Why Your Company Gets Video Wrong

Video marketing continues to be the gold standard of social marketing. The human brain can process video content 60,000 times faster than reading. However, we still see the trend of larger companies and organizations spending thousands of dollars on large video productions and then sharing them over social media. The reality is, few viewers are watching these long videos for more than a couple of minutes. Even fewer are consuming those few minutes without skipping portions of the video timeline. All of this leads to audiences completely missing the message.

While some companies are beginning to understand the "shorter is better" concept, the landscape has already shifted. You can no longer produce a single short video and post it across all of your channels. Videos now have to be channel specific because your audience is different and the way they consume video is different.

Facebook: Facebook videos have the highest engagement rate when their lengths are just under one minute. No big deal, just make sure your Facebook videos are only 60 seconds, right? Well, it's just not that simple. Most organizations don't realize that 85% of Facebook videos are watched while on mute. Facebook's feed doesn't autoplay with the sound on, so it is critical that the imagery in the first 10 seconds of a video captures an audience's attention. This imagery can't just be attention-grabbing, it also has to provide meaning and relate to your message.

YouTube: While Facebook continues to have the highest social media engagement, YouTube is the second-most searched platform behind Google and in front of Bing. If you want to tell your story in a more extended fashion, YouTube is the key. However, longer is subjective, and in this case it is less than two minutes.

Instagram: Instagram video tends to be confusing for some since maximum video lengths change based on the type of post. Live video can be up to one hour, posts to your profile can only be 60 seconds, and videos to your story are a very brief 15 seconds. Regardless, we think Instagram videos need to be between 15-30 seconds and posted to your profile or posts section. Instagram viewers who watch the first three seconds of your video are likely to finish it. There is a reason the industry standard for "watch" is becoming three seconds. Capturing your audience's attention in the first three seconds requires very visually engaging content.

Twitter: According to Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s former VP of revenue product (now at Instagram), videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than photos. So video on Twitter is also essential for getting your message across. In fact, research shows that when videos are watched for four seconds, 80% of users will watch a full video that is 30 seconds or less in length. Furthermore, Twitter videos need to feel more personal and evoke emotional connections.

Video on other platforms like Snapchat and Periscope continue to emerge. However, we find that the best ROI (return on investment) is achieved on the four platforms above and should remain your video focus in 2018. We would predict 2019 as well, but the landscape can change quickly. The reality is that customizing videos for various platforms is not just the production of multiple videos, but is accomplished in editing. At Sun Graphics Media, we believe that if you are spending more than $2500 for a video and it isn't customized, you are probably not going to see a return on your investment. Video can be a fantastic way to engage your potential customers, but how you customize it, coupled with how much you spend, will ultimately determine if the campaign is a success. Some say "video is king," but we bet corporate executive and board members say "ROI is king!"

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