Weekly Wochit: New Scientist finds success in square

One of the biggest shake-ups that social video has produced regards aspect ratios. Standard horizontal is no longer the only format acceptable to viewers. New Scientist has embraced the increasingly popular square format in its social videos, to great success. This Wochit-made piece about a robot at the Great Barrier Reef has 300,000 views, hundreds of reactions and comments, and over 3,000 shares.

Check out the story of the robot below:

The team at New Scientist are real social video pros, as evidenced by this video. Each element is laid out and executed for maximum effectiveness on social.

The piece is a brief 50 seconds, which hits the sweet spot of under 1 minute that performs best on Facebook. The square format is also exceptionally effective on Facebook. It takes up a large amount of on-screen real estate, regardless of whether viewers come upon it on desktop or mobile. Square videos stand out in timelines, catching the eye of potential viewers.

Also for the mobile audience, the video doesn’t need sound to work. Text-overlay provides context to the footage and tells the story of this killer robot. The overlay is kept short, but very prominent. Again, regardless of how or where the piece is being watched, no one will have trouble reading and enjoying it.

The subject of the video is also a great one for social. Conversation about the Great Barrier Reef has been prevalent this year, especially in environmental and scientifically-interested circles. Covering this unusual robot adds New Scientist’s voice to the rolling discussion about the Great Barrier Reef that its audience is sure to be attuned to. And there’s no doubt that this robot’s story is a unique one.

Tapping into a topic of conversation, especially one that your audience is directly engaged with, is a great way to drive engagement and find new viewers. When you can enter that conversation with a unique story or perspective, it further strengthens your videos. As is evident from the engagement with this clip, New Scientist nailed it with this one.

We’ll see you back here next week for another awesome video made with Wochit!

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