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5 Big Ways to Make your Micro-Video Stand Out

5 Big Ways to Make your Micro-Video Stand Out

Video micro-content might have seemed like content marketing’s embarrassing little brother at some point — cute yet inconsequential. But times have changed. As smartphone use has ballooned and attention spans have narrowed, creating entertaining clips around a brand’s products or services is becoming increasingly common.

At the same time, success isn’t guaranteed. In a recent 2015 outlook, marketing firm Millward Brown noted that only the most savvy brands will excel at video micro-content.

“Ads on these platforms must be immediately captivating and entertaining, as consumers on these sites expect creativity,” the firm wrote.

With that in mind, here are five elements any winning clip-based video campaign should prioritize this year.

1. Determine the platform

In this post, we’ll focus on three popular video micro-content platforms: Vine, Instagram and Tout.

Admittedly, the word “popular” is something of an overstatement. The Content Marketing Institute recently reported only half of B2C marketers, and one out of every four B2B marketers use Instagram. Meanwhile, just one-fifth of B2C marketers and one-tenth of B2B marketers use Vine.

Thus, opportunity awaits marketers who are willing to carve out a niche in this space.

Vine is Twitter’s answer to video micro-content and features looping six-second clips brands can use to tell a concise story. In one recent animated Vine from Samsung Mobile US, the company’s Gear S wearable smartwatch takes on the big city:

Instagram is likewise affiliated with social networking behemoth Facebook and permits videos up to 15 seconds. In 2014, Adidas and Champs Sports paired up to make a successful multi-part video series for Instagram called #adicolorTV, which featured professional athletes, rappers and more.

Finally, Tout continues to enjoy a fan following among individuals, celebrities and news media. The Wall Street Journal, for one, actively creates and shares short video clips (up to one minute) from Central Park to Shanghai

To choose which of these three platforms makes sense for your audience, spend time on each platform. Review innovative campaigns such as those above to assess factors such as clip content, length and positioning. In many cases, it makes sense to try each platform simultaneously to determine which will resonate best with your target viewership.

2. Craft winning content

Once you identify which platform(s) to use for your next micro-content video campaign, decide what type of content you should create.

For short video bursts, humor works extremely well, noted panelists at a recent Reel Summit video marketing conference.

Also consider the audience you’re targeting. Younger consumers who haven’t yet made up their mind about your brand are probably much more willing to share a gag clip or visually compelling montage than older consumers who simply got an Instagram profile to see photos of the grandkids.

Meanwhile, if you take the news angle popular among some Tout users, offer to take viewers behind the scenes of your brand. Do you build widgets? Show off the widget factory or do a mini interview with someone who is integral to the process of creating your products.

3. Capture artfully

Take advantage of the editing suite at your disposal. All three platforms enable users to record video in chunks as opposed to a single block of video. That permits brands with the appropriate time and resources to create innovative stop-motion animation in addition to plain old video. Clips can be rearranged and tightened as needed.

Be sensitive to the background in your video as well as sound. Vine recommends users try headphones with a built-in microphone to capture audio that isn’t full of clutter. It also advises tripods for high-caliber clips, though the beauty of shooting video with any of these three platforms is the ability to quickly capture and turn around content for a mobile audience.

If your brand has a video studio and the right connections, getting celebrity users of your products or services to participate in a campaign might be a real possibility. Do a little leg work and you might be rewarded with viral content at a lower cost relative to other channels.
To quote Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: “If you look in the future a lot of the content that people share will be video. It’s just very compelling.”

4. Disseminate effectively

Another benefit of producing video micro-content is the ease with which brands and consumers can share the content. Instagram offers some basic-but-great guidelines for effective distribution: including:

  • Always use hashtags when posting content to the web
  • Use a compelling cover photo to anchor any packaged micro video content on your respective platform
  • Blend video with other media you already produce, including photos, to create a seamless brand message?
  • Use in-house events or trending topics to frame content creation and improve the odds it will be shared?

Tout adds that text overlays and narration can add context to clips. After all, we’re more likely to share content that we can easily understand and appreciate.

5. Plan ahead to win

As with any brand marketing strategy, planning is the key to finding success. Do the research to know your audience and then be proactive about working video into your content calendar, advises contributor John Rampton.

Also remember organic video isn’t the only option available. For 2015, Twitter has announced paid solutions for marketers who want to distribute clips on a cost-per-view basis.

Remember: Short video sells, and with 1 billion smartphones expected to be sold by this year, it makes sense to get all your creativity in front of that captive audience.

Written by Nate Birt from

Progressive Field Renovations

Progressive Field Renovations

The Indians home opener is on April 10th against the Detroit Tigers. It's essential that the bullpens are completed by then and the Indians say construction is on schedule. 

Space for five neighborhood-themed areas behind the main concourse from center field to right field has been cleared. The areas will resemble Cleveland neighborhoods such as Ohio City and Tremont.

A Whiffle ball field and batting cages will be constructed behind the mezzanine level.

The old visitor's bullpen in the right field corner is being turned into a multi-level section of seats. There will be seats from the bar area on top of the bullpen with a staircase leading to field level seats.

Here are some recent photos of the renovations:

Randall Park Mall demolition aerial photos

Randall Park Mall demolition aerial photos

At the time of its opening in 1976, Randall Park Mall was the “world’s largest shopping center” boasting 2 million square feet of retail space. Developer Edward De Bartolo built the mall on the site of the Randall Race Track in the village of North Randall, Ohio. At the time of its opening, North Randall’s population was 1,500 and the mall’s employee population was 5,000. After decades of decline the mall was officially closed in March 2009. Today it stands abandoned, a relic of the past.

Believe in CLE yoga movement embraces community and everything Cleveland

By Kristel Hartshorn, Northeast Ohio Media Group

CLEVELAND, Ohio —Believe in CLE is a yoga movement that began with the question "what if," which later turned into a reality.

On Friday, thousands of people gathered on the grass lawn of Mall B, 300 Lakeside Ave., to join the movement of celebrating everything Cleveland. The setting showcased the beauty and growth of the city and the yogis represented the power of community.  

The Main Event: Believe in CLE

The 411: The popular gathering partnered with Land Studio and the "AHA! Festival of Lights" to welcome guests of the International Gay Games 9. The event began with a speech from Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba. Then, instructors Adam Tilocco and Tammy Lyons lead the 75-minute vinyasa yoga practice. Music was provided by DJ Rimon and local food trucks surrounded the area.

Commercial drones are ready for takeoff

By Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro is chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association.

Lightweight commercial drone aircraft are poised to transform industries from online retail to film and photography to farming and even Internet signal delivery. But delays in federal rule-making mean that U.S. businesses are stuck in limbo, unable to move forward with this exciting technology. While the rest of the world is putting these robots-on-wings to work in life-altering ways, U.S. policymakers continue to stifle innovation and economic growth by equivocating on the merits of drones.

In 2007, the Federal Aviation Administration banned commercial drone use under the same rules that govern the use of model aircraft. Recently, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the intelligence committee, called for hefty regulation of drones. While the FAA has approved drones for use by hobbyists, as well as for one company to use them in remote parts of Alaska, it’s now time for the agency to consider whether more businesses should be allowed to fly them, given concerns about privacy and safety. Such issues have a real place in this debate, but continuing to keep commercial drones grounded is not the right answer.

The issue of safety is of course of paramount concern, but other nations have been able to responsibly address the risks without shutting down all progress. The FAA has already investigated ways to integrate drones into U.S. airspace. It released a report on guidelines for small commercial drones — of less than 55 pounds — in 2009, but those guidelines were never transformed into final rules. The agency is now working toward an August statutory deadline — a deadline it isn’t likely to meet.

As the FAA continues to hold commercial drones in abeyance, it may not have much of a legal leg to stand on. For one thing, the rules are inconsistent. The agency goes only after operators who make money from drone use, which is why individual hobbyists can fly them without repercussions.

Parrot product manager Francois Callou holds a Parrot Bebop drone during a Parrot event in San Francisco, Thursday, May 8, 2014. The Parrot Bebop drone, which has a 14-megapixel fish-eye camera lens and battery life of about 12 minutes flying time, is scheduled to be released later this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Then there are questions about whether the 2007 ban is enforceable. In March, a federal judge threw out a $10,000 fine the FAA imposed on a Swiss drone operator who used a drone to shoot a promotional video at the University of Virginia in 2011, on the grounds that the FAA failed to follow proper rule-making procedures. The agency has appealed the ruling to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Sadly, there are plenty of examples of the FAA squelching drone use rather than developing a needed policy framework. The Washington Nationals are facing potential fines for using a drone to take promotional pictures during spring training. And a Minnesota brewing company was recently forced to stop drone deliveries to ice fishers.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the world is adopting drones. Sales of drones — both military and commercial — are expected to reach $89 billion globally over the next decade, according to the aerospace-
research company Teal Group. The industry is developing rapidly, and other countries are reaping the benefits. In Japan, drones have been used to spray crops for two decades. In Britain, drones are used to check the undersides of oil platforms, and real estate agents use them for promotional pictures. Germany, Australia and the United Arab Emirates are developing uses for the technology, from recording sporting events to delivering goods and documents.

With its history of aggressive innovation, the United States should be a leader, not a laggard, in adopting new technology. This should be especially true with drones, which have so much potential in such diverse fields as moviemaking, newsgathering, agriculture, defense and public safety. Just consider how great U.S. companies such as FedEx, UPS, Dominos and Amazon have changed how we get products. If drones are to be a part of breakthroughs in distribution, shouldn’t we want that innovation to occur here? We need the spin-off jobs, industries and benefits that drones will provide.

We cannot wait years for Congress and the FAA to approve regulations governing drones in our airspace. If we do, other nations will leapfrog us as innovators. Prolonged delay in the face of rapid technological change also means that rules risk being outmoded the day they’re issued. What is needed as soon as possible is a clear and straightforward policy framework that fosters innovation in this emerging industry.

In November, the FAA issued a road map laying the groundwork for integrating drones into commercial aviation. This is an encouraging sign, but it is not enough. Drones will transform the way we live. They can boost the economy and create thousands of jobs. All it will take is for the government to get out of the way and allow innovators to do what they do best.