Social media is a staple in every marketer’s toolkit, but in my opinion, it’s also a channel with potential that is largely untapped—especially when it comes to video.

As content saturation has gone up, so has content demand, while attention has dwindled down to seconds. This is the age of the 6 second spot—and not just on digital. Consumers are devouring content with an unrelenting hunger for more and no patience for “reruns”. The fastest rising social format is the story that lives for 24 hours before disappearing forever!

That’s as intimidating as it gets, and demands a modus operandi that the typical approach to video simply doesn’t support.

Right now we look at videos as brand assets that tell compelling stories. I propose a different paradigm: the disposable video that offers unmatched potential for relevancy, engagement, and conversions.

A new video ethos

Instead of solely relying on longer, one-off videos (which can be hit or miss and take too long), a disposable content model would require rapid iteration and response, generating as many videos as possible while cycling data back into your creative workflow (maximizing output, efficiency, and effectiveness at once). This allows you to test a virtually unlimited array of messages, aesthetics, and formats with little to no consequence—what doesn’t work is gone and forgotten, and what works becomes the foundation for more.

Quick hit videos also offer key advantages—they’re short, sharp, and highly versatile—three superpowers that yield five key benefits:

  1. Connecting with new customers becomes simple and scientific—targeting specific pain points uniquely for different demographics.
  2. Your audience stays engaged in the consistent relevancy of your brand and your ads don’t suffer fatigue.
  3. Response based insights accumulate rapidly, evolving your strategy at lightning pace and keeping your overall brand message nimble and pointed.
  4. These insights fuel new content, exponentially increasing the connection, engagement and conversion effects of your videos over time.
  5. And as your videos drive more conversions, your revenue and brand equity grow, enabling your content stream to grow with it.

To do this well though, you can’t think of these videos as “ads”. Your objective is to become a constant part of your customers’ daily lives and no-one wants a self-centered friend. Think of these videos more as inspiration—gentle touch points that keep the traits and value propositions that people love about your brand at the forefront of their attention. Here are some brands that are crushing it (for your own inspiration):

Red Bull (an impressive 48 million followers)
Check out their Facebook and you’ll find nothing but video. At the time of writing, they had posted 11 videos (eleven!?!) in the last 24 hours. And not one of them is about their product!

McDonalds (a whopping 72 million followers)
Like Red Bull, most of their social content is video and they post almost daily, but they take the opposite approach, featuring their products/promotions almost exclusively. It works for them because what they’re selling is so evocative—one look at their crispy, golden fries or ice cold glass of Coke and your mouth and stomach do the rest!

Warby Parker (a “modest” 600k followers)
One of the best brand Snapchat stories out there, Warby mixes super-polished content w/ intimate glimpses into the people and culture behind the glasses to deliver a 24 hour cycle that keeps their image fresh and their engagement sky-high!

What sets all of these guys apart is they’ve thrown out the old playbook and built entirely new content strategies and formats to take their brand to their customers. They understand the fleeting lifecycle of videos and they’ve fully embraced it, with tremendous success!

This is where I see the biggest opportunity for brands right now. But that window is closing as more brands shift their thinking in this direction. Embrace the creative freedom disposable video affords—start now, fail fast, and fail forward—and you’ll outpace your competition before you can say “Snap”!

Written by Jenko Kent
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