Three quarters of all mobile traffic will be used for video in 2023, according to a recent report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson. That’s up from just over half of all traffic today.
Not only will that be a bigger share but also a huge opportunity for your busiiness, as more people watch more video on their smartphones. Overall, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase to 110 exabytes per month in 2023, according to Ericsson, or the equivalent of 5.5 million years of streaming HD video. It’s eight times the 14 exabytes per month we used in 2017.
What does this mean for consumers? Well, obviously, we’ll need a bigger data plan. Currently, smartphone owners around the globe use on average 2.9 gigabytes of data per month, making 2GB to 5GB data plans the most popular. But as average usage rises to 17GB by 2023, bigger or unlimited mobile data plans will be necessary.
More mobile video traffic also means there will be an increased emphasis on mobile video for advertisers. Social media consumption on mobile is also rising, but not as fast as video. Therefore, social media will represent a smaller share of mobile traffic in 2023 — eight percent — than its current 12 percent of mobile traffic. Video is here to stay and it is growing at an alarming rate. Social Media and Video will always be mated in platforms however video will be the big brother as technology progresses.
-Roy FDMC Digital Media LLC
Being that our firm works with digital video on an almost daily basis, we do a lot of reading and research on the platform. Digital Video is growing at a rapid pace and the platforms that deliver the media is ever changing as well. Recently we came across some interesting statistics we wanted to share. Consumers will dramatically increase their overall time spent watching digital video from the rest of this year to 2021. That is a given. A data based company called Activate recently evaluated extensive data on creators with over 10 million views on YouTube and found that 24% of these creators account for 71% of views. Over on Facebook, 26% of creators account for 77% of views. Both of these groups of top creators have over 50 million views on these social video platforms. Activate’s analysis of the data confirms that influencers and media companies make up 97% of YouTube views in this group of top video creators with more than 50 million views. And 98% of Facebook views come from influencers and media companies. Brands only make up 3% of the views on these platforms. Influencers are defined as personalities, celebrities or public figures with significant social presence. Media companies are defined as organizations whose primary business model is in production and/or distribution of content. This includes some professional influencer entities that have moved upstream.
How Brands Can Find the Right Content Partners to Work With
The data shows that there is a greater ratio of influencers to media companies on YouTube (83% influencers to 17% media companies) and a roughly even ratio on Facebook (52% influencers to 48% media companies). So, if brands are looking for the right content partner to reach the right audience, and get more engagement for less spend, then they need to look in different categories on different platforms.
Activate analyzed the top five YouTube influencers by subscribers in four categories: How-to & Style People & Blogs Comedy & Entertainmen and Gaming. They concluded: Top web video influencers range across content areas and platforms. Combined, these influencers have over 70 billion views on YouTube. And all of these influencers have a strong presence on a second platform, ranging from Instagram (13) or Twitch (5) to Facebook (2). Activate also analyzed data for the top U.S. media company creators on YouTube and found 49% are in the Entertainment category 22% are in Music & Dance and 9% are in News & Politics.
Next, Activate analyzed for the top U.S. media company creators on Facebook and found 61% are in the Entertainment category and 10% are in News & Politics Web video platforms satisfy different content preferences along with media companies which will need to play to each platform’s strengths. Their analysis extends beyond YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch; it includes Instagram and Snapchat, too.
The research summarizes that attracting theses these creators and to capture user attention, web video platforms are attempting to move into each others’ turfs.” So, watch initiatives like YouTube Red, YouTube Live, YouTube TV, Facebook Live, and Facebook Watch like a hawk. The video segmentation matrix is shifting almost in real time i.e. day to day.
Social Video and the Shift to Live-streaming
Activate also analyzed live streaming. The medium has exhibited rapid growth in views and time spent. It shows Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, as the leader in this category (with 743,000 average live streaming viewers), followed by YouTube Live (with 318,000), Facebook Live (with 61,000), and Periscope (with 23,000. Activate also predicts” Live-streaming creators will use crowdfunding platforms, such as Patreon, to monetize directly through fans. The data given to Activate was provided by Tublar Insight Labs.
If your business uses videos in their marketing strategy (which you should if you do not) part of the key element of that video to tell a story. Every video, no matter what the message you are trying to convey needs a story behind it.
How To Break Through to Your Customers
“storytelling” in the marketing world is talking at consumers. And, since the “Mad Men” era, brands have used advertising to broadcast their stories at a large audience of consumers. But, it’s stopped working. There are over 600 million devices running ad block software, and the message from consumers is clear: Stop interrupting me – I don’t want to see your ads. At the same time, consumers are constantly connected and literally have the power to make or break a brand at their fingertips. So how do you break through and engage with consumers?”
This is a good question.… it is time to put consumers at the center of our efforts; it’s time to be great story-makers or story tellers. “story-making” is the combination of “art, science, and necessity” that was developed as a response to a “society where the pace of technology and information exchange only continues to speed up; and where consumers only allow brands a few mere moments to make or break a relationship.”
Consumers Value Experiences Over Things
A recent study by Mastercard and retail sales data supports that today, consumers value experiences over things. Mastercard’s Priceless campaign – now in its 20th year – was founded on the insight that experiences matter more than things, but the way it is executed today is much different. Mastercard has evolved its Priceless strategy from a single traditional advertising campaign to a holistic experiential-led marketing platform. What Mastercard has done to change the way they present their information is:
1. Focusing on consumers’ passions,
2. Building experiential platforms.
3. Creating products/technologies that change lives for the better.
Mastercard: Storytelling and Sponsored Videos
Sponsored videos are also part of Mastercard’s “holistic experiential-led marketing platform.” The brand has 76 partners that have made 798 videos, which have a total of 45.5 million views and over 1.3 million engagements. Now, that’s taking story-making to a level that traditional storytellers only reach once in a blue moon. It’s the difference between creating a priceless experience for your customers that they want to share with their friends, family, and colleagues and merely telling a story – even one with emotion – about the features and benefits of your products or services. That’s a very big idea. Remember to use story-telling in your next marketing video. Engagement with your audience is so essential and you have very little time to capture their attention in this day and technical age. (portions of this article are from Tubular Insights weekly)
Snapchat had signed up more US users for its app than its rival Instagram has since the beginning of the year, but new data shows those figures are quickly disappearing.
Brands and video marketers who want to step up their live content game don’t need to look any farther than Facebook Live. The broadcasting platform, which was officially introduced in April 2016 to all Facebook users, has become a favorite destination for the site’s users when they’re looking for live content to entertain and inform them. However, the same type of content that works on YouTube Live, Instagram Live, or even Snapchat or Twitter won’t necessarily be what works best on Facebook Live. Depending on your particular brand, you’ll want to tailor a strategy specifically to the streaming platform to maximize your reach and marketing potential, and make the most out of your Facebook Live video content.
Fortunately, there are at least eight types of content which perform well on Facebook Live. Consider these options when you’re looking for ways to launch or improve your live video strategy:
Ask Me Anything (AMA) and Question & Answer (Q&A) content is a shoe-in for Facebook Live, as many brands boast audiences which use Facebook on a daily basis. AMAs and Q&As are a direct way to communicate with your fans, but make sure they don’t become stagnant. Set a new theme or topic for each session you conduct, or bring on a collaborator or person of interest to answer your fans’ most burning questions.
Nine times out of ten, consumers only see the forward-facing side of your brand, the side that markets to them and wants to impress them enough to purchase your products or services. But if you use Facebook Live to take them behind-the-scenes, you’ll find brand loyalty and interest will grow. You can do this by showing them preparations for a red carpet event, revealing the process of how their favorite product is made, or by letting them follow along with a particular employee’s daily duties.
Live streaming is digital media’s answer to traditional live television. As such, it’s only natural for many consumers and social media users to default to platforms like Facebook Live for their news, instead of turning on the TV set. In fact, Pew Research discovered 66% of adults regularly use Facebook to get their news. Use this to your advantage, especially if news is a big part of what your brand covers. Do your best to start broadcasting as soon as a story hits, and talk about the facts as well as your brand’s thoughts or reactions to the news.
Everyone loves a good challenge! If your brand has an idea for a competition or challenge which can be broadcast live, don’t hesitate to do so on Facebook. You’ll attract your fair share of viewers, but you’ll also reap the benefits of views on the archived live stream, too. Encourage your audience to share in the challenge at home (if they’re safely able to) and report on their experiences in real-time using the chat feature.
While how-tos might be one of YouTube’s most-searched video types, they’ve become incredibly popular on Facebook Live, as well. You can use the live streaming platform to not only demonstrate how your own product or services work, but also to show how to perform tasks related to your industry. Doing so builds your reputation as a helpful, trustful brand.
Events or Appearances
The biggest problem with events and appearances used to be their localized nature. But now brands can use Facebook Live to stream such events to viewers around the world. Bringing a big event or celebrity appearance to your Facebook page means you’re reaching consumers who might otherwise not be able to attend the event in person.
Interviews are an easy win for brands who want to connect with their fans, and Facebook Live is the perfect platform to stream them. You can keep things internal and interview executives and employees within your brand, or bring in persons of interest, celebrities, or influencers whom you know your audience will tune in to watch.
Product & Service Announcements
Much in the way live streaming events and appearances allows viewers to tune in regardless of their location in the world, product and service announcements can also be made via Facebook Live to immediately inform consumers of your newest offering. You’ll get to see fans’ reactions in real time, and answer any of their questions within chat to help them better understand the new product or service.
Try using these tips on your next Facebook Live broadcast. And remember, you can use Facebook Live both from your mobile app and your desktop.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Did you know that one third of on line activity is watching videos? Really, it is.
We have known for a while now that video is only increasing in popularity, but I don't think people truly realize the huge influences of video content.
Here's some perspective: did you know that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week? In addition, over half of video content is viewed on a mobile device.
What's interesting, though, are what those stats mean contextually. Think about the turnaround of social content these days. By the time you've come up with a good idea, created it, and then posted it to your Facebook page or YouTube channel, people are onto the next thing. Sad but that is the world we now live in. No attention span because people are just too busy and trying to absorb all this “stuff” in their heads.
When people (brands especially) think about video, they think about it as a long-form, high value piece of content. And the truth is, video is a high value piece of content. It just shouldn't be thought of as an asset that requires thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment and months of work to create. Video is no longer a "professionals-only" content piece. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat (and its long-lost cousin, Vine) have made the barrier to entry for video extraordinarily low. SMB’s still need us video production professionals but yes, those apps do a pretty good job.
Which means, if you want to get into the video content game--and you should--then what's equally as important as coming up with good video ideas is your process for getting from start to finish as quickly as possible. In the world of social media, speed is as important (if not more important) than the idea itself.
Honestly, the same could be said for the blogging world--and really all social content, period. It's a game of attention with a very short lifespan.
It's just that video has been such a "luxury" type of content for so long that the vast majority of brands still consider it out of reach. They think, "Well, we don't have the equipment or we don't have the budget to make something professional," so they don't even try taking a step in that direction. Meanwhile, Instagram personalities are vlogging their daily lives on video in their Stories and not only attracting the most attention, but reducing the barrier of entry.
Video doesn't need to be a big production anymore.
But it's also about business goals. The vision has never been about just creating one amazing video, assuming the world will stop, look at it, and clap their hands. Social doesn't work that way. You need to create video content, quickly and easily. It's the consistency that drives business. Try and figure out what drives your customers. What drives your brand and put those thoughts into your video.
Here's another stat that proves the value of social video from a business perspective: videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 80% or more.
The habit of consistency is what differentiates the "one-hit wonders" from the brands, businesses, and influencers that create content on a regular basis--and actually build audiences around their video content. Consistency. That's what your video strategy should be based around. Remember, don’t spend months on a video project and no, you don’t need thousands of dollars anymore to hire equipment and an advertising agency to get your video out. You can do it! And if you feel you can’t reach out to us. We are happy to help.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
While live streaming has been around for a while now, only in the last year or so has this particular form of online video become immensely popular. In fact, according to livestream, 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than they did in 2015. Additionally, research from MarketsandMarkets predicts the video streaming industry as a whole will be worth around $70 billion by 2021. It should come as no surprise, then, that YouTube has recently upped its game to cater to this burgeoning interest in live video. The platform’s live streaming feature, which last year expanded to mobile devices for select users, has grown rapidly in popularity.
If your business has yet to experiment with YouTube Live for your video marketing purposes, you’d find no better time than right now. However, before you dive in blindly, you should make sure you’re following some of the best practices for this platform. Doing so will not only help you get the most return on your efforts, but also ensure you’re properly capitalizing on everything YouTube Live has to offer your brand.
For streams, you want to schedule in advance, instead select “Events,” which gives you the ability to preview your stream before it’s live, have backup redundant streams, and start and stop the broadcast at any time. Like impromptu streams, you will be able to fill in your title, add a description, and more. Scheduled streams can be up to 8 hours long, and their archived videos can also be set to private in your Video Manager.
On mobile, the process for going live is a little different. Users will load up the YouTube app on their phones, select the capture button, and click “Go Live.” They can then enter a title, take a small thumbnail photo, and edit various privacy, age restriction, chat, and promotion-based settings before starting their broadcasts, which are saved to the creators’ channels when the stream ends.
YouTube Live: 10 Tips and Best Practices!
Now that we’ve covered what YouTube Live is and how it works, it’s time to delve into some tips and best practices for the platform. Note that some of these suggestions only apply to the desktop version of Live vs. the mobile one, and vice versa; you should also be aware that as Live develops and grows, any of these best practices could end up changing. So staying on top of the latest news around YouTube Live will, of course, ultimately help your brand find success on the platform.
You’ll also want to test different live stream lengths and content types to see what most resonates with your audience. For example, in Tubular’s Q1 2017 State of Online Video report, gaming content ranked as the most successful type of live programming at 53%; technology (15%) and news and politics (12%) content is also popular with audiences. Depending on your brand’s industry and goals, see if you can’t incorporate these genres to help grow your viewership. To get the most out of your and your audience’s YouTube Live experience, follow these tips and best practices:
#1 Aim for Quality
This should go without saying, but you want to make sure your live streams are the highest quality (both visually and audibly) they can possibly be to provide your viewers with an enjoyable live experience. We’ll outline ways you can do this in more tips below; for now, keep quality at the top of your mind. Of course, a beautiful, problem-free live stream isn’t a guarantee, especially if you’re using the mobile YouTube Live option (thanks, wi-fi!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to ensure your broadcast is in the most tip-top shape it can be.
#2 Promote Early
If you’re not planning on doing an impromptu live stream, you can schedule one in advance via the “Events” option. This allows you to promote your YouTube Live stream far ahead of it actually going live. Using social media or your brand’s email newsletter, you can let your audience know when you’ll be broadcasting live. You can also create a live stream trailer to promote on your YouTube channel, in other YouTube videos, and across your social profiles. Finally, consider updating your channel art to promote the upcoming live stream.
#3 Use the Right Equipment
As part of your efforts to ensure your live stream is high quality, make sure you’re using equipment which can handle the broadcast. For example, you’ll need to have the following:
To use YouTube’s recommended settings for your live stream, check out this help article on which bitrates, resolutions, and encoder settings are best for your live stream. Note that broadcasts conducted through the “Stream now” option won’t require you to choose a bitrate as YouTube will automatically detect your encoder’s settings.
Also, make sure to provide information like metadata, title, thumbnail, description, and even closed captions if you want your stream to be found. Some of this is required, and is in your best interest to provide, anyway. However, the most important requirement to follow is clearing the rights to any third-party content (i.e. music, graphics, images, etc.) you might be using in your live stream.
#5 Plan Ahead and TEST
For pre-planned live stream events, it’s important to plan and test out all of your equipment to ensure streaming works the way you want it to. Some experts suggest testing at least two weeks in advance if you have the time; at minimum, you should test 24 hours before your live stream to ensure bandwidth quality, technical functionality, and redundancy. Test all video and audio settings and tools you plan to use in-stream for at least 30 minutes straight, and turn off any firewalls your computer may be running to ensure the best connection to the internet as possible.
Also, make sure you pick the right kind of streaming before you go live. As noted above, using the “Stream now” option gives you up to 12 hours of continual broadcasting, but the “Event” option is only 8 hours. Therefore, if you’re planning a live stream longer than 8 hours, you’ll need to use the “Stream now” option or your content won’t be saved past those 8 hours. Finally, keep in mind the YouTube Video Editor only allows editing of videos 3 hours or less, so if you want to be able to edit your livestream post hoc, you’ll need to keep it under that time frame.
As for mobile live streams, you should make sure you’re on the strongest internet connection possible before going live. To further prevent interruptions, try setting your phone to airplane mode, which should block incoming calls and texts that would interrupt your stream and draw your attention away from your live event.
#6 Include In-Stream Content
While you obviously have a reason to be doing a live stream in the first place, you want to make sure the broadcast is as engaging for your audience as possible, as well as growing your brand’s presence on YouTube. The easiest way to do this is by including in-stream content during your live event. For example, include both visual and verbal calls-to-action if you want to draw your viewers’ attention to a particular link or action, like asking them to subscribe to your channel. Just remember that if you use third-party content, you must have the rights to show or play it in your stream.
#7 Start Ahead of Time
Starting your live stream a few minutes early will enable you to check the integrity of the live stream and your equipment before getting started. You’ll also be able to send out final promotional social posts or emails to help generate more interest in your broadcast. If you enabled chat, starting early also allows users to jump into the chat screen and talk with each other before you officially dive into the content portion of your stream.
#8 Monitor Feedback
During the live event, make sure you’re paying attention to the chat box. Sometimes you may receive feedback to help you improve your stream, like a viewer telling you to move your microphone closer to your mouth so they can hear you better. If you’re not able to keep up with chat yourself, make sure other team members from your brand are available to help monitor and respond to users’ comments.
#9 Always Have a Plan B
If you’re unable to have two encoders for redundancy’s sake, and something with your live stream fails, you’ll need to have a plan B. In the case of a desktop-based live stream, you might have your laptop next to your desk computer to use as a backup, or you could opt for YouTube Live on mobile. If you’re live streaming via the mobile version, you may not be near a computer should your broadcast fail; however, you can do your best to move to a position with better wi-fi or make sure you have a mobile wi-fi device to keep your stream rolling.
#10 Capitalize on the Finished Stream
Hitting the “stop streaming” button doesn’t mean you’re done with your work. If you want to make the most of the broadcast you just conducted, consider adding it into a playlist of related content, or starting a new playlist solely for your live streamed content. You can also edit your stream and turn it into smaller highlight videos for distribution on your channel, or embedding on outside sites. Finally, make sure to promote your live stream archive and related clips via social media, your newsletter, or your website. Always keep in mind that while "Live Streaming On You Tube is great, doing pre-recorded events for your brand is still the real way to go. Live events is obviously exciting and allows for you to create urgency, interaction and other call to action but also mistakes can happen. I hope this helps and as always email me or hit me up on how FDMC can help you!
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Video Marketing has become increasingly important for small businessesof all sizes. And YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for posting and sharing those videos.
If you have a YouTube channel for your small business, or are thinking of starting one, here are 20 ideas for type of content you can post. Hope you enjoy them!
Video Ideas for YouTube
If your business is a product-based one, you can use YouTube as a platform for highlighting specific products such as widgets, bar glasses, Tiki patio furniture..
Then when your business comes out with new products, you can create videos that offer a preview of all the new features.
Video can be a great way to show your products in action. This is especially relevant for products like video games. PlayStation often posts game play videos for the games available on its device. Locally you can do the same with your proucts.
If your product is something that might require a bit of an explanation, you might also consider creating videos aimed at simply explaining it to beginners. This can help them get acquainted enough with your offering to gain interest.
You can also create videos that compare multiple products to help your customers make more informed choices. An example would be if you sell air conditioners, you might show the difference of various sizes of the conditioners as to how many rooms it would cool. This would help your customers out!
If your business releases collections of products, like lines of clothing or similar items, you can also create videos around those releases, Say you offer a new line of home made soap here is your chance to make it a premier star out of it.
Your YouTube content can certainly be intended to inform or persuade. But don’t forget to entertain your audience as well. Lego does this with mini movies that feature some of its popular product sets. You can do it for your business as well. Having good editing software here is something I would suggest highly.
You can also share information about special offers or limited time promotions so that your YouTube viewers are constantly up-to-date with your offerings.
To create more engagement with your customers and share content that’s relevant to your audience, you can create videos that share some of your customers’ stories through interviews or similar formats. I did this for a local insurance company and it worked out well.
Behind the Scenes Videos
You can also create videos that show some behind the scenes views of your company or products. Doing a "Meet The Staff" video or "A day In The.." with one of your route drivers is another example.
When your company reaches a big milestone, or has a big accomplishment, you can create a YouTube video to celebrate and share the news!
People often watch videos to learn how to accomplish certain tasks. So you can make these helpful videos in a way that includes some of your products or services.
You can also create videos that offer simple tips on a particular subject. If you are a real estate person (and boy do we have real estate people all of a sudden here) you could do a video on tips on preparing your home for sale or showing. Tips such as painting or yard work. You get it.
Similar to how you might discuss various topics on a blog, you can create a video where you simply share your expertise or some thoughts on a particular topic. Let's say you own a gym and you do a series of videos on fitness or running. This would be a great example of discussion videos.
Video can also be a great format for showing off content from your audience, especially if you can collect clips from people as part of a contest. GoPro is one example of a company that has done this well but make sure you follow all laws before doing this.
Even if a video doesn’t directly relate to your products, it can still offer value to your target audience. Inspirational videos can sort of break up all those videos that specifically relate to your products or services. Assist a non-profit for example and shoot some video be kind and don't make a big commercial about yourself out of it.
If you create enough video content regularly, you can turn it into a web series. Red Bull does this with some of the behind the scenes content it shoots with various extreme sports stars as an example.
You can also partner with influencers relevant to your audience and ask them to star in your videos as a way of creating quality content and growing your audience. Examples would be factory reps or distributor reps that you buy your products from for re-sale.
On or around holidays, you can also make special videos intended to show some festive spirit and have some fun, We had a blast making a bunch of these for some of our customers last year. Yes, you can get them done professionally if you wish.
You can also simply have some fun with your audience by posting funny commercials or other video content on your YouTube channel. Brevard County Sheriff's Office has been getting thousands of hits and national publicity doing these while bringing up awareness on crime protection and safety.
I hope you enjoy these tips and if our company can be of any assistance to you in getting you started, please call or email us. We are YouTube certified partners and we can help you with that next video project as well.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
In the past week, Facebook and YouTube have both announced some changes to their video advertising formats. These changes won't take place until later this year (or perhaps early next) but I know video marketers, too. They HATE to change things. But, with that kind of advanced warning, who can really complain?
So, what are these changes? Nothing too super radical but they are going to be noticeable. And why did Facebook, whose mantra for developers has long been “move fast and break things,” and YouTube, which changes at a rate of 33% a year, decide to alert us to these alterations in their video advertising formats several months in advance? Well from my research, here is what is coming down the pike.
New Ways to Watch Facebook Video
On Feb. 14, 2017, Facebook announced four news ways to watch Facebook video. The biggest change involves bringing sound to videos in the News Feed between now and the end of the year. As video marketers know, videos in the News Feed have played silently up to now — unless a user tapped on a video to hear the sound. But, as younger people have been watching more Snapchat videos on their smartphones, they’ve apparently come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. Who knew? So, Facebook has decided – after testing sound on in its News Feed and “hearing positive feedback” – to carefully follow in Snapchat’s footsteps and slowly bring sound to more people, as well. When this update rolls out, sound will fade in and out as Facebook users scroll through videos in their News Feed.
Now, if your smartphone is set to silent, then Facebook videos won’t play with sound. And, if you never want videos to play with sound, then you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” in Settings. Facebook also says it will be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.
In other news, Facebook also announced changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices. It made it possible to minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. And it announced a new Facebook video app for TV. But, these changes are less likely to ruffle anyone’s feathers.
All media companies have to carefully balance what their readers, listeners, viewers, and users want with what their advertisers would like to have. Back in the 1980's when I still had hair and "gag me with a chainsaw" was a popular catchphrase, two-thirds of the advertisers in PC/Computing (an example) wanted their ads to appear in the first third of the magazine, even though reader research showed that the most popular part was the middle of the publication where the cover story ran. Today, advertisers may prefer that their videos autoplay with the sound on, but that may or may not be welcomed by the vast majority of Facebook users. Snapchat users are used to sound because the audio they hear instantly typically comes from their friends videos. Not from advertisers.
With the advent of Facebook Live, we may see a similar response, but it’s too soon to tell. So, why would Facebook hear “positive feedback” after testing sound on in its News Feed? Well, not every Facebook user sees videos in their News Feed. The stats sate that only 500 million Facebook users even see videos, so the test may have been conducted using the most video-friendly segment of the social network’s users. And 85% of these Facebook users currently watch videos with the sound off. So, did Facebook conduct its test using the 15% that currently watch videos with the sound on? And as the social network rolls out videos that autoplay with sound, will the feedback continue to be as positive? In other words, kudos to Facebook for giving everyone a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 13th birthday, the social network is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should still watch this particular change like a hawk, because sound may not be welcomed by as many Facebook users as advertisers would like. The jury is still out.
YouTube to End 30 Second Unskippable Ads
Google provided an official statement on Feb. 17, 2017, that said YouTube will drop the unskippable ad format beginning early next year. A Google spokesman added that YouTube will “focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.” The 30-second unskippable ads were popular with advertisers. So, apparently this format didn’t work for YouTube users, who have apparently come to expect the ability to choose which video ads they want to watch – which is what TrueView video ads gave them seven years ago. Advertisers will have until 2018 to make adjustments to their plans. And video ads that are shorter than 30-seconds, including 20-second spots, can still be made unskippable. Plus, YouTube has been touting its six-second unskippable bumper ad format since its introduction in April 2016. Again this is nice that YouTube gave consumers and advertisers a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 12th birthday, the video-sharing site is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should recognize that YouTube appears to be giving its users want they want while Facebook is testing the limits of what its advertisers would like to have.
Although both video platforms and trying to balance the two competing forces that any media company feels, one is zigging, while the other is zagging. That means this isn’t a horse race where both competitors are trying to pull out ahead of each other on the same well-defined track. This is more like cross-country running where two different teams are competing in a race across open-air courses over natural terrain that is not well marked. That makes the changes to Facebook and YouTube’s video advertising formats well worth watching – even if we won’t know the outcome until next year.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
If you are running your own business, then you know how tough it can be. A blog significantly improves search rankings and gives you a chance to connect with more customers.
But what if you’re not an amazing writer? And what if you don’t know what to blog about?
Don’t worry. The first blog post is always the hardest. That’s why I collected examples of different kinds of posts for your inspiration.
Check these out and consider writing to tell your story, announce a sale, or give a guide to your products today.
Make a List of Influencers to Follow
Here’s an easy way to create good content – and offers the potential to be widely-shared:
Make a list of the top 25 blogs, Twitter accounts, or even Tumblrs, for someone interested in your industry to follow. Compile that list, write a few sentences about why you included each blog or Twitter account, publish it, and send it to the people you feature. If you do it tastefully, there’s a good chance that they’ll share the post with their audiences. That will get you lots of traffic – in addition to improving your SEO.
Answer Questions About Your Industry or Vertical
Some of the most successful pieces of content marketing ever comes via Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas.
River Pools and Spas installs fiberglass pools, the cost of which is not always transparent. Sheridan decided to write blog posts about every aspect of fiberglass pools.
Sheridan’s posts were so good that the New York Times profiled him with a headline: “A Revolutionary Marketing Strategy: Answer Customers’ Questions.”
His blog posts often rank on the first page of Google for their search terms. And that’s driven both traffic and sales.
Profile Your Team or Staff
Your team is made up of interesting people. Why not feature their stories? There’s a variety of things that you can do. You can write up a short bio of them that includes their interests and where they’ve been. This can also take the format of a Q&A, when you spend 15 minutes chatting with someone on your team and then write up the questions and their responses.
This is an especially easy way to generate some good content. Most importantly, it gives your customers a sense of who they’re dealing with. When they purchase a product from your store, they know that they’re buying from real people with real passions.
Give a Sneak Peek of New Products or Services (and Ask for Feedback)
There’s two ways that this tactic can be valuable:
First, it generates excitement from your customers for a new product. If they like what you do and are loyal towards your brand, they’ll feel especially good that they get to see a new thing first.
Second, it has the potential to increase engagement. If you manufacture your products, consider floating a prototype for people to see; they may offer valuable input on what can be improved. And if you don’t manufacture your own products, ask your readers which of the options you can stock most appeals to them. Let them anticipate something that they’ll buy from you.
Make a Tutorial for Your Products
Everybody wins when your customers know how to use your products.
Not every product needs an in-depth tutorial on how it's used. But for certain products this can be a big help.
Does your product have cool, non-obvious uses? Is it best enjoyed in a certain condition? Is there something that the customer should do to make the most of it?
Point these things out. Potential customers may see one more way to use your product and existing customers may be pleased to discover a new way to use it.
Announce a Sale
This one's obvious. When you have, a big sale coming up, announce it on your blog. It'll give people something to link to.
Use the space to talk about the products you have on sale, and if it's applicable, why these products are right for the occasion. (It may be, for example, the perfect present for Mother's Day.) And if you're able to design something, put together a graphic.
Run a Contest
Running a contest is like announcing a sale. They're both effective and attractive ways to get more attention for your store. Just make sure that you’re not making the common mistakes with giveaways and contests.
You can have all sorts of giveaways, of your products, of gift cards, or even special experiences like a visit to your store. And entering the contest can take a variety of forms. The easiest way is to submit a comment at the end of the post. You can also ask people to tweet about your store or share it on another social media platform.
Set up Gleam to make the most out of your contest. Gleam offers one-click entry, built-in viral sharing, and multiple ways of picking new winners.
Write About an Event You Participated In
If you help put on an event then you should definitely write about it. But you can also write about something that you don’t own, like your thoughts on a conference.
Write up your impressions and thoughts about a conference or meetup you went to. It shows that you’re paying attention to where your industry is going and people will appreciate the insights. Make sure to snap a few pictures and post them up too.
Tell the History of Your Company
Being an entrepreneur means something special. Few people think of it, and even fewer people act on it.
So, what’s your founding story?
Share the story of why you decided to become an entrepreneur. Was it driven by an event? Was it the result of a special trip? Were you struck by inspiration of some sort? Tell the story and connect better with your customers.
Make a Video: Product Tutorial
Okay, we don’t want to give the impression that content marketing is only blogging. It can be making videos, writing emails, and other kinds of content-generation too.
Sometimes you just can’t write about how to use a product. You have to show, not tell. Then it’s time to post a video on YouTube (or some other platform).
Besides, video marketing is effective. By one estimate, consumers are 64% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.
Shoot a product tutorial to introduce your product, its benefits, and how it can best be used, or talk to us here at FDMC Social and Digital Video on how we can help you.
Make a Video: How Your Product Is Made or the Service You Offer
Our last suggestion for an easy piece of content: Make a video of how your product is made.
Do you have a very interesting manufacturing process? Does it require special tools and equipment? Is the process fun to look at? Shoot a video of its production.
You know your business well, and there are lots of opportunities to create good content by telling people about cool things in your industry. Write a blog post, shoot a video, or generate some other type of content today to tell your story and improve SEO.
FDMC Social and Digital Video