It started as a surfer using a botched camera to film his action on the waves. But today, the GoPro camera is now a must-have on any traveller’s packing check list, a technology household name and a dream for any brand wanting its consumers to share experiences in an immersive way.
Providing a unique and incredibly personal perspective for viewers, GoPro cameras are now frequently used to maximise engagement on campaigns, events and PR stunts across the world.
One of the brands at the forefront of GoPro usage is Red Bull. Targeting adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers, the global partnership between Red Bull and GoPro has allowed viewers to immerse themselves in anything from a Formula1 race to a sky dive and its produced great results. This success has led us to expect a certain pace or feel from GoPro edits. But it’s not just fast and furious footage that can have an impact.
Way back in 2013, GoPro released a video of a fireman saving a cat from a fire, providing heart-warming moments rather than the heart-stopping ones audiences have grown used to. This type of content was met with an equally strong reaction and allowed the GoPro brand to reach out to an audience beyond exotic explorers.
This style of softer, slower and more emotionally-driven content can be seen in other campaigns but GoPros are often overlooked when it comes to capturing it, simply because of the stereoptypes we’ve become used to. Experiential restaurants, first dates or job interviews could all be possible ways for brands to still use the personal point of view that GoPros provide to tell compelling stories GoPro will continue to go hand in hand with adventure but, in the world of video creation, brands have a real opportunity to embrace this type of content at a slower pace to fit with their own products and ethos.
Facebook is ramping up its efforts to make scrolling through News Feed a better experience with a series of recent updates aimed at making it a place full of content that’s more relevant to an individual users’ needs. Therefore, it’s more important than ever that the way brands communicate on the social media juggernaut’s platform adds genuine value and not just more lazy, hazy noise.
The News Feed algorithm is constantly under review as Facebook tries to find the delicate balance to keep everyone happy. There are lots of what Facebook call ‘signals’ which help to decide what they think may be relevant to each user. We know that the key signals in deciding what is in News Feed are who posted content, what type of content is posted, the number and type of engagements with that content and when the content is posted.
The latest updates include new signals to show users more authentic and timely stories, plus adding more value to video completion rates.
Pages that are posting spam, consistently trying to game feed (asking for Likes, Comments, Shares) or have their posts hidden by users, may be in trouble. Facebook could deem that the content those Pages (Brands) post isn’t authentic, which will only have a negative impact on its News Feed status. On the flip side, if the new signals judge a post to be authentic, it may show up higher in users’ News Feed. As an aside, Facebook’s high-profile attempts at clamping down on fake news is likely to be a long, on-going process using some sort of AI/human verification process. It’s a major topic on the wider news agenda so FB are ploughing major resource in to fighting it and improving the overall authenticity of the site.
A lot has been made in the past about posting content at a specific time. As mentioned, Facebook’s algorithm has been updated to weight other signals more heavily in deciding what’s relevant, meaning there’s less focus on content having to be posted at a specific time of day (who posted, type of content etc). However, the new ‘real time’ update is designed look at how signals change on the fly. For example, if lots of people engage on a particular post or topic in a short space of time, Facebook may judge that it would be temporarily more important to you. A recent example of where this would have come in to effect could have been with the SuperBowl which captured the attention of 60 million people on Facebook, who created over 200 million posts, comments and likes.
Video is just one of the many types of content that a user, or brand, can post and Facebook wants to organically serve relevant videos to users. With regards to News Feed rankings, it has taken in to account whether it’s Live, how long it’s been watched for, whether people turn sound on or opt to view full screen. Now (finally), it’s giving more weighting to completion rates. This means that if you watch most (at least half) or all of a video, you’re telling FB that you find it compelling as completing (or getting to halfway) on a longer video is a bigger commitment than with a shorter one. Facebook is therefore weighting completion rates more heavily the longer the video is to avoid penalising longer videos. This is also good news for users who enjoy watching long-form videos as they’re now likely to see more in their News Feed.
Here are some things to take from these updates:
1. Make your content relevant to your audience – this is always the message. Don’t get lazy and add to the noise. Think about whether it’s authentic or telling a meaningful story. Ask the question: is this going to add value to my audience?
2. Make use of Paid – it’s hard to cut through the noise and sometimes it’s not enough to make what looks like good content on paper and expect it to perform exactly how you hoped organically. Paid is a good way to target a specific audience in News Feed, but you’ve still got to make sure they’re seeing relevant content.
3. The ideal length of a video is whatever time is required to tell a compelling story that engages with your audience. Look at your analytics to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
A New Year, a new start. 2017 has arrived and we’re already marching through the month with the force of a January gale force wind.
But, as we focus on the new and exciting prospects that 2017 may hold, it’s important to look back and take inspiration from what we have learnt from the last year, especially in the world of video content.
Here are some thoughts from our video department, Rich Reels…
Learn to Evolve
Whilst we’re are always on the lookout for new and forward thinking ways of creating video content, that doesn’t always mean out with the old and in with the new. Search engine giant Google has taught us the art of evolution, especially when it comes to its trademark ideas. Through the power of Google Maps, every Christmas Eve for the past 12 years, a whole generation of families have been able to track Santa as he makes his way around the globe. With virtual reality becoming a reality for video content, Google has embraced new technology and trends so that trackers can watch and interact with Santa’s very own dashboard camera from the front of his sleigh, allowing viewers an additional perspective to his progress around the world.
Be part of the action
Another popular trend of the past twelve months is the 360-video experience. A dream for travel marketing and a great way for charities to emotionally connect with their audience, 360-video allows consumers the chance to see a video from their own individual point of view, truly immersing themselves in the action. Check out one of our favourites from the Go Pro Bombsquad. The ‘Blue Skies’ video allows viewers to skydive, for three minutes and thirty seconds, from several thousand feet, all from the comfort of your screen.
Never under estimate the power of social media
Anyone heard of a family fun game called Pie Face? Was it from the clever video ads and digital marketing? Or was it your Facebook and Snapchat feeds full of your friends playing the game? In this instance, Hasbro and Rocket Games let the product do the talking on social media. A YouTube video from May 2016 of a grandfather and grandson playing the game went viral and led to the product selling out. By the end of 2016, back in stock, Pie Face had taken pride of place alongside Scrabble and Kerplunk alike in retailers. With kids, parents and even animals getting involved in the fun and sharing online.
One thing you don’t expect to see during a morning commute to work is a man riding an ostrich. But that’s exactly what many people thought they’d witnessed when a video of the before mentioned act went viral. The online community went mad trying to figure out the story of how a man managed to hitch a ride with an ostrich and the video was soon being shared across social media.
But the amateur cyber detectives out there were forced to put this case to one side as The Bank of Astana came clean and announced it was the company behind the video. The point of the video was to highlight that society is living “bored and pragmatic lives” and that we should instead be living our dreams.
Putting aside the subject of ostrich riding, here are the top four things we loved about the strategy and approach behind this video.
- Simple and short, the video is easy to digest.
- The idea has come from an aspirational brand message rather than trying to force a functional product-focus.
- As with many great viral videos, it balances something unexpected with an edge of possibility.
- Without overt branding (or any in this case), the content gives the audience time to wonder, explore and share the content before the reveal takes place. This type of video creates that all important mystery and excitement that encourages people to pass videos on and comment. It’s also more media-friendly.
In social media video production, there is often a battle to balance the level of branding included in a video. If the branding is too heavy, it can suffocate the feeling of mystery, discovery and raw realism that viral videos often thrive on. If it is non-existent, you risk not being associated with the content at all or receiving no brand value for your spend.
The Bank of Astana chose not to brand its original video at all. Instead, it created a grand reveal on Facebook which included additional footage showing how they made the video to build further engagement and cash in on the intrigue it had built. As a result, the company achieved coverage in a plethora of national titles and links are being shared across the internet. Granted, it’s just one of many viral video approaches to have celebrated success but we look forward to seeing what The Bank of Astana come up with next!