Wizowl has an interesting statistic about 2017. Over that year, video use rose by 17%. Youtube sees people watching 500 million hours of video a day. Tubular Insights has projected that 80% of traffic will be video related by next year.
Clearly, we are seeing an important trend in the digital world and video is the way forward which is why so many people are both using current platforms and creating their own. But not everyone is up to managing an entire television length episodic series for their marketing campaign, leaving them behind on the video marketing highway.
Actually, you can get a lot from micro-video marketing.
What Is a Micro Video?
This is going to start an argument because there is no single answer here. It used to be that a micro video was any video that was fifteen seconds or less. We saw examples of that from early Instagram videos, but especially from the now defunct (but incredibly popular) platform Vine. This is probably the truest definition of a micro video.
You'll see marketers defining micro-video content in a different way. Anything that is shorter than five minutes is technically a micro video in some people's eyes. I think it's way too long, considering that users' attention spans are not getting any longer. The notorious Microsoft consumer study back in 2016 found that the human attention span was 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000.
Admittedly, these numbers are subject to some criticism but I tend to believe it to some extent. Ask yourself: Scrolling through your Facebook feed and inevitably finding a video, for how long do you usually allow it to play until you scroll past it?
It's around 10 seconds on average for me personally. I don't have time for more!
That being said, I tend to define a micro video as any video within 5 to 30 seconds long. That seems to be the golden mean yielding the most consistent engagement.
I am not the only one having come to this conclusion. According to Key Media Solutions:
- Facebook videos should be as short as possible (around 30 seconds) with first 3 seconds being most engaging since that's how much is auto-played on average before users scroll down
- Youtube videos can be longer but even there, the longer the video, the more people stop watching it
For the sake of this article, we will set the time limit at 30 seconds when discussing them.
Why Add Micro-Videos to Your Content Marketing Strategy
I have already mentioned some of the stats above illustrating the importance of video content in general and micro-video content in particular.
However the beauty of this content marketing idea doesn't end there. Here are a few more convincing benefits of micro-video marketing:
- It's one of the easiest way to tap into video marketing: You don't need huge scripts or expensive software. Once you gain some experience, it will take you less and less time to put those videos together
- It's one of the most universal tactics out there: Micro-videos are marketing-friendly on all major platforms. Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram - All of those platforms love native videos and would usually give them extra visibility in their feeds. Micro-videos do well everywhere as they are easy to consume. They are also one of the most sharable content out there. They can also be easily re-used for your advertising campaigns.
- It's a great way to diversify your content marketing: Putting together entertaining content lets you reach more people and cater for more marketing channels, including video-only platforms like Youtube and Vimeo.
Best Examples of Micro-Videos
What are some different examples of micro videos? It can be as simple as one of the trailers for a Netflix or Hulu show, if we want to make the scape a bit more broad. But usually it is content that can stand on its own. For example:
Just Text Them The Money by Apple: 15 seconds long
A mini story by Apple, the point was to show off the pay by text feature on modern iPhones.
It does it by showing a quick conversation via text by two people where one offers a payment via text which is then countered with a money request for more by the person they were paying. Simple, effective and very quick, it immediately conveys the product.
Starbucks Upstanders: 30 seconds long
Starbucks is an example of a company using micro videos in a series context with their Upstanders series. They interview incredibly strong people who make a difference: "people who are demonstrating extraordinary courage and inspiring a better America.".
It personalizes their brand well and shows a bit more of their mission statement in a visual form that connects with those on the customer side.
What Matters: 30 seconds long
Another series, What Matters shows how General Electric is innovating all kinds of spheres of life bring technology that helps people. But the reality is, those people don't care. What matters to them is health of their kids, access to education, the ability to see their family.
Technology is how we do things
People are why we do them
... is the powerful message behind the micro-video campaign, telling one powerful story at a time.
Tools to Create Micro-Videos
There is no single way to create a micro video. It can be done in any format, style or genre that works for your brand. It is up to you and what works within the boundaries of your campaign. Videos offer far more creative option than most content formats.
Don't be intimidated by my examples above though: Micro-video campaigns are affordable and doable and there are quite a few powerful tools that can help you put them together with no extra skills required.
Animoto is one of the first micro-video creation tools on the market. It's also one of the most affordable and easiest options out there.
Animatron Wave is one of the most advanced micro-video creation tools on the market. There's a free trial for you to play with the tool. With the paid account you get access to their huge library of video footage, music and stock photos. There's a variety of fonts, titles and video transitions to use. You can use one of the available templates or start from scratch.
Both of tools allow you to upload your own files to use in the videos, including your screenshots, stock and royalty-free images and video footage. Having these handy will save you money and let you create truly original images.
Lumen5 is the micro-video creation tool letting you turn your text content into videos. Give it your URL and the tool will extract images and quotes and put them together in a cool video.
Tips For Creating Your Own Micro Videos That Get Views
Be clear about your aims
Know your goal before you start. What do you want these videos to do? Be specific. For instance, don't just say, "I want more traffic to my website". Say, "I want to increase my traffic by 15% by the end of the year."
Having a clear metric will help you monitor success and tweak your campaign.
Choose the right style
What do you want your brand to be conveying in these videos? Authority? A goofy tone? Entertaining? Informative? Let that be a blueprint to the style of video you create.
Establish a branding style guide
Every video should have a certain tone, look, feel and some branding elements. For instance, they should have some kind of watermark. They should use certain colors.
There should be a title screen and call to action. Make these an element of every single video.
Have a solid script
Sometimes people will think they can just get on and wing it. That might work for some folks but it doesn't for most.
Having a tightly written script, even if you make it seem like you are being candid on screen, is critical. Even interviews should have outlines.
Once you are ready to upload the video, you want to make sure it has its metadata optimized.
- Have a clear description with your keywords you have actively researched targeted well.
- Use tags and hashtags.
- Have a clear title with your keywords.
- Use the file name to fit your keyword.
- Have an SEO optimized channel before you post your videos.
Basically do all of the common-sense SEO practices you would be if it was on your own site and not a third party platform.
Do you have a tip for making a great micro video? Let us know in the comments!