Have you ever stopped to think about how lucky we are, living in the age of social media?
Sure, it has its downsides. But as far as marketing is concerned, it’s an unprecedented goldmine of opportunities.
Before social media, brands were forced to promote themselves via leaflets, cold calls, and newspaper ads! And only if they were wealthy enough, they could go with a TV commercial, the most far-reaching method.
Needless to say, not every business could afford that kind of exposure.
Luckily, social media stepped up and change that: now, businesses of all sorts are capable of promoting their own commercials – including whiteboard videos, testimonials, and many other video styles – in a cost-effective way.
The problem is that a lot of companies fail to make the most of this opportunity. They limit to sharing a video post without optimizing it to attract social users, letting it go unnoticed.
Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve once you know what to consider when posting a social video.
And that’s what we are here for! We are about to show you the best practices regarding social video posts. Shall we start?
Make Your Videos Social-Media-Friendly
Social media users are looking for content that’s easy to consume. They aren’t likely to stop scrolling down their feeds to watch a long, dull video – or at least they wouldn’t watch it entirely. That’s why any video that you’ve uploaded to YouTube or to your website may need a bit of tweaking before sharing it in another type of social network.
For starters, you need to make sure it’s dynamic enough to entertain and engage people. You should also check that it goes straight to the point, ensuring it doesn’t waste much of the viewer’s time unnecessarily.
Video length it’s also a critical factor. Short videos (those that last less than 3 minutes) tend to perform better than long ones on most social networks. On Twitter, for instance, videos work best when they are shorter than 30 seconds. This recommended length extends to 1 minute on Instagram, but it stretches even more on Facebook, where people engage the most with pieces under 2 minutes.
It is worth noting, though, that making your video shorter shouldn’t compromise its quality and value. Otherwise, it will still fail to engage viewers.
Learn about Your Target Audience
This tip may sound a bit obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Every marketing move you make depends largely on your target audience, so being familiar with it will help you make the right decisions. You’ll put your efforts in the right social network, produce videos that actually resonate with your audience, and, ultimately, create an engaged community around your social account.
So yes, learning about your audience is bound to be time well spent. You can use analytic tools (more on this later) and find out about your current social media audience’s age, gender, and interests, among other demographic data. You can also design a buyer persona with all your ideal client’s characteristics and customize your content accordingly.
Another great idea is to carry out surveys and polls to learn those details that hard data can’t provide, such as which topics your audience is most interested in or if they prefer animated whiteboard videos to live-action pieces. Some social networks, like Instagram and Facebook, offer tools for you to easily conduct these kinds of questionnaires.
When you’ve learned enough about your audience, you’ll be ready to create a social media strategy that delivers the results you are after.
Include Captions & Text Overlays
Watching a video out loud in a public space tends to be an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. The viewer may feel uncomfortable since everyone around can know what they are watching, and people surrounding them may dislike having to hear a video they haven’t clicked on. Consequently, you may lose a potential viewer who doesn’t want to bother others or attract nosy people.
This may sound like an unusual situation, but it’s actually way more common than you might think. In fact, almost 70% of US consumers watch videos with the sound off.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this problem: adding captions or text overlays to your social video.
Yes, captions and subtitles are not just meant for foreigners and people with hearing impairments. Everybody can find them useful! So useful, in fact, that viewers are much likelier to watch a video till its completion if it includes captions.
In a nutshell, this element makes your video accessible and understandable to plenty of people, resulting in a broader range of potential viewers – and a higher likelihood of driving engagement.
Optimize Your Video’s Copy
The words you choose for your copy can attract new viewers to your piece… or drive them away from it. That’s why you need to carefully decide what you are going to write.
The first thing you need to bear in mind is that the text should give viewers a hint of the video’s content. When writing your copy, use a similar tone to the one on your video and subtly mention what the piece is about. Yes, subtly. Remember a copy should give viewers a hint, not a full summary.
Now, we can’t talk about social media and post’s copies without mentioning the (in)famous hashtags.
This staple social media element has as many fans as naysayers, but there’s something they all agree in: leveraging untargeted hashtags is useless. Words to live by, indeed.
Using mainstream hashtags unrelated to your post isn’t likely to drive much engagement to your video. And it’s not hard to see why: these hashtags appear in thousands of posts per day, which basically means too much competition to your video. But even if you “win” that competition and capture people’s attention, it’s unlikely that they further engage with your post, simply because it isn’t exactly what they were looking for.
On the other hand, using targeted, relevant hashtags not only lead to less competition, but also attracts the right people and helps you grow your follower base out of a pool of people that fit your target audience’s interest.
Folks that are actually likely to find your post interesting and engage with it and your brand.
Analyze Your Video’s Performance
Once your social video is published, there’s one last thing left to do:
You need to check your video’s performance to see what resonated with your audience and what didn’t. In other words, you need to find out what to repeat next time… and what to never do again.
The good news is that the most popular social networks offer free analytic tools – such as Facebook Insights and YouTube Analytics – to learn about your audience’s characteristics and measure their engagement. They enable business accounts to know who has watched their video content, where they have found it, and how they have interacted with it, among other handy metrics.
However, hard data is not the only possible way of knowing what your audience thinks about your video content. You can also be open to your viewers’ feedback and suggestions – especially to repeated opinions – and adapt your content accordingly.
Both analytic data and your viewers’ feedback will help you make informed decisions in the future, allowing you to find a social video strategy that works for your brand and audience.
Social media allows businesses of all sizes to show the world what they do. And since there’s no better way to convey a message than with video content, it’s definitely useful to know how to combine this powerful tool with your social media efforts.
The thing is that a video is unlikely to go viral on its own – unless it’s a cat video, those spread like fire. But when it comes to corporate videos, it’s absolutely necessary to optimize every last detail to attract the right viewers and boost engagement.
By leveraging tried-and-true techniques like the ones you have learned today, you’ll have a relatable video post that can capture viewers’ attention and help them engage with the piece. Not bad, huh?