It’s official – we are in the era of social video, and it’s coming up trumps. In fact, according to the Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Industry Report, 60% of marketers are currently using video and 73% plan to increase their use of video. It’s time to jump on the video bandwagon and establish your strategy early, so you’re not left behind in the dust while your competitors get ahead. Video content is a sure-fire way for your brand to get noticed on social media, without coming across as overly salesy. From brand awareness to sequential ads, let’s explore how video content is being cleverly used by marketers right now.
“Ten years ago, most of what we shared and consumed online was text. Now it’s photos, and soon most of it will be video. We see a world that is video first with video at the heart of all our apps and services.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
Choosing your goalsVideo and social media go hand in hand like lovers these days. This is because video content is highly shareable across social networks, as it can embed itself into almost any post. It also suits the preferences of millennials, who are active on highly visual networks like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Did you know that 76% of millennials follow brands on YouTube? And 75.3% of people are inclined to make purchases because of what they’ve seen on social? Now’s your chance to choose your goals for your videos, and engage these audiences.
Before you can get behind the camera, you need to figure out what you want to achieve from your social video strategy. Let’s pinpoint your goals and write down which parts of your customer’s online journey that you want to target. This will help you decide what kinds of videos you should be making. Here are some of the most common social goals for video content:
Brand AwarenessYou may have heard the term ‘brand awareness’ being thrown around a lot online in recent years. That’s because a lot of social marketers have realised the importance of growing their following, and for good reason. Social media is one of the best ways to get your brand up on stage in front of new, qualified audiences.
Don’t underestimate the importance of increasing brand awareness, particularly if you are in a competitive vertical, or a small player in the industry. Marketers quite often overlook brand importance, and favor focusing on lead generation or conversion rates to meet their targets. But, it all starts with brand awareness. Before people recognise and trust your brand as a provider of a product or service, they need to be properly introduced and warmed up to you. Video content is a fantastic way to do this, as you can convey a lot of information and emotion – arguably more than you could in text copy. More on this later.
Lead GenerationYou may have already tried lead generation through means such as webinars or eBooks. But have you tried social videos? Creating videos to promote those pieces of gated content can really help drive more click-throughs and downloads, leading to increased leads.
Customer AcquisitionAre you hoping to acquire more customers through social media? Videos can really help you meet this goal, by allowing you to explain what your brand is really about, and showcase your product offering or solutions through effective brand storytelling and product videos.This is particularly useful for the ecommerce industry, where your target audience do not get the option to visit a physical store. Videos can really help you explain your offering without coming across as too salesy — just integrate them with your product pages using an online store builder or WP plugin like Videos. They are a fantastic way to take your brand from ‘blah’ to premium status.
Customer RetentionDid you know it costs approximately five times more to attract new customers than it does to keep your current ones? It’s really useful to leverage your social media to keep your brand in their minds, and prevent them from looking at your competitors. You need to be active wherever they are, constantly posting useful industry videos, how-to videos to show them how to use your products, and case studies to show your prospective customers how happy your existing ones are.
Sequential advertising with Facebook videos
Credit: ella’s kitchen
Sequential advertising on Facebook is the modern marketer’s dream. It allows you to develop a relationship with your target audience by rolling out a sequence of messages to develop your brand story, and video content is the perfect addition to this strategy.
As discussed earlier, your customers need to be ‘warmed up’, to ensure that they recognise and trust your brand. This will make them more likely to purchase from you. Video content is a fantastic way to do this as it opens up many opportunities to convey emotion and your brand’s story.
Sequential ads are usually split into two or three stages. Here is a model for you to try yourself:
1. Meet the brand:
At this stage, you could create a video that conveys your brand’s message or the importance of what your brand offers to the industry. Ella’s Kitchen did this very well with a video that educated their audience about the importance of providing their children with a plant-based diet from a young age. At no point in the video does the brand focus on specific products or drive their watchers to make a purchase. This is the best way to introduce your brand with video content, and get people interested in what you have to offer.
2. Tease the product offering:For this second stage, you can show your customers the kind of products that you have to offer, and linking them to ways that they can improve the life of your audience. This should be different to your product description videos, because the intention is to offer an overview of your range, rather than honing in a single product.
Other options at this stage include carousel ads, or an animated video that offers glimpses of your products.
3. The conversion:fabletics
Now your audience has been introduced to your brand and you have showcased your products or solutions, it’s time to make a sale by offering your target audience the opportunity to make a purchase. A great way to do this would be to offer a promotion code or discount for a particular product. This tactic has been employed by Fabletics and proved to pull in lots of new business for the sportswear brand.
Incorporating videos in sequential advertising has become very popular, and for good reason. It’s the perfect way to introduce your brand story, showcase a range of products, then finally make the all important sale all while avoiding ad fatigue. Take a look at this article for more advice on how to set up sequential ads on Facebook yourself.
How to repurpose and skyscrape existing content for video
Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of having to produce reams of entirely original content for your video marketing strategy? Fear not. You can go green: repurposing and recycling your existing content is the savvy way to source material for videos. 92% of marketers are already making videos with assets and content that they already have, and it is a great time-hack for the busy content marketer.
You can cherry pick your best performing pieces of content by searching for your brand’s domain in a tool like BuzzSumo. You should look out for metrics like the amount of social media shares and the number of links that these posts have acquired to measure its engagement levels. The higher the engagement levels of your content, the higher value your audience has placed on it, and the more likely it will be that it will receive equally positive engagement in video form.
However, you need to make sure that you don’t just repeat your existing content word-for-word. Brian Dean’s skyscraping technique is one that you should bear in mind when producing content – your video should provide an even higher quality of information, insight or entertainment to your audience than your original content.
Once your video has been produced, it’s time to upload it onto your social feeds. Don’t forget to measure its engagement on BuzzSumo and YouTube – check out this guide on YouTube analytics for more information on how to do this.
Making a statement: brand storytelling through video"Tell, don’t sell. Nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone loves a good story." – Dave Kerpen
OK, so I’ve mentioned the terms ‘brand awareness’ and ‘storytelling’ a lot in this article. They are both very important, and brands are frequently finding ways to push the boundaries with their video marketing to make a big impression on their target audience. Marketing is so much more than just showcasing your products, and it is becoming more important to produce longer engaging, as Facebook have just tweaked their algorithm. There is a high chance that other social networks will be making similar changes to the way that videos rank.
Tough Mudder’s promotional video for the Tough Mudder 2017 challenge is a great example of brand storytelling. This video features a montage of interviews submitted by past competitors of the challenge, discussing how the race has changed their lives for the better. The video allows each interviewee to go into great detail about their experience, and it comes across as less salesy than a shorter video promoting the event would do.
Quality videos that go beyond your brand and product, and offer real quality to the viewer, have the potential to go viral. Sometimes, entertaining or amazing your viewer is more important than getting your entire brand message across or a sales pitch. Videos often go viral on social media due to their shareable and embeddable nature.
Video agencies such as Rubber Republic have been aware of this for some time, and have masterminded many viral marketing videos for big brands in recent times. Their video, ‘The Motherhood’ for Bodyform, has received over five million fives on YouTube alone. The video features a rap song about being a mother, really plays on the trials and tribulations of women, and is therefore very relevant and relatable to their target audience.
It’s also worth noting that the Bodyform logo is only presented at the very end of the video, and it is a very subtle image that is displayed for no longer than few seconds. You don’t need to plaster your logo all over your video to improve awareness of your brand – if your video is good enough, people will stay hooked right the way through.
However, be sure not to go too off-piste with your marketing videos. You don’t want your audience to be wondering how that video relates to your brand at all. Your video should always have a clear, underlying theme or message to get across, no matter how abstractly it may be presented on the surface.
It’s clear to see why marketers are increasingly using video as part of their content strategy. Video is the perfect way to convey complex information and emotion to your audience. There are so many ways that you can employ video in your own content strategy: consider using a video as part of your sequential advertising, or perhaps create a long brand story with a video. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is certain: now is the time to get experimental and push the boundaries of traditional marketing with your video content, to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.
Vicky is an ecommerce brand marketing consultant and freelance writer. She dedicates her time to helping ecommerce businesses and marketing teams get their businesses of the ground. She is a dab hand at everything from video content to targeted SEO strategies.