Social media has become the modern town square marketplace.
Like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – they give people from across the world a platform to communicate, share, learn, shop, and be entertained. And one of the reasons behind these platforms’ wide appeal lies in their support of multimedia content – from beautiful images to immersive live streams.
But if (almost literally!) everyone is on social media, how will your brand stand out from the crowd? Well, it’s a challenge plenty of companies overcome by having engaging and effective video content as part of their digital marketing toolbox.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just go and upload any video and expect it will be marketing gold! As the best video companies out there will tell you, you need the right videos combined with the right strategy to get results.
In this piece, we’re going to go over some key questions you need to answer about your video before clicking that “upload” button.
Does your message work as a piece of social content?
Sure, you might have an amazing product or service, or your marketing team might have come up with a great idea for an ad… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will translate to an engaging piece of social media content.
Social media platforms have their own rules on what content has the potential to go viral and what content will just get lost in the endless feed of posts. So, always account for two critical aspects that most social media videos depend on: length and appeal.
Shorter videos offer instant gratification
People scrolling through social media don’t have the time to sit through a long piece. We’re not saying that users never want lengthier content, but they are more drawn to shorter, more bite-sized and digestible videos.
Sure, there are the unusual long-form pieces that work on some social media platforms, like TED talks or fantastic online tutorials for complex processes on YouTube. But, if you want to stay in the safe zone of most platforms, you should keep your video under the 2-3-minute mark.
Experts even say that the human attention span in the modern age is somewhere around 8 to 12 seconds. So, make those first seconds count!
And, instead of thinking about this as an obstacle, take it as a blessing in disguise! When producing video content, you should always strive to be attention-grabbing by making a strong first impression. After all, if you’re taking too long to explain your product, then you’re probably doing something wrong.
Does your video feel like an ad?
Social media content is all about users sharing their experiences. It wasn’t until social media became monetized that sites such as Facebook and Twitter even allowed branded content on their platforms. Before that, every social media post consisted only of friends and family sharing their thoughts and media with each other.
This explains why, even today, the most effective marketing pieces are the ones that manage to promote a product or service while also avoiding that overtly branded feel.
It’s not something easy to pull off, and it definitely isn’t an exact science, but everyone can tell the difference between a traditional-looking advertisement and user-friendly promotional content just by looking at it.
Here’s your chance to present your brand in a way that it’s never seen before. Including social media videos in your marketing strategy offers a way to freshen up your brand’s image and the way you communicate with your customers.
Creating content that educates, entertains, and advertises
Effective social media content should deliver on three fronts. First of all, it shouldn’t waste your time – you should feel like you’ve learned something from watching it. Then, it should entertain by telling a captivating story. And lastly, once it has your attention, it can promote a product or service in novel and subtle ways.
Now, you might be thinking that pulling all those three consistently is hard… and, to be honest, it’s not easy! BUT, there are some popular types of videos that have been developed to accomplish those goals – like explainer videos, company culture pieces, and even How-Tos. All of which are fairly popular in most social media platforms.
Over the last few years, how-to and tutorial type videos have become one of the most searched contents on social media. Explainer videos have that educational aim while also using the power of storytelling to keep them interesting and meaningful.
Will your audience know where to go next?
So, you’ve got your audience’s attention, then what? It may surprise you, but we’ve seen many branded posts on social media that forget about the last (but not least) step of any marketing content: the call to action.
If you’re not encouraging your audience to act, then what was all the work for?
So, to create an effective CTA, you should start by thinking about the main objective you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want to increase traffic to your online store, your video should end by showing a glimpse into what they will find on your site (and the site’s address!). If you’re looking for leads, encourage people to give their contact information through a pop-up form for more cool content.
These are the little details that transform a random video into a marketing powerhouse.
The underestimated value of liking and sharing
An effective social media video should be not only worth watching but also worth sharing. Organic shares, comments, and likes are the most valuable currency of social media platforms.
Sure, you can pay for promotion to boost your views and reach as many users as possible. It is a valid strategy, especially when you are just establishing your marketing presence. But if you get people to engage with your content naturally, it’s because you’ve given them something worthwhile, and they feel more people should know about it!
A good tactic is to end your video by asking users to share their own experiences in the comment section, and interacting with them when they do. This way, you’re starting a friendly and open conversation with your customers.
Can you upload your video natively?
There are two ways to promote video content on social media platforms. One is to post or share a link to a video hosted on another site; these are usually known as embedding videos. The most common examples are Facebook or Twitter posts that link to videos uploaded on YouTube. The other way is to upload your video files directly to each social media platform; these are called native videos.
You may think that this is only a technical difference, so why bother? …Well, think again. Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms prioritize native uploads over embedded videos. For example, on Facebook, they are proven to perform up to 10 times better.
But there are other advantages as well. For instance, if you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, you’ll notice that some videos start playing automatically. YouTube videos, on the other hand, need a click to be manually played. This feature is called “autoplay” and, apart from getting more views on your piece, it’s a very effective technique to grab a user’s attention.
Currently, Instagram doesn’t offer a way to share video content hosted on another site, so you don’t have a choice. But, Instagram aside, you should try to upload your videos on Facebook and Twitter natively to enhance your viewing metrics.
Every brand wants its content to “go viral,” without knowing exactly how to do so. And, as we’ve seen in this article, achieving the right video with the right marketing strategy can be a tricky matter. While nailing one doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the other, your chances of having your content be more widely accepted go up, once you account for the aspects we discussed.
So, before thinking about uploading your video, make sure you have good answers to the questions we’ve covered here. Take the time to get it right, and you’ll be surprised by the results.
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