Let’s start at the beginning…
What is social video?
In a nutshell the term refers to video content that is shared across various social media platforms. It forms a part of an integrated marketing plan to drive audience engagement through online activities.
There are a few elements that make up social video.
Shareability: optimised for easy sharing via channels as well as including sharable content. People share content for a number of reasons, so you need to ask yourself:
- Why would people share this?
- How will this entertain people?
- Will it bring value to viewers? How?
Length: shorter is (nearly) always better. The attention span of audiences is shrinking and the amount of information available can be overwhelming. Your viewers will appreciate short and concise messages.
Strong start: if your video is a slow burner, you’ll lose your viewers. Videos need to hook viewers in fast (in the first 30 seconds) to keep them watching.
Optimisation: like any other content, social video needs to be optimised for specific channels. Each social sharing platform comes with its unique audience and features, so a video that works on Facebook, might not yield much ROI on Twitter.
When creating social videos, these elements need be at play for your campaign to succeed.
Why is it important?
There are a number of factors that make social videos vital for businesses worldwide.
Video is the new black – and black is here to stay
It’s no secret that video is growing in popularity almost daily. Facebook and Snapchat have now both surpassed 8 billion daily video views. Experts predict that over 85% of all internet traffic will comprise of video by 2019.
The implications of video’s growing popularity for business are great. Marketing plans and budgets will need to make room for video to stay in the game.
The all important demographic – Millennials
Millennials love video but don’t appreciate hard, direct selling tactics. The digital generation are difficult to reach and engage so marketers need to come up with hot new strategies to target them.
Social video is the key to reaching this highly sought after generation. Millennials prefer watching videos online to sitting in front of the TV. And even during TV time, smart devices divert attentions to online content.
Ignore the platforms and viewing habits of this generation and you will fall behind the competition in the very near future.
Video ROI is impressive and can help you justify including video in your marketing strategy. Here is a part of an infographic from HubSpot that sums up the benefits of video.
How can I use social video for my business?
Each business is different, with its unique challenges and should use social videos differently. We have included here a few general uses that most businesses can apply to their videos.
Social channels are perfect platforms to spread the message and raise awareness of your brand. They’re not about the hard sell of your product, they’re about telling a story and connecting with your audience on an emotional level.
Take this video for Fiat for example. Although longer than most social videos at just over 3 minutes, it resonated with mums around the globe and has had over 4.3 million views on YouTube.
Including a clear call to action on a short teaser video can generate more leads than a lengthy, dry piece of written content. Plus it’s less labour intensive and gets the message across faster.
Direct viewers to a website, to fill out a form, to download a report… whatever the action you want your audience to take, a short video with a clear CTA will much more likely succeed than written content.
Responding to customer enquiries or answering FAQs through video is more personal and engaging than a simple email or a webpage with text.
It is now easy to feature short videos on your company’s social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – so make use of them! Your customers will appreciate the personal touch and will feel more connected to your brand.
How-to videos will also fall under this category and are one of the most searched for videos on YouTube. If you can share your expertise with your audience, this is a great tool for building trust and credibility.