photo by @lifesimplyrocks on Unsplash

It’s no secret—videos are the new king of social media marketing, and it’s expected to grow even further. In fact, a study by Go-Globe states that videos are expected to account for a staggering 82% of all internet traffic by 2020. Another study by TechCrunch estimates that people view over 1 billion hours of video content per day, on YouTube alone. More than one in two people view videos on social media platforms.

This, of course, is great news for marketers.

Given all this, it’s no surprise that brands are slowly starting to adopt more video content in their social media strategy as the allure of video content is easy to understand. Consumers online are constantly bombarded with marketing messages from countless brands that are all fighting for their attention. Videos stand out in this crowd, because they seem a lot more personal. Seeing a person’s face and hearing their voice makes it seem like you’re actually being spoken to—there’s a sense of authenticity that is added to your content, and so consumers are likely to feel more comfortable.

That’s not all, though. Videos are also a lot more versatile than any other form of content. Once you’ve mastered the art of making videos, you can play around according to your needs. You can create anything from small explainer videos, to vlogs or video ads, or even hour-length webinars for your product. You can create high-quality, complex, fancy videos, or you could create simple, easy ones. The possibilities are endless.

Given this, it’s easy to understand why videos are becoming more popular among marketers. The versatility of videos means that it can be used as a means to achieve almost any marketing objective—be it brand awareness, lead generation, or conversion. Webinars and explainer videos can be made to help with user education as well.

When you consider all this, it’s easy to understand that videos should be part of your marketing strategy, no matter the size of your business. But if you aren’t sure how to do that, it can seem a little overwhelming. Where do you start? We’ve broken down the basics of video marketing in this guide for you.

Video strategy

Before you create video content for your brand, it is important to develop a video strategy. This will help you decide what kind of videos you should be making, while also ensuring that the content you create is aligned to your objectives.

The first step to creating a video strategy is to define the goal that you’re trying to achieve. Are you using videos as a means to create awareness about your brand, or do you just want to educate your users on your product? Or is your goal something different? While going through this exercise, remember that you can set multiple goals too. Your goals could be to both generate leads for your brand and improve conversions. Then you can create content that will help you achieve both of these objectives.

Once you have your objectives down, you’ll need to create a profile for your “ideal customer”. This will be based on what kind of people you want to target your products towards. Get as detailed as possible with this. When you have an “ideal customer” in mind, and you know what they enjoy and what they don’t, it’ll be easier for you to create content that will appeal to them.

Depending on your goals and your target audience, you should already be able to come up with a content plan. All that is left now is to define your budget, and decide how you’re going to shoot your videos. You could either do it with your own team, or you could also hire an agency to do this for you. You could also consider using tools like Animoto or Biteable to help create videos for your brand.

Upload native video content

A lot of sites have their own native video platform, where you can directly upload videos to the network as posts, or use the camera icon to create new videos and upload them. So if you upload your video to Facebook directly, it will play in Facebook’s video player, instead of a YouTube player. Aesthetically, you might think that doesn’t make much of a difference, but it can have long-term impacts on the success of your campaign.

While creating video content on social media, it’s tempting to upload the video on YouTube, and then share the link on the different networks that you want to put your content on.

Don’t do that.

Wherever possible, try to upload native video content.

Why?

Because networks prefer content uploaded natively to their site over content shared from a site like YouTube. This study shows that Facebook native videos averaged 110% more engagement and 478% more shares. That’s a staggering difference.

There’s another advantage to uploading content natively—when you do it, you’re able to get more detailed analytics for each individual network. You’ll be able to see the number of views for each video, along with the average number of minutes viewed. Of course, you’ll get these statistics on YouTube as well, but that’ll only be for total views, and it may be helpful to understand how your content is performing on different individual networks.

Lastly, when you upload videos natively, they get stored as part of your library, and can be accessed easily by your followers. When uploaded via another site, they’ll just disappear into the feed. Native videos are a lot more visible.

Does that mean you shouldn’t use YouTube videos at all? Of course not. YouTube is very useful when the content you create exceeds the time limits imposed by specific networks. The bigger advantage is that YouTube will allow you to add cards as clickable CTAs on your videos, and will allow you to organize your videos into different playlists. Most networks don’t allow this. While it’s important to use native videos, we must remember that YouTube videos have their own advantagesl, and a good strategy would be using both together to enhance your reach.

In case you need help with video marketing on YouTube, we’ve already written a guide to help you get started.

Keep them short, and make them interesting

Fact: The human attention span is falling, and is now at 8 seconds, which is shorter than the average attention span of a goldfish.

What does this mean for marketers?

Firstly, it’s evident that your video content has to be shorter. Just because Facebook allows you to upload 20 minute videos doesn’t mean you should. Shorter videos can work better because they’re bite-sized, and don’t take up too much of the viewer’s time. This doesn’t mean that your videos have to be shorter than 8 seconds, though.

Studies have found the ideal video length on different networks:

  • Facebook: 60-90 seconds
  • Twitter: 43-45 seconds
  • Instagram: Under 30 seconds
  • Pinterest: 15-30 seconds
  • YouTube: 5-7 minutes

While these are the lengths that have been shown to get the most engagement, remember that the average human attention span is still lower than all of those. Which is why it is important to make those first 8 seconds count. If your content doesn’t grab the attention of the viewers in the first few seconds, they might leave. Keep this in mind while creating your videos, so you can grab their attention right away and keep them hooked till the end.

Tell a story

It’s pretty evident that people are getting more and more averse to hard selling. With a ton of marketing content out there, you’ll need to do something extraordinary to grab their attention and keep it. Storytelling is the best way to do that, and videos help tell great stories.

We’ve written a detailed post on what makes storytelling great on social media, but here are some of the things you should keep in mind:

  • Create a strong story arc
  • Make it meaningful—address consumer pain points, and appeal to them emotionally
  • Involve your audience and let your brand values show

Following these three steps will help your videos perform really well on social media, but that isn’t the end of it. To improve your results, you’ll need to add a strong call to action (CTA) to it. Encourage your audience to act, and push them into doing what you want them to do, whether it’s as simple as sharing your post, or giving you their contact information.

We’ve written a guide on writing CTAs on social media as well, and that can help you get started.

That’s it from us for now. Feel like we’ve missed out on anything, or is there something you’d like to discuss? Just drop a comment below, and we’ll be sure to get in touch with you!

 

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