One of the biggest benefits to using social media in a marketing strategy is the fact that it gives you the opportunity to experiment with different kinds of content--like, for instance, video. Video is a very strong marketing tool to use, but the social media platform will have an influence over what kind of videos are most effective. Today, we’ll explore how to optimize your video strategy for the different social media channels.
Before You Do Anything Else:
Your first step should be to consider your audience. What kind of message will be more impactful to them? Will they respond more strongly to humor, a detailed description of what they’re looking for, or will scare tactics more effectively drive them?
On a similar note, what format of video is more effective at generating engagement and leads among your audience? Do they respond more to informative how-to videos and tutorials, animations, or live videos? When 80% of users can recall a video advertisement that they have viewed in the last month, and sharing a video on social media increases the likelihood of interaction tenfold, you can only help yourself by standing out a little more.
Finally, which social media platforms are your audience members most likely to be found on? While you shouldn’t neglect the other platforms by any stretch, it might make sense to increase your investment where you know your audience is active.
Shaping Your Approach to Each Platform
Each social media platform has its own capabilities for video content, but they also each have their own restrictions. Understanding these factors will help you modify your approach on each platform to best suit your video’s intended results.
Anything goes as you’re sharing video on Facebook, as your content can vary in length from short, seconds-long snippets to lengthy productions. No matter what length your video is, you need to focus on the value it delivers. Why would your audience watch this video? Is it giving them information that they have some need or use of? Is it entertaining? Identifying why your audience would watch a video is a great way to ensure that you give them a reason to watch the entire thing.
When you do use video on Facebook, there are a few things you should be sure to do:
- Make sure that the critical information is shared visually as well as audibly. This will help prevent your message from being lost by the 85% of Facebook video viewers who watch without sound.
- You also want to make sure that your video is shared on Facebook’s platform itself, and that you aren’t just sharing a link to your video. These native videos that autoplay as they are displayed get 186% more engagement than a link.
- Use your Facebook videos elsewhere, such as your landing pages, to help form a cognitive link between the video topic and the landing page subject.
Facebook has also released a feature specific to business pages, where--instead of a cover photo--a video will play, with the user having the option to play sound. This can serve as another touch that engages the user while delivering information and potentially humanizing your company to your audience.
Twitter sees some pretty considerable engagement with video content as well, as 80% of users interact with them in some way. Consistent with the rest of Twitter’s content, videos on the shorter side usually perform better. Keep in mind that the maximum length for an imported video is 140 seconds, or 2 minutes 20 seconds, and most are much shorter than that.
Taking this into consideration, you need to find some hook to catch your audience’s eye and keep them from scrolling past and incorporate it into your video. Like on Facebook, it is better to import your video content directly to Twitter instead of sharing a link, as this also makes them autoplay in the Twitter feed.
Instagram actually has two options for sharing video content that can easily fit into your marketing strategy: Newsfeed and Stories. It is best to make sure your Newsfeed videos communicate their message clearly with and without sound.
Newsfeed - Newsfeed follows Instagram’s traditional setup, simply replacing a still image with video content. However, there is a one-minute limit to the length of your content, meaning you have to be succinct and go in with a strategy in place.
A good strategy may be to use these brief videos to entice your audience to navigate to your website for an inbound marketing perk. Keep in mind, links are disabled everywhere on Instagram except for paid ads and your account page. Therefore, you should include a link to your website on your account’s profile page and direct your audience from your posts, to your profile, to your website.
Stories - Stories is Instagram’s answer to Snapchat’s feature of the same name. With Stories, Instagram users can create a collection of videos that play sequentially, but only last for 24 hours. Consider using a story at a trade show or other event!
Considering this limited timeframe, it helps to reach out to your audience via your other social media channels and spread the word that you have an Instagram story running. The format of Stories also lends itself well to chronicling company culture, as you can add to a story throughout the day it remains active--including content that you filmed outside of Instagram.
You can also use Stories to address frequently asked questions and other outreach-focused topics, again sharing your progress on your other social media channels.
While leveraging YouTube may seem like a no-brainer for video content, it is important how you leverage it. Your content strategy for YouTube should reflect your search engine optimization, or SEO, strategy. This can largely be accomplished through your use of keywords.
You should first establish which keywords you want to rank for and mold your content around them, using those keywords in the title, the video description, and in the video itself. However, it is important that you don’t force keywords where they don’t belong, as that will hurt your SEO strategy and alienate your audience. Your title, the video description, your keywords and even your channel art all count as metadata. Leverage these factors to improve your ranking.
As for the video itself, you don’t want to try your audience’s patience and give an extended introduction to the topic. Dive right in--if they miss anything, they can always jump back for a refresher.
YouTube also has a caption generator that you can use to produce subtitles for your videos, again allowing your message to be delivered if sound isn’t available. You can try it out for yourself--just press the CC button at the bottom of this video:
Putting Video in Action
The influence that video content can deliver can be made even more potent when combined with the reach of social media, which is why we recommend incorporating these strategies into your marketing as soon as possible. We can help you do that! Reach out to our team to get started.