The future of human connectivity is currently undergoing a massive transformation and re-imagining; some fear that people are becoming less connected and empathetic towards one another amidst this shift. In a 2014 Pew Research survey of more than 2,500 technology experts, predictions were made about where humanity will stand by 2025. Bob Briscoe, former chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom, poignantly noted, “The increasing proportion of human interactions mediated by the Internet will continue the trend toward less respect and less integrity in our relations.”
It is also commonly known that there is a certain disconnect that takes place when communicating through email. People won’t be exiting the virtual space anytime soon, so how can this emotional severance be solved? Here is one pertinent solution: social video.
Video is sweeping the web and every social platform. Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, and others are looking to incorporate this face-to-face digital interaction. And brands can leverage this modality the same way the average person does to engage their audiences and make real connections with their followers; the key to success is to prepare different strategic elements for each platform.
Mark Fidelman, Fanatics Media CEO, sat down with two video content experts via Blab.im on February 3rd to discuss the future of video in social media. Check out the full length conversation below:
Troy Ewanchyna is the Vice President and General Manager of NBCSports.com where he supervises the daily operations of various NBC Sports digital enterprises including NBC Sports Talk franchises, Rotoworld, and others. Troy has driven the company’s digital growth through securing partnerships with major digitally based businesses like Facebook, Yahoo!, and Twitter. He even won the rights to the first-ever Super Bowl streaming.
Grant Jones is the General Manager for The Kicker, a sports comedy website from Bryan Tucker, the co-head writer of Saturday Night Live. Before joining The Kicker, Grant spent nearly five years holding various positions at The Onion and started its branded entertainment division, Onion Labs. Grant has also accumulated multiple Webby Awards for his work as a Producer for Condé Nast.
Check out these highlights from their revealing conversation.
Question #1: What is Your Approach to Creating Video Topics?
The exciting part of the digital landscape is that in order to create a brand and succeed in growing it, there must be a definitive direction to go in; for The Kicker, that is scripted comedy. With so many outlets covering sports and the related conversations, there is a wealth of resources for us to pull rich material from and really riff on those topics.
As a television company first and foremost, the majority of our live sports consumption occurs on TV. As aggressive as we want to be with our digital efforts we still need to be quite mindful of that. In terms of what we are doing in conjunction with The Kicker, it adds a support model that is not constrained by our traditional ecosystem and allows us to test new concepts. When doing video for social, it is a totally different audience than we typically cater to so we just have to go in and ask, “What can we do that’s different, still true to our brand, and helps our entire business overall?” Which is of course much easier said than done.
Question #2: What is Your Approach to Keeping Up with All of the Different Social Channels and Syndicating Content that Has Different Limitations on Each Platform?
“Unless you have the resources to commit to a platform, it is not worth moving over there.”
We stay focused on growing our brand and driving audiences where we already have substantial traction; for The Kicker, that is Facebook and YouTube. Our video strategy on Facebook is twofold. The first part is to be reactionary and cover the most recent sports events with a comedy take. The second is to experiment with new formats utilizing minimal resources so that audience feedback can be gather on if it actually works or not. As for other platforms like Snapchat, there is interest in exploring those this year but the main focus is on growing our audience. When branching out to other platforms, “What you don’t want to do is take what you are producing for Facebook or another platforms and repurpose it for Snapchat. It doesn’t work.”
“We try to dabble in things in video that are outside of what we would normally do but may fit for a specific platform.”
The reality of streaming live sports on social is that more than ¾ of consumption is happening on a mobile device, so planning something like the Super Bowl on a small screen just isn’t viable. The second part is, “When you look at short form video, people are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the smaller screen.” In addition to that, “If you look at places like Facebook, it makes it so much easier now to get access to your video; to discover short form video.” As audiences continue to spend more time on social channels it is our job to continue to find ways to program to those audiences. We just try to think about what the audience will want on those platforms and play with different modalities for specific platforms.
Question #3: After Producing Videos, What is Your Distribution Strategy for Gaining Maximum Exposure?
For our biggest videos the focus is to drive the entire marketing team on getting plays for that content. That comes through pushing PR, social, and paid social advertising on Facebook and a bit on YouTube. The paid ads won’t out-value the video itself, but it will often ignite the fire to get organic viewership up. If it does well, more paid advertising will be put behind it.
Looking at if the content produced has rights or relationships restrictions is the starting point. From there we normally look at what is trying to be accomplish which is normally sales and audience needs. When videos are produced where there is something incremental, there needs to be a return on that. The goal is to gain eyeballs in a way that is driven by sales needs. We have projections, budgets, brand, and marketing goals that we are trying to hit and that will determine if we put paid behind it or not. For us, we look at it from the big strategic standpoint first – looking at sales and partnerships, then adding the distribution component on top of that.
There are still so many valuable insights on leveraging video through social media to uncover in the full replay. Be sure to check it out to get the most from these video gurus.
Are you ready to ramp up your video efforts through social media and live streaming applications? Give us a call at 760-262-4252 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help launch your brand into the future on social media.