We’ve come a long way since text-based posts and static images dominated social media. Now, it’s about video. And not just blurry graduation videos or 1 minute Buzzfeed Tasty videos - we’re talking about branded, goals-oriented videos.
Out of the 84% of marketers who have published video content on Facebook, 85 percent found it to be an effective strategy. Similarly, out of 51% of video marketers who have used Instagram video, 88% say it’s been successful for them. Same goes for all other social platforms. Brands are amping up their video content on social media and morphing into media companies to keep up with today’s demand of more and more video content.
But this is where a problem arises.
While brands and marketers understand the sheer importance of incorporating video in their social media marketing mix, they do not necessarily understand how to go about it. Often times, they’ll create one 5 minutes long video (spending lots of money and time on it) without any proper strategy, post it on all social channels, and wait for views, likes, shares and comments to come pouring in.
It normally doesn’t work like that.
Creating a video for social media requires proper planning. Whether you’re a video producer or a marketer, understanding the pre-production, production, and post production processes of social media video is critical to success. Only then can you expect to see a hike in your engagement levels and a healthy ROI.
Below details the different ways you can use video on each social media platform and the various types of social media videos that can create to move your customer down the sales funnel.
Step 1 - Identify Your Platform
Each social media platform is coming up with bigger and better features to foster video marketing. With the introduction of SnapChat, Instagram swiftly introduced Stories and a plethora of features within Stories. Facebook followed suit and brought out their Stories feature, too. LinkedIn, a bit behind on the video front, started encouraging videos and toying with the idea of live video streaming due to their users incessant demands.
So video has a pretty strong hold on social media.
While each social platform understands that video is now a core content medium and they're encouraging users to use video substantially through their respective platforms, they’re not all one and the same. Every social media platform caters to a different audience and fulfills a different marketing goal.
Before you make any video-related decisions, you need to figure out your purpose. Why do you want to use video in social media? Every action you take after that will tie back to this goal and purpose. Having clear, actionable, and trackable goals also help you streamline your video production process and make the entire process as efficient as possible.
You enter a space where 50 of your close friends, acquaintances and even a few friends of friends are present. You say start talking and sharing with people the closest to you and y’all have a jolly good time.
That’s facebook, loosely speaking.
According to WordStream, roughly 45% of users watch at least an hour or more of Facebook videos or YouTube videos in a week.
The oldest social platform, it’s a place where people who know each other or would like to get to know each other share things. It’s also a place where video is seeing excellent results and a great ROI. According to recent research, 78% of marketers plan to use Facebook Video in 2019.
As a video creative, if you’re looking to,
build a positive, informal and a thriving relationship with potential clients
show your brand’s human side by engaging with them
build a community of like-minded, positive followers and potential customers, and
show your video expertise to your target audience,
Then, Facebook is a great platform to be on.
More like a news broadcaster, Twitter’s unique feature is the 280 character long tweet and that means you need to be to-the-point and succinct when dealing with followers here. Twitter users have a very short and fleeting attention span. Videos work pretty well on this platform, as well, and 43% users plan to use Twitter video in 2019. Also, on Twitter, a video tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo tweet.
Unlike Facebook, this isn’t the platform to build chummy, long-term relationship with your audience; rather, a place to demonstrate your expertise, catch your audience’s attention, and show them you’re on top of everything going on in your industry.
As a video creative, if your goal is to get more engagement, increase brand awareness, attract target audience, then Twitter is definitely a platform you need to be on. Video will set you apart from millions of other tweets with static-content, and help you attract your target audience.
Instagram is a visual haven and boasts the most engagement. It’s a mix of Facebook and Twitter; isn’t as long-winded as Facebook, but allows far more than 280 characters in it’s captions. So while it provides you with a great opportunity to win over people and build a tribe, you still need to post consistently to stay relevant and engage your audience.
And with 67% people saying that they plan to use Instagram video in 2019, Instagram is the second best social media platform to use for video marketing. As a video creative, it helps you to not just market your brand and come in front of a plethora of interested potential clients, but also to present your work in front of an appreciative audience.
Short, bite-sized video content (with a plethora of fun animations and the likes) works great on Instagram. A couple of seconds long videos that are aesthetically strong garner a lot of attention on Instagram. Live videos fare really well on Instagram, too, and that’s where you can engage with your audience the most. So create content accordingly.
YouTube is still the no.1 platform for videos (especially the longer, more in-depth ones). YouTube is an all in one platform - it attracts, educates and converts.
It essentially helps brands show their expertise and educate viewers, which ultimately increases conversions. If your target audience is looking to learn something, or wants to be entertained, odds are they will be searching youtube (the second biggest search engine in the world). So think about how you can provide value to your audience by putting them first and having a strong presence on YouTube.
Think of LinkedIn as a high-profile business dinner where everyone is busy networking or schmoozing, or even a business meeting. Video plays an important role as it makes networking easier and brings you in front of a bigger audience. Longer videos that clearly demonstrate your expertise and are mostly without all the instagram-ish frills work great here - interviews, FAQs, Q and As, and the likes.
LinkedIn is important if you’re a B2B brand and a service oriented brand. For B2C brands, the other 3 platforms are a better choice.
So before jumping on a social media platform randomly and shooting in the dark with random videos, figure out your why and who.
Why do you want to use social media for your brand? Do you want more engagement from your target audience, attract more clients, build a better brand image, sell consumer products, or establish thought leadership.
Next is who. Who are you targeting? Do you have an audience persona for your target audience?
Each social media platform caters to a different demographic, so you choose accordingly. Jumping into all platforms at once is a bad strategy, so start small and wisely.
Step 2: Understanding Different Video Types
Now that you’ve established your goal for social media video marketing and have a clear idea who your target audience is, you need to create videos accordingly. Map the buyer journey and understand the role of these social channels and where your video content fits into this journey.
We’ll divide videos into 4 main stages - awareness, engagement, consideration, decision.
This is the awareness stage, also known as the top of the funnel. In the digital world (and offline, as well) first impressions are everything.
You’ve got cold, don’t-even-know-you-exist kind of leads at this stage. You’ve just established your brand (or you’ve just entered the social media arena), your goals are to increase brand awareness and attract target audience to your social media profiles - even amp up your followers and views.
At this stage, your video content should be educational, informational, and eye-catching. Find out your audience’s burning questions, their problems, and provide answers and solutions to them in the form of your video content. Make a powerful entrance in the digital arena with your video content, and if you can make your videos go viral, that’s an added bonus.
The following videos work great at this stage.
(1) Brand Intros
Since this video is the first impression audience will get of your brand, you need it to be a lasting one. Inject lots of brand personality in your brand’s introduction video. Come up with a cool, clean innovative way of introducing your brand.
HelprApp’s brand intro video is a short and simple animated video that explains what the brand does in an incredibly impressive way.
You can then pin it to the top of your social channels, so everyone who’s even vaguely interested in your brand can instantly click on it and understand what your brand does.
(2) Niche-centric instructional videos
How-to videos generated 42.1 billion YouTube views in 2018.
Find out your audience’s core problems; not just related to your products\services (that comes later on), but related to your niche. Create videos around these problems - highlighting the problems in a funny I-can-relate-to-you way, providing solutions to those problems, creating tutorials around them, asking experts to come and talk about them, and so on.
For example, if you’re a brand in the home improvement industry, create educational videos in this niche. Search for the most used keywords, and create videos around that. A simple Google search will reveal the most searched terms.
How to paint your room? Where to buy best faux plants from? What to do if there’s molding in your bathroom? How to set your patio? How to refresh your kitchen? How to fix random house things? Tips and tricks to painting a room by a professional. Let’s paint the room together in a live video. And so on.
Add a funny spin to how-to videos, like Warby Parker does.
Make them bite-sized to post them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Storia’s instructional video ‘21 amazing travel packing tips’ was released over the summer 2017 vacation period and has since been viewed 20 million times with over 307,000 shares.
(3) Entertaining, fun videos
Don’t be afraid to create fun videos. No need to educate viewers in every video - some can be purely entertaining, as well.
Culture hack and create holiday-themed videos.
Or use on-trend topics and the latest on-goings to create videos. Adding the right hashtags to these videos (especially on Instagram) can help your videos get massive reach. For example, if the latest holiday is Mother’s Day, think about how you can attach your brand to it, like this:
Or make satire videos.
Or cool slo-mo videos.
Or really cool, visually-stunning product videos, especially for Instagram.
(4) Behind the scenes with employees
Create weird, funny, and interesting videos where your employees are goofing around, or introducing themselves, or simply showing your (hint. fun!) work environment. Show viewers that your fun is a rad brand and y’all know how to have fun.
You’ve managed to get a good sized following on social media. Your views are increasing with each passing week. So your next step is to warm up those leads. Encourage them to engage with your brand. Have them write a comment or two on your video posts, or maybe send you a DM.
The first thing you need to do now is add a CTA with each of your video posts. Even if it’s something as simple as ‘Comment YES if you agree’, ‘Tag a friend who’d like this video’, or ‘Do you have any other questions?’. Don’t sell just yet - just warm them up.
Keep using the other videos you’re posting, but add the following video types to the mix.
(1) Behind The Scenes
Your followers are now interested in your brand. They want to find more about you. They’ve liked or followed you on various social media platforms. So give them short glimpses of your brand through behind the scenes videos. Show them behind the scenes of a promotional shoot, take them along on an event, or you could even show them snippets from your own personal life.
While most brands use Live video feature to show behind the scenes content, you can create fun BTS videos and post them on your feed, as well. However, unlike live videos (where you can get away with creating low quality BTS video with audio issues), the BTS videos you post on your feed will need to be of great quality.
(2) Live videos
Live videos are an excellent way to engage with your audience in real time and get some discussions going. Live videos are also more appealing to brand audiences as 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
Stats don’t lie, folks.
Also, Facebook and Instagram are really big on promoting Live content. Facebook explained in a blog post: “Now that more and more people are watching Live videos, we are considering Live videos as a new content type—different from normal videos—and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed.”
You can do a series of Live videos as well, setting a weekly or monthly schedule for them. Author Laura Vanderkam explains: "TV shows come on at certain times so people get in the habit of watching them. You can do the same with Facebook Live."
There are tons of things you can explore within live streaming.
Customer and client reviews.
Get a satisfied customer or client onboard and have them explain their experience with your brand.
Takeovers with different brands.
Interviews with experts or influencers
(3) Q and A
Show your expertise to the world through nicely shot Q and A videos.
If you’re a web design company, you want to show the world that you’re the best damn web design company in the world. If you’re into food business, you want to show your customers that you serve the best damn burgers. So to establish this expertise, you need content that shows the world you’re the best. And Q and A videos are pretty much at the top of that content list.
There are several ways you can shoot these videos and make a mark in your industry.
Call experts and influencers, and conduct a Live Q and A session with them.
Apartment Therapy also calls in interior designers frequently to discuss tips and tricks related to interior designing.
Get some team members to come in and explain technical bits of your product.
Conduct Q and A sessions via Instagram Stories Question feature. Your audience will ask you questions, and you’ll answer them via video (or posts).
Host Q and As with satisfied customers\clients
Do an impromptu Live Q and A session in your Facebook group or Facebook page
According to one study, 78% of people said that their buying decisions have been influenced by brands’ social media posts. So creating the right videos at this point can easily prompt followers into visiting your website for more information or becoming an email subscriber.
At this stage, your audience is engaging with you. They’ve started acknowledging your expertise in the industry. Now you need to further warm them up, and turn them into piping hot prospects ready to buy.
(1) Product tutorials
Since bite-sized content works really well on social media, you could create short instructional videos, showing how exactly customers can use your products.
Home Depot creates really short, super-simple, but useful videos.
Most brands try to create an interesting, succinct, and bite-sized (all under 1 minute) video.
It’s not always necessary to create cookie-cutter instructional videos, either.
Here’s a great example by Taylor Cut Films who created their editing video instructional for Adobe. It’s intriguing, interesting, and makes you hungry for more.
You can also add a CTA to soft-sell. Something easy for your audience like ‘join the family’, ‘become a subscriber’, ‘join our facebook group’, ‘share the video’, ‘tag friends’, ‘visit our website’, etc. Don’t hard-sell just yet. Gently help them take the first step.
Your target audience is now primed and ready to buy from you. You’ve established your expertise in front of them and they’re engaging with you on every post and live video sessions. Now you need to create video content that directly sells your products and services. Add a clear CTA to your post captions and in the video itself.
(1) Hard selling, promotional content
Create product demonstrations, fancy brand videos, educational webinars with some hard selling at the end, or any other type of video content involving your products\services and add a clear, strong CTA.
However, you’d find these videos less on social media and more on the brand’s actual website. So you could experiment with this for your own brand and see if hard selling videos work for you on social media.
(2) Customer Testimonials
Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing weapon. And what’s the best time to incorporate this weapon in your marketing mix? Well you should sprinkle it throughout the sales funnel, but it’s crucial to use this in the last stage of your funnel - when you’re nudging viewers into clicking on the buy now button.
So adding customer reviews (in various different forms - Q and A videos, Live sessions, warm brand videos with customers, etc.) at this stage is essential. Upload these videos on Facebook, Instagram for maximum impact. If you’re working with service-oriented brands, then upload them on LinkedIn, as well. And YouTube is always a must.
Always follow these videos with a powerful CTA and a link in the comments section. Give them clear directions.
Social media video is reaping spectacular results for brands that are serious about digital success. If you’d like to join that bandwagon as well, you need to start strategizing and establishing your social video goals, and understanding and exploring the different types of social videos popping up every day.
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