Social media platforms are a fantastic option to reach millions all around the world
According to Statista, the global revenue forecast for social media platforms in 2019 is estimated to be $39 billion. Businesses have already started to pick up on this and many of them are using social media platforms to their advantage — and guess what?
One of the best ways to promote your content on social media channels is through the social media video format.
Ever since social platforms became filled with promotional content and advertising, it’s gotten even more challenging to reach and connect with your audience.
However, videos are there to make it significantly easier. Videos are mobile friendly, easier to consume, and generally bring about more results relative to other options on social media.
There’s also a chance for your video to go viral, which is a priceless result in today’s age. And don’t forget that videos can be easily shared across social media platforms!
Source: Business Insider Intelligence
In this article, we’re going to delve into the topic of social media video content.
We’re also going to provide you with nine awesome tips to help you maximize the potential of social media videos in the upcoming year:
It shouldn’t surprise you that the #1 tip for this article is to strategize or, in other words, plan ahead your social media video marketing strategy. Planning is vital in order to develop a good story, so you need to prioritize this step.
Planning your video marketing strategy in advance will allow you to develop effective content and make your campaign that much more successful.
What exactly is involved in the planning stage?
Audience research, compiling ideas, content planning, and budget distribution. Producing a high-quality video is no easy task, but planning makes it a lot easier.
A good example of a well-planned strategy is the retargeting campaign of American Swiss.
The company targeted women on Facebook to choose the ring of their dreams and send it to their loved ones via targeted short video ads. As a result, more than 3,000 women shared a ring, and 89% of their boyfriends visited the site.
Thoughtful storytelling that invokes powerful emotions is in the heart of every successful social media video. Stories are important because they awaken deep emotions in people, and that’s exactly what you want to do with your audience.
A researcher named Paul J. Zak wrote a piece called Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling research for Harvard Business Review that showed that great stories release oxytocin — a chemical that leads to a “bonding” experience — which is exactly what you should pursue with your followers. When you form a powerful connection with your audience, everything else comes naturally.
The power of storytelling is clearly seen in this M&S Christmas ad. The video focuses on an independent and confident female character alongside her loving family bonds and emphasizing the Christmas spirit.
This ad not only touches the hearts of its viewers, but also perfectly promotes the company.
If you want to achieve great results with your videos, work on your storytelling. Proper storytelling will take your videos to a next level, bringing your brand even better results.
In 2015, Time magazine cited a study published by Microsoft that shows our attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. It claims people lose concentration after about 8 seconds, and you can bet that number is even lower now as the year 2019 approaches.
Social media shortened our attention spans and now, as advertisers, we are mere seconds away from our audience deciding to move on from our content.
That’s why you have to use the first few seconds of your social media video wisely — they’re supposed to capture viewers’ attention and encourage them to watch the video until the end.
Every year, Google presents the world’s “Year In Search” through a short video. Right from the beginning, the video catches the attention of its viewers and encourages them to keep watching.
Make sure that your video intro is especially captivating! It should leave people with a sense of curiosity as to what could happen next.
Also, pay special attention to the introduction from the very beginning of your video creation process – it will help you to create powerful video content that drives results.
It goes without saying that quality matters over quantity— and it’s no different when it comes to social media and videos.
As mentioned before, grabbing your audience’s attention is crucial, but keeping it is even more important. You want the people to fully consume your videos, and the only way to get them to do that is to create a social media video that’s packed with high-quality content.
When it comes to videos, the number one rule is: quality over quantity. Things like going viral don’t happen with low-quality videos, so it’s important to focus on this step. And we aren’t just talking about video quality (1080p), it’s about the overall message — storytelling, wit, and purpose.
Instagram’s “Stories Are Everywhere” shows us that the videos can be fun, simple and high-quality. The creators highlighted the everyday moments with short Instagram Stories by combining different events and creativity. Their purpose was to promote the app’s Stories feature, and they did a great job by showing instead of telling.
Because many brands are trying to push content without investing any time into it, even a small effort can successfully put you ahead of the game.
This point ties in perfectly with the section above: keeping it short by removing all excess parts is the first step towards a high-quality video. With attention span going downhill, it’s essential for your videos to be filled only with relevant and engaging content, without any fillers.
Let’s face it — most people don’t have time to watch your 20-minute social media video. They are there to consume short and quick information that can be explored deeper if necessary.
That’s why your videos should be used only as a “hook” to capture the attention, share a message, and get your viewers to follow-up on it (more on that later!).
Can you spread a powerful message through a short video? The New York Times clearly can. “The Truth Has a Voice” shows how simplicity and the right content can make a difference even if it only takes 30 seconds.
Try to make your videos as short as possible, cutting all unnecessary parts and keeping only the most relevant and highest-quality content for your social media page.
Subtitles make a considerable difference in videos – and not only for the foreign viewers whose native language is not English or those hard of hearing. Yes, such people will always be a part of your audience, but subtitles will make a huge difference for your native audience, too.
The biggest benefit of subtitles is that they make the video easier to consume. You are also going to get a lot of appreciation from all the non-native English speakers as well as hearing impaired users.
Dunkin’ Donuts is skillfully leveraging subtitles, which makes their social media videos easier to consume:
Another huge reason why you should use subtitles in your video content is related to the way videos autoplay on social media.
For example, Facebook videos automatically start on mute – this means you don’t have a chance to grab the attention of your audience with powerful words unless they turn on the sound. Subtitles will help you get your message across, whether the video is muted or not.
One of the most recent (and powerful!) trends in social media video marketing is the use of animations. You have likely come across one of those animated videos that caught your attention and explained the topic in a straightforward way. Animated videos are becoming more and more popular and they are likely going to dominate in 2019.
What makes animated videos so great is their ability to take complex topics and visualize them in a clear, informative, and engaging way.
For example, Facebook’s animated video clearly shows how important it is to support a friend in need and take part in suicide prevention. The video presents different ways how people can help and which tools they can use.
Through a clever use of animations, you can spice up your videos and make them more appealing to the viewers.
Picking the right social media platform can largely contribute to your video’s success. Each social media platform has different video requirements – something you should keep in mind when building your social media video marketing strategy.
For example, if you’re going to post your video on Instagram, you need to make sure it is within the platform’s 60 seconds video length limit.
Facebook, on the other hand, allows videos that are up to 240 minutes long, which shows that you’ll occasionally have to re-adjust your videos to fit the standards of a specific platform.
Here’s how Oreo shares engaging Instagram content. The video below is perfectly tailored to the platform and it doesn’t even need sound to be fun and creative.
The important takeaway here is this: always think about the platform before you begin your video creation process. Also, keep your videos short and sweet.
Guess what?! We saved the best for last.
The last tip for your social media video success is to include a call-to-action. Although social media is all about driving conversions, many brands still fail at this simple step. A great video is pointless if it doesn’t include a powerful call-to-action helping to meet your business objectives.
Remember that your CTA shouldn’t be too sales-focused and that it needs to point your audience towards converting.
After someone watches your amazing video, they are in desperate need of direction. They want to be told what to do and where to go next, and you should give them a precise answer.
For example, this “Eat the Ice Cream” video from the YouTuber Mike Diva is packed with CTAs. Even though they might appear repetitive, they actually serve a point and effectively encourage viewers to, well, eat the ice cream:
Always include a strong call-to-action at the end of your videos. After all, you put all that effort to create high-quality content, so you might as well make the most of it!
Social media video content has a huge potential to drive your business objectives and audience engagement – which is why it’s so important that you learn how to use it right!
We hope that the tips we discussed here will help you to master video content and use it effectively in the upcoming year.
Roman Daneghyan is Chief Marketing Officer at Renderforest, specializing in social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO.
Understand your audience, create more effective content to engage and grow your customer base, and measure social media’s impact on your business goals.