Making video work harder


Nobody killed the video star

Online video is ubiquitous. In fact, by 2021, CISCO reckons it will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Facebook’s news feed algorithm aggressively promotes video posts, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram are bringing the TV ad to the smartphone, interspersed between user-generated ‘stories’. In short, video is far from dead and there’s no doubt that it ought to be an essential part of any marketing strategy.

But video still has its barriers. In their end of 2016 survey, Buffer found that 83% of marketers want to create more video, but are held back by time and resource constraints. There’s plenty of truth in this. Doing video right takes time to produce (but advances in technology are making it cheaper) and there are a lot of logistical issues to overcome, such as getting key stakeholders or actors in the same room at the same time or securing shoot locations.

And cut for every channel

When it’s done right, video can produce great ROI. Gone are the days, though, when video lived solely on your brand’s website or YouTube channel…or even confined to the dusty digital shelf that is your internal server or intranet.

The trick to making it work even harder is to make your content work for every platform possible. That means producing an edit of your main video that works for Instagram, one that works for Snapchat ads, one that works for YouTube pre-roll, one that works on your Instagram feed, one for Facebook, and so on…

When this happens, your video gets more views, more engagement, and ultimately works a lot harder for its money. Better still, you’re shooting a video for each channel, but creating each edit from a single shoot.

What’s in a name?

We’ve done this successfully with HSBC and Cathay Pacific, creating shorter versions of their main video that worked perfectly on social media to ensure their message got as far as possible.

The industry calls this ‘content atomisation’, but we just call it common sense. After all, why would you want to make sure your investment in video content gets the best results possible? Beyond that, video content atomisation means your audience can get your watch your video wherever it’s most convenient for them, whether that’s on their smartphones or on the smart TV.

Plan ahead to make it right

Of course, to get this right, you’ll want to plan ahead and work out which platforms your video is likely to live on. This affects things like shots used (does everything need to be framed roughly within a perfect square or fit within Snapchat’s vertical video format?) and timings (do we need to bring something exciting into the first five seconds of the edit for YouTube pre-roll?).

And, while we’re on the subject of considering your platforms, it’s important to remain audience appropriate. Snapchat might be the platform where ads elicit the highest purchase intent (at least according to MediaScience), but if your audience aren’t likely to use the platform in the first place, then it’s not worth pursuing.

Still not convinced?

Video content atomisation isn’t just about giving your audience a choice of platforms, or getting more video for your money, it’s about seeing results, too. In Google’s 2011 The Zero-Moment Of Truth study, they revealed that the number of sources a consumer will consult when making a purchase decision doubled from 5.2 to 10.4. Imagine the influence you can have if they can find you everywhere they look.