About one month ago, some members of the Bluleadz team were tossing around the idea of starting a short video series directed toward social media audiences. This is what would eventually become the Marketing Minute: a series of 60-second long interviews with the team about various aspects of inbound, design, content, industry trends, product updates, and more—really, everything that we live and breathe every day.
The idea was that these videos would be easy to shoot (after all, they deal with topics and ideas we're actively involved in every day) and offer high return on social media/our company blog. The content was going to be high-level (top-of-funnel) and address broad topics, as well as several topical issues like HubSpot software updates, new social media platforms, and integrations.
So, we pursued it. Launched it, shared it, and continued it. And there's a reason we still do.
As one of the primary "doers" or implementers behind our recent video series, in this blog article, I'm going to provide several things I've learned personally about launching a video series, as well as insights that other members of our team have gained from the Marketing Minute.
Cross-Platform Potential and Uploading Practices
When we set out to create the Marketing Minute series, the main goal was to provide valuable content that "checked all the boxes;" that is, the series would serve our website, our social media channels, and our email marketing campaigns. Each episode, at 60 seconds long, was just long enough for social channels and could be easily extended as a full email/blog post.
For example, with each new episode, we cross-post on:
- Instagram and Instagram Stories
- Website blog
- Email subscriber updates
For this series, however, we stopped publishing through automated software and began uploading directly onto each platform's native player, completing each post with descriptions, relative tags, and links.
In doing so, we saw a huge influx of impressions and engagements compared to similar articles utilizing video (such as those automatically cross-posted from YouTube to Twitter, Instagram to Facebook, and HubSpot to general social channels).
For example, throughout the week of August 19-25, 2018, all of our non-native video tweets received a total of 1,891 impressions. That week, we took just two episodes of Marketing Minute live (Wednesday and Friday, respectively), which received a total of 4,411 impressions.
That's over twice as many impressions with just two individual posts, and that's on Twitter alone. It takes effort to customize these posts and create supplementary content for each platform, but the results make it all worthwhile.
Square Videos (1:1) Are the Perfect Medium
When most businesses create videos to grow their brand, they'll stick to a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio; that is, landscape or horizontal videos. There are a few that experiment with vertical videos and even less that create perfectly square video content, or those with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
However, we've found that the 1:1 approach is the ideal size for our Marketing Minute episodes. They look great on mobile (allowing for more "real estate" to be used than conventional horizontal videos), and they don't outright compromise the desktop experience in the way vertical videos often do.
We were considering creating the entire series with a 1:1 aspect ratio and followed up with some research. As it turns out, in a report from BufferApp, square videos take up 78% more screen space than landscape videos. For top-of-funnel content, square videos are the way to go to earn maximum reach and impressions across social/mobile platforms.
There's Got to Be Enough Content to Back It Up
After the first month of our series, a few members of our internal marketing team exchanged ideas on how to improve the series. Notably, we realized that we weren't posting each episode's blog component (separate from social components) with enough content to be deemed valuable by search engines.
We began the series by repurposing each episode as a blog post, complete with a full transcript (courtesy of YouTube's easy auto-transcription feature), linked it to a dedicated campaign and created custom images and description text for each episode.
However, this isn't enough. Google can actually penalize your website for posting blog and website content less than 200 words in length.
This was an oversight on our part, but it's very important for the success of our series. Updating our Marketing Minute blog articles is a simple enough change we can make for future episodes and our growing back-catalogue of general video content.
Other than these points, the other huge takeaway I have from spearheading our new video series is to just post.
"Do it live."
Like any other growing form of content or series, your early days are going to be... rough; both in terms of the time it takes to produce that piece of content and gaining any significant following. What's important is to stick to it and just get stuff out there, for lack of a better phrase.