Once upon a time, memes were the hottest thing on Facebook, and Twitter was just a tiny glimmering blue bird in the back recesses of Jack Dorsey’s brain, but social media has come a long way and fascinating new things are afoot.
The biggest trend these days is social media video. How do we know we’re living in the age of visual media? Well, for starters, Facebook has been averaging 8 billion daily video views for quite a while now. In April 2016, Snapchat bounded past Zuckerberg and Co. with a whopping 10 billion video views every day.
As a society, we’re increasingly drawn to bite-sized moving pictures and that spells out a lot of opportunity for savvy marketers. From promoting your brand to building B2C rapport, social video can be used as a powerful tool that’ll drive success quicker – and more effectively – than you may think.
People want to be inspired. When you look at the kind of content that goes viral, it all has a few things in common. Posts are more likely to be shared if they inspire joy, interest, anticipation, and/or trust. People want to believe and once they’re committed they want their friends and family to get on board too.
All those emotions are much easier to evoke using video rather than plain text. People may skim a three-paragraph post and fail to grasp the central message but a catchy, well-directed video that auto-plays the minute it scrolls into view on someone’s news feed can enrapture someone in mere seconds.
Out-entertain the competition
If you want to keep up with the Jones’ – or the Nikes or Starbucks or Apples – you must incorporate video into your social marketing strategy. Some businesses are successfully using video as a marketing tool and they’re leaving video-less competitors in the digital dust. If you go to video, you’ll stay competitive, but if you create great, authentic, interesting, captivating, funny, emotional, surprising videos, you’ll surpass all expectations and build a better business at the same time. It’s all about creativity – what can consumers get from your video that they won’t get anywhere else? Are your videos on brand? Do they make someone want to comment or hit those little reaction buttons at the bottom of the frame? The answers to those questions need to be several unequivocal yesses.
Increase your click-through rate
It has been reported that embedding a promotional video in your brand’s email can boost click-through rates by as much as 300%. That’s a massive jump that not only juices your CTR but has a similarly positive trickle-down effect on things like conversion and engagement. People are busy, often too busy to read an 800-word blog post while they’re waiting for the kids to get off the bus, but they can watch a video while folding laundry or standing in line at the DMV and they’ll happily click on a link to reach that kind of content.
A whopping 78% of people say they watch at least one video online every week, and 55% watch videos every single day. Consumers are seeking out video, and they’ll take action to find them. It follows, then, that if your click-through rates are soaring then your site is almost assuredly getting more traffic as a result, and let’s face it, marketing is all about traffic. Think of your website like a brick-and-mortar storefront; every time you get someone to walk by or, better yet, set foot across the threshold, you greatly increase your chances of making a sale.
If you’re getting people to watch your videos and even click on content to get there, you’ve already gifted yourself a captive audience. If you’re not using that opportunity to snag email addresses and other demographic information, then you’re basically stopping up your sales funnel mid-process. This kind of lead capture, often referred to as “gating,” asks consumers to provide contact information in exchange for viewing content. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it gives you everything you need to start a steady email- or SMS-based conversation later.
You can gate content on your website by using a pop-up screen to ask for an email address so users can continue to your video. Social platforms (like Facebook) are ideal for guiding visitors towards gated content like a webinar, instructional video, or behind-the-scenes footage (particularly valuable for lifestyle brands or clips featuring industry influencers).
A final few social media video tips
Videos must be optimized for every channel – what works on Facebook won’t work on Snapchat, because the media are different and so are the audience’s expectations. An authentic marketing video is important, too – you’ll capture imagination with aspirational content quicker than you’ll snag consumers using a hard sell.
What has been your experience with social videos so far? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.