If you’re like me, a 20-something-year-old who is eager to learn and try new things but at the same time who is terrified to learn and try new things because it’s – well – new, then you’ve come to the right page.
Public speaking. Two words that for some people it’s a walk in the park, but for others who don’t have that much experience in (a.k.a me) it’s a -20C walk in the park with sleet, heavy rain and realising that your coat doesn’t have a hood. This year, I decided to take that walk into public speaking, albeit it was online and someone else was there to co-host with me. Besides that, the nerves were there, the pit in my stomach was present and I ran out of breath a lot.
This episode of the vlog explores the journey that Tasha (our Social Media Producer) and I went through when we hosted our first webinar for Belfast Design Week. It was a journey, to say the least. We prepared our content a week before, figured out what we were going to say the day before and mentally preparing ourselves for the pressure two weeks before. So in short, a lot of prepping happened.
To ensure that the webinar ran smoothly, I had to venture back into the office to get reliable WiFi. If you have the same internet provider as me, which fails on a daily basis and consequently makes me appear to freeze during Zoom calls with an unflattering expression, then you know what the frustration feels like. I won’t name names as to who this said internet provider is as A) I might get in trouble for legal reasons and B) because I don’t want anyone else to suffer the same internet fate as I do.
If you haven’t already watched the vlog, have a look at it below!
Fun fact about this vlog, we practised the webinar 7 times. Practised social distancing whilst doing the webinar. And learnt that public speaking (virtually) isn’t too bad at all. Though I can’t vouch for in-person public speaking, I think that’s a whole other level of panic.
Shameless plug right here, but after you watch the vlog, watch our webinar too called “How To Design Your Instagram Feed To Educate Your Audience”. It’s now live on the Makematic VOD. It’s short and sweet, and you might learn something about how gen Z wants to use Instagram now. If you don’t fancy watching and prefer reading, I did write about the webinar in this condensed version. Just to warn you, this doesn’t have as much information as the webinar, so you might as well watch the webinar.
This year’s Belfast Design Week was a little different. Instead of coming together in person, it was all on Zoom. Zoom is fine, it’s just not the same as going to an in-person event, meeting new people and taking one too many free snacks.
Yesterday (04 Nov), we hosted a webinar entitled “How To Design Your Instagram Feed To Educate Your Audience” with a focus on how to gain the attention of Generation Z. For those who attended and to Belfast Design Week – thank you! For those who didn’t get a chance to hear what we had to say, we’ve put some key highlights about Post-Millennials (Gen Z) and how Instagram is changing as a platform in terms of how people are using it.
29.6% of Instagram’s users were in the 18-24 age group (Statista, 2020)
With the current social climate that happened this year and is continuously happening, Instagram is no longer an appropriate place to exist unfazed by current events, politics, cultural and social issues, and much more.
Travel photos and group selfies have been replaced with protest photos and educational infographics.
With a quick search, you can find posts advocating for anything you can think about with thousand of engagements. Posting bite-sized squares of information in the form of a carousel which Instagram launched in 2017, has been used by activists, advocacy groups and well-meaned individuals as a way to educate and inform.
Consider it something like PowerPoint activism (Nguyen, 2020)
In a time of social unrest, these text-based slideshow graphics have found new resonance and an eager audience, like Gen Z, on the platform, which has been known for prioritizing still images over text.
But if you are planning to do this text-based slideshow graphics, make sure that it’s coming from a good place. This means that if you’re trying to educate your audience on a certain topic or matter, you need to make sure that you are practicing what you preach as Patel (2017) stated that “Gen Z is going to know very quickly whether they are a part of something special or are caught in a big-talk campaign”.
As social media users, it’s up to us to be more critical and intentional with our digital footprints. This is something Gen Z (individuals like myself) wants to use social media for. We want to be educated and learn more about what is happening in our society, as sometimes in schools we are not taught about certain things, therefore we take matters into our own hands.
Learn more about Post-Millenials and Civic Engagement here.
We had recorded the webinar so that everyone who did not attend is able to watch it – even folks who didn’t sign up. Look out for this next week!
The drivers for digital disruption are a complex set of parameters. We all know the names of the technology providers ubiquitous in our everyday life and their influence continues to grow and spread.
I have worked in and around the educational content sector for almost 30 years and it has been a period of profound change. The obviously driver – technology is easy to talk about, but it is only since having children that I have realised the very profound effect that technology is having on the way that human beings learn and develop.
Always a good starting point for any argument about the differences in age groups are generational divisions, as there are fluctuations dependent on where the figures are researched. Generational divisions give us a good clue as to where the products of the future will hook their consumers and bring commercial success.
My sons belong to the post-millennial generation. They are hugely different to me I am beginning to see. They process information incredibly quickly and work out what the important stuff is to know and, surprisingly, how to use it. As an example, a friend of my eldest who is five fell in the park recently and hurt himself quite badly. My son has never had any first aid training but has watched a few videos targeting children on Youtube (and I am sure, practised on his little brother!) Instantly when his friend fell, he knew what to do. Not only did he watch the video, but he also processed the information and was able to convert that into a real-world situation. Facts are also all-important to him, and if I can’t answer one of the many questions that he wants answering each day, he instantly talks to Google who gives him the correct response as well as a multitude of others straightaway.
Living in a fully multimedia world both born after the advent of social networking, and although they are not allowed anywhere near Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram, the eldest has worked out that people put videos of themselves ‘doing things’ on Youtube. We can’t go out without the question popping up “Daddy, video me doing this and put it on Youtube”.
Pew Research reported recently that we have reached a point where Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest demographic, and this is having great consequences on the way that consumers of education consume. This is backed up by various demographic studies the United Nations have undertaken.
Looking at the broad-brush strokes of technological influence, TV was key for Baby Boomers, as it was for Generation X who were part influenced by the internet in terms of the way they prefer to consume content. But Millennials and Post-Millennials have lived their lives surrounded by the internet, the mobile internet, and the networked economy. This has had a drastic effect in the way they consume any type of media, be it mass-market or in the educational niche, and it is transforming the way they expect products to be structured, built and commercially modelled for them, taking into account that many parents are Millennials with children who are post-Millennials.
All the indicators right now show the smart money is being invested in video and VR technology for education, with all predictions pointing to the explosive growth of video content occurring in the mass-market, now spilling over into and consuming the education “niche”.
Anecdotally, a Youtube subscription has been the must-have during the Covid crisis amongst us and all the other parents of my sons’ peer groups. Youtube with its Youtube Kids version is the current front runner when it comes to teaching children just about anything whilst keeping them amused in an environment which is safe. I have noticed more and more that Youtube has become first choice for us all.
My eldest’s teacher at our local primary school is in her first year of teaching. It is requested by the school that parents spend as much as we can afford on apps, so we and many others do. The school makes recommendations, and this is added to our tally for Youtube and other direct-to-parent subscriptions each month. My son’s teacher understands the frustration that he and many of his friends are feeling in their first year of school. Although most have had access to books before starting school, many find the change down from a blended multimedia learning pathway at home/nursery to a predominantly analogue one in the classroom exceedingly difficult. This only compounds to the teacher’s overall stress.
During the period of lockdown when we were homeschooling, we had flat refusals on much of the work which was sent home for our eldest to complete. I personally agreed with him. I think I would have flatly refused a lot of it! When talking to others this seemed to be par for the course with his age group, and we found different ways for our son to learn the same things in a ‘more multimedia way’. Unguided, untested, untracked, and undeniably ticking all the learning objectives for the exercise and more.
The relationship between parents/schools/children is changing rapidly, that is for sure. Parents have far more power within the supply chain for learning products and services and video is playing a central part in the learning pathways of a new generation of learners because video content is ubiquitous in everyday life and most globally have access to technology that can access it seemingly for free. For any educational content provider, video must form a central pillar of current and future strategy.
How is Youtube going to educate you?
It’s getting exponentially harder to get your videos noticed on any platform. The market continues to get oversaturated, but worry not though! Here are some Dos and Don’ts to make your video title stand out from the crowd.
After reading, why not check out our Adobe Social Media Video Course for some more insightful advice on how to create impactful videos for social media!
DO – Be Specific yet Succinct
Google truncates page titles at approximately the 66 character mark. Any longer and you’ll see an ellipse (…) at the end of your title. Since YouTube automatically adds “YouTube –” to the beginning of every view page’s title tag, you’re already 10 characters down before you even start. ” via. 5 Keys For Creating Viral YouTube Videos.
You have a fifth of a Twitter tweet to get your video’s main narrative across – not much is it? Be open to the challenge however, we’ll provide some further tips down below to what you should place in your title.
DON’T – Be Afraid To Grab Their Attention
Now, don’t assume I’m advocating for click-bait titles, let’s not go too crazy! However, it’s an increasingly growing trend, especially on YouTube and TikTok. Be descriptive yet enticing at the same time. Don’t undersell your creation, it’ll lose you on viewer engagement.
Let’s use a rather, ordinary activity as a vlog example.
Which would you rather click on (if you had to):
Of course, it’s unfair to compare two videos that have different publish dates, subscribers and overall viewer reach. However, I think it’s safe to say that Video Title #2 is more enticing as it tells a better narrative than just another ‘vlog of me walking the dog’, it creates intrigue and is a creative way to turn a mundane event into something viewers would want to see.
Another example we found, was from our Barbican video course with the Department of Culture, Arts & Leasure. The aptly-named “Make A Plant That Tweets When It’s Thirsty” – if that doesn’t pique your curiosity, I don’t know what will!
DO – Capitalise with the Occasional UPPERCASE
Hierarchy matters and despite it being a pet peeve by some people – Capitalising all main words helps provide a more professional tone for your videos – this is also assuming that grammar has been checked in advance.
The overuse of entirely UPPERCASING titles has thankfully started to dwindle in popularity, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider fully capitalizing the odd word or two – we recommend two shorter words or one long word at most.
Why does it matter? Our minds are naturally drawn to capitalized letters as it is more dominant on-screen – the more you emphasize a word on-screen the more priority our brains provide to read it. Our brain loves to make shortcuts and providing some sense of hierarchy to your wording can help get you that elusive viewer click.
DON’T – Forget Your Keywords
SEO is KING and to truly dominate online video, it must be taken into serious account. In recent years, it’s not just viewers you’re trying to attract to get your videos seen, it’s the hidden site algorithms that you have to appease. Search engine optimization is your new best friend in that regard.
While taking into account your character limitations, priority must be on making sure that the keywords you utilize, best fit the theme of your videos for example if you’re making a compilation? Try using BEST or TOP. Whichever niche you wish to create for, it’s always a good idea to put yourself in the viewer’s perspective and ask “What would the viewer search for to find my video?”.
Remember you also have your video descriptions to fill out more of the relevant keywords for your content. The idea is to make both the viewers and the streaming platform as easily aware of where your content fits as possible.
DO – Get Numeric
We delve more into this topic within our ‘Why Our Brain Loves Lists‘ blog, but statistics show that our brain becomes more accessible when numbers are utilized – it simplifies complex prose and helps the viewer to understand what the video is about in shorter times. This is especially vital for non-English speaking natives as numbers are universally more recognized in most forms and can help bridge the cultural and linguistic gap to open your videos to new demographics.
Utilizing a numeric structure for your video content also can help with your pre-production workflow. By setting a numeric limit on your content topics – you should be able to fill in more vital tips, advice, facts, etc. while not needing to divert into filler as a means to bridge gaps. Organization is key and numbers are a basic block that we can use to help provide some order and lessen that workflow chaos.
DON’T – Skip Analysing Your Competitors
I’m assuming you’re reading this and getting new into the ‘video production’ game, but regardless of what stage in your content creation days you’re in – it’s always vital to see what similar competitors to your work are doing.
Even if you’re up against corporate juggernauts of online video, if you see opportunities you can improve your A-game to their level of reach (i.e. branding, graphics, weekly video scheduling, pace, etc.), then it’s essential advice that can help to improve your overall content. Making small to long-term goals for your content platform is a great tool for increasing the quality and durability of your videos.
Don’t be disheartened, you’ll find many of channels that have failed also, analyze them, try to decipher what caused their declines to avoid making the same mistakes.