Zero to Hero: Why Brand Videos Need to Cut to the Chase

Paul Silcox
Founder & Director | Ocula Motion Graphics
22nd March 2018

Video content is now the most in-demand content type to market products and services. 

But the saturation of content means that to capture people’s attention and get your message across, you need to be quick and you need to be entertaining. 

Obviously video content still has a huge role to play in our marketing strategies. But rather than wondering what should be in your video, the big question now is, how long should your video be?

Take, for instance, your own browsing habits. You run your Facebook app and come across a video. You look at that little bar at the bottom to find out how long it’s going to be.

If it’s five minutes or more, will you watch it? Chance are, probably not.

With video dominating 82% of internet traffic by 2020, long explainer videos just aren’t going to cut it. People are going to switch those off faster than you can even say explainer videos.

How to Create Short But Attention-Grabbing Videos

Regardless of your industry, bite-sized videos are a great and powerful way to provide information and drive your target market to action.

Whether you are planning to create a tutorial video, promote a new product, or show a behind-the-scenes footage, you should take the following steps in mind during production:

1. Capture attention in the first few seconds

Facebook, for instance, found that the value of a video should be delivered within the first three seconds. Around 65% of those who watched the first three seconds of your video will continue to do so for 10 more seconds, while 45% will watch for 30 seconds more. 

With your shorter videos, make sure to put the most captivating and engaging elements up front. You should also use an attention-grabbing thumbnail. In the event that you are going to work with a famous celebrity or a recognizable product, let your followers know immediately.

Lastly, incorporate your brand early into the video to increase brand recall.

2. Focus on one message

Short-form videos can be in the form of livestreams, teasers, snapchat videos, or branded content. Given the shorter attention spans, you need to focus on one message with your videos. 

Start with setting a clear goal for your bite-sized videos. 

If your goal is to increase brand awareness, make sure that you deliver your brand clearly and during the first few seconds of the video. On the other hand, if your goal is to drive them to convert, you should highlight the features of your product or the benefits of your service.

3. Picture over sound

A study on the behaviour of Twitter users found that well-constructed ads without sound were still well understood and had a high recall. Of all the videos tested, eight out of 10 videos did not need sound to be understood. 

When creating short-videos, appeal to the visual rather than the aural senses of your audience. Text and graphics tend to be absorbed more than a voice over, and are cheaper to produce. 

Moreover a lot of adverts play automatically without sound, which the watcher needs to opt in on. Like our example above, playing on that fact could create a more interesting and engaging piece of content.

4. Use frames optimized for mobile use

A recent study shows that 80% of social media time is used on a mobile device. With 80% of internet users owning smartphones by 2020, you should also take into consideration the limitations and unique features of mobile videos.

Think of the platform’s features and pay attention to scale. 

You can experiment with square or portrait content, 3D framing effects, and vertical videos. Snapchat, for instance, reports that vertical videos ads are viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones.

5.Get creative with existing videos

Repurposing your old videos is a time and cost-effective way to provide fresh content to your followers. A few things you can do include:

  • String together unused images and create a slideshow
  • Re-edit a longer footage into a shorter one
  • Create a string of bite-sized based on a longer video
  • User shorter videos as teasers and drive traffic to a longer promotional video
  • Turn your old videos into motion graphics

6. Use motion graphics

Historically, animation has been off the cards for all but those with the biggest budgets due to it being expensive to produce. That has all changed and nowadays creating highly slick and impressive looking animations can be extremely cost effective and comparatively cheap compared to a ‘live film’ of the same calibre.

With motion graphics, you don’t need to pay for an entire film crew for example. Being able to create the whole film on a computer, you don’t need to hire expensive sets or transport actors and crew to them either. What’s more motion graphics and animation can allow you to leave a lasting brand impression through powerful imagery that isn’t constrained in the same way as live film. This can allow you to do all sorts of things, from explaining complex concepts or representing emotion and scale in compelling and effective ways.

The various animated techniques available to you make it suitable for all sorts of applications, from explainer videos, tutorials, to product/service promotion. 

Quality Remains The Key 

Short-form videos is the answer to today’s audience’s dwindling attention span and demand for fresh content. However, keep in mind that this boils down to quality.

Videos, like any other form of content, are made for human consumption. Get to know your target audience and make sure that you deliver your message in a way that would resonate with them.

About the author:

Paul Silcox is the creative mind behind Ocula Motion Graphics. An energetic and creative Bristol motion graphics and 3D animation company, with a passion and a talent for amazing visual design Ocula has been creating inspirational visual design since 2007.

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