The Surprising Place Where Text Content Is Thriving: Video in a Mobile-First World

The Surprising Place Where Text Content Is Thriving: Video in a Mobile-First World

And with video's popularity on the rise on social media, people are watching a lot of video content also on mobile. Video in an auto-play and audio-muted landscape lends itself well to writers. They truly "speak" video on the mobile social media feed. Taking fully formed blog post content (including visual media and strong takeaways), and making it more bite-sized for social media, Buffer was able to leverage the great writing it had on its blog to make enticing video content that offers something meaningful before suggesting that the viewer go to the blog for more great stuff. She, as does Buffer, regularly enhances Facebook followers' feeds before even asking them to click over. When sharing video posts, Stories, or video ads, challenge yourself to use fewer words while retaining your brand's tone. Facebook even recommends in its Ads Manager platform to use "formats unique to mobile," which it defines as square or vertical. It promoted the same ad, but one was in landscape format and the other was square. Recap If nothing else, formatting your video in square or landscape and ensuring that it works with sound-off, mobile viewing is a great start. And if you are content writer, create videos for Facebook to drive people to your blog or company site to read more of what you have to offer.

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Text-Reliant Social Videos

Audiences today are spending a lot of time on their smartphones. And with video’s popularity on the rise on social media, people are watching a lot of video content also on mobile.

Marketers have to adapt their video marketing approach to account for the shift in consumer behavior.

In this article, I will offer tactical advice for marketers to make the most of a mobile-first world.

Remember when Facebook’s main form of content was text-based status updates? Over time, the feed slowly became photo-centric. Now it’s evolved into an unlikely hybrid of the previous two incarnations: Text-reliant video content has proliferated on Facebook’s News Feed. These are videos that need text to tell its story. They work with the sound off and on a smaller screen.

Here is one such video, by Billboard Magazine. Without the words, it would just be random video footage.

The dominance of this type of video content in the feed has everything to do with major social networks’ being accessed primarily on mobile. Facebook has nearly 2 billion monthly mobile users, and Snapchat and Instagram are designed especially for mobile. If video is going to work on social media (and, by extension, on mobile), it has to work even when people are stealthily watching it during a train ride or in a meeting or wherever else they might be watching videos on mobile.

Video in an auto-play and audio-muted landscape lends itself well to writers. The visual imagery in a video needs to provide context, specifically the kind that entices the viewer to stop their thumb scroll and watch more. That’s why nearly all talking-head/voiceover videos on Facebook are accompanied by captioning. And when videos have no audio to be captioned, text on video clips or photos helps tell a story as well.

Popular publishers like Buzzfeed, NowThis, and The Dodo have perfected this type of text-reliant video content. They create it regularly and successfully. They truly “speak” video on the mobile social media feed. The video above from Billboard, for instance, was published within 24 hours of the Women’s March.

It seems that marketers are following the trend and creating video content regularly to engage their mobile audiences, and finding ways to be resourceful. According to Animoto’s annual social video survey to marketers, 92% of marketers are repurposing content they already have, which is how they are keeping up with the demand for social videos that mobile has generated. And this video content needs to offer contextói.e., text.

Content Writers Can Thrive in a Video-First World

Social media management tool Buffer does a great job of regularly communicating on Facebook with video that is fueled by text. And it manages to do so without attempting humor or by resorting to cute-animal b-roll. Buffer teaches with its videos, which are incredible informative. The following video dramatically unveils the findings of a recent study the company conducted.

Taking fully formed blog post content (including visual media and strong takeaways), and making it more bite-sized for social media, Buffer was able to leverage the great writing it…

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