Perspectives

The Rise of Social Video Marketing and What it Means for Marketers

As we begin the sprint to the end of 2016 and set our sights on marketing plans for 2017, there’s one trend that cannot be ignored: video marketing.

Marketing gurus prophesied that 2016 would be the “year of video marketing” and it seems as if that prophecy is being fulfilled.

Kicked off originally by players like Vine and Periscope, video marketing doesn’t seem to be just another marketing fad. Today, all the major players have skin in the video marketing and video content game. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Google+ Hangouts (migrating to YouTube Live), and now even Pinterest offer ways for both consumers and businesses alike to participate in the video movement.

Not only are these social giants rising to the occasion, but so are users and marketers. In fact, 87% of online marketers use video content to connect with their users! And it’s no mystery why. Video marketing is growing rapidly and producing real results, proving that it’s here to stay:

So, what does this mean for your business and how can you keep up with the growing video trend? Let’s explore three main considerations you should keep in mind when exploring how (or if) video fits in with your business strategy.

1. Be Strategic, Yet Flexible 

This is a tale as old as time, but that doesn’t make it any less true. As with any marketing effort, you need to be strategic and consider how this tactic (AKA video marketing) fits in with your wider business strategy. Posting all willy-nilly will not get you the results you’re looking for; outlining your goals for embarking upon video marketing, identifying your brand’s personality and solidifying the story you’re trying to tell, however, will.

At the same time, video marketing is one of the most rapidly evolving mediums and marketing practices out there today. So, flexibility will also be key. We recommend having your video strategy in place (what you’re hoping to achieve through video, who you’re targeting, what story you’ll be telling, etc.), but also being open-minded enough to realize that you may need to experiment and evolve your video to adapt to the times and incorporate the real-time feedback you’re receiving from your viewers. In other words, if you’re finding out that viewers aren’t liking your live weekly news updates, then be open to exploring how you could either spruce up those videos, or play around with other segment ideas until you find one that resonates with your audience.

2. Be Where Your Users Are

Just as we recommend choosing to be on the social media channels that your audience is most active on, you also need to understand where your audience is digesting their video content so that you can try to be present there.

Do your user research to figure out where your core users are. If your target audience members are Baby Boomers, then chances are you won’t want to be trying to engage them with Snapchat (as only about 7% of Baby Boomers are on Snapchat). In contrast, if your audience members are Millennials, then Snapchat may be the best place to reach them.

 

This certainly ties in with the “be strategic” recommendation, but essentially the message here is to focus your efforts on the platforms that are going to matter most to your audience members, as this will lead to increased engagement and stronger relationships with current and prospective customers.

3. Tailor Your Video and Message to the Platform

Each video platform serves a different purpose for users, and users look for different types of content on each platform. So, as you’re mapping out your strategy, consider these unique aspects of each channel and brainstorm how you could create unique videos (and even adjust style) for each platform.

Based on Buffer’s analysis, here’s a quick thematic run-down of what video looks like on each of the most popular channels, paired with a “pro tip” for you to apply to your video marketing efforts:

 

  • Facebook: Fun, emotional, highly shareable

    • PRO TIP: create Facebook videos with sharing in mind. Additionally, since Facebook videos appear in users’ feeds and autoplay, make the most of the first few seconds of your video, as these powerful moments can capture your audience’s attention as they’re scrolling through their feeds.
    • BONUS PRO TIP: Leveraging Facebook Live can be a great way to boost engagement with your followers and give a more humanistic feel to your brand.
    • Recommended length of Facebook videos: No real limit here, just play around a bit with it to learn what works best for your topic and audience. Typically though, videos <1 minute tend to perform best.
  • YouTube: World’s largest video search engine, the “grandfather” of online video
    • PRO TIP: Viewers on YouTube want to do one of two things: solve a problem or be entertained. So, make sure your video(s) fulfill at least one, if not both of these motivations.
    • Recommended length of YouTube videos: Unlimited – YouTube videos are probably the most diverse and accommodating when it comes to length.
  • Snapchat: “Selfie” style, raw, authentic
    • PRO TIP: The beauty of Snapchat is that it’s a bit “scrappy.” Honor this, and let your brand personality shine so that you can be transparent and relate to your target audience on a human level.
    • Recommended length of Snapchat videos: 10 seconds per snap
  • Instagram: Captivating, thoughtful and awe-inspiring

    • PRO TIP: Continue the theme of your Instagram and pull that into your stories. If a theme of your Instagram profile (via still images) is to showcase your bright and airy work, then consider aligning your stories with that same theme by giving followers “behind the scenes” looks at your business, your artists or things that inspire you.
    • BONUS PRO TIP: Instagram Stories’ default is to play video without sound. Consider this when you’re filming your videos, and add text, emojis or drawings to your video that help viewers get an idea of what your video is about without having to turn on the sound.
    • Recommended length of Instagram videos: 60 seconds
  • Twitter: Quick, personal and entertaining
    • PRO TIP: Did you know that you could reply to tweets with video? This is an excellent opportunity to respond to questions about your business, allow followers to get to know the people behind your brand, and engage with your audience in a more personalized way.
    • Recommended length of Twitter videos: 30 seconds

If you’re ready to explore how your brand can use video marketing to gain more followers, engage with target audience members, and keep up with the growing trend of video content, contact us today. We can help you determine if video marketing is right for you and your brand, and how you can develop a sound strategy for leveraging the latest video options.