Winning the algorithm: Here’s why today’s brands need video content

Winning the algorithm: Here’s why today’s brands need video content

Month: April
Year: 2021

When you do your job for a long time, you rarely get that thrilling feeling of doing something for the first time. But after 4+ years as a social media consultant and over 2 years at Public Link, that’s actually how I feel typing these words right now. Because this is the first article of my very own column – from now on, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on current developments and exciting phenomena from the social media world. Enjoy!

Let’s start with a topic that’s not brand new, but has generated an unbelievable transformation of the social media universe: videos. Or rather: Social Binge Watching. The hours of “being stuck” in various social media apps. There is a reason why the video-only platform TikTok is also booming in Germany now, why Instagram is focusing on Reels and even LinkedIn is relying on videos as the format of choice. 

The reasons behind are easily explained: Videos capture the viewer’s attention in the shortest amount of time. A narrative told visually through movement, sound and emotions. Easy, passive media consumption at its best. And the longer the viewer engages with a piece of content, the more likely it is that the algorithm will expose this content to an even wider audience. So there’s hardly an algorithm left that hasn’t learned that videos perform best.

I would have liked to avoid using the C-word, but unfortunately I can’t get around it when it comes to video content. Covid has played a particular role in the huge success of this format. The big players all saw an increase in usage. So creators, brands and companies had to come up with something quickly to win over the audiences additional time. A new wave of live workouts, banana bread recipe videos and DIY Ikea upcycling hacks were born – just to name a few of the many trends. 

As a result, brands and creators are now facing a new challenge, as consumers expectations go far beyond mere product placements on their social feed. More than ever, the audience wants to see creativity and get to know the values and people behind a brand. Content with added value is king – to gain new followers, increase awareness or even generate sales. 

For some, videos are already their bread and butter, for others it’s still unchartered territory. But if you want to bet on the winning horse in social media, you need video content. And if you want to stay one step ahead in the race, you need a strong strategy. 

Which products or services should be presented? What story do you want to tell? Can you add value to the video? How regularly can the format be offered? Questions upon questions, all of which need to be answered in the strategy. Not to be forgotten: determining the specifications of the different formats on the various platforms – sometimes it’s simply not enough to produce one video for all channels. It really needs to be planned and cropped to be platform specific.

And now, probably the most helpful insight: not every video has to be an expensive production by a professional video team. A newer smartphone is completely sufficient thanks to good camera quality and intuitive apps.  

Too long, didn’t read: Videos are here to stay. Trial and error is the motto. Especially in social media, not everything always has to be perfect – the more authentic, the better. 

Last but not least, my 8 hottest tips:

  • It’s better to have one channel with regular content than to have too many irons in the fire.
  • Every video needs a story. A dramaturgical composition. A common thread. Whatever you want to call it.
  • To-Do: Take a picture in the same video setting. In most formats, you can select an additional photo as a thumbnail, which is definitely more professional than selecting a sequence from the video itself.
  • It’s worth spending a little money on useful apps. This will save you a lot of frustration and time, and you’ll get a variety of ready-made templates that can be easily personalized.
  • Rivals never rest. So better to start yesterday than tomorrow.
  • Truly enjoy video production. Or find someone in the company who is on fire for it. The passion is obvious in a video.
  • Spend time on social media yourself and watch videos for inspiration, to know what is state of the art at the moment.
  • Keep at it. Videos should not follow a one-and-done strategy. It can only get better with every video.

…and if support to develop or implement a video strategy is needed, you surely know where to find our contact details. 🙂

Author: Milena Reismann – Head of Social Media