This week’s takeaway comes from Kyle Kramer, vice president of video at Forbes Media, who oversees all video development, creation and strategy.
As media rushes toward its video future, it’s worth thinking about what sort of video works. Here are some familiar guidelines for branded content video:
- Keep it short
- A square format beats a rectangular one
- Use captions
- Nail the takeaway at the top
- Keep things in motion, visually speaking
Here’s another — one that’s just as crucial but gets less attention: Make your videos episodic. Forget about one-off videos, if you have the choice.
“If the goal is to engage an audience,” said Kramer, “then the series is by far the better investment for a brand.”
The single viral video still sweetens advertisers’ dreams, but it’s a low-yield bet. “Sure, if you hit the jackpot with a one-off video that racks up 6 million views within days, you’ll beat any series in terms of effectiveness,” Kramer said. “But you probably won’t.”
Kramer prefers building an audience video by video, piece by piece. It’s like going long on a solid stock rather than tossing your savings into one hot IPO.
“A series gives a brand a lot more chances to forge an emotional bond with an audience,” Kramer said. “We tend to be skeptical that we can build an audience with one-off video content.”
Kramer and his team shoot videos in series of four to 30.
The numbers tell the story. All eight of the videos in Forbes.com’s Samsung-sponsored Relentless series, which explores how young achievers maximize their time, are currently among the top 25 most-viewed Forbes videos. Viewers come to see one Relentless video, and many stay to see more than one, or all of them.