“Before we produce any piece of content, we ask our creative team, ‘Would you actually seek this out and watch it on your own time?’” That question from Marriott International Executive Creative Director, Marc Battaglia was one of our favorite takeaways from this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, which our video production team attends each year. It underscores a point we’ve found to be increasingly true in the battle for eyeballs and engagement in the increasingly crowded digital content space: Your true competition on these platforms is not your competitors; it’s other storytellers. That’s why this edition of Weekly Reads is all about helping you produce content that will stand up to the compilation of “adorable cats and dogs who think they’re brother and sister” it will inevitably appear beside.
Social Media Today: Facebook releases best practices guide to video
It’s rare that you get this kind of content playbook directly from a social media platform itself. It should be taken with a grain of salt, because part of Facebook’s goal in releasing information like this is to encourage users to produce content that best serves the platform. But by the same token, what’s better for Facebook also tends to be better for brands from an engagement standpoint. What’s the big takeaway? As hard as it remains for some marketers to believe, long-form narratives and livestream content are having a moment — and shorter content is truly best to promote your meatier content.
We all know LinkedIn as the platform for professional networking, career advice and company news, but since its June algorithm change, more publishers are finding more engagement with original, non-career-oriented content. For example, Conde Nast has seen significant engagement posting content on eating in space and male birth control, while USA Todayhas found success with how-to guides on how to paint your home and shop on Amazon. What’s more, publishers have found they can share quite frequently on LinkedIn, seemingly without being punished by the algorithm unlike they do on Facebook.
At 9:25 a.m. ET on July 16, 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission to the moon launched. At 9:25 a.m. ET on July 16, 2019, National Geographic began “live-tweeting” it on its @NatGeo account. In doing so, National Geographic was able to pair one consistently engaging content genre (history) with one consistently engaging tactic (live content generation).
As much as brands should, and rightly do focus on the creation of great content, one simple reality of social media should never be ignored: these are social platforms as much as they are media platforms. If your brand is not actively starting and finding conversations in which it can participate, Perri Robinson writes, you’re missing out on a chance to build an engaged audience on your platform — one that will eventually watch that great content in which you’re investing.
Colorado Department of Human Services | Mini Documentary | The Yorgesens: A Day in the Life of a Foster Family
The mini documentary on the Yorgesen family, one we had the honor of working on with our clients at the Colorado Department of Human Services, is an example of content that our team would seek out and watch, and often does — again and again. Thankfully, we don’t seem to be alone in that opinion. With the goal of demystifying what it means to be a foster care family, our video production team spent a day with Natalie Yorgesen and her family, and helped pull together this 8-minute story about a family who has fostered dozens of children and formed impactful bonds with families who desperately needed their help. More than 1,000 people watched the premiere of the video live on Facebook, and more than 10,000 have watched it since, with nearly 3,400 directly engaging with the post. And all of that traffic is organic.