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Make your video campaigns pop with these Twitter-endorsed tricks

As Twitter evolves from a social network reliant on short sentences to one that privileges video, content has never been more important for individuals and companies.

Because the company’s as curious as we are, senior director of Twitter’s EMEA division Barry Collins took a closer look into the shift, and in particular, what type of video content works on the network.

“New research has revealed what works best in newsfeeds and how effective brand video can be on Twitter, both for organic content and promoted,” he writes, in a piece sent to Memeburn.

While he naturally punted Twitter’s video ads’ effectiveness for brands, he explained that video suits the modern social media user because of a personal connection.

“People on Twitter personally identify with what they see, take in details at speed, and can process it effectively,” he explains.

So what about these clips do users love?

Analysing 17 brands on the network over seven verticals, Twitter and Omnicom Media “used neuroscience to measure brain activity as select Twitter users browsed their timelines”.

The 127 participants aged between 18 and 45 “had their brain activity scanned second-by-second as they browsed their Twitter timelines and watched videos on their personal mobile device,” the company adds. 130 hours of Twitter usage and two billion data points later, Collins revealed the results.

The modern nature of Twitter video: short, personal and emotional

Firstly, users like it short and sweet.

“Shorter videos of 15 seconds or less are more likely than videos of 30 seconds to drive memory encoding, or the first crucial step in creating memories,” he notes.

“This is specific to Twitter as TV sees the opposite trend with ads of 30 second duration being more effective than shorter formats. The nature of scrolling behaviors means less time is needed on Twitter to capture attention and make an impact.”

Scrolling, although an integral mechanic for Twitter itself, often hurts brands’ video ads. Collins noted that users should address the issue in the following ways: add a narrative arc to the video, produce content that’s topical, feature people as subjects within the first three seconds of the clip, and finally, add text and subtitles.

When these factors are considered, the social network noticed a marked jump in engagement in the following instances:

  • Videos with a narrative arc are “58% more likely to be viewed past three seconds”
  • Videos with topical content are “32% more likely to be viewed past three seconds and leads to 11% higher completion rates”
  • When video features people, there’s a 133% rise in terms of the emotional impact viewers experience
  • “Videos with text are 11% more likely to be viewed and generate 28% higher completion rates”

Collins adds that sound is also important. The lack thereof is seemingly more important within the first three seconds, but when users watch a full clip “sound is more impactful — and dialogue is more engaging than music”.

But content itself doesn’t affect viewing and completion rates. The time of day also matters.

Videos published in the morning should “elicit a feeling of personal relevance and generate detail-oriented memory encoding”. As the sun sets, there’s an emphasis on a “emotional/bigger picture memory response”.

“Brands should think about sharing tips and useful information during the morning, given the increased receptivity to detail-oriented content at this time. While in the afternoon brands should focus on more brand focused content,” he explains.

“In summary, content needs to be tailored for the timeline environment. This doesn’t mean creating completely new assets, but with a few adaptations, you can make a significant impact with your videos on Twitter,” Collins concludes.

Feature image: Hamza Butt via Flickr (CC BY 2.0, resized)

Author | Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone and game reviews over on Gearburn. More

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