Most business-based video content is consumed on social media. Jammy Custard shares a rundown of the top 5 factors to consider when optimising your video content for social. Here we go:

Most business-based video content is consumed on social media. Jammy Custard shares a rundown of the top 5 factors to consider when optimising your video content for social. Here we go:

Square format

Proportionality and layout design of most social feeds mean that it’s possible to fill a user’s screen with just your content, provided it’s in a square format. The effectiveness of using square formatting is amplified when you consider mobile usage, as most feeds are scrolled through with the device in Portrait. A conventional video format will scale down to roughly 30% of the screen.When actioning on the video, widescreen format videos would then need the user to clumsily rotate the device, while square format videos will sit nicely in the centre with any actionable buttons located above and below the video, rather than on top.

Audio

Straight up, hearing is a sense that can provide a lot of emphasis and emotion so you should always design sound into a video. Nonetheless, as videos autoplay as scrolling focuses on video, you need to be able to convey a message (or at least generate intrigue) without sound.

This is an issue that quickly gets complex, but to keep things brief consider:

Subtitles and kinetic typography

When there’s a point to be made, using text during the video has become a norm. The main triggers for this have been ‘Autoplay’ and usage of phones in quiet/public spaces (commuting for example). Using text on the screen makes it more likely that someone will stop to absorb. The trick with text is, of course, reading means focusing!

You have two different choices; you can use the conventional subtitle route, or alternatively, incorporate full statements or just essential words into a scene’s space. A classic example of the kinetic typography in action is in this video:

Every year players of @TNLUK help us to care for the places you love. National Lottery players, to see how you’ve helped come and join us on Wednesday 13 December when you can visit FOR FREE! Find out how at https://t.co/fPrUFHezT3 #ThanksToYoupic.twitter.com/kslIeQader

— National Trust (@nationaltrust) December 11, 2017

The National Lottery Ticket Day with the National Trust. By the National Trust and Jammy Custard

If you think back, you’ve probably even seen film trailers use either one of these options.

Knowing your audience is the most significant key here. Deciding whether to use subtitles or kinetic type should be based on your audience’s knowledge, the level of detail required, the duration of the video, the complexity and size of the subject matter on screen, and the amount of movement it needs to support. Branding may also be another important factor, but the important thing is to decide where a focus on text or visual is a priority.

Don’t let this be an afterthought either, as including text visually comes with a lot of technical and timing nuances, so start thinking about this during storyboarding.

Looping video

Videos hosted on social media platforms can have the ability to loop and immediately replay without instruction. The goal posts of what qualifies a video to loop seem to move from time to time, but making a video loop seamlessly from start to end is a ‘sneaky’ way of ensuring the viewer understands the message. No, you’re not aiming for a state of trance with pretty visuals, but a visually enjoyable short video statistically is likely to be played more than something which is long and has a very definitive end.

We like to try and transition from the end slate back into the beginning with the right amount of timing in between, but do recognise when this might not be suitable or possible. Call to Actions are very important, for instance.

Where to host the video

If you can, try to upload the video to the actual social network. Doing so guarantees many of the qualities that define social video above, including autoplay and looping playback. More significantly, a square format video can be uploaded, meaning you can fill up that feed view with your content.
If you enjoyed this content, try having a coffee with us! We’re always happy to talk you through the above in more detail. Cardiff Bay has a cool range of cafes, too!

Thank you for reading,

The Jammies.

Who doesn’t love an animated gif? Well, like mediums of communication it depends on the context and timing, but as a means of grabbing someone’s attention as they perform their 30-minute routine social media check; snappy, short video is an incredibly powerful tool, one that we at Jammy Custard feel is not exploited nearly enough by businesses.

Marketing savvy businesses have become comfortable with using promotional and explainer videos, lasting around 1-2 minute duration to woo audiences. But with social feeds being dominated by moving content, what does the rise of the Pop-Culture gif, specifically, tell us about social feed comms?

Most social network comment sections are primed with .gif libraries. The content in these libraries is usually a scene from a TV show, film or a pet. These libraries exist so users can emphasise an emotion and use a memorable, often humorous anecdote to support their thoughts. There’s a big, flashing, neon sign in the previous statement that should be grabbing your attention, and it reads ’emphasise an emotion’. That is one of the most significant reasons why short video will grow in popularity and why you should consider creating and using short video.

Look at the key benefits:

How can a business use ‘branded’ short video?

Here are two points businesses are beginning to understand about short video usage:

1. By conveying emotion, you can humanise a brand – this is what drives most gif and short video usage; a means of expression, likely with a dash of ‘light relief’.

Businesses can already use the standard free-to-use gifs of famous film, tv and meme characters, and used well; these can be a great response.

How can a business take this one step further?

Take a look at sports. Lots of teams and personalities use gifs and short videos to tell the story of a sporting event. For example, Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 Team have a fantastic bank of video gifs to provide anecdotal responses to moments their driver’s face during a Grand Prix. It shows their drivers ‘showing off’ a mood or reaction. But importantly, it ties into their brand and brand’s journey through the championship’s highs and lows.

Daniel Ricciardo Gif
Max Verstappen GIF

Businesses are still exploring how short videos such as the above can add their brand story, but as ever, research into different industries can provide a wealth of inspiration. How about saying “thank you”, “celebrating a big win today” or simply “have a nice weekend” in a way that is unique to your brand? What could that mean to your customers and your team?

2. Remove the audiences ‘effort’ to take in something important

Let’s imagine you have an event or an important deadline for a competition coming up. You need to boost the attentiveness of your audience and get them to act. A post that prints the objective truth that ‘time is running out’ would be well supported by an animated short video that either:

Either response taps into a person’s behaviour and is more likely to create a reaction to the situation.

When it comes to selling a product or service, we will stick our neck on the line and say, sometimes, a short video with one clear definition can sometimes be money better spent than trying to pack lots of things into a video (it’s why we created our social video package). It’s also worth thinking about how splitting up messages into individual points gives you fodder for social content. Quantity and Quality!

(caption: When social media account managers have a full posts schedule all worked out)

Take a short video campaign we did for Cawdor Vauxhall dealership. They could have gone for an explainer video that explained they had new car offers and then went on to explain who Cawdor was and why they are worth the visit. They didn’t need to. The hero message that people are interested in is a new Vauxhall offer. Qualifying Cawdor as a good dealership can come from other content sources. The point is, the audience is hooked.

(caption: a short ‘moving billboard’ social video for new Vaxuhall car deals. By Cawdor Cars and Jammy Custard Animation)

Context is everything. Use short videos if the message is simple enough to explain, or to support other content. For the latter, they are there to suggest that the post’s material is vital enough to stop the audience scrolling past. Finally, short little slick videos and animations are another opportunity to present your branding and show you invest in your image and therefore reputation – a point that’s not seemingly picked up on very much.

Beware the pitfalls of short videos

Finally, be creative

Don’t forget, limitations such as duration can provide the perfect opportunity to create something genuinely original and compelling. Not all big marketing problems require big solutions.

If you are interested in exploring gif content, we at Jammy Custard are just a phone call away. Thank you for reading.