Are you leveraging marketing social media videos yet? If not, perhaps you should think about it.
Video is enjoying a meteoric rise, fueled by changing consumer habits, growth in mobile usage, and the unstoppable march of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
According to Brightcove, more than half (53%) of consumers say that they engage with a brand after watching one of their videos on social media. For digital-native millennials, meanwhile, the figure jumps to 66%.
Is it really surprising, in light of these statistics, that 88% of marketers say they are satisfied with the ROI on their social media video marketing endeavors?
Using social platforms is great for connecting with customers and generating brand awareness. But you could greatly increase engagement and click-throughs by adding video to text and image posts.
YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are the key platforms. However, there were also 1.2 billion daily video views on Twitter in the last 12 months – 2x growth, year on year.
It would suffice to say video is the best-performing content type on social. So unless you want to be branded “a company from the Dark Ages,” it’s time to start creating dynamic videos and sharing them far and wide.
In this blog post, I’m going to share top tips and tools for creating amazing social media videos.
1. Always Start with a Strategy
Filming videos then posting them to your loyal army of followers is a gratifying experience – providing they inspire likes, shares and comments of course.
However, for the good of your business, it is vital to put a strategy in place before you start recording. After all, you’re running a business. Save the aimless vlogs for your personal account.
Before you create any content, you need to think about your objective for your social media videos – and for your video marketing strategy.
Is it product-led, and therefore purposefully created to increase awareness and shift units? Are you attempting to stimulate conversation, attract followers, motivate newsletter sign-ups, compel viewers to look at your website, invite competition entrants, promote a discount code?
Evidently, there are many different reasons you might create a social media video. But as long as you’re clear about what the reason is, you’ll be in a position to evaluate the success of any particular campaign.
Needless to say, you should ensure your social media video goals align with those of your business, generally.
2. Invest in Basic Equipment
Little wonder so many businesses have made social media videos the crux of their content strategies.
Think about it: the investment is minimal. Social media videos can be shot using a smartphone camera or webcam. And most social media users don’t expect any kind of grand production.
Instead, they prefer clips that are short and sweet, entertaining but valuable. Many online video makers even contain slick stock footage that you can use, overlaying your logo, website and phone number.
Whilst still cheap, DIY videos necessitate a modest investment in the form of LED lighting, external microphones and tripods. Although most modern smartphones are equipped with a good enough lens, you might also elect to invest in a professional video camera if the budget allows.
3. Keep Your Social Media Videos Short
According to a study published by the Technical University of Denmark, the global attention span has narrowed. While we have too many things to focus on, we are able to focus on a specific thing for only a short amount of time.
In an interview with the Guardian, Philipp Lorenz-Spreen of Max Planck Institute for Human Development who participated in the study said, “Content is increasing in volume, which exhausts our attention and our urge for ‘newness’ causes us to collectively switch between topics more regularly.”
When you think about it, the same point applies to social media videos as well. With people’s attention spans going downhill, you need to make sure your videos are crisp.
Let’s face it — even if you have the best content, very few people are going to watch your social media videos if they are 20 minutes long. People just don’t have that kind of time anymore.
People want content that is short, easy-to-consume, and relevant. Your social media videos don’t need to be long but they need to provide value. Focus on creating content that is engaging.
Ideally, your social media videos should start with a hook that captures your audience’s attention. Remember the first few seconds of your social media videos are crucial. If they are not interesting, the audience might just move on to other videos.
Once you have hooked them in, share your message with powerful visuals to keep them engaged. End your social media videos with a strong CTA and encourage them to comment and like your videos.
Many marketers think a short social media video is a limitation and it can’t handle complex topics. But that’s not true. One way to handle complex topics is to break them down into smaller bits. You could make a series of social media videos to explain different aspects of the topic.
The New York Times is using this social media video strategy for their reporting on the 2020 Elections. On their YouTube channel, they have 17 short videos covering different aspects of the upcoming elections.
4. Use Templates
Just as there are numerous video marketing tools which let you use stock footage, there are also plenty of tools featuring professional templates and themes.
With ready-to-use templates, you can create awesome social media videos that help you stand out from the crowd, whether you’re sharing an explainer video or tutorial, a product presentation or an Instagram Story.
There are literally hundreds of templates. So it pays to browse for a while to find something that accurately reflects the style and tone of your business.
Of course, you can also tweak these templates to achieve the feel you’re after.
Let’s talk about the former first. Wave.video’s templates are numerous, categorized according to industries like business, education, fashion, travel, sports, and art and culture. You could literally browse for hours, with a range of styles and formats to choose from.
When you’ve found a template you like, just grab it, customize your video and instantly share with followers. You can also watermark videos and optimize for over 30 formats with just a few clicks.
Image via Wave.video
Biteable is similarly brilliant, with page after page of templates to which you can add not only videos but also photos and text. Biteable boasts a huge music library too (or you can upload your own), plus its own dedicated animated video software. Nifty.
Image via Biteable
5. Add Subtitles
One of the biggest benefits of social media videos is that they help your content to reach a global audience. That means that even people who don’t understand your language may come across your videos.
Language barriers shouldn’t stop you from sharing your message with them. For your foreign viewers, subtitles can make a huge difference. In addition to this, it can help native viewers as well.
People watch social media videos all the time — while traveling, working, or eating. They aren’t always in an environment where they can watch videos with the sound on. At such times, subtitles can come in handy. They can watch their social media videos without missing what’s happening.
Another reason why you should add subtitles to your social media videos is that they autoplay on some platforms. When users are scrolling through, Facebook videos start without the audio on autoplay. So, if you want to capture the attention of your audience, powerful words are necessary.
Another huge reason why you should use subtitles in your video content is related to the way videos autoplay on social media. When the video is muted, subtitles will help you get your message across.
6. Optimize for Different Channels
Most modern companies are all over social media. A few years ago, you might have focused your efforts on Facebook. But to make a splash, now you have to be on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and pretty much any network where your audience congregates.
While this sounds time-intensive, you can re-share the same social media videos across multiple channels very quickly. Just make sure to optimize the video for each unique network.
Quality video editors such as those above helpfully resize your content, so you don’t have to worry about that. But sometimes you’re also best to tailor videos to a specific channel.
For example, Instagram videos can be anywhere from three to 60 seconds long, with users tending to place greater value on light-hearted content. GIFs play better on Twitter. Two minutes or less is ideal for Facebook, whose users can, on the whole, be more serious.
Although it might be tempting to post a link to the YouTube video, native videos get much higher share and interaction rates. So upload direct from your computer for the best results.
In addition to this, also keep in mind the orientation while clicking the video. Based on the platform you want to upload it on, your presentation can differ.
For instance, landscape videos work well on YouTube because their video player is designed for horizontal videos. On the other hand, square social media videos work better for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter because those videos are mostly viewed on mobile phones.
7. Measure and Analyze Results
We touched earlier on the importance of strategy. But unless you can accurately measure results, how will you know your strategy has worked?
When your social media video is edited and uploaded to your channels, your work is not finished. You need to keep an eye on analytics to see how many people are watching, liking, sharing, commenting.
Are they viewing the whole social media video? And if not, when do they lose interest? Perhaps you don’t grab their attention quickly enough. Perhaps you’ve made the mistake of not adding subtitles. Or maybe that heavy-metal soundtrack is a little off-putting for delicate ears.
In order to continually refine your marketing strategy, you need to review the analytics. And you need to note which videos get the best results and which fail to hit the mark.
Having identified the social media videos that power your marketing and business goals, you’ll know which ones to emulate.
Vidooly is an especially helpful tool for monitoring video analytics. It provides unified measurement and insight solutions, metrics that quickly convey how well your videos are performing.
Image via Vidooly
If you’re already creating great social media videos, more power to you. If you’re not, what are you waiting for? Take your digital marketing to the next level, and you’ll maximize your brand in an increasingly crowded space. Start now.