Recap! VideoInk Presents… The Trick to Video Shareability

/ May 30, 2014


Last night, May 29, VideoInk in partnership with Big Screen Little Screen hosted “The Trick to Video Shareability: How to Give Your Content Social Lift.”

It was a dual event, with screenings and panels taking place in both New York City, hosted at Magnet Media, and Los Angeles, hosted at United Talent Agency.

Here’s a recap of what transpired if you were unable to attend, or if you did and just want to have a handy guide.

VI Screen


For Marlene Rhein’s comedy, “My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours,” she screened the episode “They Set Me Up”, in which her character Mara goes on a blind date chosen by…you guessed it, her overbearing parents. As if moving back home wasn’t painful enough.

In Ingrid Jungermann’s gritty NYC comedy “F to 7th”, she plays a self loathing lesbian. In the episode that was screened, Jungermann’s character was accompanied by her very judgmental mother played by Annette O’Toole (“Smallville”). Needless to say, the dynamic made for an interesting walk through the streets of Brooklyn.


It’s a return to Neverland in “The Adventures of Peter and Wendy” in which our beloved childhood characters are vloggers, living in Ohio, and tapping into that sense of child-like wonder and as always, never growing up.

Forget the good guys! Buddies Stephen and Patrick are on a mission to stop the ultimate Asian super-villain, by rounding up, the Awesome Asian Bad Guys of films past. Cue villain laugh here.

[This series is not available yet, but trust us, it’s worth checking out when it premieres.]

VI Chats

Following the screenings, it was time to have a conversation about shareability in the world of online video.

In New York, we had:

  • Moderator: Paul Kontonis (SVP of Strategy and Sales, Collective Digital Studio)
  • Jonathan Perelman (GM of Video and VP of Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed)
  • Adam Ostrow (Chief Strategy Officer, Mashable)
  • Jody Raida (Head of Branded Entertainment, Mcgarrybowen)

In Los Angeles, it was:

  • Moderator: Jocelyn Johnson, Founder, VideoInk
  • Ze Frank (EVP of Video, BuzzFeed)
  • Kai Hasson (Co-Founder and Creative Director, Portal A)

Here are some of the most interesting and informative answers provided by our speakers:

Kai Hasson, on the importance of being authentic: “The internet is a place where you can easily sniff out bullshit. If someone doesn’t like the stuff they’re making, you know it and you can tell… if you’re passionate about your content… [it can be] explosive.”

Adam Ostrow, on Mashable’s social strategy: “What we learned pretty quickly was you can’t just recreate cable news. No one wants to see long-form videos of talking heads online. When you create a bad video, generally people stop watching in the first five to 10 seconds.”

Ze Frank is against ‘incentive-driven” shares, more interested in the why and how of the sharing economy: “Sharing is people using media as their voice. It’s a redistribution of the value of content.”

Jonathan Perelman, echoing BuzzFeed’s pitch to advertisers during its first newfront, pointed to the three pillars around which BuzzFeed develops its video creative:

  • Emotional Gift: Content that makes people feel better.
  • Identity: Videos that are better at exemplifying who you are, or who someone else is, than you can ever express yourself.
  • Information: Facts, whether you knew them or not beforehand.

Jody Raida, on working with/for brands to make social content: “We can’t sell ideas to brands without having a content strategy behind it, which includes the notion of shareability.”

But how does measurement and data fit into all of this?

Ze Frank: “Sharing is something that’s very difficult to measure” BuzzFeed, he said, likes to focus on analytics about peer-to-peer and peer-to-group sharing.

Jody Raida: “We want to measure engagement and how people are interacting with this content. Building an audience and to keep getting the audience to participate and come back for more content [is important].”

Adam Ostrow: “Views are obviously a big metric, but it’s also easy to engineer views for very little money. So it does come back more to engagement metrics and awareness.

Jody Raida: “I think data is really important. It can also help feed back into the creation of content. Netflix is doing this quite well.”

Adam Ostrow: “What we do at Mashable, our videos are targeted to a specific segment of our audience. We have our own analytics platform. Whether the content is editorial or branded content, we can very quickly make a prediction about how viral that piece of content is going to become [based on what we know about our audiences].”

Which is more important, making content that is discoverable or shareable?

Adam Ostrow: “I would definitely say shareability. In 2007, about 75% of our traffic came from search engines. Things have shifted dramatically since then. More than 50% of our traffic now comes from social. So when you’re creating content, you have to consider how to make content as shareable as possible.”

Jonathan Perelman: “I think shareability is far more important. About 75% of our traffic is driven by social. When someone shares a video, it’s much more powerful because it’s an endorsement.”

Jody Raida: “For brands, at least at the moment, it’s shareability. They would argue that putting a star into it would add to the shareability. It’s safe shareability.”

Tips to remember:

Jonathan Perelman: “Content is king, distribution is queen… Frankly, anyone can make great content. It’s not that hard to do. But how do you ensure that it gets seen, thats the ultimate question. How do I think we do it? We have these identifiers that really resonate with people and make people lean forward and say, ‘Yeah that’s me.’

I believe people share content for two main reasons: to form a community, or to build your own personal brand, to make yourself look good.”

Paul Kontonis: “Consistency of your release schedule [should] match the consistency of your audience coming back. There isn’t a magic day [to distribute content], but as long as you’re consistent, your audience will be as well.”

Kai Hasson: “Shareability isn’t the end goal… As a creator I want people to see my stuff and I want it to be shared. But I want to make the stuff that I want to make.”

Paul Kontonis: When it comes to tags on YouTube, begin at the channel level, which will make it easier for YouTube’s algorithm to go to work and pull up related videos that you have created, allowing your audience to keep watching more of your content.

Ze Frank: “Paid struggles to initiate sharing. In many paid environments, you get what you put out.” For instance, if you paid $1,000 to spread media, you’ll get a certain return on investment, but it won’t provide anything extra. According to Frank, the problem with paid is that it reaches “too far of an audience.” “[What’s] ideal for spread is touching a loosely-connected environment where you can hit enough points around the periphery,” then watching the community go to work.

Ze Frank: The new way to think of media is to think of its use. For instance, a GIF of a puppy isn’t just that. You can share it with a title like “This is how I feel after a hard days work,” and then that piece of content becomes less about the dog and more about what is communicated by the piece as a whole.

VI Watch

If you want to hear more, check out our live-stream of the event in New York City, which comes from our friends at Watchitoo:

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