VidMob Named a Twitter Official Partner!

While Twitter may have started out as a place to send a quick, 140-character soundbite, it has since evolved into a real-time communication powerhouse—one that can’t be ignored for brands who seek to develop meaningful relationships with their customers.

Today, Twitter’s users have developed a strong taste for dynamic visual content. Most notably, they’re requesting it, with 37% eager to see more video from brands alone. Couple that with the fact that Twitter users are almost three times as likely to interact with tweets that have native video, and marketers have one amazing opportunity (i.e. video!) to engage with Twitter’s global audience like never before.

During last year’s Twitter #Promote Innovation Challenge, VidMob excelled in the Video category as a solution for marketers to scale their video production and get moving on Twitter.

twitter-official-partner-vidmob-video-marketingThis year, we’re excited to announce that VidMob is now a Twitter Official Partner!

We look forward to helping brands stand out in the feed and tell amazing stories on Twitter.

Want to create compelling Twitter videos? Get in touch see how easy it is to make Twitter ads with VidMob.

Cheers to a Great 2017!

This past year has given us so much to be grateful for. From opening new offices in Chicago and Los Angeles to ramping up relationships with our awesome partners, it has a been a milestone year for us as a company. And we couldn’t have gotten here without your enduring support!

Here’s a brief roundup of our most memorable stories as we reflect on 2017:

January-March (2017)

April-June (2017)

July-September (2017)

October-December (2017)

For more on this past year’s stories, check out VidMob in the press.

VidMob Selected for Launch of Snap Lens Studio!

For Snapchatters, 2017 was arguably the year of the dancing hotdog. This quirky, fun hotdog quickly won the hearts of users, appearing alongside or as the starring role in hundreds of thousands of snaps.

Between these World Lenses (like the hotdog) and Snap’s Face Lenses (like the fan-favorite puppy dog), Snapchat offers an incredibly unique opportunity for brands to both enter into and interact with their audience in real time. Notably, this ability to seamlessly immerse a brand into a user’s day-to-day communications has a serious impact on brand favorability and affinity—some brands boasting a boost of 19+ and 6+ points respectively.

Which is why, today, we’re so thrilled to announce that VidMob has been selected by Snap to be an expert lens creator as part of the Snap Lens Studio! Only a small handful of agencies and creative platforms were given the distinction, and we are honored to be among them. As an official Snapchat Creative Partner, we’re excited to be at the forefront of this amazing product. Our pool of specially trained AR and 3D specialists are eager to begin creating your brand’s version of the dancing hotdog superstar.

Editing Is the New Coding

One of the first movies that really left a mark on me was WarGames. It was the summer of 1983. I was 8 years old and was already what can probably best be described as “an optimism fundamentalist.”  So, instead of focusing on the dystopian reality that the threat of nuclear holocaust was going to be a permanent cloud over society for the rest of my life, what struck me was the exciting realization that computers were going to play a far bigger role in people’s lives than simply making it easier for them to delete misspelled words in a document.

Even though I was still a decade away from thinking about things like careers and life-callings, I realized then that if I stayed close to technology I would have opportunities to do interesting things in my life.

Across my personal circle of influence, and across the nation writ large, millions of kids were being inspired and directed like me. It would pick up steam in the 90’s as the internet became mainstream, and, for the next 3 decades, the constant theme of advice was that anyone who was interested in technology should consider being an engineer. As communications moved onto computing platforms, the people capable of helping that advancement would never want for work.

In the 80’s, there were only a handful of software engineers in the US. But by 2002, that number had grown to 677,000. By 2013 there were over 1 million. And that figure is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, with 22% annual growth expected over the next decade. The folks who predicted during my youth that engineers would have a rosy future pretty much nailed it. But labor markets will always evolve, and while many new jobs are being created, others are being eliminated. So my question is this: can we learn from the rise of computer technology and the associated growth in software engineering jobs in order to predict future areas of the economy poised for similarly explosive growth? I believe the answer is yes.

Today, the medium of communication is shifting once again.

For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors communicated verbally. Sure, there were markings and early writings, but the primary thrust of communication was the spoken word. This changed with the advent of print thanks to Gutenberg, and, for over 550 years, text and static imagery have dominated human communication.

It was a good run. But it’s coming to an end.

Everywhere you look, you see screens. Screens at the gas station pump. Screens at the dentist office. Screens in the back of taxi cabs. And, most importantly, screens in your pocket. Increasingly, if a company has something to say, they’re going to say it in video.

How significant is this shift? Well, think of it this way—at the beginning of 2015, there were 50 million companies using Facebook pages. By September of 2016, that number had climbed to over 60 million. That’s 60 million companies choosing to use a platform to communicate with their customers—a platform that is very publicly transitioning to a video network. And as communications, in general, migrate from static means (text and imagery) to moving imagery (video, AR, and VR), those 60 million companies won’t just need a small handful of video advertisements per year. This may have been the case a decade ago for the Fortune 500, but it doesn’t hold anymore. No, they each will need hundreds, if not thousands of videos per year. Remember, it’s not just advertising that’s changing. It is all communications.

But here’s the kicker as it relates to job creation in this field. We are simultaneously shifting from a world where scarcity ruled in video content to an era of abundance. It wasn’t long ago that distribution was choked, and where it was available, it came with costs. Channels were relatively finite. As a result, quality demands were forgiving. If you had distribution, you basically just needed to fill the pipe. Today, video exists in abundance. Distribution is effectively free and infinitely scalable.

Now, more than ever, quality matters when it comes to video communications.

If you’ve ever read a script created by an algorithm or watched editorial pieces made by any of the myriad algorithmic editing tools, you’ll realize that we’re still a very long way away from having emotive communications created by anything other than a human being. So, if the communications have to be good in order to be effective, and to do so means that they have to be made by people, just how many jobs are we talking about creating?

Between advertising, hiring, internal communications, and general social marketing, I’m going to assume that the average company will need 10 videos per year. Keep in mind that many companies will need literally thousands of pieces of video content—social advertising is quickly evolving into a model where companies should never create a single ad, but rather create many ads and test them all (more on this in another post soon). But if you assume 10 as a good blended average, that means 600 million pieces of video content will need to be created per year in the near future. If the average creative can make 5 pieces of quality video content per week, that means over 2.3 million editors will be needed to service this coming demand, just from the companies that are currently on Facebook. You can quibble with me over the exact numbers, but not the scope and scale of the coming video revolution.

As with coding, there will be a wide range of job types and compensation structures that come along with this era of scaled video production. But make no mistake about it, in an environment of abundant video, the folks who can create emotionally resonant moving communications will be in high demand, and they will be well-paid by any standards.

Does this mean that engineers won’t be needed in the future? Of course not. All of the key disciplines associated with creating and maintaining the technology that forms such an important part of our personal and professional lives will remain attractive careers for many.

 

But when you hear people complain that technology is taking away all of our jobs, know that this is no truer today than it was when the same fear was voiced during the Industrial Revolution, or in the early days of the computer age for that matter.

The need for people who can create quality video communications will grow dramatically in the next few decades. Guidance counselors of today can still push certain kids into considering engineering paths. But for countless others who thrive on creativity, who understand communication at its root level, and who have a knack for visual storytelling, a huge new window of opportunity is about to open up. And when we say we’re out to create a million jobs, you better believe we mean it.

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.

shot heard round the worldv2_olde

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.

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!

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.