Text-Reliant Video

Text-Reliant Video: The Hybrid That’s Taken Over Social Media

Posted: November 27, 2017 by Angela Corbett

Remember when Facebook used to be mostly written statuses? And embarrassingly we even used our profile name as the lead-in to statuses, so we were all sharing mundane information about our lives in the third person? Angela Corbett hopes you all had lovely Thanksgivings, filled with good clean family fighting…Angela Corbett believes in Big Foot…and she believes in you...And so on.

Long gone are those days (hallelujah), and they’ve been replaced by image-driven content. From the surge of live streaming to video-centric platforms like Snapchat, Youtube, Instagram, Musical.ly and Facebook, video is Generation Z’s choice for communication and entertainment. And mobile phones make it easier than ever. There are 2.5 billion smartphones in use around the world, and more than 50% of all video views are on mobile devices. Consumers spend an average of 19.7 minutes a day viewing video on their smartphones.

Text-reliant video is the result of written communication being taken over by visual expression; it’s the hybrid of text and video that was created in the transition. You see text-reliant videos all over social media—they’re the ones that use captioning to tell their story because, thanks to auto play and auto mute features on social sites, and because we multi-task like mothers, people aren’t listening to what they watch. Instead they’re probably listening to a podcast (guilty), or talking on the phone (so guilty) or sneakily viewing muted content during a work meeting (nope, never done this, Bruce).

With text-reliant videos, users don’t need to click a link, they don’t need to turn their sound on, they only need to stop scrolling long enough to engage with the story. Very low commitment—which is how a generation who relishes in destroying the family unit via noncommittal lifestyle choices (ha!) prefers to engage with brands.

If you still have no clue what I’m talking about, Attn., Simply Recipes, the Dodo and NowThis are a few examples of companies that are killing it at text-reliant video.

So don’t take this this wrong way—I’m saying this as your friend. But if your brand isn’t tapping into video in some way on social media, you’re doing it wrong. You’re wrestling without all the best moves—no sleeper hold, no elbow drop, no Hulk Hogan-style-ripping-you- shirt-off. You’re pretty much only slap-fighting. Weak moves, bro.

So no matter what video you choose to create, here are a few ground rules:

1. The shorter the better. Aim for thirty seconds or less.
2. Have a goal. Are you driving sales, increasing engagement and shares or pushing traffic to your website
3. Include only essential information.
4. If you’re creating a text-reliant video, make your text concise, large and easy to read.
5. Lastly, consider using square videos as they perform best—nearly twice as well as videos formatted in landscape.

You can create your text-reliant video in an editor as simple as iMovie, or you can get a subscription to a site that provides templates and stock videos that make it incredibly easy to produce your own short videos. But what’s even better…is having us do it for you. We’ve got all the moves.

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