As part of our forthcoming social video guide for brands, we recently caught up with short-form content creator Matt Willis from Melbourne’s Yelldesign, who shared with us some of his best insights for helping brands get results using short-form, or ‘social’, video.
The following is an excerpt from the full interview which can be downloaded as part of the guide. Register here to receive a copy
Talk us through the recent evolution of social video for marketing and advertising?
The appetite for short-form content has gone from strength-to-strength. After starting out with Vine’ videos, we’re now seeing a big jump in short-form videos across mainstream social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which have now figured out how to monetise them.
[This is] as opposed to Vine, which unfortunately didn’t monetise and is now just a camera app.
As the constraints on video lengths changed from 15 -seconds to 30-seonds on Instagram initially brands just uploaded their TV ads to the platform. But the creative approach required to be effective on these channels is an entirely different proposition.
What are the most effective social video formats that are working at the moment?
While there is a convincing argument to create video in the format native to the platforms, clients have limited budgets so we often get asked to create a video that’s that will work in both square and landscape formats. And because our videos often are stop motion ones - which are more labour intensive content to create - we pretty make sure all our videos can work in all those formats.
Have you done much work in the vertical or portrait formats for mobile with the popularity of Snapchat & Instagram Stories?
Yes, generally, its people who can afford it with large budgets who want to purpose-fit content to specific platforms, but the majority now want to get content that will fit across all the platforms because of budget constraints. But we have other clients who are happy to take a square video and use it on Instagram stories and put their captions and tags and links above and below that in the vertical format. So, you do get people using all sorts of tricks.
What would you say to brands who weighing up the cost of creating social video content vs a static image? Why does the cost & effort make it worthwhile in your opinion?
You just need to look at the metrics from Facebook and look at how much of the content is viewed in a video vs a static image format. According to our data and customer feedback, video is getting more of the attention and it works the same on Twitter as well. There is data to support how much more a Tweet gets engaged with if it contains both a video link and a static image.
Tell us about some of your recent project successes and why they worked
We produced a How-to Tiramisu recipe stop motion video for The Modern Baking Company.
They wanted to show people how they could use their ‘Sponge Fingers’ product over the holiday period. It was shot in one day and to-date it has been the most popular video the brand has done.
What advice would you offer to brands approaching creators and agencies with a social video project idea?
We try and chat about the length of the video first. With the How-to Tiramisu example, 30-seconds was just the right length, the idea being that people will watch waiting for the bus, for instance. The video needs to be quickly and easily consumed, making people feel confident they can go home and make the recipe themselves that day.
We also like to show as many of the ingredients in the frame so there aren’t too many ins and outs. It’s all there so all you’re really doing is mixing it up. We will then typically employ a couple of nice transitions using some stop-motion trickery that enables us to slide things in and out so it looks like the recipe is coming together effortlessly, and then finally inject a little bit of character in there.
For example, when the sponge fingers are popping into the bowl they have a bit of a giggle which leaves the viewer with a smile on their face. Also worth noting is the fact Facebook recommends that video makes the best use of the first 3-seconds and try and create what is known as a thumb stopper i.e. a video that engages the viewer, so they watch the content and stop scrolling ahead.
The videos that seem to work the best don’t necessarily have big production values, but they have a strong concept. This is the most important thing.
If you’re looking for some extra creative inspiration check out Yelldesign’s cool Paper Meals series where the guys really do let their imagination run wild.