Digital media is a many-headed beast, and we at EM know you’re trying to crack the code. So we packed our bags and headed to San Francisco to check out the Reel Video Marketing Summit, an annual conference dedicated to decoding the art, science and promotional power of online video.
Here, we share a few facts, tips and insights from the show.
Fact: YouTube is King
YouTube outranks Facebook as the largest social media channel online, with several billion video plays, likes and comments each month. And it is also the second-most used search engine, after Google. YouTube content is a measured and provable driver of brand consideration and opinion, both in the positive and negative, although purchase decisions are still mostly made on Google.
Tips: How to Create Killer Branded Content
The first morning was a three hour panel discussion, led by digital studio Bonfire Labs, that taught us everything and everyone involved in creating a production-quality video, film or ad. The agency’s in-house and freelance producers, directors, audio, color correction, visual effects and post-production wizards came up and walked us through the ins and outs of filming, budgets, storyboarding, animation and every other possible step that is required to make quality content. Here are five key takeaways:
1. The creative process begins with defining the problem. What do you want to do with this video or get from this video? You need to define that before you can even begin scripting or storyboarding your video.
2. Your video needs one focus. Making it about too many things makes it about nothing. So does your channel. Your audience wants to know why they’re visiting. You need to tell them, clearly.
3. Post-production is the difference between a home movie and a polished brand video. And even if you want it to look like a home movie, you still need to fix some things in post.
4. Animation is hard. Plan for it to take at least three times as long as regular filming and editing. And if you want animation, changes are very hard and expensive, so make sure everyone likes your storyboards and animatic before you get to the end.
5. The most important payoff from creating good content is that your brand will always be in conversation with the public. And those conversations will lead to brand affinity if you’ve done your job.
Insights: Passion Points are the Keys to Connections
Jon Klaff, head of media solutions at Google and YouTube, was the opening keynoter and he brought the house down. “The new reality,” he said,” is that people are delusional, skeptical, sleep-deprived, disturbed and over-advertised to.” How can we win them back? “Be ready to move your consumers emotionally at their moments that matter,” he said. To do that, you have to be present and identify with their passions, instead of trying to impose yourself upon them.
Some interesting knowledge he dropped on us:
• YouTube reaches more 18- to 34-year-old consumers than cable television does. If YouTube was a cable network, it would have more of those viewers than any other channel.
• There are three types of video: Hero (the production-quality, polished sizzle reel), Hygiene (rough-cut maintenance videos that keep you present without a ton of investment) and Hub (your regular programming that keeps viewers coming back and subscribing on a regular basis and becoming your fans.)
• Advertisers always get the “A Spot” on YouTube.
The rest of the first day was a deep dive into the state of the digital video industry with speakers from Buzzfeed, Discovery, YuMe, Nielsen, JW Player, LinkedIn and several more.