If you want to create great videos, take some advice from the brands and influencers who’ve conquered the format.
One of the best ways to learn anything is through observation. So if you want to create great videos, make sure to check out the brands and influencers who’ve conquered the format. In this chapter, we showcase some best in show examples, alongside wise words from YouTube influencers who’ve mastered the art of video.
After starting out in 2005, Chobani has become a major force in the food industry in the United States, and an undisputed champion of brand storytelling. The company creates social-first videos to promote itself across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. These short, imaginative and playful videos use colorful illustrations and stop motion animations, which often incorporate ingredients from Chobani products. The videos position the company as warm, nurturing, caring about food, and using only the best produce to deliver on taste, all of which is consistent with its mission “to bring high quality yogurt to more people and create positive change in our country’s food culture”.
Fitbit is a US-based tech brand that produces fitness bands that measure heart rate and steps taken throughout the day. The company uses social media video to amplify its brand, while advancing its mission to “empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life.” Importantly, Fitbit uses different video strategies on different social media platforms, including:
The Swedish retailer is a master of youthful and playful video, and it uses different video formats across its social media platforms. For example, H&M’s Facebook videos average nine seconds in length and often employ stop motion animation or quick-cut scenes. Even when the company opts for longer narrative videos, as it does on YouTube, they typically run for no more than 30 seconds and focus on H&M as an affordable global fashion brand that embraces diversity and sustainability.
In a year when most travel brands were either delivering bad news or keeping quiet, Expedia’s “Let’s Take a Trip” campaign was refreshingly quirky, playful, optimistic, and most importantly, perfectly captured the mood in 2020. This cleverly put together stop-motion film was launched nine months into the pandemic, but still managed to tick the heart-warming box without inducing an eye roll from an audience for whom travel has been a mostly bitter topic. In proof, the video boasts millions of views on YouTube and was voted one of the best campaigns of 2020 by Marketing Week.
Joshua Noel is the content creator at SonduckFilm, a YouTube channel that specializes in teaching graphic design, motion graphics and video-making techniques. Joshua shares his insights into getting started on YouTube and what he’s learnt from 12 years of using the platform.
Kelsey Brannan is the founder and creative director of Premiere Gal, a video production and marketing company specializing in YouTube video editing tutorials, promotional videos and motion graphics. Kelsey tells us how she started her company and what she’s learned along the way.
I was into Call of Duty back in 2007 and I was inspired to record my gameplay and edit montages. It was a really great experience for my 13-15 year old self, creating videos and posting them to YouTube. Fast forward to 2016: I wanted to make creative, educational content and felt YouTube was the right platform.
I got into YouTube as an experiment to help me pay off my student loans. So far it's working out.
I spent the first few years out of high school starting several different “creative service” businesses, and towards the beginning of 2016 I saw myself focusing more on other people’s businesses than my own. Off the back of a couple of stressful experiences, I decided I needed to get away from working directly with clients and produce work on my own terms.
I'm influenced a lot by the film theorists and editors I studied in film school: Eisenstein and Lev Kuleshov. They showed me how editing can change the emotion in your viewers.
Don’t have high expectations in terms of numbers; instead, be committed to posting consistently. Don’t delay posting your first videos. Get content out there and improve as you go. You can always remake old videos down the road. As you post content, study other creators and figure out what works for them.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and say YES to every opportunity in the beginning–you never know where it will lead you.
Make a template out of your video project and start saving time with each project. Keep your branded elements consistent across each video, unless it’s a special one-off. Don’t over-complicate your edits, just tell your story and get it out there.
Stay organized, know your shortcuts, and don't stay up too late.
Obviously, if a video is well received and does well with views, that can be classified as a success. However, the videos that don’t do as well I still consider a success, as long as I understand why they didn’t work. If you can understand why your video performed the way it did, then you’re able to grow as a creator.
If your videos are getting liked and people are commenting, that means they are engaged.
This has been something I’ve neglected up until recently. Currently, we bring people to our website to download free content from our videos. This allows us to expand our email list and send our videos out to a large list. We also work towards using each platform differently. For example, we use our Instagram account for content about behind-the-scenes filmmaking; we use Discord to chat with our fans; we use Facebook to preview our tutorials and Twitter to have public conversations.
I want to involve my audience as much as possible. By including members of my audience in my brand and inviting them to comment, they become a part of the brand.
Creating video content is the only trend that matters. Just get started and upload content.
I'm very intrigued by a new movement of simple YouTube advertising (text based) and crowdsourced video content, including your audience in your videos.