Strengthen your brand: go native

For years, YouTube has been considered the king of all things video, but with the rise of native videos on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a good video strategy for your brand might suddenly seem like a good idea.

In 2014, around 2.2 million Danish users were checking Youtube on a monthly basis, spending around 6 minutes per day on the website. While YouTube remains a big player on the Scandinavian market, more and more Danes are showing interest in native videos on other social channels. And here’s why you should consider it:

1. Shareable is the new viral

What this year brought was a focus on the shareable aspect of video content, rather than its ability to go viral. And native video has gone a long way with sharing. Take Facebook, for instance: native videos seem to be taking over the old “YouTube posts” that we used to see in our newsfeeds not long ago. Last year, SocialBakers were looking at the reach of YouTube video posts compared to native posts, and they concluded that in the second half of 2014, the number of posted Facebook native video had increased with 50 percent. Not only do we see more native videos in our News Feeds, but whether we find them interesting or not is also the basis for how Facebook ranks them in the News Feed. This summer, the social media channel has shared their interest in expanding the parameters for analysing native video by also looking at the ways users interact with video, such as turning on the sound or opting for full-screen viewing. All this shows that we are witnessing a shift from viral video to shareable and better quality content. By taking part in this trend, be it on Facebook or on other social media channels, you are thus improving your chances of gaining organic reach and getting your content shared.

2. Visual storytelling strengthens your brand

The transition from cross-posting to native video has also made it clear that visual storytelling is still a powerful tool for social. While the widespread belief that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text remains debatable, the advantages of pixels over characters are undeniable, keeping in mind the shorter user attention span online. A good image can be more powerful than words, and a good 3D strategy can lead to more engagement and a more compelling story. Native videos tailored to each communication channel thus have the ability to complement your brand universe and strengthen your overall online position.

3. Value for your customers

You might call native video the SoMe attempt to getting the ball back in their own field by putting an end to traffic directed to referral links. And you’re definitely right. But given the amount of increasing customer interest that native videos generate, the advantages of communicating with your target groups through native video become obvious. The superior quality of your videos do not only reflect the strength of your brand, but also your care for your customer by providing them fresh and relatable content that addresses them effectively. This improves the chances of getting your content liked and shared, therefore increasing organic reach. Done right, video storytelling can be a crucial part of the customer journey.

You’ve decided that native video is the step for you, what next?

Before delving into the native video reservoir, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Resources

So all this sounds like a doable working plan and a native video strategy seems to be a good upgrade for your brand, what next? Resources. As the song says, “I need money (that’s what I want)”**. That’s right, a native video strategy might not make a hole in your budget, but it will cost you both time and money. Therefore it becomes a priority to do your planning right. And there are many factors at play: can your company create videos in-house or would you need to hire an external service? If done internally, how many hours can you afford allocating to each project? Then there’s the physical aspect of the process: if you want to prioritize quality, you will be needing good video equipment: a camera, lightning for indoor sets, a powerful computer, access to editing software for post-production. Fortunately, creating short videos can be done on a budget as well: most smartphones offer a good video quality, free apps can be used for fast editing with no advanced knowledge required, many videos do not require a studio. If you want a tech upgrade, good news is that cameras and lenses can also be rented at a convenient price. All these steps are doable, but they require both planning and commitment from your team to maximize result and

** Barrett Strong – Money (That’s What I Want)

Consider your channels: video varies when touchpoints vary

A native video strategy performs differently on different social platforms, which means that it should not be replicated across channels. Videos published on networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter behave differently in terms of customer response, therefore requiring a different treatment and approach. Length, for instance, is one of the main factors that determine where your video should be posted and how it should be structured.

Target and monitor

The golden ratio of content: choose your channels. Identifying the touchpoints where your customers discover and interact with your brand is essential. And it also makes it easier to find out how your native should be and whom it should address. A video strategy is in that sense like any other content strategy: your approach to native should keep in mind your target groups in all its phases.  Furthermore, a powerful video strategy also makes performance monitoring part of the modus operandi. Following up on how a video behaves on social can both be done on the platform itself (such as Facebook’s Power Editor introduced in june 2014) or through a an external monitoring service. Both options can lead to adjusting and improving your strategy along the way. But don’t worry, when you’re keeping an eye on video metrics, your customers will be the first ones noticing how you’ve gone the extra mile.