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2016: The Year We Watched (and Read) All the Videos

A lot has happened in the social sphere this year — but the rise of video, especially readable video, is the most impactful content shift of 2016. It's part of the the mobile takeover. This year, mobile is responsible for 65% of digital media time, making desktop a "secondary touch point," according to Marketing Land.

Videos are super easy to watch on mobile, and, so far, they've morphed into two very friendly beasts.


Two Big Social-Friendly Beasts

Friendly Beast #1: Live — The rise of live video on platforms like Periscope and Facebook put the power of audience growth into the hands of the creators for the first time ever.

Whether it's a brand, company, social influencer, or anyone with just an ounce of ambition and an Internet connection, they have the ability to go live instantly. That ability includes the potential to reach a larger audience than daytime TV, if not more. This power used to be owned exclusively by large networks, people with extraordinary circumstances, or just the straight up rich and famous. No longer.

In 2016, we saw this new opportunity impact everything from citizen journalism to a mother with a Chewbacca mask.

Video is not reserved just for YouTube and Facebook, either. The explosion of Snapchat and the creation of Instagram Stories gives us more opportunities for social success through distributed video content.

Friendly Beast 2: Readable — If it's not live, you better be able to read it. Brands like NowThis birthed this format and it's now the makeup of social feeds on nearly every platform.

This strategy works because it feeds the attention span of the modern scanner. Since sound is optional, viewers can consume readable videos everywhere (on their phone mostly), but also at work, in waiting rooms, etc. The dynamic nature of media-rich content makes the videos not only easy to digest, but easy to share.

Bonus: With no narration, readable videos are easy to create. Unlike big-budget news videos, simple GIFs, photographs, and amateur footage are acceptable forms of b-roll.

BuzzFeed's digital food empire, Tasty, features cooking videos with no sound. Each one racks millions (this one has 10M+) of views.

The Players

Anyone with content, period, can get in on the video game. Here are some benefits we've seen from the major players in 2016:

Brands: 84% of professional marketers and 55% of small business owners have produced or outsourced a video in the last 12 months. 76.5% of those marketers and small business owners have experienced results from those efforts. (Adweek)

E-commerce: 90% of users say product videos are useful in their decision-making process. (HubSpot)

News outlets + media companies: One-third of online activity is spent watching video. More video content is uploaded to the internet in 30 days than all three major U.S. networks combined have created in the past 30 years. (HubSpot)

An Easy Place to Start

If you haven't even dangled your toes in the water of video yet, Facebook is the #1 place to start and the place where most of your focus should be.

It's the biggest social platform and where the bulk of your audience lives. Facebook has 8.4 times the impact on marketers and small business owners compared to other social platforms. It's also super simple to track insights and success.

We Can Help

If you're still perfecting your video content skills, you can still benefit from video content through sharing. Facebook's algorithm favors shared content and it's an automatic engagement boost, at zero cost.

Our proprietary technology helps fuel organic growth on any CMS (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.). We've built in features to our platform which make sharing more strategic.

RebelMouse helps you identify social accounts through a search API you won't find using Facebook alone. You can reach out to your discovered target accounts via a variety of social signals, including a "like" of a recent post, an email, or sharing their video.

In comment sharing: Share video from your targeted social community within a comment of your relevant article. Since you tagged your targeted account, they will be inclined to see where their video was shared.

In article sharing: If you're publishing on the RebelMouse Distributed Content Management System (DCMS), you can also share a target account's video at the bottom of your article.

Bonus: Also on the RebelMouse platform, your own video content is easy to embed within an article. It's also viewable on both Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP.

If you relate to this bear right now, it's OK. Distributed video content can be tricky at first. That's why you need your Rebels. Download our Guide to Social Media Content Strategy today for more tips.

How to Include Interactive Elements in Posts

Enhance your articles with rich and creative media

Every article is a fresh chance to grab new readers and nurture loyal followers. This is why we give creators every opportunity to build content rich with media elements that enhance every reader's experience.

Add More Layers to Your Content

You can easily add interactive elements, like charts, to posts on our platform. For example, if you need to embed iframe code into a post, this can be done via our Add Media Bar. To do so, click the code icon (< >):

A text box will appear so you can insert your code:

Embedded Code Across Platforms

One important thing to keep in mind is that Google AMP, AppleNews, and Facebook Instant Articles will not always support embedded code. So if you use an iframe, it's best to turn off distribution to those channels for that particular post. If you have a lot of posts that require embedded code, this could be problematic for growth across those important platforms.

If you do want to use an iframe on a post destined for Google AMP distribution, it can be possible if the iframe is not at the top of the page or within the first 75% of the viewport when the page is scrolled to the top (whichever is smaller). AMP is a fast technology designed for mobile users and iframes are loaded using arbitrary timing that AMP's technology cannot ensure. For this reason, it's suggested that iframes be included in places that are not visible by users upon load.

If you have an article that needs to include an iframe at the top of the page, or within the first 75% of the viewport, AMP can be turned off for that individual article within Entry Editor.

If you don't need an interactive chart to be interactive in nature, can turn it into an image and upload it directly to your post. This way it will work on all platforms, including Google AMP, Apple News, and Facebook Instant Articles. This option, when possible, is ideal to ensure you're optimized for page speed.

Take Advantage of Shortcodes

Another great way to embed media is through our shortcodes functionality. Click here to learn more about shortcodes. Shortcodes can also inserted using the Add Media Bar. Click the brackets icon ([ ]) to choose the shortcode you want to use.

Here's an example of a chart on an article page that's been inserted using a shortcode:

If you have any questions about how to add interactive elements to your content, please email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

Shortcodes Dashboard: Dynamic Media in Just a Few Clicks

Create multidimensional content with easy-to-find shortcodes

We believe static media is dead, and that every piece of content should be multidimensional and engaging. This is why our platform enables creators so they can add dynamic media to their content in easy and efficient ways.

One simple way to add interactive content to any post is through the use of shortcodes. Shortcodes are small snippets of code that are easier to remember than longer sequences. They typically will activate a feature or embed media into an article.

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