As Australia flattens the COVID curve, and we find ourselves coming out from isolation, businesses are also emerging from a period of relative dormancy. One of the challenges organisations face is making their presence felt again and reconnecting with their customers in a timely, affordable, and efficient manner.
Bringing sales and marketing into your business continuity plan is now a must. When it comes to marketing communications, social media video is one of the most effective content marketing strategies today.
The Sudden Rise of Social Media Video
Due to faster internet speeds, online video has exploded over the last decade. What's more, it has accelerated due to COVID with people staying home and spending more time online.
You only need to look at the sudden rise in popularity of TikTok, a video-sharing social media platform, during lockdown. People on the TikTok platform alone, watch videos daily with 1 million videos viewed every day. And with 5G set to roll out, we expect online video and live streaming to become even more mainstream.
Venture capital firm KPCB.com states that online video now accounts for a whopping 74 per cent of all online traffic. And YouTube has over a billion users or approximately one-third of all the people on the internet!
It's proven that if there is both text and video on the same topic, people are more likely to choose video.
Excellent written content will always have its place. Yet, if you are looking for the best way to reconnect with your audience post-COVID, video marketing is the way to go. Videos can be engaging, useful and entertaining.
Check out some interesting facts and figures below. When it comes to social media videos, there are some staggering numbers.
Read on to learn about ways social media video marketing helps to build your brand and gain exposure, some best practices, and how to go about it.
Social Media Video
Video allows you to be succinct and capture your viewers' attention in the first few seconds. As such, it's these first few seconds of your video that really matter the most. Short videos are great for brand awareness. More on that later.
Your success with social media video lies in your ability to condense information into a short and entertaining snippet of content. As such, there is a balancing act involved; it must be long enough to maintain your viewers' attention, yet quick enough to leave them wanting more.
Reports suggest your video should be no longer than 60 seconds. We'd recommend aiming for 30 seconds if you can. Data compiled by HubSpot says Instagram videos receive the most comments and typically averaged around just 26 seconds. Instagram stories are also popular and the challenge is to create engaging content regularly.
Social media video platforms
Most of the mainstream social media platforms cater for video:
- YouTube video
- Facebook video
You don't need a presence in all the platforms. It's best to choose two to three social channels that best suit your brand and focus on these. Facebook and YouTube are two of the most popular.
For example, an independent law firm will probably benefit from promotional videos for business on LinkedIn rather than Instagram. Whereas a Bikini brand targeting millennials may be better off using Instagram to reach their audience. Just think, where does your audience hang out online?
So, what kind of social media video marketing should you make?
There are several different types of video content you can make. Again, which is right for you depends on your business, needs and objectives. Here are some of the more popular forms of video marketing and styles to choose from:
- Promo video
- Corporate video
- Explainer video
- Video animation
- Product marketing videos
- Product demo videos
- Video Ads
Whichever you choose, there are seven essential factors to remember when using social media video to connect with your customers:
- Offer value: Every video you make should offer something of value, such as a how-to demo or insider knowledge. Don't create empty videos just for the sake of posting videos.
- Keep it short & sweet: Keep your videos short and to the point. Be sure to sell a good night’s sleep and not a mattress. Remember, your audience wants to know what's in it for them. And all this under a minute!
- Keep it light: Remember, customers are mainly on social media to socialise, not to get a hard-sell. Try and have fun and a good time with your videos.
- Tag your videos: # your videos with relevant keywords in your video title and description, so people searching for your content will find it.
- Include your URL: Every video you produce should include a URL directing people to your website, blog or landing page.
- Include a CTA: You must let your prospective customers know what action you would like them to take after viewing your video. Click on a link, share the video, etc.
- Encourage sharing: Post your videos on your social media channels of choice and encourage others to share them by including share buttons for the various social media platforms.
In short, you can reconnect with your customers using social media video marketing by engaging viewers with relevant, useful, and easily digestible content. When done correctly and consistently, you will gain the trust of your audience, and build your brand and credibility.
Also, it's essential to know that social networks are looking more and more like search engines. Thus, your social media activity will positively influence your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your website. When social media videos are part of your sales funnel and buyer experience, customers convert at a much higher rate.
Okay, this all sounds great, but where do I start?
During COVID, you may have had to let go of several key staff, including your treasured sales and marketing guys and gals. If this is the case, and you find yourself wearing multiple hats with limited resources, I'd recommend outsourcing to a video production service. Such people specialise in promotional videos for business and social media, and they know all the above and more.
Some specialist content design and production agencies, such as fileroom take care of the complete end-to-end video production process including:
- Casting (including voice-over talent)
- Directing/filming (or animating)
- Colour grade
- Sound mix
They also offer extended agency services to assist in the posting and social media marketing side as well—all in a timely and affordable manner.
This will take a massive weight off your shoulders, and will free up time for you to do what you do best - run your business.
Social media video done for you
Compelling social media video doesn't need to be expensive. You can create videos on a low-budget, ready and raw video that will stand out. Sometimes the rough content is more effective than the polished studio-shot footage for attracting and connecting with viewers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks.
When done right, inexpensive, straightforward content works. In some cases, the rough and simpleness isn't a weakness at all. Instead, it sets the video apart from slickly shot, commercial video, humanising a brand which, in turn, makes it more accessible to the user.
By filming a video of yourself speaking to a camera, you can allow people to meet the real you, and often in real time. You can let them see behind the scenes of your business, meet your team, and view your operations. Authenticity and transparency create trust.
However, this doesn't mean you should grab your phone, put in selfie video mode, and start riffing to the camera. First, it would help if you still wrote a script, rehearsed, and shot with an exciting location in mind.
You may be surprised that when it comes to video, having great audio is more important than the picture. Audiences will forgive a wobbly or slightly unfocused camera work. Yet, if they can't hear or understand what you're saying, they will switch off.
Even the lowest budget videos hired the help of social media video makers, a motion graphic agency, or just a good sound guy!
The first 3 seconds of your social media video
According to Facebook, users spend on average 1.7 seconds on a piece of mobile content before they scroll onto the next section. As such, you must capture their attention from the outset. It means finding a way to grab their attention in those precious first few seconds before holding their focus with a compelling message.
If possible, name or show your brand in those first three seconds. At least that way, if your viewer does move on, they've at least seen or heard your brand.
Delivering a great experience to social media audiences can build brand loyalty and increase customer satisfaction - significant things as the business world starts up again. Social media video marketing allows you to adapt your sales strategies to the needs of customers who want to connect more deeply with your brand.
The great thing about social media video is that it gives you the ability to share your message with thousands, potentially millions, of viewers. And, as stated earlier, there's never been a more excellent opportunity to connect with people over social media and video.