Twitter Videos: A Detailed Guide

Video is killing it on social media, and it is no surprise. Videos engage, inform, entertain, and successfully convey your message in a way other mediums struggle to. In fact, Twitter videos are becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations that happen on the microblogging platform.

Why Twitter Videos?

Adweek analyzed Twitter’s annual Online Video Playbook and created a delightful infographic. Here are a few stats from it:

  • Twitter sees 800 million visitors a month
  • 82% of users on Twitter actively engage with brands
  • 93% of Twitter video views are from mobile
  • Videos are 6x more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than photos, and 3x more than gifs
  • Twitter videos have increased by over 50% since the beginning of 2016
  • 48% of videos included a sequential resolution, i.e. a problem set up at the beginning was solved at the end
  • 37% of Twitter users would like to see more Twitter videos from their favorite brands
  • 41% of Twitter users favor Twitter as a way to discover video content

Twitter video consumption is on the rise, and will continue to grow as the network develops new features for users and marketers.

Best Practices to Follow

Here are some practices you can follow to make sure your Twitter videos perform well and gain traction. Do note that following these is not an absolute necessity, but since they’ve been tried and tested by many businesses, it is a good practice.

What video format is best suited for Twitter?

Twitter supports all 3 formats – landscape, square and portrait. As a marketer, you want your viewer to watch your video without any distractions. This ensures your viewer understands the message you want to convey. To reduce distractions, your video must take up the maximum real estate of the screen.

[Tweet “Square and Portrait (Vertical) videos are the best format for Twitter.”]

Square videos are best for twitter
Square videos are the best
format for Twitter

How long should my Twitter Video be?

The maximum length Twitter supports is 140 seconds, but you need to grab a user’s attention quickly, especially on Twitter. If the first few seconds of your video fail to do that, then the length of your video does not even matter.

To use a Twitter video to teach your audience something interesting about your brand, you can extend the video to upto 90 seconds. If your content is gripping, viewers don’t mind watching lengthy videos.

To use Twitter videos to generate leads, create short videos upto 30 seconds on topics that makes the user click on your brand or the CTA to know more.

For example, check out this Tweet by Food Network Canada. Don’t you feel like knowing what other amazing recipes they tweet about?

How can I engage my viewers through a Twitter Video?

Include your brand logo in your video. By doing this, you increase purchase intent by 9%! Here are few other tips to kill it in Twitter videos:

1. Make text based videos

Twitter videos are set to autoplay without sound. Text has now become an integral element of videos on social media. As a social media marketer, you cannot ignore text based videos. With the abundance of tools like Rocketium, you cannot even have excuses like “Video making is time consuming and expensive”

2. Increase conversations on Twitter using hashtags

Twitter really is all about having conversations. Pick a trending hashtag, and either start your own conversation or join one. Hashtags are an easy way to get your videos in front of a wider audience, and not just the people that are following you.

Reply to queries with a how-to video or live video message as this is much more engaging than a generic message.

3. Talk about on-going events

Videos around live events have known to increase brand favourability by 63%.

Lowe’s and BBDO New York delivered this on the Fourth of July, 2013:

https://vine.co/v/haLxW2u2iBm

4. Collect and share user-generated content

People love fame. Create a campaign where you ask your audience to submit fun videos around a brand-related theme and then reward them with goodies and vouchers. User-generated content campaigns receive a lot of traction and can take your social media marketing to the next level.

5. Include people in your Twitter videos

When people are in the first few frames of your video, viewer retention doubles!

Short, people-focused videos can help tell your brand story and introduce your people to your customers. This is also a wonderful way to create testimonial videos and success stories.

6. Go Live on Twitter

Periscope lets anyone broadcast live video via Twitter. You can do this while you’re attending a fun promotional event representing your brand or if you’re hosting one. Give people a sneak peek of what your business is really like by creating Periscopes of industry events, special launches, or product tutorials.

4 Types of Twitter Videos

A typical twitter video could be either of the 4 types, depending on your Marketing goal:

1. Recorded Video

You can use the Twitter app to record videos through your device’s camera, and then upload it from within the app. In fact, there are talks that Twitter is working on a Snapcaht-style video sharing feature.

To record a video for a tweet:

  1. Tap the ‘Tweet’ icon then tap the ‘Photo’ icon
  2. Tap the ‘Video’ icon to access video mode.
  3. Record a video by holding down the ‘Record’ icon  To add more to your video, simply press and hold again. You can record up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds (140 seconds) of video.
  4. When you are done recording your video, tap ‘Done’. You can preview your video before Tweeting it by tapping the play button. You can make additional edits to your video before sharing.
  5. Tap ‘Tweet’ to share your message and video.

2. Live Videos

Live video is the most immersive way to experience what’s happening around the world. From monumental moments and sport events to celebrations and things that make you LOL, it is very easy for you to broadcast a live video straight from the Twitter app.

To go Live on Twitter:

  1. Tap the ‘Tweet’ icon
  2. Tap ‘LIVE’
  3. You will see the pre-broadcast screen where you can frame your shot
  4. When you’re ready, press “Go Live” to start broadcasting.

Once you’re live, anyone on Twitter and Periscope can join your live video and participate in your experience.

3. Imported Video

You can import videos to Twitter using the Twitter app.

To import a video for a tweet:

  1. Tap the ‘Tweet’ icon
  2. Find the video you’d like to Tweet and tap to select it.
  3. You can trim the length of your selected video by dragging either side of the bar at the bottom. Maximum video length is 2 minutes and 20 seconds (140 seconds).
  4. Tap ‘Trim’ to finish your edits. You can preview your video by tapping the play button before Tweeting it. This also allows you to make additional edits to your video before sharing.
  5. Tap ‘Tweet’ to share your message and video.

4. Promoted video

Twitter allows brands to run video advertisements to those looking to target and engage with their customers on Twitter. All promoted video tweets show up in targeted users’ feeds and have the label “Promoted” added to it.

Promoted Twitter Videos

You can choose between different formats and placement options:

  • First View: Grab the most prominent real estate on Twitter—the top of the timeline ad slot—for 24 hours to really make a splash with your Twitter video ad.
  • Conversational video: Add campaign hashtags and call-to-action buttons to promoted videos to drive conversation and encourage sharing.
  • Instant Unlock Card: Combine conversational videos with a call-to-action that invites people to Tweet your promotional hashtag and message to unlock exclusive video content.
  • Video Website Card: Create a promoted video featuring an auto-playing video, headline, and a URL Twitter users can click to go to your website.
  • In-Stream Video Ads: Show a video ad before, after, or during other videos, including live-streamed video, to target people while they’re already viewing related video content.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rocketium is a web-app that lets you create videos with perfection, in a jiffy. Its blogger-like interface, intelligent media search, and powerful styling options empower video editors to create professional-looking videos for Twitter as well.

Understanding Instagram Video Ads

Online ads are an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. There are several types of video ads that every marketer must know about. Through this article, I’m going to convince you why Instagram video ads are worth investing into and how you can kill it on Instagram with a few good practices.

Why Instagram?

If you’re looking for a platform where you can find and interact with your target audience, Instagram is a paradise.

Instagram has more active users than Twitter

The latest Instagram statistics by CNBC show that there are currently more than 800 million monthly active users and 500 million of those are daily active users. That’s more than double the monthly active users of Twitter.

[Tweet “At least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.”]

Instagram users love to interact with brands

80% of users follow a business on Instagramwith 60% hearing about a product or a service through the platform. As of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users performed an action after knowing about a brand. They either visited a website, called a business, got directions, emailed or direct messaged a business.

Brands use hashtags to increase post engagement. With Instagram’s latest updates, it is possible to even follow hashtags, making it easier for brands to interact with users.

hashtags used by brands and businesses
Image courtesy: Sproutsocial

Why Video Ads?

While photo ads are the most common, Instagram video advertising have gained a lot of traction.

25% of Instagram Ads Are Single Videos

Brands like MTV, Ford, Lululemon and Disney use video ads to achieve various business goals. After just 1 week of launching, Lululemon’s video ads received 2x more engagement than its photos did.

Number of Ads on Instagram Are Increasing

Instagram is continuing to prove itself as an extremely valuable advertising avenue for marketers.

According to Klear, there were 171,000 Instagram ads in December 2017 vs 134,000 in July 2017. That’s a growth of 28% in just 6 months!

Also, the total amount of ads from December 2016 to 2017 increased by 85,000 (almost 2x).

Instagram Mobile Ad Revenue to Hit $7 Billion in 2018

Instagram ad revenue is expected to reach $7 billion in 2018, according to Statista. That’s almost a $5 billion jump from just 2 years ago.

instagram video ads revenue from mobile - statistia
Image credits: Statistia

The Types of Video Ads on Instagram

There are 3 types of video ads inside Instagram: Story Ads, Native Ads and Carousel Ads. All ads have a “Sponsored” label affixed to them.

1. Stories Ads

Instagram Stories is a great way for you to tap into people’s passions and inspire them to take action. In fact, of the 300 million accounts using Instagram Stories, one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers.



You can see how your Instagram Stories ads perform in the insights section of your business profile on the app. You can also view more metrics within Ads Manager and Power Editor including reach, impressions, and video metrics just like you would for other ads.

Check out these 4 video editing tips for engaging social media content by our friends over at Instasize!

2. Native Ads

What are Native Ads?

Native ads, according to Outbrain, are “any paid content that is in-feed and inherently non-disruptive.” It is considered “native” because it is formatted specifically for the platform that is hosting it, making it blend in with all other content on the platform. This does not affect the user experience and ad content becomes more engaging, information-based, and highly targeted.



3. Carousel Ads

You can bring another layer of depth to your ad campaigns, where people can swipe to view additional photos or videos in a single ad.



Instagram Video Ads Best Practices to Follow

Here are some practices you can follow to make sure your Instagram video ads perform well. Do note that following these is not an absolute necessity, but since they’ve been tried and tested by many businesses, it is a good practice.

1. Stories Video Ads

Stories ads run in a full screen, vertical format. This means all your Stories video ads format must be set to Portrait (9:16 aspect ratio).

With 60% of stories viewed with sound-on, be sure to share content that sounds as good as it looks. This means selecting the perfect music track for your video is very important.

Making text-based video ads is also a good idea. Videos with text overlays work very well compared to non-text videos when it comes to building brand awareness or driving action through purchases and installs.

Here are some points to remember (recommended by Facebook):

  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • File Size: 4GB Max
  • Instagram Video Ads Duration: 1 to 15 seconds
  • Maximum Video Ad Ratio : 9:16
  • Sound: Optional
  • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery

These are Objectives you can set for your Stories video ad:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Video Views
  • Brand Awareness

There are 12 Call to Actions available on Instagram for Stories video ads:

Apply Now Learn More Shop Now
Book Now Get Showtimes Sign Up
Contact Us Request Time Watch More
Download See Menu Listen Now

You can select the CTA which fits best with your video ad.

2. Native Video Ads

You can post Instagram video ads in either the landscape or the square format. However, square video ads have an edge over landscape video ads.

Square videos consume more space on the user’s screen. This means your video ad viewer is not distracted by other posts and the metrics of your own video ad (views, likes, comments, etc). The only thing a user sees in the video and the CTA associated with it.

It is very easy for a user to get distracted by Landscape video ads. There are several reasons for the distraction–caption, hashtags, comments on same video ad, another video/image post.

Here are some points to remember (recommended by Facebook):

  • Resolution: at least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • File Size: 4GB Max
  • Instagram Video Ads Duration: 1 to 60 seconds
  • Minimum Video Ad Dimensions : 4:5
  • Maximum Video Ad Dimensions : 1.91:1
  • Text: Two rows of text will display
  • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery

These are Objectives you can set for your Native video ads:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Video Views
  • Brand Awareness
  • Store Visits
  • Engagement

There are 15 Call to Actions available on Instagram for Stories video ads:

Apply Now Learn More Shop Now
Book Now Download Sign Up
Contact Us Get Directions Watch More
Call Now Get Showtimes Listen Now
See Menu Request Time Send Message

3. Carousel Video Ads

Using Carousel Instagram video advertising, you can showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. With more creative space within an ad, you can highlight different products, showcase specific details about a single product, service or promotion, or tell a story about your brand that develops across each carousel card.

Here are some points to remember (recommended by Facebook):

  • Minimum number of cards: 2
  • Maximum number of cards: 10
  • Instagram Video Ads Duration: up to 60 seconds
  • Carousel ratio: 1:1
  • Text: Two rows of text will display
  • Images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.

These are Objectives you can set for your Carousel video ad:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Brand Awareness
  • Store Visits
  • Catalog Sales

There are 15 Call to Actions available on Instagram for Carousel video ads:

Apply Now Learn More Shop Now
Book Now Download Sign Up
Contact Us Get Directions Watch More
Call Now Get Showtimes Listen Now
See Menu Request Time Send Message

If you’re looking to make Instagram video ads, be sure to checkout Rocketium. You can make videos in every format – landscape, square, portrait, and can also conduct A/B tests for videos!

LinkedIn Video Ads: What You Need to Know

LinkedIn’s Video Journey

Before launching LinkedIn video ads, the professional network platform started allowing users to upload videos in August 2017. Pete Davies, the group product manager, announced in a blog post that they started testing the feature in July, and he shared examples from Edwin RhemrevMadison Allen and Chris Chien.

As a user, you have access to insights including companies, titles and locations of viewers of your videos. You can also get metrics like total views, likes and comments. These insights are available via the dashboard section of your profile, on both mobile and desktop.

Linkedin video dashboard and metrics
Linkedin Video Dashboard and Metrics

Birth of LinkedIn Video Ads

In 2012, LinkedIn launched support for video ads, but you had to first upload the video on YouTube. There was no autoplay feature. But LinkedIn’s mobile presence grew stronger after its purchase by Microsoft for $26.2 billion.

This led to LinkedIn announcing the launch of video ads last October. Currently in closed beta testing, LinkedIn video advertising is available to “a limited number of advertisers”. These include Prudential Financial and, unsurprisingly, Microsoft Canada.

LinkedIn video ads will autoplay without sound. This style of displaying video ads has been tried and tested by the likes of Google, Facebook, Instagram and others. And it has turned out to be a VERY profitable source of revenue.

[Tweet “LinkedIn plans to make video ads available to all brands in the first half of 2018.”]

Vodafone has been testing this offering out as part of its B2B strategy.

“Working with LinkedIn, we are able to make use of the in-depth member data to identify specific audiences, at scale, and target them with our video ads,” Philippa Benos, enterprise lead at Vodafone UK said. “We’re looking forward to both seeing the results of this beta phase and incorporating more video content into our B2B marketing efforts over the next year.”

Understanding LinkedIn Video Ads

The new LinkedIn video ads will initially debut on mobile, and you’ll be able to see them on desktop “in the near future.”

understanding linkedin video ads
Image Courtesy: AdWeek

They will appear as a standalone unit with a “Promoted” label to distinguish them as paid or sponsored content. There will be no pre- or post-roll video ads.

You will be able to upload video content via Campaign Manager, your official company page or your showcase pages. You can then promote that content as a part of sponsored content campaigns.

Selecting target audience and tracking metrics

You will be offered the same targeting options as other LinkedIn advertising options—targeting using data from member profiles such as company size, geography and job title, as well as via LinkedIn Matched Audiences.

As an advertiser, you can track some ad performance metrics like view count and views by the percent of video completed. LinkedIn has also said that several additional metrics and data points specifically for video will be added in the next several months.

How does this help marketers?

For a B2B marketer, LinkedIn is paradise. It is, after all, a professional networking tool, meaning that users are primed to find professional services on the site.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. With the latest targeting improvements, you can virtually place your ad in front of any one of its 500 million members.

The new targeting options include:

  • Account Targeting (target specific companies and key decision makers, at scale).
  • Contact List Targeting (target users from your email list or connecting select CRM systems).
  • Retargeting web visitors (target website visitors of your site from the past 90 days).

Increasingly, B2B buyers are visiting LinkedIn for content they need to move forward in their journey. This means more and more users with decision making powers are relying on LinkedIn content. 57% of these buyers are on a mobile device. Put together, there are 9 billion content impressions in LinkedIn feeds every week.

43% of marketers say they sourced a customer through LinkedIn. This stat proves that marketers are finding customers who are looking for more than professional services.

61% of LinkedIn users are between the age groups 30-64. Honestly, millennials and boomers are in their prime earning and spending years, making them particularly attractive to marketers. They purchase more consumer package goods than any other age group, and they tend to take more vacations too.

Wondering how to make video ads for LinkedIn? You can refer to this.

A/B Testing For Videos: 5 Easy Steps

10 years ago, simply making video content was enough to stand out and gain traction. Today, if you want to stay on top of the video craze, it’s time you begin A/B testing your videos. I’m just going to go ahead and assume you’re familiar with A/B testing and its importance, if not, you can check this out.

Why should I Carry Out A/B Testing for Videos?

To most marketers, video is time-consuming and expensive to produce. Then why am I suggesting you to make multiple variants of your videos? Because your video is useful only if people actually watch it. And honestly, video that isn’t increasing your viewer engagement is a waste of your time and money.

[Tweet “The only way to use video effectively is to produce content that your audience loves to consume.”]

A/B testing will tell you what factors in your videos influence the probability of the viewer watching the entire video. And you can then use this insight to make more videos that your viewers love!

In fact, brands carry out A/B testing for video ads on Snapchat and Instagram more often than you’d imagine.

Here is how you can conduct A/B testing with video ads.

What Metrics Should You Measure While Carrying Out A/B Testing ?

The effectiveness of a variation is usually measured by comparing the Click Rates of all the variations. But this does not work for online videos because it only tells you how many times your video was viewed.

You need to learn how relevant and useful your content is and how the viewers are reacting to it.

For a video ad, you should be tracking the Lead Conversion Rate. It is the percentage of viewers that perform an action after watching your video and are transformed to leads in your pipeline. By measuring this, you know how many people haphazardly clicked on your video and how many were actually intrigued by your content.

For videos that you put up on social media, you should track the Post Engagement scores. Most platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter share these metrics with you. Different social media networks measure engagement differently – views, likes, dislikes, shares, reactions, comments and upvotes are a few examples.

ab testing
Wistia lists down some video metrics you should track

5 steps to Carry Out A/B Testing for videos

STEP 1: Identify what element you want to set as the variable

There are several elements of your video that you can run variations for. These elements can be categorised into external and internal elements. The external elements influence the probability of a user clicking “Play” whereas the internal elements influence the view time and the actions a viewer performs after watching the video.

External

  1. Video Thumbnail
  2. Description of the Video
  3. Video Title
  4. Target Audience
  5. Platform (own website, blog, social media, etc)

Internal

  1. Video Content
  2. Media Files (Image vs Video Clips)
  3. Length of the Video
  4. Color Palette (Here are tips to select the right color palette for your videos)
  5. Typography (How do you know which font works best for your video? By reading this!)
  6. Music (Read up on how to choose the perfect music track for your videos)
  7. Animations (Transitions and Overlays)
  8. Call to Action/Outro scene

NOTE: Keep only 1 element as the variable. If you vary multiple elements, you cannot credit a single element for the better performance of your winner variant.

STEP 2: Build a hypothesis

After you’ve decided what element to vary, conduct research on your target audience and create a hypothetical statement which is backed up by your research.

For example, your statement can be something like, “Changing the music track for the video on my landing page will increase the conversion rate”. Here is another example: “Reducing length of my video by 30s will result in more users on Facebook clicking on the play button”.

The goal of the experiment is to prove or disprove your statement.

STEP 3: Create Variations of Your Video

Using video making tools like Rocketium, you can clone your existing videos, and make changes to them.

For example, if you’ve decided to test that changing the music track will lead to more number of users watching the entire video on Facebook, then clone your video from Rocketium’s dashboard, enter Studio, and choose a different track. You will find this option under “Music”. Publish it, and save it on your dashboard.

Ab testing
Cloning a video from Rocketium dashboard

VIDEO TUTORIAL:

THAT’S RIGHT, I JUST CREATED A VARIANT IN UNDER A MINUTE! Who said that making videos was time consuming?

STEP 4: Run tests

If you’re running tests for video on your website/blog, you can use Vidvision to set up the experiment. Vidvision will randomly show either of the 2 variants to your viewers, and will give you metrics of how each variant performed.

This is especially useful when you’ve got a video on your landing page and you want to increase the conversion ratio.

If you plan on running tests on Facebook for video ads, then you can use Facebook Ads Manager to run 2 variants of the same video. For a step-by-step guide, you can check out SocialMediaExaminer’s post here.

YouTube does not provide a A/B testing feature internally, but you can use third party apps and extensions like TubeBuddy to conduct experiments on YouTube.

You should also set a date and time for when you want to end the experiment.

STEP 5: Analyse and repeat

Once the results of the experiment are in, sit down and analyse which variant worked better. Use this to determine if your hypothesis was correct or wrong.

But don’t be satisfied by one experiment. There is more room for optimisation and you can achieve that by running tests for other elements.

After a while, use these analytics and reports to set a standard for your videos on all other landing pages. You can confidently build a winning combination of the elements because you would’ve ran several tests by then.

Conclusion

A/B testing is a traditional approach to improve and optimise metrics. Maybe you were not aware of how this approach works with videos, or maybe you felt that A/B testing with videos is expensive and time-consuming. Whatever reasons you had to not run experiments with videos before, they should not hold you back now.

 Rocketium makes it extremely easy to create multiple versions of a video. Hence, it has proved to be an effective way to carry out A/B testing for videos.

A/B Testing With Online Video Ads

[Tweet “Did you know that simple A/B testing helped Obama raise $60 million?”]

The Director of Analysis for the Obama 2008 campaign, Dan Siroker, ran an experiment in December 2007. He focussed on converting visitors through website optimization and A/B testing to raise funds. The end result? Obama ended up raising $60 million by running a simple experiment.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing (also called split testing) is a form of statistical analysis, used by marketers, in which you test 2 versions of the same thing to see which one performs better.

what is ab testing
Image credits: Optimizely

For example, you might want to find out what make your visitors sign up on your website. You should create 2 test groups – A and B, with a difference as small as a single word in the ‘Call to Action (CTA)’ on your website, or you can create 2 completely different versions of your website.

The most important thing to remember when running A/B tests is to test one variable at a time only. Let’s say you want to finalise the perfect outro with a CTA for all your social media videos. You run Group A with a CTA – “Like our page for more” and publish it on a Wednesday at 10:00 AM and you run Group B with a CTA – “Follow us to get regular updates” and publish it on a Friday at 5:00 PM. Now, when you compare the 2 groups, what change do you give credit to? Is it the CTA that ensured one group outperforms the other? Or was it the fact that you chose to publish it on a different day and at a different time?

A/B Tests for Video Advertisements

While businesses and marketers have embraced A/B testing for website, design, and static advertising elements, the world of A/B testing for video has remained a mystery to most.

There are lots of elements in a video that you can run A/B tests for – video script, video length, media files used, color palette, music selection, outro, etc. Video ads, however, have an exhaustive list of things you can test. Keep in mind that the metric you should be tracking to determine successful online video advertising is the click through rate of your ad.

1. Media

Variation A: Images

Variation B: Video clips

The best place for you to experiment with this is the first 3 seconds of your video ad. These 3 seconds determine whether the viewer is interested in watching the rest of your ad or not. The first 3 seconds also influence the action the viewer will perform after watching your ad.

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Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Variation A: Videos before images

Variation B: Images before videos

Another experiment that you can run is by altering the sequence of your media files. Maybe after this you’ll come to a conclusion that viewers who see a video in their last scene perform an action with a higher probability than the viewers who see an image in their last scene.

2. Text

Text animations

You can run experiments to see which text animation on your outro scenes result in more clicks and influence the action the viewer takes after watching your ad. Check out the 2 variations in animations for an Instagram ad:

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Call to Action (CTA)

You can convert a scroll in the news feed to a click on your ad by varying the call to action in your video ad. A subtle change from “Learn More” to “Know More” to “Visit Us” could make a big difference.

Text vs No text

You can also experiment with text videos and no-text videos to see what drives your target audience to perform an action after they watch your ad. Once you compare both variations, select the best performer and set it as a standard for all your video ads that target this specific audience.

3. Colors

When selecting a color palette as a brand asset, it is important to test and compare different combinations. You can run experiments that vary the colors in the intro as well as the outro/CTA scene of your video ad.

Video ad variations for snapchat
Video ad variations for Snapchat

Here is an interesting read to help you select the right color palette for your videos.

4. Music and Audio

Depending upon the mood you want to set in the viewer’s mind when he sees your ad, you can experiment with music genres and tracks.

You can also experiment with Voiceovers to see whether your target audience performs an action on a video with a voiceover or without. Since most users watch video ads on their phones and they’re set to mute by default, your mobile video ads must, as a general rule of thumb, have text along with the voiceover.

Here are some tips that’ll help you pick the perfect track for your videos.

5. Video Thumbnail

On Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, the video thumbnail that you’ve selected for your video ad influences its views and click through rates.

If the thumbnail is relevant to your ad and your target audience connects with it, the actions performed after viewing your video will be quite high. For ex, if you publish a video ad for camping equipment but with the image of a beach as a thumbnail, your ad will perform very poorly.

Using Rocketium for A/B Testing Video Ads

[Tweet “Why aren’t brands A/B testing videos? Video has a reputation for being expensive and time-consuming.”]

It seems a lot more difficult to create multiple variations of an online video ad for testing than it does to create a few different static images, or change the CTA on a pop-up. Honestly, that is not true. Running A/B tests for digital video ads is quite easy to learn and implement.

Rocketium lets you clone and edit your videos. This feature is very handy when you’re running A/B tests for your video ads.

Cloning a video from Rocketium dashboard
Cloning a video from Rocketium dashboard

The clones of your videos can individually be uploaded to Facebook Ad Library directly using the Share feature.

Sharing your video ad to facebook's ad library
Sharing your video ad to Facebook’s ad library

You can then use the metrics provided by Facebook to test which video copy received better click through rates. This can then be used as a standard for all the online video ads your brand will run in the future.

Photo Editing Tools for Videos

There are a lot of image editing tools available, both online and offline, that can assist you in making good quality, engaging videos. If you’re new to image editing, this is a good place to get yourself up to speed.

How Important is Photo Editing in Videos?

Very!

Let’s say for a particular scene of your video, you want the text to dominate the photo. This is usually common for intro scenes or for scenes where you show the title of your video.

Here is where powerful photo editing tools can help you out. You can choose to use effects like ‘Blur’ or ‘Black & White’ filters to reduce the prominence of the image. Consider this image as the first scene of your video:

-photo editing tools
Unedited image of video title.

Here, in the edited version of the image, I used the ‘Blur’ effect to draw your attention on the text:

photo editing tools
This image has the Blur effect so the viewer does not get distracted by it

Here is another edited version of the image. I’ve used the ‘Black & White’ filter in this image.

photo editing tools
Here I use the black and white vinyl to edit the image

You’ll note that this image looks dull and uninteresting as compared to the previous one. This image is supposed to be the first scene of your video, and the last thing you want is this image to be so dull that the viewer chooses to stop watching your video. Remember, the first 3 seconds of your video are the most important!

How can I use Photo Filters to Beautify my Video?

You will find lots of image editing options come in handy for images that dominate your text. One of the most used feature is image filters. Filters aren’t restricted to ‘Blur’ and ‘Black & White’ alone. Consider a scene like this:

photo editing tools
Everything in this image is wrong

As you would’ve noticed already, the text is not legible because it is a dark color on top of a dark background. To fix this, you can change the color of your text. But in most of the cases, you have to stick to a certain color palette to maintain a brand consistency – which is a very important practice.

Since changing the text color is out of the question, the next viable option is to replace the image, right? Nope. This is where image filters play an important role. Check this filter I use to increase the legibility of the text, without compromising on the color or the image itself:

photo editing tools

Notice how the text and the image now go well together.

Image filters can be used to work the other way as well, i.e. you can use dark filters to highlight bright text colors on bright images. Check this:

photo editing tools

Now, check the same image, but with a dark filter:

photo editing tools

What Are Some Free Photo Editing Tools I Can Find Online?

1. ROCKETIUM AND AVIARY

Using a photo editing tool for images and then uploading that image in a video making tool is a lengthy and cumbersome process. To tackle this, Rocketium comes with a built-in photo editing tool, thanks to an integration between Rocketium and Aviary. You can upload your images and edit them on the same platform, ensuring a seamless video creation process.

via GIPHY

 2. PIXLR

Pixlr is an online photo editing tool which is available to use for free. There are 2 web apps available to use: Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express.

Pixlr -photo editing tools

3. FOTOR

It takes a step ahead of traditional photo editing tools, you can access modules for creating collages, greeting cards, and HDR images.

photo editing tools

4. PICMONKEY

PicMonkey is a great online photo editing tool with a very cool feature: collage. You can take various photos and arrange them together for your video.

photo editing tools

Rocketium vs Lumen5: What should I use?

With a number of video making solutions available online, selecting the right one for your needs is a challenging task. In this article, I’ll breakdown the features that Rocketium and Lumen5 have to offer. I’m comparing only 2 paid plans of both the solutions. To explore more plans, you can visit the pricing pages of Rocketium and Lumen5.

ROCKETIUM

You can create beautiful HD videos for social media in minutes using text, images, video footage and voiceovers using Rocketium. Rocketium also lets you work in teams to collaborate on a project.

Rocketium homepage

LUMEN5

Lumen5 is a video creation platform powered by A.I. that enables anyone without training or experience to easily create engaging video content within minutes.

Lumen5 homepage

FEATURE BREAKDOWN

1. Styling and Customisation

• Text

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Subtitles X X X
Bumpers/Lower thirds X X X
Line spacing X X
Text Alignment X X
Custom Font Size X X X
Per caption styling X X X
Custom Text position X X X
Text Animation X X
Background Color X X

Rocketium gives you tons of styling and customisation options for your captions. You can adjust the spacing between the lines, align it to the left, right or centre, position the caption anywhere on the screen and change the size. You also have the option of changing the highlight color and text background color for each caption and scene separately.

Lumen5 is pretty restrictive when it comes to text styling options. In fact, the only things you can edit are the highlight color (which remains same for all captions and scenes throughout the video), the font (the free plan has only 1 font you can use, unlike Rocketium) and the size (only 2 options -> Normal and Heading).

WINNER: Rocketium

• Media – Images & Video Clips

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Video Clip size No restriction No restriction Upto 50 MB Upto 50 MB
Video Clip duration
(per scene)
30s 120s
(can be extended)
20s 20s
Image Filters X X
Image Frames X X

Rocketium lets you customise the media file you add to your videos. This includes image filters like black & white, blur, vinyl effects, etc. Image frames are particularly useful when you make video ads for an app or a tutorial video for a software. Since there is no restriction on the video clip size, you can upload even 4K quality videos on Rocketium.

Lumen5 restricts the size and duration of your video clips. There is no option to add image filter, frames and effects.

WINNER: Rocketium

• Animations

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Text Animation X X
Image Animation X X
Animated Transitions X X
Animated Overlays X X
Dynamic Backgrounds X X X

Rocketium is host to a number of preset animations for text, media and scenes. You can also upload your own custom animations if you’ve subscribed to the Business plan.

On the other hand, Lumen5 provides no options to customise the animations for text, media or scenes. This does not mean your videos will have no animation – they use a default animation for their video elements.

WINNER: Rocketium

• Timing Controls

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Caption Delay X X
Caption Duration X X
Per Caption Timing X X X
Scene Duration X X

In Rocketium, you have complete control over how long your captions should stay on the screen, how much delay should be there between captions, and also the duration of the entire scene. You will notice that some captions have a default value set already. This is calculated internally, and is determined assuming your viewer’s reading speed to be 150 words per minute.

Lumen5 does not provide any options wherein you can control the timings of your captions. A default value is set for every caption based on the number of characters in the captions, but you cannot change it.

WINNER: Rocketium

• Orientation

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Landscape X X
Square X X
Portrait X X

The orientation of a video plays a very important role in engagement on social media. Rocketium gives you the freedom to publish your video in any orientation. An added advantage you will get is the option to clone your videos and publish them in different orientations for different social media platforms.

Lumen5 recently moved the option of Square orientation to their Business plan, and do not support portrait videos in any of their plans.

WINNER: Rocketium

Do you know the importance of Portrait videos? Here is an interesting read that highlights why portrait videos should not be ignored.


• Branding

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Remove watermark X X
Upload logo X X
Upload animated logo X X X
Change position for logo X X X
Save brand assets X
Save brand colors as theme X

Rocketium lets you upload animated logos (in .mp4 format) and saves them for future use. You can also position the logo in different positions of your video. The last scene of your video can also be used as a custom outro scene. You can add your media file (image/video clips) and add a CTA to it as well.

Lumen5 also lets you upload logos, but animated logos are not supported. You can save your brand assets and color palette for future use, just like in Rocketium.

WINNER: Rocketium

2. Teams and team members

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Multiple Teams X X X
Add/ Delete team member X X $25 per user
1 member team X $149 X $99
3 member team X $149 X $149
5 member team X $149 X $199
10 member team X $149 X $324
Copy Video to team X X X
Move video to team X X X
Comments and Notifications X X X

Rocketium lets you add upto 10 users in teams without any extra charges. You can copy and move videos within teams, assign roles, and even use comments to collaborate in real time.

Lumen5 charges $25 for every extra user you add on top of the $99 you will pay for the Business plan. The option to create multiple teams and collaborate is lacking here.

*Please note all pricing plans are in USD

WINNER: Rocketium for more than 2 users; Lumen5 for upto 2 users

3. Direct sharing to social media

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
Facebook
Facebook personal profile
Facebook pages you admin X X
Facebook Ad Library X X
YouTube X X
Twitter X X
Brightcove X X
Dropbox X X
Download for free

Rocketium has an integration with Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Dropbox and Brightcove. You can share your videos directly without downloading them. In Facebook, you also have the option to post your videos on your personal profile, pages you admin and the ad library. You can set your thumbnails, title and description from inside Rocketium itself.

Lumen5 lets you post video on Facebook only. Even on Facebook, you can post the video directly only on your personal wall, not on pages you admin or to the ad library. For every other platform, Lumen5 encourages you to download the video and upload it manually.

WINNER: Rocketium

4. Pricing

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Essential Professional
(< 4 users)
Business
(< 11 users)
Free Pro Business
(1 user only)
Monthly $0 $49 $149 $0 $49 $99 + $25 per user
Annual $0 $190 $490 $1,490 $0 $468 $948 + $240 per user

*Please note all pricing plans are in USD

WINNER: Rocketium for more than 2 users; Lumen5 for upto 2 users

4. Number of Videos

ROCKETIUM LUMEN5
Free Business Plan Free Business Plan
10 40 Unlimited Unlimited

Rocketium lets you make 10 and 40 videos every month if you’re on the Free and Business plan respectively. Lumen5, on the other hand, lets you make unlimited videos irrespective of the plan you’re on.

WINNER: Lumen5

CONCLUSION

Lumen5’s approach to video making is inspired by the thought of converting your existing articles and blogs to videos, whereas in Rocketium, you can create a video without relying on content from existing articles or blogs.

Though the plans of Lumen5 are priced lower than the plans of Rocketium, the tradeoff is much higher. Lumen5 provides no customisation, restricted sharing options, and limited freedom for team management. Rocketium is a clear winner when it comes to being a Lumen5 competitor.

[Tweet “Rocketium is a Lumen5 alternative for large media houses and businesses with a social media presence”]

Who should use LUMEN5?

If you work alone and only want to repurpose your existing articles and blogs to videos, then this is a good choice. The pricing is perfect for an individual, and there is no limit on the number of videos you can make.

Who should use ROCKETIUM?

If you are:

  1. A part of a team of more than 3 members and you want to repurpose my existing articles and blogs to videos,
  2. An individual looking to make videos for different social media platforms, or
  3. Looking to make different types of videos, like video ads for social media, promo videos, announcements, intro videos for articles, news headlines, stories, interview videos, quote videos, etc.

For a team of more than 3 members, Rocketium is perfect since it is more versatile and provides more customising options.

Introducing the Notes feature

Usually while making videos, I first make a script. I determine the flow, the media assets and the text to use in this script. Then I decide the number of scenes the video requires, and the number of captions to include in each scene. I used to keep these notes on a text file, or on Pastebin.

But moving back and forth from the notes and the Rocketium Studio was time consuming and required manual work, which I’m not a big fan of. When the dev team became aware of this, they brain stormed on ideas to reduce the time and manual work involved in this process.

The end result? A Notes panel inside the Studio.

How do I access the Notes feature?

First up, you’ll have to head over to the Rocketium Store, and add the item to your Studio.

selecting notes from store

Once the item is added, you can access it inside the Studio.

Notes inside Rocketium studio

How to Turn Articles into Videos?

This notes panel is like your personal scratch pad. You can use it to write your video script, decide the duration of the video, the number of scenes you will include, and the number of captions for each scene.

how do notes work

Inside the panel, you will also see a text box that says “Paste article link here” and a Submit button. If you paste your article’s URL here, all the text and images of the article will be imported for you to use.

Importing articles in Notes

To import an image to the active scene, you need to click on the image. To import text into each scene, highlight the text, and you will be shown 2 options: ‘Copy to Current scene’ and ‘Copy to Next scene’. These 2 options work faster than copy+paste, especially when the video is long and has many scenes.

Copy text options

Use cases

There are 2 very broad use cases for this feature.

Use Case #1

If you want to

  • Repurpose your existing article to a video, or
  • Summarise your article into a video, or
  • Create a short intro video for your article.

All you need to do is paste the URL of your link and use the import feature to add media and text to your video.

Use Case #2

When you have multiple sources for the text and media files for your video, and you have to refer to different websites for captions. Maybe a website has a good quote you want to add, maybe another has the fact that is related to your video, etc.

Text from different sources can be pasted into the panel, and you can organise them according to the video script here.

Video Formats: Landscape vs Square vs Portrait

As you are probably aware, it’s simple to create videos in Landscape, Square and Portrait mode using Rocketium’s Studio. But, when you’re making videos for social media, which video formats should you choose? In this article, I’ll help you answer this question and solve your dilemma.

all video formats examples
All Video Formats on Facebook. Image Credits: Tubular Insights

Let’s talk numbers

Over 90% of Facebook’s 1.74 billion monthly users access the social network from their mobile device, with 56.5% of those being  mobile-only users.

Square videos dominate landscape videos by upto 78% in mobile newsfeeds. Landscape videos are outperformed by square videos by 54% when looking at view-through rates for the first 10 seconds of a video. Square video resulted in 30-35% higher video views and an 80-100% increase in engagement.

Vertical video ads are watched all the way through 9 times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat.

From a study of 25k top performing Facebook videos, only 30.9% of videos were landscape, while 56.3% of the top performing videos were either square or vertical videos.

It costs advertisers 33% less to get someone to engage with square video on Instagram.

square video formats on instagram
Cost Per 10s Mobile Views on Instagram. Image Courtesy: Buffer

When do I make a landscape video?

First ask yourself, “How and where are people going to see my video?”. If your viewers are mainly desktop users, or if they’re going to watch it on TV, then out of all the video formats, landscape would be the right fit.

[Tweet “You should make landscape videos when they’re viewed outside social media.”]

Though YouTube’s mobile app supports other video formats, the primary YouTube player is still landscape. So, you should stick to landscape for YouTube, or your videos will be displayed with black bars on the sides.

square video format on youtube
Square video on YouTube shows black ‘bars’

When Do I Select a Square Video Format?

On every social media network, square videos outperform landscape videos in terms of video views, engagement score (likes, comments, shares), and completion rate.

  • Facebook — Square videos publish with no black borders
  • Instagram — Square videos publish with no black borders
  • Twitter — Square videos publish with no black borders
  • Reddit — Square videos publish with no black borders

The popularity of square videos originated from one of Facebook’s many subsidiaries, Instagram. Until an update in late 2015, all content on Instagram was restricted to a square frame, including video content.

[Tweet “You should make square videos when you want to post to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”] On these platforms, square videos will take up more space and are thus guaranteed to be more engaging for viewers on both desktops and mobile phones.

Square video formats on twitter
This is how square videos look on Twitter

When do I make portrait videos?

As of February 2017:

  • Facebook — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • Instagram — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • Snapchat — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • Twitter — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • YouTube — The mobile app hides black borders when device is held vertically and video is viewed in full screen

[Tweet “80% of social media use now occurs on mobile devices — 61% on smartphones alone.”]

Portrait videos are the most preferred format when it comes to video ads on Instagram and Snapchat.

With 100 million+ daily active users, Snapchat has already proven that users are willing to consume video without having to rotate their phones.

- video formats - portrait
Image Courtesy: Erik Olsen/The New York Times

When users are scrolling through their social media feeds on mobile, they expect the experience to be seamless. If your video plays in landscape, not many people are going to make the effort to turn their phone 90 degrees and tap to expand to full screen. It’s the truth. How many times have you turned your phone just to see a landscape video in full screen?

As a marketer, this means you’re missing out on filling the viewers’ screen with your video ad and keeping their full attention as effectively as possible.

Major publishers and media companies like The Washington Postthe BBC news app, Vox, Teads and Conde Nast have also embraced vertical video formats. [Tweet “If the majority of your visitors are via mobile then vertical videos are the way to go!”]

video formats - portrait vs square vs landscape
Image Credits: SubSign, Medium

Brands that have embraced the vertical video formats are already seeing amazing results. Jason Stein, the CEO of Laundry Service, has seen success with LG vertical video ads. He claims to be receiving 3x more efficient CPM rates than standard square videos on Facebook.

Here are 13 videos ads every marketer must know about!

How do I make the same video in all formats?

Say you want to post a video on Facebook, and want to repurpose the same video for an article on your website. At the same time, you also plan to run an ad for your article on Snapchat, and want to use the same video as an ad. It is time consuming to publish the same video in all 3 formats because you would have to fill in the content and style it from scratch every time.

Here is where Rocketium saves your time drastically. Just follow these steps to get the same video in all formats:

STEP 1: Clone your video

Go to your dashboard, click on options (…) and select ‘Clone Video’.

video formats - portrait vs square vs landscape

STEP 2: Click ‘Continue’

You will be automatically redirected to the Studio. Once here, click ‘Continue’. You can, optionally, choose to change the outro/CTA of your video depending on the platform you’re uploading your video on.

video formats - portrait vs square vs landscape

STEP 3: Select video orientation

You will find the 3 options of Landscape, Square and Portrait below the preview screen. Choosing a format automatically resizes the images and text on your video – you don’t have to change anything manually.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

STEP 4: Click ‘Finish’

Click on Finish to publish your video. Repeat the above steps to get your video file in all 3 formats. Now you can use each video on different platforms.

How To Add Subtitles to Video?

When it comes to social media, viewer engagement is critical. Adding subtitles to your videos is as important as adding music. You must use subtitles to make your audience understand and contextualize your video content.

Almost all of us understand the importance of having subtitles in a video but how do you exactly add subtitles to video, is the question that intrigues all of us.

[Tweet “If you cater to a global audience, subtitles in different languages can boost your views by 15%!”]

How to Add Subtitles to Video?

STEP 1: Create an account with Rocketium

Head over to Rocketium, and create an account. You can either submit your email id, or sign up with Facebook, Google, or Twitter.

add subtitles to video

STEP 2: Head over to the Editor

Go to the Editor, and you will see a blank space for your video. In order to add subtitles to video, you will need to upload the video file here.

Note: If you store files in Dropbox, you can just enter the URL, and it will be imported automatically.

add subtitles to video

If you already have the subtitles in a text file, or on Pastebin, you can copy-paste them into our Notes panel.

add subtitles to video

STEP 3: Add Subtitles to Videos – Enter subtitle mode

Click on the Subtitle button to add text and timestamps.

add subtitles to video

You will notice that there are 2 timestamps for every caption box. The left box represents the start time and the other represents the end time. You will also notice that some default values are already present. These timestamps are calculated based on a default reading speed of 150 words per minute.

add subtitles to video

To sync the captions with the video, you need to click on the icon above the timestamp boxes. First, play the video and everytime the caption starts playing, click on icon above the ‘start time’ box. When the caption is over playing in the video, click on the icon above the ‘end time’ box.

Check out this tutorial:

You can also manually enter the timestamps. Just play the video, note the start and end time of a particular caption, and enter the value manually in the space provided.

STEP 4: Style your video

There are multiple ways to show subtitles, and you can find relevant themes in the ‘Theme’ tab on your left.

add subtitles to video

STEP 6: Publish your video

After you’ve finalised the settings, click Finish to publish your video.

add subtitles to video

To get early access to the Subtitle feature of Rocketium, you can write to us and we will add it to your account for FREE!

BONUS READ: How to translate subtitles to different languages?

If you cater to a global audience, you can translate the text into over 100 languages using Rocketium’s translate feature.

STEP 1: Go to your Dashboard

This is where you will find the video you want to translate.

add subtitles to video

STEP 2: Click options (…) and select translate

Click on the 3 dots on the video, and select ‘Translate’.

add subtitles to video

Once you do so, you will see a pop up where you will have to select which language you want the video to be translated to.

add subtitles to video

Select the language and you will be redirected to the Editor.

add subtitles to video

STEP 3: Click ‘Continue’ and then ‘Finish’

If you want to do a few changes, you can edit the text. Click on Continue and then Finish to publish your video! And tada, this is how you add subtitles to video.