In recent years, live streaming’s popularity has exploded.
From humble beginnings with Periscope on Twitter to having live streaming abilities on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, anyone (and any business) can engage their audience in real-time. And audiences have responded – online streaming is now one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, estimated to be worth over $70 billion by 2021.
In our line of work, we watch countless hours of video, but sometimes we see one that really sticks with us. The ones we remember often have similar characteristics – they’re creative, they’re both affective and effective, and their message is crystal clear.
This video from Stephen Colbert is hilarious, unless you are a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 customer. In that case, it’s not so amusing because you probably have burn scars and insurance claims to file. And if you’re Samsung marketing department, have another handful of TUMS.
Samsung needs to extinguish this and video is a part of that.
Welcome to the age of mobile video. Well, a newer age. While mobile video has been around for some time now, Snapchat’s discovery buttons have opened up companies to vertical video content like never before. Snapchat’s increasing popularity and style has companies itching to tap into their large user base and vertical video is allowing them to do just that.
Vertical video utilizes the whole screen for users holding a mobile device in a vertical, one-handed position. To put it simply, this is a technical change from filming in widescreen, which has been the default for video up until now. Its rise is mainly due to the fact that it omits the inconvenience of needing to turn your device sideways to view the video full screen. Thus the birth of vertical video: a trend, like it or not, that businesses in some verticals will need to consider as part of their mobile strategies.
Buzz Feed, ESPN, CNN, People, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan and many other outlets have taken advantage of vertical video, using Snapchat as a channel for their content through their own discovery buttons, which appear to every user. The emergence of these channels allows ads to be inserted between the content clips when exploring each discovery button, an opportunity companies can take advantage of.
Are you ready to test out vertical video? Here are a few tips for getting started:
Keep it mobile: Vertical videos should be kept to strictly mobile channels. Vertical video’s aesthetic doesn’t translate well to other screens – but there still should be the same amount of effort and care used in creating these videos as with any other company video.
Create a company Snapchat account: In order to purchase an advertisement on Snapchat you will have to drop a lot of dough. Your best bet for getting started is to dip your toes in the water by trying out some ideas using your organic audience as a free testing ground for your videos.
Practice: A big draw of Snapchat is that videos shared through the platform disappear after a short period of time. When you are first starting out on Snapchat, the audience will be small – but so will the risk. Any less-than-perfect efforts will disappear eventually. Don’t be afraid to try something creative.
Utilize Snap-story: While Snapchats delete in ten seconds or less, Snap-stories are accessible for up to 24 hours and can be viewed multiple times. This is ideal for businesses because it creates more opportunity for visibility. Snap-story even keeps track of how many views your post gets (though it won’t show if a person viewed it more than once).
Move to other platforms: Once you’re comfortable with the format, try developing more complex videos for your mobile versions of Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Snapchat, you can edit these videos and craft the exact message you want.
Gear your videos towards millennials: Vertical video, thanks in large part to the popularity of Snapchat, is a millennial trend. They are less interested in big, wide screens as generations before them and like to enjoy a quick video on the go. Keep this audience in mind when creating a vertical video, as they’ll make up your largest viewership demographic.
Looking for inspiration for how to make great Snapchats? See how two big names have gotten creative with vertical video:
By surveying hundreds of people, television analytics firm, Ace Metrix, evaluated political spots to determine their effectiveness. Politico tells us that Ted Cruz’s ads are the most effective among the Republicans because his ads are 5 of the highest scoring 11 — probably sounds better than saying 4 of the top 10.
The endless debates surrounding Chicago’s educational institutions have taken the grand stand in Chicago politics. It can be a disheartening landscape. Video Parachute was happy to help draw attention to a program that is a positive light, taking action to really make change for Chicago’s youth: High Jump.
The videos done. Now let’s get it to as many eyes as possible.
According to statistic.com, Instagram had reach 300 million monthly active users as of December 2014. That’s 600 million eyeballs that your video could be missing out on.
The best lighting, sound quality and direction can’t save a video that is dull and unengaging (as much as we wish it could).
The truth is that your video must connect with your audience in order for it to make an impact. Even if your brand or company isn’t perceived as interesting or exciting, it doesn’t mean you can’t add a personal, engaging element into your videos.
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T.W. Li, Producer
T.W. has been making video and film for more than 25 years. Since 1989 he has directed or photographed over 500 videos for businesses, including Reebok, VH-1, Chanel Fine Jewelry, Discovery Channel, Sears, and MTV Productions.
As a lighting and camera specialist, he directed the photography of 13 feature films including What’s the Matter with Kansas, based on the best selling book by Thomas Frank, and Pilot Season, directed by Sam Seder, and starring Sarah Silverman, Marc Maron, David Cross, and Isla Fisher.
T.W. has taught Cinematography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago, and his technical articles have been published in International Cinematographer, the magazine of the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600.
Suzanna Boelter, Project Manager
After getting her degree in electrical engineering from University of Illinois Chicago, Suzanna started her career supervising projects for a video game production company in Atlanta.
She returned to Chicago to manage production for a video company where she supervised projects for global clients, like scholastic publishing giant, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, global insurer Marsh MMC, and Chicago art-film champion, MusicBox Films.
Audio is often the least considered when making a video. But without the proper equipment and care, bad sound can sink your video project. Our microphones and mixers are of the highest quality. Good sound is a high priority for us, and that’s what separates the experienced from the newcomers.
We have several cameras and we know how to use them. Some are best for 4K quality, while others are best for running and gunning. Ultimately, gear is the easy part; it’s our people and their skills, both technical and personal, that set us apart.
We’re big believers in being well prepared. From scouting locations and casting talent, to storyboarding and pre-visualization, there’s no such thing as too much planning.
Messaging & Scripting
Words are still the basic building blocks of all communication. You cannot make a good video with a bad script. Our writing starts with a deep understanding of your message and audience, and we keep it clear and concise.
Good lighting is one of the most important ingredients in a high quality video. We’re experts at lighting and approach it with great care. All the people in your video deserve to look their best (not just your CEO).
Kenneth Reed, Production Manager
Kenny earned his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. He has done camera and audio work for several networks, including MTV, Food Network, Fox, as well as several Chicago based production companies.
Kenny is an experimental filmmaker, and his short films have been shown in Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, the Ukraine, and all over the United States.
Ernest J. Ramon, Image Specialist
Ernest is from Texas. He shoots photographs, makes documentaries, and draws graphic novels. He’s been a creative and technical consultant for nearly two decades. His creative work has shown at South by Southwest Media Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Dallas Film & Video Festival, and the Field Museum of Natural History, among others. In 2007, he received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Editing & Animation
Dawn Kraemer-Meseck, Accounts Manager
After high school, Dawn began her career in the automotive industry, where she learned the intricacies of accounting on 12 column green ledger paper. This experience led her to a degree in finance, which she obtained magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Platteville. She has broad experience in several finance and accounting roles, focusing on client services.
Charles Jevremovic, Producer Director
Plying his craft behind the camera, producer/director Charles Jevremovic has been creating compelling images for more than three decades. He has worked on a broad spectrum of award winning projects, from web-based content, commercials and industrials to corporate presentations for clients including MIT, Jeep, Motorola, Invisalign and CVS.
Jevremovic draws on his expertise and background in teaching, fine art and broadcast engineering to help a range of diverse clients achieve their communication goals and reach their intended audience. His own work has been screened at The Museum of Modern Art, The American Film Institute and Artprize.