum [Exclusive Video]

content-marketing-spectrum-cover

I can’t help but think about this lyric these days:

“As I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

’Cause each time I feel it slippin’g away, just makes me wanna cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?”

– Nick Lowe’s (What’s So Funny A’Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding made famous by singer Elvis Costello

One of the non-harmonious things that we’re seeing a lot of these days is a separation of approaches when it comes to using content strategically for marketing purposes. Primarily, you’ve got content marketing, native advertising, and branded content. You even have terms like branded entertainment, content selling, and (I’m not even making this up) content advertising.

To be crystal clear – with the exception of this content advertising thing – all of these content-focused methods have productive uses in the business to a varying degree. But how are they related? How do you know when to use each one? Some smart people have been trying to make sense of the delineation between approaches.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:
Content Marketing – It’s Going to Get Weird

Ryan Skinner, senior analyst with Forrester Research recently released a report called Don’t Confuse Media-Led and Customer-Led Content Marketing. In it, he details some of the key differences between what we would certainly call content marketing and branded content.

I’ve been talking with the wonderful Andrew Davis about this for some months, and he came up with a concept called The Content Marketing Quadrant. I think this is a really straightforward way to look at the various offshoots of content marketing. (Andrew also recorded this video to explain it.)

Davis Content Quadrangle

Andrew also recently had an interesting debate with Justin Kirby, vice president of Tenthwave and curator of Best of Branded Content Marketing, on branded content vs. content brands. Justin, who outlined his point of view and the debate here, says they both agree with the following:

(Andrew’s) not saying that content marketing is necessarily always better than other tactics, solutions, etc., only that we’re now at the stage where the term could become meaningless unless there’s an explanation about what’s different about it.

As for us at CMI, we’ve been giving the difference between these approaches some thought for a while – and communicating how they differ is a work in progress. We certainly cover these on our weekly podcast, This Old Marketing. And there is a lot of interest in this topic from our readers. Joe Pulizzi’s recent explanations (ahem, rants) about native advertising and branded content have both received a lot of traffic and interest.

The most recent iteration of this discussion is a model I call the Strategic Content Marketing Spectrum. This is a white board that resonates pretty well with our advisory clients, so I created a video to share it with you.

Instead of simply defining the often-bandied terms, I put each in the spectrum of all marketing and answer the most common questions you may grapple with such as:

Why content?

Is your content’s first purpose to bolster your brand? Or is its first purpose to deliver value, independent of your brand, to a prospect?

why-content

Click to enlarge

What is the measurable goal?

Does your content seek to generate audience and subscribers? Is it to win the business? Or is your content created to grow your customer relationships?

measurable-goal

Click to enlarge

What approach shall you take in creating content?

This is the heart of the conversation. What’s the right approach for your business?

  • Are you building content as a product that you want to drive value and build subscribers?
  • Are you creating content to pull audience into owned media through paid promotion?
  • Are you trying to persuade your audience to make a decision?
  • Are you looking to create content that enhances the experience?

approach-creating-content

How does the creation of it differ?

two-ends-of-spectrum

Click to enlarge

There are two ends of the spectrum. Are you looking to create content as product in which the brand creates separate content brands to deliver value and ultimately build subscribers. Or, do you want to create a new product or service that expresses itself as if it were content?

What is the potential outcome for the business?

potential-business-outcome

Click to enlarge

By knowing your purpose, you can better see where your content fits on the spectrum and develop the right content to help in achieving your goals and move your business forward.

While all of these questions are summarized in the graphics, you’ll find it even more helpful to take 12 minutes to watch the accompanying video where I explain as I create this spectrum and offer examples to illustrate how brands are using these terms. It’s far from perfect – but as we evolve our own understanding of how businesses can use content for business efficacy, we think the broader tent of content marketing as an approach really can cover all of these tactical uses of content. All of them have the potential to add value to the business – it’s just a matter of how.

I’d really appreciate your take on this. Does it help clarify the differences among content marketing, native advertising, and branded content? What questions do you have? Do you look at this differently?

Grow your content marketing strategic skills with the help of CMI’s Chief Strategy Officer Robert Rose. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter in which he shares his unique perspective exclusively for our subscribers.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

The post Clarifying the Noise: The Content Marketing Spectrum [Exclusive Video] appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Content Marketing Institute

Facebook introduces daily video metrics for publishers

A video on Facebook.


Facebook today announced that it’s adding daily measurements of how much people watch videos posted on the social network.

Until now, people could see things like the number of views, the number of unique viewers, and the number of minutes that a video was viewed. Now, video publishers can find out how many minutes a video was viewed on a given day, the number of video views for a single day, and the number of times a video was viewed for 10 seconds on one day (or how many times people viewed at least 97 percent of videos that last for less than 10 seconds), Facebook product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza wrote in a blog post.

“This new data gives Page owners a better understanding of when their audiences are watching their videos, providing a more detailed picture of performance that we hope will help publishers inform their video strategies,” Gomez-Ortigoza wrote.

Facebook redesigned its video metrics last month. Video analytics for Facebook Pages arrived in 2014. The video library, which helps users keep track of all their videos, became available in July.

You can find the new daily metrics in the video library or in Page Insights, Gomez-Ortigoza wrote. The Insights application programming interface (API) will get daily video metrics later.

More information:

Get more stories like this:  twitter  facebook

Social – VentureBeat

Video thank you notes eliminate snail mail

Gettyimages-594831841

Feed-twFeed-fb

After the party is over, the lesser fun begins: thank you notes. 

Yes it’s polite, but writing messages to every single person gets tiresome. Mass emails or pre-printed cards can get too generic and impersonal. 

SEE ALSO: 16 Digital Resources for Wedding Inspiration and Planning

For “less than the price of postage,” ThankView lets you send personalized videos to loved ones. 

Members use their phone or computer to record messages to each person, add pictures or animation, and make an individualized “thank you” in video form. 

Image: thankview.com

Users can upload an Excel sheet to add multiple addresses and quickly send videos. Read more…

More about Tech, Apps, Social Media, Weddings, and Party


Social Media

Playbuzz makes it easier to skip the boring parts with Video Snaps

video snaps Tired of watching (relatively) lengthy online videos when there’s only 10, 30 or 60 seconds that you really care about? Well, viral publisher and publishing toolmaker Playbuzz has a solution called Video Snaps. Basically, the Snaps product makes it easy for a publisher or anyone else to take an existing video and divide it into different segments, so viewers can go directly to the… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

You Ought to Be in Pictures: 5 Amazingly Successful Brand Video Marketing Campaigns

video-marketing-campaigns

My first cell phone was the unbreakable Nokia 3310. You could run over that thing with a tank and it would still be up for a game of Snake. At the time, its green-and-black display was a technological marvel: You could play games! Look at (pixelated monochrome) pictures! What a modern marvel it was.

Now, of course, almost all of us have a pocket-sized screen that puts the 3310’s to shame (if only they were half as durable…). Most of us are never more than arm’s length from our smartphone. And we’re using those screens primarily for video—fully 50% of all mobile traffic is video streaming.

Whether you’re B2B or C2C, your audience is watching videos. They spend more time with video content than blog content. Even senior executives watch and share: 75% watch work-related videos weekly, and over half share videos with their colleagues.

For marketers, the video revolution represents an enormous opportunity. But getting people to choose your video over thousands of other options can be a challenge. As with all content in a content-logged world, brands need to create extraordinary video to earn attention, likes, and shares.

The following five brands took content marketing best practices, applied them to tell extraordinary stories with visual interest, and experienced incredible success. Here’s how:

#1 – American Greetings: World’s Toughest Job

Most of us have experienced the nerve-wracking ordeal that is a job interview. Combine a job interview with the inherent awkwardness of video conferencing, and you have the recipe for a truly uncomfortable situation.

Greeting card company American Greetings capitalized on those fears by posting a fake job listing, then doing video conference interviews with respondents. Watch the video before you read the spoiler below:

As the interviewer details the harsh working conditions the job entails—no breaks, extra work on holidays, not even time off to sleep—the interviewees squirm in discomfort. Finally, he reveals the twist: He’s describing what moms do every day. The interviewees wipe away tears, talk about their own mothers, and the video ends with a quick link to American Greetings’ card creation website.

Why it Works:

American Greetings examines a familiar societal role in an unexpected way. The real people being interviewed are a surrogate for the viewer; our reaction mirrors theirs. Most importantly, they put the product in the background, focusing on the emotional heft of the content.

Takeaways:

  • Get at the meaning behind your product—people don’t buy cards because they enjoy spending money on folded paper.
  • Candid ‘reaction’ videos are hugely popular, and for good reason. They let the viewer imagine him or herself in the same situation.

#2 – Android: Friends Furever

It’s estimated that nearly 90% of web traffic is videos and pictures of cute animals doing cute things. Okay, I made that up—but if you check your Facebook feed, 90% seems about right. Android jumps into the cute animal trend with this simple-but-engaging video. It’s composed entirely of stock footage of animals in unlikely pairs, but still gets across Android’s point: Their software works on a variety of devices, not one monolithic product line. (*cough* Apple *cough*)

The video is charming, and definitely earned its over 23 million views. My favorite part, though, is in the comments. Android reveals that many of the animals in the video are cared for by non-profit organizations, and provides links to learn more and support them.

Why It Works:

Android puts the adorable animals front-and-center. It looks like any number of wildly-shared viral animal videos, until the slogan and logo come peeking in at the end. It seems designed to brighten someone’s day more than sell a product—so it’s free to do both.

Takeaways:

  • Less is more. Sometimes you can mute the dialog and let the video speak for itself.
  • Trust your audience. Android could have added a more pointed jab at Apple, or highlighted its product catalog, but they trusted the audience to make that connection.

#3 – Gainsight: Blank Space

Gainsight’s annual Pulse Conference is their biggest event—and biggest expense—of the year. They needed to bring in attendees to make sure the event was a success. Instead of a video with talking heads of the featured speakers, Gainsight earned attention with a playful approach unique for B2B conference marketing. They recruited Chief Customer Officers and VPs of Customer Success to lip sync an a capella version of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” with new lyrics:

The resulting video is a win for everyone involved. Gainsight attracted 2,000 new inquiries about the conference, the executives were featured in front of their company logo bringing humanity to their brands, and viewers got a catchy tune about customer satisfaction.

Why It Works:

Gainsight went all out with the production on this video. They drafted new lyrics to the song, hired an a capella group to perform it, and got their influencers to lip sync pretty convincingly. It’s light and playful, but still gets across the information: Gainsight knows a lot about customer satisfaction, they work with these brands, and they have a conference coming up.

Takeaways:

  • Employ influencers in unexpected ways. You can bet every exec featured in this video shared it with their network.
  • For top-of-funnel video, entertaining the viewer is paramount. Make it fun, make it catchy, and people will watch through to the CTA.

#4 – Always: Like a Girl

Ads for feminine hygiene products have not, historically, been the most compelling pieces of content marketing. Usually they go for the “blue liquid pouring into a pad” or “women walking through a meadow talking about life” tropes.

Always took a sledgehammer to those tropes with their #LikeAGirl campaign. They asked young women to throw “like a girl,” or hit “like a girl,” with the expected results. Then they asked younger girls—those who hadn’t absorbed negative stereotypes—the same question. The striking difference provides a humbling lesson in what “like a girl” can—and should—mean.

The resulting video is empowering, inspiring, and contains not a single scene of blue liquid being dumped on anything.

Why it Works:

Like American Greetings did with motherhood, Always challenges the audience to examine something they usually take for granted. They don’t hold back on their message of empowerment, and they’re aiming for a cultural stereotype far broader than their product line.

Takeaways:

  • Think about customers outside of where their lives intersect with your product.
  • Take a stand: How can you use your brand and your platform to make the world a better place?

#5 – GoPro: Hero in Action

As one of the kings of content marketing, GoPro has built an empire out of user-generated content from skateboarders, surfers, and other extreme sports fans. So it’s surprising that one of their more popular videos doesn’t feature a single half pipe or mountain face:

The fireman who attempts to save the kitten originally uploaded the video to his YouTube account. GoPro spotted the footage, and with the owner’s permission re-packaged it and posted it to the main GoPro account. Currently the video sits at just under 30 million views.

Why It Works:

With this video, GoPro expanded the idea of what their product was for. It could highlight instances of everyday heroism, not just extreme-sports hedonism. They were able to tell a compelling, human story that reached a wider audience than their usual fare.

The Takeaways:

  • Always take an opportunity to celebrate everyday heroes.
  • Don’t be afraid to broaden your brand’s emotional palette.

There’s No Business Like Show Business

With the advent of content marketing, brands suddenly had to become publishing houses. Will video marketing turn every brand into a Hollywood studio?

Probably not. You don’t need a whole film crew to make most of the videos on this list. Keep your content relevant, customer-focused, and entertaining, and you won’t need Michael Bay-size budgets to excel.

Want to learn more about content marketing strategy? How can we help?

Header image via Shutterstock

 


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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®