Apr 30, 2019

How To: Use Video For Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

The global revenue for social media platforms is expected to reach €39 billion by the end of 2019 and video is forming a crucial part of this, with it being one of the best ways to promote content.

  • Social media platforms are increasingly polluted with promotional content and ads, meaning brands are faced with more of a challenge trying to stand out and reach their audience.
  • Demographics are far more selective about the ads they consume and can very easily just scroll past your content.
  • Videos are proving to be an effective tool for brands and their social media marketing strategy, with 70% of marketing professionals reporting that videos convert better than any other medium.

Videos are considered more memorable than other marketing efforts, and with only seconds to stop your audience from scrolling past, the tips outlined below will help grab their attention, provide value and convert your audience.

1. Plan your video marketing in advance.

Planning is always a good practice, but for your video social media strategy, it will allow you to see the bigger picture. In order for the videos to reach their full potential, they need to develop a good story - planning ahead will mean you create the most effective content to help improve your brand image.

The planning stage should include:

  • Research on your target audience.
  • Brainstorming ideas.
  • Planning content.
  • Budgeting.

Throughout the planning stage, do not be afraid to try out new concepts to grab your audiences’ attention - test them and test them again. The planning stage should also be used to find out what works for your brand and what your audience responds well to, whilst ensuring you have your audiences’ trust by not losing sight of your brand’s values - integrate these into your plan.

2. Tell a story.

Stories have the ability to trigger emotions in people and this should be every brands’ aim - evoking emotion in an audience creates a bridge between them and the brand, and so, a connection forms.

But this is only achievable through thoughtful and real stories. Founding director of the Centre for Neuroeconomics Studies, Paul J. Zak wrote a research piece called ‘Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling’ for the Harvard Business Review. He found that compelling stories release a chemical called oxytocin that is responsible for creating a bonding experience.

This is exactly what brands need with their audience - to form a real connection because with this comes trust and loyalty.

3. Your First Few Seconds Are Crucial

The speed at which your audience scroll through social media feed, means you have to do something to really grab their attention in order to stop them scrolling past, plus users tend to absentmindedly scroll which presents even more of a challenge.

According to a study by Microsoft Corp., people tend to lose concentration after eight seconds. When combined with the rate at which people scroll through their feeds, advertisers are not left with that much of a window in which to hook their audience. As more brands get clued in on the marketing benefits of social media, it is becoming clear that there is an abundance of advertising on social media platforms, which to an extent, will lessen a brands impact on their audience. Users tend to be far more selective about what they invest their time in and engage with, they are always just seconds away from scrolling past your content.

This is why the first few seconds of your video are so crucial, you need to hook your viewer and capture their full attention so that they are encouraged to watch the video till the end.

Each year, Google creates a short video that presents the world’s ‘Year in Search.’ The video instantly catches the audience's attention by leaving them curious as to what will be shown next. This is key to drive results, audiences will follow curiosity almost more than any other emotion.

4. Quality is key.

The well-known phrase, ‘quality over quantity’, is no different when applied to social media. Grabbing the attention of your audience is the first step, but maintaining it through high-quality content is equally as important.

When discussing quality, this is not just in reference to high definition, it includes the message, the story, and the purpose - to provide value.

5. Use Animations 

Animations are increasing in popularity for brands and are a trend to look out for in 2019. They are proving to be effective in engaging audiences on social media because they are able to present complex topics in a more informative and engaging visual medium.

Facebook - Bystander from The Furrow on Vimeo.

The message Facebook has demonstrated in this animation is clear, always support a friend in need and it encourages more people to help take part in suicide prevention.

Animation offers a different medium through which to engage your audience, it is different and effective, and well worth investing some time to explore and test.

6. Choose Your Platform

To ensure your video content planning is not wasted, you need to consider what social media platform your audience is mostly using, as each one will have their own video requirements you need to adhere to.

For example, max video length:

  • Facebook post: 120 minutes
  • Facebook story: 15 seconds.
  • Instagram grid: 60 seconds.
  • Instagram story: 15 seconds.
  • IGTV: 10 minutes.
  • YouTube: 12 hours.
  • LinkedIn: 10 minutes.

Equally, this is not the only restriction to consider, some videos you create will be more suited for a particular platform regardless of whether your audience uses it. For example, a video you post on Instagram or Snapchat, may not necessarily transfer well to LinkedIn - consider the formality and type of posts you seen on a platform before sharing your videos.

7. Call-to-action

Driving conversions is one of the main reasons brands use social media to help their marketing strategies, but are more often than not, still failing to reach the maximum potential of conversions.

A great video can only do so much for a brand if the call-to-action is not included, these are there to help businesses meet their objectives, so should be made the most of. When creating these videos, it is important that the CTA is used to convert your audience, not to sell to them otherwise you risk putting them off.

After your audience watches your video, they need direction, so you should be very precise in what you say and offer clear direction. After the money and effort has gone into creating these amazing videos, you do not want to lose any potential conversions by vague CTA.

This video is a good example of a simple yet effective use of CTA by GoPro. Just seconds before the video ends, there is a bold button in the top right corner saying ‘Subscribe’ and below this, there are a few video suggestions from GoPro in case the viewer is interested in seeing more.

These two leads provide an audience with a clear direction afterwards and will encourage them to become subscribers, keeping them in the GoPro loop.