Are you guilty of taking a one size fits all channels approach? We are dishing out some free advice on how to maximise content.

Picture the scene, you’ve partnered with a film production studio, they’ve created a beautiful film for your brand, and you’ve posted it on your website, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anything else you can find. You then sit back and watch the views and likes come in…. Wait, it didn’t perform as expected? Here are some tips to make sure your film content works as hard as it can across all channels.

What are your objectives?

When planning film content, ask yourself “why am I doing this?”. The answer should dictate how the content will be presented on each channel. For example, if it is to advertise a new product, it could be a similar video but cropped in different ways to suit the channel. But if the purpose is to get people to your site, create unique short videos that sit on social and link to the HUB where the main long form video sits. If you don’t know why you are creating the film, you should assess whether it is worth doing one at all. The use of film for brands is slowly changing from a marketing tool to a strategy in its own right. If you are going to do it, do it for a reason (because your competitor is doing it, isn’t a reason). 

Plan the deliverables before filming

Now your film team know why you are producing a film, they also need to know where the films are going to be used. At Trunk, we archive our customers' footage so we can always dip back into it in the future to create other pieces of content. However, the best way to do this is to plan it from the very beginning. If your film team know they need to produce 1 x main film for your website, 6 x snippets for Facebook, 4 x snippets for Instagram Stories and a trailer for Twitter, they can plan the shoot day/s to this effect. Otherwise they could shoot all of your content without knowing you were planning to crop into it for social, for example. It’s always best to plan ahead, rather than shoe horn it in at the last minute.

Optimise your films for each channel

Each channel has its own optimum aspect ratio for reach and engagement. Most filmmakers will tell you “this kills creativity!”, but that isn’t necessarily true. Of course, when you are creating a beautiful film, you’d usually want it as wide as possible. When a client says “I want it all vertical so it’s the same shape as a phone” it can be heart breaking. But this is where creativity really comes to the forefront. One example of making vertical films just as engaging is our work with Ultimate Boxxer last year. The images on the left are from the IGTV films and the ones on the right are from the films posted on YouTube.

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This is a great example of making your content work across different channels, and in my opinion the IGTV version is actually more engaging because it’s a different viewing experience. 

There are thousands of stats and opinions all over the internet on which ratios work best for which platform. In our experience, it depends on your audience and what type of brand you are. There isn’t one rule of thumb for all. Our suggestion would be to a/b ratio test your content on your first few campaigns, as this will help you understand your audience and how they prefer to view content. This means your first few campaigns will be slightly more expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Use channels to lead to other channels

Now you’ve captured them with your amazingly well-thought-out creative film, keep them! If you are verified on Instagram, a great way to do this is to plan a few vertical snippets to post on your story, if you are lucky enough to have one of those little blue ticks it means you can directly link people to any web address by swiping up. So, when we produce films for our clients 32Red & UNIBET, we produce 4 different types of video for their different channels. For Instagram, we create short 7-8 second vertical snippets with a CTA of “swipe up to view the full video” this will then take them to either Twitter to view the square version, YouTube to view the 16:9 version or Facebook to view the 4:5 version as these are the aspect ratios we have found works best for them in these channels.

Another good example of this is when our client HomeServe asked us to create helpful How to Videos for their customers. They wanted people to come back to their “How to HUB”. So we created 2 different types of video, the first was a square, shorter version for Facebook using film, motion graphics and music. This then led their audience to a longer form version which had a presenter. This sat on YouTube but the YouTube link was embedded into their How to HUB, so they could create social posts advising people how to do a quick fix. However, for a more in-depth video  the audience had to visit their website.

In conclusion

Don’t post the same film on all of your channels. People visit your website for a different reason they visit your social channels. In the same way, they follow you on Twitter for different reasons than they follow you on Instagram. They want to see different content on each, and may feel cheated if they just see the same content on every channel they follow you on. This will result in unfollows.

Test your audience, find out how they like to view content by splitting your audience with your ads. Once you have these results, feed them content in the way they enjoy it.

Use channels to advertise other channels. If your objective is to get more YouTube subscribers, use shorter versions of the film on Twitter, Facebook & IG to lead people to the longer version sitting on YouTube.

Find out more

By Adam Britton

Director

Social Media

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