WE’RE HONORED TO BE A SNAPCHAT PARTNER

If you know Snapchat, you know there’s nothing quite like it. What started out as an image-sharing app, popular just among young teens, has now blown up into today’s most influential and buzzed-about video platform. With 10+ billion video views a day, Snapchat is a powerhouse that is just getting started.

If you know VidMob, you know how much we believe in and celebrate the power of video storytelling. We built VidMob to meet this shifting content demand—to equip video creatives with the tools they need to succeed and thrive in an ever-changing media landscape. So whether you’re an editor looking for cutting-edge jobs in the industry or an agency looking to provide your clients with the most effective Snap Ad creative, we want to help you get in on the action. Which is why we (as we write these very words!) have to pinch ourselves:

Snapchat Partner BadgeWe are humbled to announce that VidMob has been named a Snapchat Partner.

While this is a major milestone for our company, it’s also an even bigger moment for our community of video editors. It both validates the hard work they’ve put in to make this partnership possible and affirms their dedication, quality, and capability as innovative talent in the video space. So while we absolutely have Snapchat to thank for this one-of-a-kind opportunity, we also have our editors to thank for helping VidMob earn this sought-after spot in the first place. Editors, this one’s for you!

So here’s to the future—to the future of an exciting partnership with a true front-runner in the emerging video frontier and of the inventive and exciting content we’ll be able to create together as a result.

Snapchat, it’s an honor to be working with you.

New Feature Release: Favorites, Files, and Drafts

Upon launching our beta of VidMob Desktop, we’ve received an encouraging amount of feedback and suggestions. With each feature release and improvement, we hope to make our platform its absolute best for you and your team. And while the feature list is still growing (but very much in-progress!), we’re happy to say we can cross off these three from the wish list:

1.   Notify Your Favorite Editor*

Let’s say you just made a new project and were excited to work with an editor from your Favorite Editors list (currently accessible only in the iOS app). But there’s an issue—your favorite editor isn’t showing up in your bid selection!

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Now you can easily send your favorite editor a message, letting them know to place a manual bid on your project if they’re interested in taking on the work. How easy is that?

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Not sure how to favorite an editor on iOS? Here’s a quick refresher:

–     Find editors to favorite in the MobFeed.

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–    And manage your list of Favorite Editors from your Profile.

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*This feature is temporarily unavailable for enterprise clients with custom editor pools.

2.   Request Final Project Files & Extra Assets

Sometimes, it’s useful to have access to the different assets or files that make up your final video. Once requested, editors can share these files or custom assets with you on the Project Home screen. Once added, they’re made available for download under the new folder labeled “Project Assets.”

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Because this is a special feature, it is available only for enterprise clients. Interested in features like these? Try a VidMob enterprise solution today.

3.   Download Drafts

Now, when a project is complete, you can easily download any or all of your project’s different drafts from the Draft Preview screen.

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In the meantime, we hope that these features will help to make your lives a little bit easier as we continue to build and expand upon the VidMob platform.

And if you have any suggestions for new or improved features you’d like to see, write to us! We love hearing from you: support@vidmob.com.

THE SHOT HEARD ROUND THE (MEDIA) WORLD

The news this week that Facebook is beginning to test mid-roll advertising in video content from publishers is potentially game-changing for people throughout the entire content creation ecosystem.

First and foremost, it shows a commitment on Facebook’s part to help publishers monetize the content that populates the social network and helps make it more sticky. Make no mistake about it—this is a big deal. As VidMob has helped more and more brands over the past year make content for the various channels available to them, the one consistent theme we’ve heard is that they have been stuck in a bind: Facebook is where they get views and engagement, but they could not monetize there. Instead, they publish it on their owned and operated properties, where they can control monetization but with the downside of comparatively little traffic. As such, most legacy brands adopted a wait-and-see stance, essentially dipping their toes in the Facebook content waters, publishing a few pieces here and there. But by and large, they focused their content on their O&O properties while waiting for Facebook to make a move.

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This opened the doors for new companies who had faith that Facebook would eventually open up content monetization to jump in with both feet and build enormous bulkheads. NowThis, BuzzFeed, and many others have built enormous value over the past few years through this strategy.

In the meantime, the lack of monetization opportunities has arguably held back the quality of content throughout the platform. Through this dampening effect, it has also helped sow the seeds for the much-discussed fake news problem. On the internet, all holes always get filled. And where quality content isn’t, other content is sure to flow.

Facebook’s announcement will likely have two impacts here. First, I’d expect it to lead to a general “rising of the tide,” as all content on the platform will get better. As an indirect, and perhaps unintended benefit, this will make some of the cheap, fake news less discoverable among its increasingly better competition, and thus less successful. It will also likely become harder to monetize bad content on Facebook. After all, mid-roll only monetizes if the audience is engaged enough to (a) make it to the middle, and (b) wants to see the rest of the content badly enough that they are willing to sit through a disruptive advertisement.

So who wins as a result of this change?

The short answer is everyone. Publishers now have an enormous opportunity in front of them. The largest audience ever assembled in the history of the world just became open for business, complete with all of the tools to foster propagation of engaging content, and the most sophisticated ad targeting technology ever built. If it sticks, it will be easier to monetize content on Facebook than anywhere else.

Facebook users also win because monetization will lead to greater content investment from publishers, which will lead to more diverse and better content. Want proof? Just look what’s happened to the quality of scripted cable television in the past decade as monetization opportunities for that content have expanded. It wasn’t long ago that most cable channels ran a bleak mix of reality shows, syndicated sitcoms, and library movies. Today, we are living in a golden age of scripted TV with shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mr. Robot, and many, many more. Certainly, the tide has risen there as it surely will on Facebook.

Advertisers and marketers win because they will have more engaged audiences and better content to integrate with as well as market their products and services—leading to higher return on investment. The data is incredibly clear that video advertising is simply much better than text and photos. Facebook offers incredibly powerful targeting tools that advertisers have used to great effect with static media and will now increasingly use with video.

And Facebook will clearly win, as better content leads to better experiences for its nearly two billion users—more engagement and, ultimately, expanded revenue opportunities.

But there is another audience that will benefit, too.

One that is closer to our hearts here at VidMob. Creators. Underlying all of this is the simple reality that making great content requires work. And as much as we like watching great content, the thing we like even more is watching good people get great jobs. So kudos to Facebook for beginning to experiment with publisher monetization. It’s a small change that we expect to ripple through the system with growing benefit to everyone involved.

Facebook is the most important media platform of our generation, and this move could be the key to becoming the largest video network ever assembled. Only time will tell.

A Few Thoughts on the Future of Video

Video—especially on social media platforms—is quickly becoming the new communication standard. But don’t just take our word for it…check out what some of today’s important voices have to say on the subject of video in our mobile- and content-centric world:

On Video and Content

Presentation: REDEF on the Future of Video

For all the industry’s value and opportunity, almost every aspect of the video business is under attack or in a state of flux. Earlier this year, the REDEF team created a deck designed to help leaders chart a path forward. We’re excited to share it with you today.

Reflections on a Few Historic Months for Online Video

Not to get too carried away, let me temper my enthusiasm by saying that the future hasn’t arrived whole and in its shiny entirety. The innovations are out there in the real world, but these are still Wild West days for the new era of video, and realizing the transition won’t be without its difficulties. But I believe if you’re an entrepreneur, you should be excited that the online video landscape is inchoate, because that means there are enormous rewards awaiting anyone who can solve the challenges. I’ll elaborate on a couple of areas of great opportunity…

Age of Abundance: How the Content Explosion Will Invert the Media Industry

Over the past century, technological advancements have massively reduced the cost and time needed to create and circulate content. Though this has liberated artists, consumers are now drowning in a virtually infinite supply of things to watch, listen to and read. The answer to a world where attention is the key constraint, not capital or distribution, isn’t Big Media—it’s the Influencer Curator.

On Publishing and Advertising

The Shot Heard Round the Media World

So who wins as a result of this change? The short answer is everyone. Publishers now have an enormous opportunity in front of them. The largest audience ever assembled in the history of the world just became open for business, complete with all of the tools to foster propagation of engaging content, and the most sophisticated ad targeting technology ever built. If it sticks, it will be easier to monetize content on Facebook than anywhere else.

U.S. Digital Ad Revenues Grew 19% in First Half of 2016

“Mobile is a major driver of all digital revenue. Desktop is declining in some areas and mobile is taking share,” said David Doty, chief marketing officer at IAB. “The behavior of consumers has outpaced the spending patterns of marketers, but now we’re seeing marketers catching up.”

Upgrading Facebook Video for People and Advertisers

Businesses on Facebook bring their stories to life with captivating video ads, and now more people than ever are sharing, discovering and engaging with videos in News Feed. We want to amplify this connective power of video, so we’re rolling out new products and features that make organic videos and video ads in News Feed more rich and engaging.

“It’s Our Life Blood:” How Publishers Meet the Video Challenge in 5 Charts

Despite the challenges publishers still see video as a key piece of their editorial strategy, and they’re not pulling back. For 56 percent of publishers, video ranks as the single most important aspect of their editorial strategy in 2017.

On Social Platforms

Facebook Will Reward Videos that People Actually Watch

Facebook has changed the way it chooses videos to surface on your News Feed, and this new method favors longer clips. The social network explains in its latest blog post that “percent completion” or the percentage of each video you watch helps its algorithm understand what kind of content you enjoy. “If you watch most or all of a video, that tells us that you found the video to be compelling—and we know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one,” the post reads.

More Ads to Appear on Instagram, Now on “Stories” Feature

Ads will now show up between some Stories, which take up the full phone screen and otherwise seamlessly transition from one account to the next. (Snapchat, which has 150 million daily users overall, runs similar ads.) Instagram will soon begin with ads from more than 30 companies—including General Motors, Netflix, Airbnb and Capital One—before expanding to all advertisers in coming weeks. It will monitor feedback to determine how often the ads will appear, said James Quarles, the vice president of Instagram Business.

Snapchat’s Latest Move Makes it Look More like a TV Disrupter than a Social App

The next-generation television company may be in your pocket. Snapchat, once pegged by the public as a social-messaging app and recently self-declared camera-based platform, is actually starting to look more and more like TV for young viewers who prefer smartphones over flat screens, industry players say.

Where do you think video is headed? Let us know by sharing some of your thoughts or favorite articles in the comments below.

3 Video Trends Your Brand Should Master

Need to get a handle on the most important video trends for 2017? We’ve gathered our top three that will take you farthest this year:

1) Forget Mobile-Friendly, Focus on Mobile-First

It used to be that the focus was ensuring your digital presence was (key word) complemented by a mobile-friendly one. That’s changing.

As more and more people replace their desktop use for mobile—from behaviors like social and search to purchase and discovery—you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping pace with how you design your video content to best cater to your audience.

2) Two Words: Vertical Video

There’s a reason why vertical is having a serious moment. If users are more likely to pick up their mobile phones than they are to crack open a laptop, then the content they experience needs to match that behavior. Because when it does, your message becomes that much stronger.

Snap Ads

Snapchat took the vertical video world by storm, catering to a use-case that took advantage of the fact that few social communications mirrored the way users actually hold their phone—cue the vertical video trend that has now ballooned into a communication standard.

Instagram Stories

To combat the uber-popularity of Snapchat’s Stories feature, Instagram quickly rolled out its very own copy-cat version. And while it varies little from Snapchat’s, it’s just as (if not more!) popular—and well worth creating content customized for this Instagram audience.

Facebook News Feed

With the launch of Facebook’s mobile app, the News Feed was re-designed with mobile in mind—for both desktop and mobile. It’s a narrow, vertically-focused, list-like appearance makes it super easy for a user to thumb or scroll through a mass of content. But what gets those thumbs to stop? An engaging video that eats up as much News Feed real estate as possible…and that’s vertical.

Pinterest

Not to be overshadowed by the likes of Facebook or Snapchat, Pinterest recently rolled out a selection of new video offerings to their advertisers. And, yep, you guessed it—vertical is big. Not only does it take up more feed real estate, but it also encourages users to give their undivided attention to your content.

Spotify

Spotify casually boasts a dedicated audience of 100 million active users that spends a whopping 110 minutes listening per day. That’s some serious face time. It’s no surprise that they, too, recently released a vertical video ad unit to help businesses reach this highly engaged group.

3) Get Comfortable with Cross-Platform

While platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all rely on vertical video to support their mobile-first experience, not all vertical video is or should be created the same. Each platform has unique audience experiences and expected aesthetics. That’s why having a cross-platform strategy in place is critical if you’re going to take advantage of the vertical video benefits. Not sure where to begin? Our VidMob experts are trained and vetted in each platform’s specs and best practices. So when you hire a VidMob creator, you know your video will be totally customized for the platform of your choice.

So, what are you waiting for? Start a project today!

Tips for Video Optimization

Optimization is tricky, fickle thing—especially when it comes to video. Thankfully, we have a few tips to help make optimization an easier beast to tame.

Know Your Platforms

Video-focused platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram all have one big thing in common: video. But that doesn’t mean you should treat them the same. In fact, doing so could work against you.

Each platform has individual and subtle nuances that attract their unique audiences and keep them engaged. Users seeking video on Snapchat aren’t looking for the same thing as users seeking video on YouTube.

So when it comes to creating video content that will resonate with these different audiences, it’s important to keep these nuances front of mind. Be sure to know the platform, its audience and expectations, and take good care to create content that’s a match.

Hire a VidMob Expert

But how are you supposed to customize content for each channel without spending an unthinkable amount of time and money? Hire a VidMob expert. VidMob has 5,000 trained and vetted video creators—many of whom are versed in Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Spotify, and other important video platforms’ specs and best practices.

Working with a VidMob creative expert will guarantee that the content you create will look and feel like it belongs on the platform where it lives—without you ever having to re-shoot or create bespoke creative for each channel.

A/B Test

To really refine your creation efforts, it’s important to have specific objectives in mind for the video you’ll run on these different channels. If you’re running a video ad on Facebook with the objective to generate more leads, ask a VidMob creative expert to whip up two separate outputs so you can test, for example, which CTA works best. Or, if your objective is brand awareness, try tracking which opening frame draws more views.

These findings will help you better understand how your audience reacts and responds to your content on these different channels—which will allow you to develop key learnings on to how best display your brand on each platform. For example, your Snapchat audience might really like bright visuals and bold CTAs…but that approach could really turn off your more subdued Facebook audience.

Isolating these test item will help you narrow down exactly what is and isn’t working for your audience. And we’ve made it super easy to work with a VidMob expert to generate those outputs for optimal and effective A/B testing.

Want more tips on how to A/B test using VidMob? Check out our Help Center How-To here.

 

3 Reasons to Publish Your Video from VidMob

Finished your VidMob video? Ready to share it with the world? Here’s are a few tips to making the most of our publishing features:

1) Don’t Limit Yourself to One Platform!

To-date, users can publish their completed videos directly to their Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook Page or Ad accounts. We will be adding other platforms to this list in the near future. Have one you’d like us to prioritize? Drop us a reminder at support@vidmob.com.

2) Eliminate Unnecessary Downloading and Re-Uploading

By publishing directly through VidMob, you can eliminate the needless step of downloading from our platform only to re-upload to the publishing platform.

Instead, simply hit the share button in VidMob to get direct access to your top-performing channels. Not ready to publish right away? You can also save your video to your publishing platform for future access.

3) Track Your Stats & Optimize Performance

VidMob collects the performance data for all videos published via our platform—no matter where they live. Quickly monitor how each video resonates with your audience and easily refresh tired creative by sending it back into the VidMob marketplace for a new take.

Have questions or want more advice for publishing your videos through VidMob? Write to us at support@vidmob.com.