Why Not Doing Short Video Is Not An Option



Building ideas that works for the speed of feed with Facebook’s Head of Creative Shop, Northern Europe.


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In a world where human minds move fast, short mobile video can drive awareness, ideas and meaning. How can we start building ideas that work for the speed of feed?

In the first session of Social Media Week London, Kat Hahn (Head of Creative Shop, Northern Europe, Facebook) discussed the secret ingredients to create content tailor-made for mobile feeds: creativity, craft, and storytelling.

Here are Hahn’s biggest takeaways for brands of all sizes who are developing strategies for their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Attention Needs Great Creative

In one minute, the human brain is processing the equivalent of 40 HD movies. How does that translate to your Facebook feed? The average person is scrolling through 300 feet of feed per day, which is the same size as the Statue of Liberty. So how do brands compete with the attention of their potential audience? Every audience that sells content understands the speed of people.

Using The Late Late Show with James Corden as an example, the episode featuring Bruno Mars singing Carpool Karokee was seen by 1.28M on television, but the 14-minute clip was viewed over 100M times on the show’s Facebook feed. Another example showed Rachael Ray’s 1-hour program reaching 1.2M viewers, while the average 2-minute Tasty video reaches 10x the amount of viewers.

So how can brands keep up with the speed of people? Hahn explained that we need to focus on where people are and not where they were. They developed a theory based on the following consumption moments:

  1. On-the-go (immediate): Quickly looking at your phone during a meeting or on the train.
  2. Lean-in (interactive): Looking for something to watch and something captures your attention.
  3. Lean-back (immersive): Sitting down and watching something for a long period of time.

They estimate that 70% of people are on-the-go and looking for immediate content compared to 10% in lean- back mode.

Master Your Short Game

Hahn believed that brands need to ask themselves one simple question: are we thinking enough about short form video? “We can buy eyeballs, but we can’t buy attention,” says Hahn. “There is no such thing as a ‘captive audience.'” It’s the creative’s job to create the content that audiences want to engage with.

Hahn stresses that creatives should use the same tools to create content for the feed: copywriting, art direction, cinematography, and motion design, while also adding new story arcs, compression, looping, and framing (vertical over horizontal) to tell a story. Hahn provided examples of brands using short-form video to promote their products ranging from 8 seconds to 2 seconds and provided an example of a brand that was able to tell an entire story in a mobile optimized 3-second video clip.

Interactive content is not just making games. Those kinds of projects take big budgets and might not be feasible for smaller brands. Hahn recommends getting creative and “hacking” content and uses Instagram Stories as an example where brands have made interactive content by combining videos and the ability to customize when the video can be played. H&M uses video ads that showing off clothes that you can buy directly from the ad.

Create A Content Ecosystem

The team at Facebook Creative Shop recommends not putting all your eggs in one basket by using all three types of consumption modes to a create an entire content ecosystem. Hahn spoke about how State Street Global Advisors and McCann New York were able to raise awareness to the fact that 1 in 4 that make up the Russell 3000 index don’t have female representation on their boards by creating the now iconic “fearless girl” statue that stands directly in front of the “Charging Bull” statue in New York City. They were able to create immediate, interactive, and immersive feed content.

Hahn closed her session by stressing the importance of feed content by saying that not doing short video is not an option.

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