Activate Your Audience with Content that Moves

By , Social Content Strategist, Hanson Dodge

Think about the last time you saw something online that made you stop in your tracks. Maybe it was a recipe how-to that made your mouth water. An animal rescue video that restored your faith in humanity. A political soundbite that made you do the “slow clap.” Or a crowd gathering to memorialize, revolutionize or just mark history together. Can you picture a few?

Now think about why these visuals pack such a powerful punch. They’re very diverse subjects, but they share one common denominator—and without it, these pieces of content might never make it into your consciousness.

It’s movement. The producers of these items knew one very important thing. It’s no longer enough to say what something is online. You need to show how it is. How does it function in the real world? How do people react to it in real time? The “why” is still critical, but if you really want to inspire consumers, show them the “how” by adding motion.

Yes, content with motion may take longer to produce than static content. But here’s the big payoff: on top of a richer user experience, you can expect to see engagement multiply. For example, in Facebook content created for clients, Hanson Dodge Creative has seen click rates up to 245% higher in motion content than on static link posts—and with that, reach that is 190% higher on average.

It’s surprising that motion is an element that some marketers will still skip over when planning their content strategy. Perhaps it’s the false impression that adding it may mean a full video production—something that might not produce ROI, given the short attention span of the audience. While a fully stocked YouTube video channel may be ideal, it is not the only way to bring your content to life. Luckily, there are many alternate tools and tactics at our disposal to add motion to your content and we have a few favorites. Let’s roll ‘em.

GIFs: A lot can happen in just a few seconds

When it comes to motion, even the tiniest increments of time can tell us a lot—the miracles of nature, the critical moments of change, universal language of the human face. It can be hard for words to do justice to some stories, and even harder when you are trying to tell it in 140 characters or less.

Enter the retro-loveable GIF—a format that has blossomed into a heavy-lifting powerhouse, offering your target audience less chatter and more magic. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF offers a novel’s worth, says Alex Chung, founder of the massively popular interface, Giphy. Heavy hitting brands like Starbucks and GE embrace this tactic with content that is funny, clever and hypnotic. How-tos and recipes, like this one for HDC client Standard Process, lend themselves well to this type of content. Now that Twitter has added a GIF library, you can expect to see more in the algorithm competing for your attention.

GIF Tip: Already have some video content in your archive? Stay on brand and get more mileage out of it by identifying a few key sections and turning them into GIFs. You can create them for multiple channels in Giphy using your video files or YouTube links. Bonus—it’s free!

Dynamic Text Videos: Put words into action

When sharing online, it’s easy to think in terms of “copy + image.” You have your text and you have your graphic. You have a caption to go with your photo. But in great content design, as in art, words can often be the visual. Think of tastefully designed infographics or some of the better motivational mantras on Pinterest. Motion graphics offer the same benefit, getting your message across but with a dynamic element that is hard to ignore.

There can be something mesmerizing about watching a hand write data in a whiteboard style video. Research shows a 15 percent rise in recall with such animated text videos, aka “scribed video”—the type of retention that is impossible to replicate with a static page of text. And since Facebook videos autoplay while muted, your narrative will not be lost in the silence.

Text Video Tip: Use tools like Biteable or Sparkol to produce dynamic text and whiteboard-style videos with just a few bullet points. Be generous with learnings your viewer can use. It’s a great opportunity to bring value and open the door to a bigger conversation.

Live Streaming: In the moment

Perhaps not since the dawn of radio has media sharing felt so instantaneous. Live streaming makes it possible for brands to bridge the gap with customers in real time, and if your user knows when to find you, the where is as close as his or her mobile device or computer. This type of real-time accessibility can be very valuable in creating personal dialogue with your audience. Q&A, product tips, behind-the scenes, live events and speakers—all can be great reasons to live stream.

It’s been reported that 15 percent of top brands use Periscope regularly, and some are taking full advantage of its potential. Ralph Lauren streamed a whole New York Fashion Week show to jumbo screens in London’s Piccadilly Circus. GoPro allowed viewers to literally swim with the sharks live on Periscope. Even the Green Bay Packers are inviting viewers to tune in.

"Facebook Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket,” promises Mark Zuckerberg. “Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world.” And brands can harness that power for very little investment. It’s especially valuable given that the Facebook algorithm favors live video over posts that link to websites off the channel.

Live Streaming Tip: Explain the purpose of your broadcast when promoting so viewers will know what to expect, and reiterate it during the filming for any who arrive late to the party. Be strategic about your setting and sure to save your broadcast for posterity.

Think about it. What are the types of content that make you linger? Chances are, movement is a key element. They say if you’re not MOVING, you’re standing still—and in our business that means you are falling behind.

Betty Strigens, Social Content Strategist, Hanson Dodge

With an eye for detail and an ear for brand sentiment, Betty Strigens enjoys taking the mystery out of social content strategy for our clients. Acting on their behalf, she tailors award-winning social media content with proven ROI: community growth, engagement, brand lift, web traffic and conversion. She has a passion for fine-tuning the social experience via brand voice development, copywriting, visual direction and community management. Offline she is a singer-songwriter who enjoys art, travel, yoga and teaching her dogs new tricks.

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