beetys advent blog 01

2014 was a fantastic year for Manto, working on a feast of creative projects. We’ve worked on a number of food related video projects, throwing out some real culinary treats! These nourishing video projects included Canned Food UK with celebrity chef, James Martin, Mexican restaurant Cielo Blanco in Leeds Trinity, Harvester, and the topic of this blog post – Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms. Our video project with Bettys was a particularly fun one, and got us very much in the festive mood for Christmas. Video has been a fairly new thing for Bettys Tea Rooms, especially using it for social media. The idea was to use video to engage Bettys followers on social media, be it Instagram and Vine, or Twitter and Facebook, on a daily basis throughout December, leading up to Christmas.

This took the form of a Christmas Advent Calendar of videos, and to create these Christmas themed videos, we used Bettys selection of Christmas sweets, treats and chocolates. Prior to starting production for this video project, we did a bit of research into what other companies were doing in terms of using video in social media. What we realized is that video is still relatively unused in social media when it comes to creative product videos, and when we could find examples, many of them were not of a particularly high standard. We did find a few examples of companies who are using video for Vine and Instagram well, but not as many in the food industry as we initially expected. Examples of these companies using social media for short videos well are Empire Magazine, Marks & Spencer, Adidas and a few more big sportswear companies. But other than that, it’s still very much an emerging trend. Vine and Instagram are fantastic for the fact that you can only upload short videos, and the way people are viewing the Internet these days is very impatient, so these quick videos don’t tests viewers’ patience when they’re browsing their many social media profiles. A few of these companies using video well are doing cool and creative things like time lapses and stop motion animation. Quick and amusing, rather than long and complex. That’s the direction we decided to take with these videos. So the idea was to use Bettys Christmas selection of treats for stop-motion animations. As Vine videos had a maximum length of just over 6 seconds, we used that as the basis for creating these videos. And for Instagram and Facebook versions, we simply looped the video 2 or 3 times depending on the length.

They’d be cute and entertaining, hopefully appealing to Bettys followers. Although one of the key intentions for the videos was to help advertise Bettys range of Christmas treats, as well as their Advent Calendar, they also wanted to provide something fun for their followers, which is a really good way to keep your audience interested in your company, and create a positive impression.

Although the videos were mostly designed with Vine and Instagram in mind, Bettys have a much larger following on Facebook. Facebook definitely gets more interaction with videos compared with Vine, Instagram and Twitter, especially with friends able to share the videos they like with their friends. But the quick and snappy style of videos is something that seems to be growing in popularity in all forms of social media. As the videos are so quick, they have to be interesting straight away, and we love the challenge on engaging people in such a short space of time! The bonus is that they get a quick reaction because it takes very little time for people to view it and share their thoughts. As people become more and more used to watching videos on their social media feeds, it’s going to become an increasingly valuable way for brands to engage with their online audience, and we’re really excited about the work in this area that we’re going to be doing in the year ahead.

With these bite-sized videos as well as with longer web video, the key is to be producing interesting, high quality content. So if you want to get people watching your videos, put yourself in the shoes of your audience browsing the internet: would your video idea grab that persons attention? And keep that persons attention? So if you have a great idea for a video, we’d love to chat to you about it and see if we might be able to help you.

Click here to view our compilation video of our Bettys Christmas Animations.