We live in a time when all it takes to make videos is a smartphone and an idea. It’s incredible. Imagine how different our view of history might be today if our great-great-grandparents had been filming their daily lives a hundred years ago.
For businesses, the proliferation of online video presents unprecedented opportunities to connect with customers anywhere in the world. Video stands as one of the top ways people consume content online. By the year 2020, it will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
Along with dedicated video sites like YouTube, all the major social media sites now serve as native video platforms (LinkedIn was late to the game when it joined in 2017.) Videos can also be embedded directly on a company website.
With so many ways to leverage video, it can be hard even to know where to start. Here, we focus on the major social media platforms. These video marketing tips will help you learn how to use your video assets to their fullest potential in 2018.
The Importance of Video Marketing in 2018
Gone are the days when you needed a script, a camera crew, and a budget to make high-quality, engaging videos. But don’t be fooled by the lucky few that go viral. It takes a lot of planning and behind-the-scenes work to make your video content succeed.
Small businesses often question whether video marketing is worth the time and effort. If you are looking to connect with customers online, the answer is a resounding yes. Studies show that most consumers would rather watch a video about a product or service than read about it. People are more likely to consume and engage with video than any other kind of content, and on Facebook, video content reaches an average of 135% more people than photos.
From an SEO perspective, video can be an enormously powerful tool. Well-optimized YouTube videos can rank at the top of Google search results, especially for instructional content like How-To’s. Videos that perform well on social media can be a generous source of social signals. And if you do happen to go viral, you can expect to get a torrent of backlinks to your site (look at what happened to the Dollar Shave Club when their launch video struck gold.)
How to Use Your Video Assets
If you know how to use your video assets, they can significantly boost the reach of your marketing efforts online. Implementing the following video marketing tips is a great way to get started.
1. Optimize Your Videos for Mobile Browsing
Social media is primarily a mobile activity. People between the age of 18 and 34 use mobile devices for social 78% of the time. To reach these users, make sure your video content translates to the tiny screens and fast pace of mobile browsing. Bold visuals and a clear message are essential.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have all introduced vertical video formats so users can watch without rotating their screens. If mobile users are your target, craft content that fits this taller frame.
2. Use Custom Thumbnails
Thumbnails are an art in and of themselves. A compelling thumbnail image can make the difference between another ordinary video and a huge hit.
Look at popular videos in your niche and note the kind of thumbnails that generate the most clicks. Is it big text and bright colours? Tantalizing product photos? An influencer’s head shot? Spot the trends and borrow them for your videos.
3. Have a Strong Start
According to Facebook, 47% of the value in a video campaign comes in the first three seconds, and the first 10 seconds amount to 74%. It is in those crucial moments that viewers decide whether your content is worth watching.
Most videos on social media AutoPlay by default. You can use this to your advantage. Start the video with a hook: a compelling question, an exciting scene, or an offer they can’t refuse. Just be sure to deliver on the promise in the rest of the video!
4. Show, Don’t Tell
This is one point where social media best practice diverges from that of a video-based platform like YouTube. On social media sites, most videos AutoPlay without sound; as much as 85% of all video views on Facebook occur on mute.
Whereas YouTube is both an aural and visual medium, social media video marketing weighs heavily towards the visual. Your video’s story must unfold primarily via images and on-screen text. It’s not that the sound is irrelevant, but when it comes to social media, you should assume your viewers will not hear it.
5. Know Your Platform
The above tips will help you understand how to use video assets across various platforms. However, when it comes to a broader video marketing strategy, each platform will call for a different approach. Facebook has a different tone and audience than Twitter, for example. Optimizing videos for YouTube requires exploring the platform’s search engine algorithm.
Keep in mind the purpose of each platform when deciding how to use your video assets. If you plan to invest heavily in one site over others, tailor your content to match it.
In Short: How to Use Your Video Assets
- Optimize for mobile browsing. Chances are, your audience will be watching on a 2×4’’ screen.
- Use custom thumbnails. Learn from successful competitors in your niche.
- Hook viewers in the first three seconds. That is where most of your value is.
- Assume your viewers are not Create content that resonates on mute.
- Tailor video to your platform of choice. Understand how different sites have different audiences and a unique tone.