Video has never been bigger, especially on social media. They’re easy to watch on mobile devices, and faster 4G internet makes watching them anywhere easier than ever. Video is a quick way to access information, tips, or just enjoy a good laugh.
As a business, you must be taking advantage of this move towards video content. While written content, images, and audio all have their place, video should definitely form a part of your marketing strategy. Videos allow you to get your point across quickly, engage your audience directly, and they’re highly shareable too, enhancing your reach online.
To help you perfect your strategy, I present to you your essential guide to social media video.
Know the purpose of each video
Your video strategy should begin by knowing exactly what you want to achieve with it. Don’t assume that just by creating a video it will get great results—you need to target the content to the viewer.
This is so important with video because you only have a few seconds before the viewer decides to move onto the next video in their news feed. They’ll make a quick judgment about whether it is worth their time viewing the whole thing.
Know your audience, their problems and their goals, and create video that caters to each. It’s the same rule with all the content you create.
Create a specific video for a specific platform
Social video may be one topic, but no two social platforms are the same. While it is possible to create one video and share it on all your social accounts, the smarter thing to do is create different videos for each platform.
For a start, know where your audience is active. Which is the most popular social site for them? Then find out which type of video works best on that platform.
Should you create your video in landscape or portrait? Landscape is sometimes best because people are more used to it. But on IGTV and Snapchat, portrait is essential, and it’s fast becoming the norm.
Each platform has a different audience as well. There is no reason why a Facebook video will work well on Twitter because they involve very different strategies.
Live video is big right now, and there’s no reason for that to change. Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube all provide a more engaging way for your audience to connect with your brand with a live experience.
Live videos come across as more authentic. They show the raw, unedited version of you and your team, helping you connect with your audience on a different level.
Use a call to action in every video
Remember the first point: Every video should have a purpose. You should always decide what you want your audience to do after viewing the video, and then make it clear to them in a call to action (CTA).
If someone has watched to the end of your video, there is a good chance that they are interested enough to go to the next stage. Your CTA helps lead them where they need to go.
Keep it short and sweet
Social videos should generally be quite short. That is not a rule—sometimes a longer video is exactly what you need to tell a more detailed story like a documentary. In fact, Instagram recently introduced a new feature, IGTV, that allows you to create videos up to an hour in length, which is perfect for longer-form storytelling.
But in general, for a Facebook newsfeed video, people are not looking for a lengthy video. It should be more like 30 seconds to a couple of minutes to get the best results.
Focus on the first 10 seconds
With such busy news feeds and competition from other businesses, brands have to fight to get seen on social. As such, you need your video to grab your customers’ attention immediately.
To achieve this, make the first 10 seconds of your video compelling. The main rule is to keep them watching. Just like a good article keeps people reading, or a good TV programme keeps people glued to the screen, your video needs to stop them from clicking away.
Tell a story
People thrive off stories. Stories have been used in marketing for decades because they capture the attention and keep people engaged. And videos are perfect for telling them.
This is a good tactic if you have just bought a brand and you want to put your stamp on it. You could take your pick from any one of the unique businesses for sale in Australia and, with a carefully-crafted social video, create a brand that appeals to an entirely new consumer base.
Social videos are a great way to tell your audience about the next chapter in the company’s story, and they can be a useful way to introduce changes in your business.
Stories come in all kinds of formats. It could be a story involving your product, a customer story about how they overcame a challenge using your product, or your own story about how you set up your business, how you overcame a setback and succeeded.
Make sure it’s watchable
The final point is a practical issue. Your video needs to be easy to watch. Don’t go to all the lengths of planning the perfect video with an engaging story and then ruin it by creating a video that is hard to watch.
That means using a good camera. It does not have to be professional quality, but it should at least be of a fairly high standard. Sometimes amateur-style videos are very effective, depending on the business and brand style. But for most videos for businesses, you will need to make it look professional.
Good sound quality is also important, as is good lighting. You should also edit the final video and cut out all the bits that don’t work.
Practice creating videos and sharing them on your social channels. You might want to experiment with social ads as well to get more eyes on your videos. You may find that it takes a while before you hit on the right format for your own videos, and some videos will work better for other businesses than for you. So test, experiment, and start driving more traffic and sales with video.
Victoria Greene Brand Marketer & Blogger
I’m an ecommerce marketer by trade, and I run a blog in my spare time where I like to talk about content and brand blogging. I love taking people’s ideas and making them into digital realities. Guest posting is one of the ways I do digital PR for myself and my blog.