The 1st Video Strategy Conference in Europe
We started StoryMe to help our clients communicate easier, better, and more efficiently, with video. We saw that video wasn’t just a content marketing tool isolated for marketers anymore; it was a game changing business tool that helped our clients see real, tangible results. We couldn’t ignore the major shift the world was making to video strategy, so we’ve dedicated our mission to just that. We wanted to share the Video First way of thinking with international video experts around the world, for us and others to preach on the power and uses of video. As the first video strategy conference in Europe, we hoped this would be more than a conference - that it would be an inspirational, educational and fun event for our attendees. It was all three!
9 Takeaways from VFC 2017
1. Having video content isn’t enough, you need good video content.
Both Phil Nottingham and Robin Panish from Wistia made it clear that it’s not the distribution budgets that make the difference, it’s the content. Budget can’t solve bad content. Your audience doesn’t owe you anything, so you can’t expect them to sit through a video with no clear purpose and questionable content. Earn your audience’s attention by creating specific content that piques their interest, solves their problem etc.
2. First thing’s first: Let’s get down to Video Strategy.
That is after all what VFC was all about. The speakers drove home the importance of having and integrating a strategy, even if it’s just for the one video. Phil Nottingham advised us not to make a video just for the sake of having it, or to get too fixated on video budget. A quick start to strategy is asking yourself if the content works in a video format. If so, on what platform?
For example: posting a video on Facebook means it will need captions since it will probably be watched without sound. Posting a video on YouTube means you’ll need sound. Longer videos don’t perform as well on Facebook, and lectures, interviews, talks, and music videos do better on YouTube.
3. Ditch the bazooka approach. Target the right audience, instead.
“The idea that video is valuable is true but dangerous; it’s not an asset in and of itself. Sharing simply isn’t enough.” -Phil Nottingham
You might mistake this takeaway as an old Chinese proverb, but it’s golden advice from Phil. Have a persona in mind when creating content and work to appeal to them because as Brendon says, ‘good content can only be good if it’s focused’. Niels let us know that YouTube is creating specific platforms for specific audiences, for example YouTube Kids. No, you don’t have to create a whole platform, just take the time to learn where your target audience is most active.
4. 75% of video viewing will be on mobile by 2020.
‘Nomophobia: the fear of being without your mobile phone.’
What started off as a mobile revolution, quickly turned into a mobile-first breakout. Niels tells us we’re so dependent on our phones that it has altered our behavior and completely changed the way we consume content. Companies should take notice and evolve with these trends by thinking vertical and optimizing content for mobile. The ones who continue to learn and adapt are the ones that will thrive. Period.
5. The barrier to your content? Time and attention.
Generation Z will have an attention span of only 2.8 seconds, according to Niels Chabot of Facebook. He talked about attention as our scarcest of all digital resources. The takeaway here? Compelling visuals are crucial, so you've got to make your case right from the start. Communication nowadays needs to be immediate, expressive and immersive. Engage your viewers from the get go or risk losing your viewers.
6. Don’t wait for big video budget to start, jump in now!
No budget? No excuse! Don’t wait on tinsel town production standards and just start smaller with lower quality videos. Chris Savage tells us all the tools and platforms are out there to start using video on your own...now. When you get the hang of video and correct budgets, you can always spend more based on the number of people who are likely to see the video.
7. Video and HR go hand in hand!
‘Don’t miss out on good people because of their location.’ - Leah Knobler
When it comes to remote company culture, video makes working possible and it doesn’t automatically translate to NO company culture. Leah Knobler from Help Scout, explains that her ‘long distance work relationships’ are more personal and meaningful because of video. StoryMe for example live streams Monday Morning meetings in Ghent to the international offices in London and Sofia. This way you include everyone.
8. Have your audience help you create videos with User Generated Content.
Harriet Beaumont from Seenit shed light on User Generated Content. Engagement is a two-way street, so ask your users to become engaged with your brand by becoming brand ambassadors by creating videos for you. This will then empower them, give them a platform and show your appreciation for their brand positivity. The biggest pro to using UGC? It helps humanize your companies and offers multiple perspectives in a sea of predictable company (video) content.
9. Connectivity will increase creative storytelling possibilities (VR, AR, 360).
Constantly evolving technology is making it possible for us to tell our stories in a very different way. VR and AR blur the lines of reality, making it possible for businesses to fully immerse their audience in what they’re saying. Future trends are not solely about the tech (which is pretty cool), but more about us finding a way to let our viewers be a bigger part of the story.
Video First Conference was an amazing day of learning, networking, and making video strategy history. I’m proud of my team for making what was once just a cool idea a reality right here in Ghent. Can’t wait for next year to see what the next VFC brings and all the new video trends that will sweep in in 2018. See you next year!
What did you think of VFC 2017? For more event photos, head to the VFC Facebook page.