Note: This is intended to be a quick summary. If you are looking for a more detailed outline or personalized guidance, feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The age of broadcast television was a special time. This was before “binge watching” was a thing. Words like “on-demand” meant you could purchase premium movies or sports events and “streaming” wasn’t a common term yet. Social media itself didn’t exist, and even when friendster and myspace came along, the opportunity for video — let alone branded video — was far from obvious.
But the world has changed. Video is everywhere. On-demand is an expectation. Binge watching is the norm. Social media means YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and now, TikTok. And for the most part, enterprises have been (slowly) adjusting.
However, brands still regularly fail to capitalize on the opportunity that comes with social video. And that’s because processes set up for the age of broadcast have been slow to evolve.
When I speak with brand marketers, I often things like “we want to tell our brand story” and we want to “come across as authentic.” There’s an emphasis on things like “awareness” and “engagement” and “views.” But when I ask about what social media really is and what it can uniquely do for a brand, the crowd goes silent.
Here’s the open secret: social media is a goldmine for brands. We now live in the age of data, iteration, and ephemeral content. There is lower risk to bad content and high upside to experimentation. Brands with a test-and-learn mentality will win.
Enterprises that don’t have systems set up to quickly experiment by pushing out content that incorporates new ideas — even those that aren’t intuitive or undermine existing best practices — aren’t positioning themselves for success.
For example, ask yourself:
- Does my brand have vertical and square videos?
- How often do we make videos that are over 15 seconds? Under 15 seconds?
- Do we know what music and b-roll works with every audience type?
- How many times have we added black and white, sepia, or other filters to our videos?
Note that although YouTube isn’t the best video destination for your audience, YouTube’s pre-roll ads do making testing quite simple. If you want to be successful with video, A/B testing is the way. This wasn’t possible when the world was run by broadcast but we live in a different time. Audience memories are shorter. Standards are higher. You can test 10 different versions of the same video for each target demo and figure out exactly what works. And this doesn’t require a larger strategy, although it’s generally a good idea.
Don’t take more than an hour to create a video using pre existing footage and an on-demand video editing service like Sightworthy. Have a theory, test it. Then pull the videos that don’t perform and boost the videos that do. And learn along the way. Learn, learn, learn. It won’t damage your brand, it will help you connect with your audience more quickly and ultimately elevate your brand. If you want to compete in the digital world, then stop planning and start doing.
Wondering what you should consider A/B testing? Or how to convince others within your company to shift their mentality? Email me at email@example.com and I’ll let you know.