Even if you’re not in the marketing circles, I’m sure you also noticed the change – most of the content we consume today is a result of video marketing and user-generated videos. Maybe they are 7 seconds dog videos you can’t get enough of, or 15 seconds pranks, 30 seconds how-tos, or 45-minute-long travel videos, but I bet you’re watching (and secretly, you want this blog to be a video).
One thing is sure, you aren’t doing social media marketing properly if you don’t include video in your content plan and if you already don’t have streamlined production, even if you’re a team of one (and I hope you’re not). And yes, you need video even if you don’t target Gen Z and even if you think your business is too serious. Let me break it to you nicely; it’s not.
And it’s not just me saying that. Below you’ll find how video marketing and vertical video progressed over time on social media, the types of people in your company you’ll probably meet when you introduce the camera. We’ll end with our advice on what to have in mind behind-the-scenes of your video content strategy.
How did Marketing come to this?
Although sometimes it looks like these changes came overnight, the updates and user needs shifted in the last several years. But three main culprits created that change. And you know them really well.
The first one is maybe your companion before bed, on the bus to work, or while waiting for just about anything. TikTok started as something (we millennials cringed about), Musica.ly. But after an acquisition, a year or two later, it became the fastest-growing social media application. The one that not only changed the social media landscape but the way we use social media is still continuing to do that. Today, it’s also starting to be Google’s nemesis, as more and more people use TikTok to search the “web.”
The other culprit was, and I hope you know it just by the high temperature and several coughs, a little pain in the back—the corona. If you look at it closely, the rise of both numbers happened simultaneously in the year we’ll never forget, 2020.
The third culprit was who started it all. Snapchat paved the way for vertical video, and we can call it TikTok’s older sister. The first changes Grandad Facebook and Grandma Instagram made to their algorithm and features for vertical video is purely Snapchat’s doing.
It also isn’t a secret that the Grandma and Grandad quickly adapted to the (mainly) Gen Z needs that TikTok so flawlessly fulfilled and implemented new features and gave users new tools. They also changed their algorithm, which pushed the video content in the first place. You couldn’t compete with a photo and a carousel, not anymore. Nobody was buying that.
Video Marketing Landscape in Creation
This is how the landscape changed over the last few years:
- 2011. Snapchat launched, putting vertical video and photographs at the front (together with disappearing messages and many, many filters)
- 2015. In November it was reported that 6 billion videos were shared daily on Snapchat
- 2015. Musical.ly started to gain traction with users, being the no. 1 iOS downloaded app in 30 countries
- 2016. Instagram and Facebook added Stories as a response to Snapchat growth and user’s needs
- 2018. Instagram IGTV launches to compete with the seemingly never-ending growth of YouTube
- 2018. TikTok and Musical.ly merge
- 2020. TikTok has 500 million monthly active users
- 2020. Instagram Reels as a direct response to TikTok’s growing user base, as well as Instagram starts to push video content
- 2021. Facebook and Instagram both have algorithm updates that emphasize video content
- 2022. TikTok gets to 1 billion monthly active users
And today, it’s reported that more than 80% of social media usage comes from mobile devices. If you just think about how you use your smartphone, everything will be clear. Just think about it – when was the last time you turned your phone horizontally (and not for making a photograph)? Vertical video is the king of content because of our habits, and it’s even reported watching vertical video to completion is 90% higher than horizontal videos.
Adapting to Video Marketing Needs
As you can see with these changes, our marketing sentences were written. In Notch, it started by hiring a Multimedia Designer with a knack and love for video. The marketing team easily adapted (as we usually do, don’t we?), ready to take on vertical video for all platforms. We opened the TikTok account, brainstormed scenarios, looked for perfect locations, and then… then it hit us. You need your team actually to be in the videos.
We had another hurdle to overcome, where maybe you’ll have a bit more luck. The whole marketing team changed in a few months, and we were all “the new ones.” Meeting the team in WFH mostly environment is a challenge, not impossible, but Slacking, DMing, grabbing the ones in the office by the sleeve, saying pLeAsE, wE nEed sOMeoNe. The resources were getting low. There are so many videos you can make with two dogs, the cameraman, and one copywriter.
The other hurdles you’ll probably encounter while getting people to be in videos:
- It’s not people’s job to be in your video
- They are busy with projects
- If they are on the bench, they are used to spending their time learning
- They are not marketing teams nor marketing agencies, e.g., people you are used to doing whatever is needed to make a good video
- People don’t like to be in front of the camera (me neither, but in my personal time)
- People are genuinely not interested in marketing or do not think it matters at all
- People don’t want to be on social media or have any online presence
- People didn’t like the videos we were making and didn’t want to be a part of it
- It’s a software development company, and more people than not, unfortunately, met the stereotype
You know, with 200 people in a team, you have to be up with 200 different opinions and characters, all of which bring 200 unique hurdles. But to get a genuine picture of your company online and actually achieve whatever your goal with video marketing is, you need them.
The Recruiting Part of the Video Production
We first focused on people who reacted enthusiastically about the videos we had already made with reso(us)races we had. They were mostly people who were in the office daily. We’ll call them The Supporters. Their attitude made our life much easier, even asking us when we would shoot a video with them or accepting our proposed ideas and adding to them with their own spin. There are only a few people we could call Supporters, but as Snapchat paved the way for TikTok, they paved our way to opportunities with other team members.
Then we have the Ideators. Those bold enough to come to our floor, to our desks, grab US by the sleeves, with an idea they don’t want to execute… well, well.
Sometimes we rushed to make the idea instantly, grabbing the Ideator by the hand, “We need to do it now. With you.”
“But I can’t,” they would reply in a whisper.
“There’s no choice,” we grabbed a bit tighter.
“I have a meeting,” and they slowly removed our hand, freeing themselves from a shooting nightmare, leaving us to deal with it ourselves.
And we’d take a pen, and with tears in our eyes which made the paper blurry, we’d write the idea, and the name, swearing we would catch them next time, adding their calendar to ours, lurking with the camera in our hands, waiting for the right moment to strike.
And sometimes, we didn’t have time to do it right then and there. We would write it down a bit too carelessly, in a way when you’re reading it in a week or two, you’re not quite sure what it’s all about. The timing wasn’t right, we’d say, waiting for the Ideator to come to us again.
The Interested Bunch
The Interested Bunch are the ones who lurk. Liking every video, saying hello in the middle of another shoot, they sometimes come up with ideas, sometimes they’re just there. At first, the Interested Bunch will always be a “no” for being in the video. But ask enough, and after several months they will say, “If I have to.” But you know that they were analyzing, assessing, scoping the situation, and overthinking from the start. All you need is patience. And all they need is several pushes.
The other two are The NoNo’s and The Why’s. As you can probably tell from their names, the first group will never, ever be in a video, and the second ones will never, ever be in a video, but also likes to point out that the videos are meaningless to them. Well, we respect their need for privacy and fear of the camera. Usually, that crew has something else to offer your marketing team, like writing blogs, giving expert statements, and participating in case study groups or workshops.
*For those that say it’s meaningless, you can reference the changes we mentioned earlier and put their minds to rest.
Now that you have the characters, the production crew is more than just two people and several dogs and skills in video animation. You can focus your attention on the needs of the platforms and content quality.
Of course, not all types of videos are made for every platform, TikTok videos will probably not play well on LinkedIn, but that is also debatable. Maybe you want LinkedIn users to see more relaxed videos, for example, for Employer Branding needs. That all comes to your video content strategy.
BTS of Video Marketing Content Strategy
I’m not going to talk to you about the usual marketing things you should follow while creating your content strategy, like clear objectives, knowing your audience, understanding platforms, tracking, and measuring. You know that’s important.
I want to focus on the behind-the-scenes of your video content strategy: planning and quality production.
Advice from our Experience
- Since video marketing needs more time and skills than just “a plain, old” content plan, the key is to plan several months ahead if possible.
- Start by writing down all the material you can put in vertical video format, case studies, technical how-to’s, introductions of your team members, client reviews etc.
- Then write down who is the person you need in front of the camera. (Asses what type of character they are. Will they say yes immediately, or do you have to push a bit? Are they a NoNo, and you must look for someone else to fill their shoes?)
- Put it in the calendar for you, the camera person, and the interviewee.
- Prepare questions and topics you want to cover, and send them several days before the shooting to the person you are interviewing. This could be your 100 rodeo, but more times than not, it’s their first.
- Ask them if they think you missed something with the questions or want to talk about something additional too.
- Ask additional questions during the shoot and let the natural conversation flow and bounce off-the-topic things. Maybe the shoot will last half an hour longer, but you’ll probably get material for several videos and ideas for new ones.
- Don’t be too serious, even with the clients. You’re shooting a video for social media, it needs to be authentic and relaxed.
- After the shoot and after the video editor does its magic, don’t forget to add subtitles. Then send your interviewee to take a look before you publish it. It’s always a little less scary to go in front of the camera, but especially if you can see it before it goes live.
Before you publish
Whatever you do, build trust with your team members. They are your first audience, and if they see you’re doing everything you can to make them feel secure on how they will be presented online, you pave yourself a way to their heart (and face).
I hope you have many Supporters in your team and that you’ll get more materials than you ever think you could!