Get social with video in six steps

17th November 2016

“Video, video video”.  That’s what Facebook will be all about in five years’ time according to its Vice President for EMEA, Nicola Mendelson. After years of making videos, presenting on the virtues of video storytelling and writing about how to do it, it’s no surprise that I’m willing to back her prediction – and although I’m still writing and not coming to you via video feed – my words on the power of video marketing have been a safe bet for agencies and brands.

All the major social media channels are vying with YouTube – and each other – for advertising spend, and social video has really accelerated over the past year or so. Most agencies worth their social salt know their clients need video, but may not be sure how to develop a marketing strategy to maximise the opportunities, so here are six trusty tips to help you create content that cuts through.   

Go live with video streaming

One of the key features of social is that it’s in real-time and you can engage in relevant conversations with your audience on the latest trends as they happen as well as with evergreen content. It is now becoming easier to maximise the power of video to capture what’s happening right now with live streaming through social media channels. Whether you go with Facebook Live or Periscope, use live video for product launches, events or behind-the-scenes insights into your brand. Q & As with your audience puts the social into video marketing by creating conversations, and in turn develops brand loyalty and advocacy.

Keep to the point

The debate over the perfect video length will rage on and on and, while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, I usually counsel that less is more; 30 seconds or less is enough time to tell a compelling story, entertain, inform or pique interest. To make life easier, you can break up existing content into chunks for social and use these to drive your audience to more detailed videos further down the buying cycle.

Don’t forget to get emotional

Your audience is being bombarded with videos constantly. This means you need to create content that both speaks to them and furthers your clients’ or brand’s objectives. Lead with the emotional driver that will motivate your audience to watch. If you think like a publisher and make every second count with frames that pack an emotional punch, you’ll get rewarded by your audience. These emotional drivers can be more than being happy or sad, such as the desire for promotion, FOMO, or peer approval.

Silent movies

If you turned the sound off would your viewers still take away the key points of your film? This is worth asking now with reports that 85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed without sound. Add subtitles or key calls to action, and it can also be worth starting with an intriguing opening which entices viewers to turn on the sound.

Go native

With the competition between the major social networks for social video domination, it’s not surprising that the algorithms favour videos that are uploaded directly to their channel as native video. Rather than adding a link to YouTube or Vimeo, if you add the video natively it will autoplay in feeds and people will be more likely to watch.  Always think about great content first, but it’s a mistake to ignore the context of how your videos will be viewed.

Organic and paid social media

Once you have your video completed, you’re ready to really get social. To ensure that your video gets the audience it truly deserves, create a plan to seed it via owned, earned and paid channels.  Increasingly you need to see social as another advertising platform to engage your existing audience and extend reach. However don’t neglect organic by using hashtags wisely, developing conversations, and creating lists to target relevant audiences.

Returning to Nicola Mendelsohn’s forecast, she stresses that storytelling is the best way to edit all the content out there into digestible chunks where brands can share a lot of information quickly. Video is the most compelling way to tell stories, and an inherently social form. So, what brand story are you going to tell today for your clients?

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