'Video To Go' with Facebook: Creating thumb-stopping creative

Kat Stark • 21st Dec 2018

You probably don’t have to be in the media industry to realise just how important video content has become lately. It seems like users, brands and the places they’re choosing to use to reach new and existing audiences are all turning towards video-based executions for their advertising. So naturally, when Facebook invited us down to their HQ in London to take part in an ‘interactive experience’ that would allow us to explore the possibilities of emerging ways we could use video – we were pretty keen. 

So, in the spirit of sharing (we are talking about social media after all), I thought I’d put together a quick rundown of some key takeaways from the day. 

**DISCLAIMER: I’m not a creative, but working on various social media campaigns over the last 18 months, I’d like to think I know what works on social**

Content in motion

One of the most striking predictions that was discussed was that by 2021, 78% of all mobile traffic will be video. Campaigns that combine both static and video achieved a conversion lift at 6% above those that just used static assets. Stats show that 79% of consumers would rather watch a video to learn about a product than read text on a page.

Creative really counts

The quality of creative used has a huge impact on ad delivery, especially on Facebook and Instagram. Ultimately, no matter how clever the targeting strategy is, better creative simply equals better ROAS – a no brainer, really. On average, people check their phones up to 80 times a day and the speed at which they do this is another reason that eye-catching content is a must. Remember, the competition is cute baby/pet pics and in one week the average user scrolls through more on Facebook than the height of Big Ben. So optimising content to be as short, snappy and to the point is crucial. Users can process things very quickly so don’t be afraid to play with the speed at which your video runs at.

Brand campaign? Direct response? Or both?

Another new trend that video has brought to the table is that it blurs the lines between brand and DR campaigns. On Facebook, the number of advertisers using video in DR campaigns has increased almost fourfold YoY.

TV… but not as we know it

Gone are the days when brands could get away with simply editing down their high-end TV advert and posting it on their social channels. Today it’s all about creating eye-catching content that compliments the rest of your campaign. Advertisers now have easy access to video through Facebook’s Create to Convert framework. Described by them as “an easy framework to add lightweight motion to still images to create more compelling and effective direct-response ads”, they’ve broken it down into four formats:

Basic motion – pretty much static with some movement
Brand in motion – emphasis on the brand
Benefit in motion – show the benefit of the product
Demo in motion – demonstrates the product in use.

No budget, no problem

Instagram Stories is the fastest growing platform and around a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses making it a great opportunity for showcasing video content. Repurposing assets for Instagram can be easy. Video content doesn’t always have to be a sleek, high-end production – users often prefer to watch things that have more of an organic and gritty feel to them. When Instagram gives users the ability to create great content of their own – there’s really no excuse not to try it out. 

A few things to remember when creating video for social:

Try to capture your audience’s attention quickly. Show the brand within the first 3 seconds and put your hero image front and centre.
Bookend your brand by putting your logo at both the start and finish.
Design for ‘sound off’ users – subtitles or even a prompt to turn their sound on can make all the difference. 
Sound is different for stories – 60% of users are listening to stories with sound on, it’s much more immersive than video in feed.
Remix existing assets to create something new.
Design your video with an objective in mind – do you want to drive traffic, generate engagement or tell a story?
Play around more. Experiment with speed and snappy scenes.
Test and learn.

Here in the media team, we love working and experimenting with new content formats – and video certainly offers us plenty of new ways for our clients to put their message out there and get great results back. It was fascinating to hear from Facebook about how they see video as a way of expanding opportunities for brands and we’re looking forward to putting some of this theory into practice for our own clients!

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