Social video has become one of the top digital trends of 2016. YouTube, Snapchat, Vine, and Periscope are leading the online social community. Additionally, nearly every other major social brand—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and more—has added native features to their apps and websites to make uploading, viewing, and sharing videos easier. It becomes specifically critical in the marketing of services, which being intangible, has more impact in video marketing than anything else.
If done right, any social media campaign strategy that includes video is bound for success. Almost all popular brands—too many to list here—use social video sharing. If they are doing it, why shouldn’t you?
Video is a foolproof way for companies to reach people. 70% of social media users have shared a brand’s video, and a whopping 97% of consumers say they would happily share a branded video.
Successful social media campaigns follow the trends that their consumers love, and video is becoming the hottest topic of digital sphere.
If you are looking to start your own social media video campaign, you have come to the right place. Keep reading for some more essential social video best practices that will steer your business in the right direction.
Why Social Video?
Besides the reasons we cleared up in the intro, social video has a lot going for it. To start off, video is intrinsically more engaging than other mediums. When Internet users watch a video, they are watching a person, interacting in an environment similar to a face-to-face conversation.
Certainly people are more likely to interact with another human than with a text-based blog post or a podcast lacking visual stimulation. Simply put, videos trump all other mediums because they are more absorbing and versatile.
Furthermore, video has left an outstanding reputation. Besides the action it is receiving by all the major businesses and social networks, video has come to be a potent tool in the daily lives of average people across the world.
Think about it: videos are everywhere. People use live streaming (most commonly Skype and FaceTime) to visit with relatives who live miles away.
We dedicate hours a day to watching television, news, and movies. Videos are used in businesses for recruitment, training, and conferencing. Even simple things like billboards and restaurant menus have been replaced with video.
Video is not just a trend; it is the course of the future. If video is almost everywhere you look now, imagine how prevalent it will be 20 years from now. Although other mediums like articles and images have a stake in the future, the future depends on video.
Lots of predictions have been made about the outlook of video, but one thing is for sure. Businesses who use social video will have a share in the future. Those who neglect the power of video are likely to come scrambling into the race a little too late.
Now that you know the importance of social video, it is time to take action and start creating some videos of your own. Before learning how to promote videos on social media, you must learn how to plan, film, and edit one.
Even if your business has never produced a video before, you still have the potential to learn how to create your own viral video social media campaign and lead your business to digital success.
1. Brainstorm an idea
The first step, of course, is coming up with a video idea. You will want to choose what type of video to attempt. Here are an extended list of some ideas for types of videos to create for social media:
- General video types: Vlog, Informational video, Journey video, How-to tutorial, Review video, Commentary, Presentation, Series, Interview, Event, Culture
- Branded videos: Explainer video, Product introduction video, Q&A session, Behind the scenes, Customer testimonials
- Unique video styles: Live stream, Webinar, Time-lapse, B-roll montage, Animation
Of course, once you choose a video type, then you have to come up with a specific topic idea for it. For example, if a CEO in the tech industry chose to film a review video, maybe his specific idea is “review of the Apple iPhone 7 vs the iPhone 6.”
Or, if a blog owner want to make a behind the scenes video, “what goes into writing each new blog post” could be his idea. Make sure your video is relevant to consumers. Look at social videos created by other companies in your niche to get some inspiration.
Do to this, think about leading companies in your industry and check out their social networks to search for strong social media video campaign examples.
After choosing a video category and looking at other successful models, assemble your team and brainstorm numerous video ideas. This might seem like a waste of time, but spending time coming up with brilliant video ideas might just lead your business to producing the next viral video.
Social video marketing is about more than just making videos; they have to demonstrate valuable and creative content that your audience craves.
Over a few days, formulate as many video content ideas as possible, then narrow it down to ones that are practical, valuable, and unique. You will probably want to save your other worthwhile ideas for later videos.
2. Flesh out the details
Figure out the details of your video—the setting, script, organization, graphics, etc. Determine who will be in the video—you, your employees, actors, or a narrator? Decide where it will take place—at your company’s office, in a home setting, outdoors, or against a green screen?
Decide what visuals to feature in the video. Your video should not just be a verbalized blog post. Instead, choose B-roll footage to break up the script and present images, graphs, and text within the video.
Perhaps the biggest task at this point is writing the script. Your video does not have to have a script if you are filming a vlog or Q&A, but, otherwise, you can hire a scriptwriter or compose a script yourself.
The latter, of course, is more affordable and may be just as effective. To write your own script, just focus on the message you want to share.
Create bullet points or sentences to touch on in the video. Then, organize them and add compelling word choice. Thesauruses are always helpful resources. Your script should be chock full of beneficial verbal content.
3. Follow the basics
All social videos should possess a few certain elements. First off, a call-to-action (CTA) is essential. Although one purpose of a social video is to expand brand awareness, it should also highlight a specific action you want viewers to accomplish.
For instance, many YouTubers always ask viewers to “like, comment, and subscribe” at the end of each video.
However, more specific CTAs can be more fruitful. Depending on your desired objective, always ask your audience to share the video or visit your website or follow you on Snapchat— anything—at the end of the video. You may also consider including a CTA within the video or even at the beginning.
Social videos should also contain a hook and engaging content throughout. Many viewers will drop out within the first several seconds of a video if they do not find it interesting. Although some of the most viral videos are over ten minutes long, social video is more likely to be viewed and shared if it is not lengthy.
People nowadays have short attention spans. Most social networks even limit the length of videos that users can post—Snapchat at 10 seconds, Vine at 6 seconds, Twitter at 140 seconds, and so on. Ideally, your video should not be over three minutes, no matter what kind it is.
If necessary, it is better to create a series of shorter videos than one long video. Because engagement for even a two- or three- minute video is only about 63%, make sure your video is filled to the brim with engaging content throughout.
Filming & Editing
Now that you know what you are filming, it is time to start. Your business can carry out the filming and editing process in two ways: (1) Hire it out or (2) Do it yourself. No matter what option you choose, make sure the video is high-quality.
Hire Videographers & Video Editors
If your company produces a poor-quality video with shaky camera work and sloppy editing, it will heavily affect how consumers perceive your brand. Professional equipment and editing is mandatory, not optional.
Editing is possibly the most essential part of production because it takes the raw footage and brings it all together to create the final product—clean and captivating.
Hiring experienced laborers to film and edit the video will save you from having to learn the ins and outs of camerawork and video editing. Although hiring freelance video editors and videographers may sound pricey, it will save your business the expenses of DIY production.
Additionally, the quality of work achieved will likely be higher since the editors and cameramen are skilled and seasoned. Hiring out the production work can also open up time for you to focus more on the video marketing campaign.
DIY Video Production
If you have the time and effort, a do-it-yourself production may better fit your budget. If you do not already have access to a high-quality video camera, microphone, and lighting to lend, you can buy all of this for under $1,000 at places like Amazon.
Another option is renting this equipment, which is certainly cheaper but offers less flexibility. Plus, your company will have to invest in video editing software.
Although some businesses get by with using free software like iMovie or Wondershare, professional software like Adobe Premiere lends better results and more versatility.
After acquiring the equipment and software, the next step is educating yourself on how to operate them by reading their manuals or viewing online tutorials.
Implementing Video in Social Media
Now it is time to launch a social media campaign implementing your video. Although social video is similar to posting a status update or sharing an infographic, it has its own dynamics to master.
Producing social video is an ongoing process, but it can revolutionize your business. The extra work put into production is certainly worth the outstanding results.
Just like any other piece of content, videos must be optimized for the web. Directly uploading videos onto social networks instead of only sharing the YouTube link is recommended to attract more visits to your social profiles.
Additionally, uploading the video to your website can help boost your search engine rankings since video is favored over text. However, do not host social video solely on social networks and your website. Uploading your video to YouTube is essential to maximizing exposure.
Your video is likely to rank higher if it is posted on YouTube. You may even consider uploading it to Vimeo in addition to YouTube to gain even more brand awareness.
Keys to Optimization
To increase your video’s ranking, optimize all the text associated with it. Choose a relevant focus keyword to implement throughout the video’s title, description, tags, and even transcript. Using this keyword within your social media video posts would also be beneficial.
One commonly overlooked video optimization tool is the thumbnail. If the thumbnail is unappealing, less Internet users will be inclined to click on it. Video is all about visuals, so make sure your thumbnail captures the essence of your message while also being intriguing.
Mobile viewing is a humongous component of social video. Every major social network has a mobile app in addition to its website, and many of these networks only have an app. Thus, they are already ready for mobile viewing.
YouTube and Vimeo are already optimized for almost any playback scenario—yet another reason why they are crucial tools for your social video campaign. So the only channel you really have to worry about is your own site.
If you have not already optimized your website for mobile, it is time to catch up. Optimizing your video for mobile video will widely expand the number of viewers it will reach.
Post your video on all your social channels. All of them. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Periscope, and everything else.
Although a small number of these networks do not support directly uploading video, you can still post a YouTube link or a link to your website.
Get followers excited for your video content. For example, on Periscope you can introduce your video by live streaming a short preview of the video then by revealing the link and telling viewers to screenshot it.
A shortened bit.ly link may be easier, or you may just ask viewers to check it out on your website or other social network.
When sharing your video across social media, do not present it as a sales pitch. Instead, users should be attracted to your brand and its rich content. Branding your content makes your business more recognizable, especially to new viewers.
Do so by embodying a certain tone and style in your videos. You may also want to include your brand logo or slogan in each one. Create conversation about your content. Talk with viewers in the comment section and consider their opinions. Your promotion must be active, not passive, in order to yield results.
Although you will likely experience satisfying marketing results by following the methods above, there is always room for improvement. A video’s success weighs on more than just view count.
Other video metrics reveal where users are dropping off in your video, how many viewers follow your call-to-action, and what viewers love about your video.
Most social networks provide you with analytics to measure a video’s reach. YouTube and Vimeo offer especially detailed stats. Additionally, the analytics provided by your website provider can really come in handy.
Learning the demographics of your viewers can better help you understand who you are actually marketing to. If most of your social media followers are over 40, then you can create content that is more relevant to their stage of life.
If your followers are half male and half female, then you know to tailor your content to fit the preferences of both genders. Although demographics are valuable, other video metrics can better determine how viewers react to your content. Consider these definitions:
- Play rate: the percentage of page visitors who click play on a video once it loads
- Engagement: the percentage of a video watched by a viewer
- Click-through rate: the percentage of viewers who click on the call-to-action
- Conversion rate: the percentage of viewers who complete the call-to-action
If your play rate is low, you know that the thumbnail is not appealing or that the video is not central to the webpage. When engagement drops, you know you need to insert more gripping content at certain points of the video to make sure viewers make it all the way through.
If click-through rate is subpar, you know you need to more effectively encourage viewers to click on your CTA. If your conversion rate is low, you know you need to make the action in your CTA more appealing. As you can see, taking the time to understand the metrics is key to following up with stronger videos.
The final piece of analytics is deciphering viewer feedback. This includes comments, social sharing, likes and dislikes—how users react to your content. Comments given by actual viewers provide raw opinions that can help determine what kind of image your brand is presenting through its social video.
Likewise, when social followers interact with your video, you know it is engaging and sparks conversation. If more people dislike your video than like it, then you know not to model after that video in the future.
If view count is high, but social shares are low, then it is time to make your video more shareable. Perhaps make it shorter and more sensational—give viewers a reason to share it.
Social video will give your business more attention than ever before. As long as you spend time creating quality videos and following the marketing tips above, viewers will fall in love with your brand. Always remember to use video as a way to interact with users, not as a scheme to make more money.
When people know that you care about them, they build a positive, trustworthy perception of your business. Video is essential to any social media campaign. Marketers across the globe are realizing the potential video has and are taking advantage of it. It is time for you to do the same.