Earlier in the year I shared some of the biggest key learnings and themes of Social Media Week 2019 in New York City. In case you missed it, you can check that post out here. Since there were so many important topics of discussion at SMW, I’m extending my recaps into a series of posts to bring you the biggest and most important highlights of the conference to hopefully help inform your 2020 plans and beyond. Without further ado, here are the big takeaways on video content.

1. Images still work – don’t discount them!

If your client doesn’t have a lot of assets on-hand to work from, use it as an opportunity to flex creative ideas and express the brand voice in other ways. Here are a few recommendations from Stephanie Meyers, Group Director of Digital Growth, Fast Company & Inc. when it comes to creating content on a budget that’s still eye-catching and creative:

  • Consider reposting screenshots. Believe it or not, screen grabs of Tweets have become a huge type of content on Instagram over the last few years and have proven to be a time and cost-effective approach.
  • Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate what it takes to get a beautiful picture. Stephani used Tea Bar as an example because, after chatting with them, she learned that all they use to take their photos is a white wall, a small slab of marble, natural daylight, and a camera phone. It IS possible that the formula to a great shot is that easy.
  • Quotes work – whether you’re reposting an inspirational quote or extracting a quote from an interview, quotes are an easy way to get content on your page and they can be flexible to anything you’re promoting.

2. We need to stop letting budget fears block creative thinking.

I’ve often felt that it’s become too easy to shut down big ideas because it’s become linked to the idea of a depleted budget, but that is so NOT the case, and a lot of the speakers at SMW reinforced this. Instead of “quitting while we’re ahead,” we’re quitting before we even start, and it’s a rut that is a slippery slope to fall into. There are so many resources available at our fingertips to streamline producing and managing content, that there’s really not as many limitations as we might think. With user-friendly apps like Unfold, Canva, and Hype Text, we can create engaging content directly on our phones. Does this mean we can throw creative budgets out the window and start producing cinema-quality ads? No, but it does mean that quality, engaging, every day content is within reach with little to no spend.

3. Producing video content is truly the best way to be relevant to your audience.

Just as we had to adapt to adding images to every post, social media has evolved to spark a demand for video. Peoples attention spans are getting shorter (we’re down to about 6 seconds now) and the power of video is getting stronger. Here are some of the most compelling data points about video content from Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer, Animoto.

  • People recall 6x the amount of info from a video than from a text
  • After watching a video, 64% are more likely to buy a product online
  • Video generates 12x more shares on social than text + images combined
  • People spend 88% more time on websites with video
  • Video is the most compelling and effective way to reach your audience
  • Communicate content how your audience prefers to consume it

What’s important to remember when producing video is the platforms you’re using and how consumers use them in different ways. Factors as simple as whether they’re listening to video with the sound on or off will make an impact on whether the content resonates with the user. For example, Facebook and Instagram are “quickly scrolling” mostly mobile, sometimes killing time apps where people are likely not listening with the sound on most of the time, so adding subtitles to your videos would be ideal for these platforms. However, subtitles would be unnecessary for Youtube, as the user is prepared to watch long-form content and it’s almost always with the sound on.

Here’s Jason’s guide breaking down the best ways to use video in-feed vs. on Stories.

Did any of these tips surprise you? Are you planning to incorporate video into your 2020 plans?