Using Video to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

It’s no secret that video is taking over social media. Just scroll through your newsfeed on Facebook and you’re likely to see a string of videos that your friends are sharing and companies are promoting. But it isn’t just Facebook that’s taking advantage of this trend. Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram also provide social video services that can help businesses engage their followers and improve conversion rates.

Video has quickly become one of the most important content tools for social media marketing, and its influence will only continue to rise. If you feel your business isn’t prepared for the video revolution, have no fear: taking advantage of social video is easier than you think. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Keep it short.

When it comes to video length, keeping it short is (almost) always your best bet. No matter how engaging your video may be, social platforms are full of distractions to draw a viewer’s attention away from your video. Do your best to keep videos under or around the 1 minute mark, and under 30 seconds for video ads.

Grab your viewer’s attention.

Social video is all about grabbing viewers’ attention and keeping it. If a video doesn’t catch someone’s eye, they will simply scroll right past it. That’s why you need to draw a customer’s attention within the first few seconds. Most platforms feature autoplay, so use this opportunity to engage viewers instantly. Feature movement in the first few frames, and use bright, contrasting colors to create an opening visual your customers can’t miss.

Cater the video to the platform.

Each social media platform is different, and each has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to video. That being said, the same video will not work across every platform. Facebook is the perfect platform for advertising, with its ability to reach viewers on a broad scale, while Twitter is best for engaging directly with your followers. If a follower tweets a question, answer with a video. Your followers will appreciate the effort and direct interaction. Instagram stories are short and sweet, and are best used to share goings-on around the office, to show your product in action, or to offer promotions.

Over the years, Snapchat has made changes to become more business and marketing friendly, and is great for reaching a younger demographic. However, these services are better catered to familiar brands and national companies who have the capital to utilize Snapchat’s Discover feature. But there are other ways for your business to reach the Snapchat age: try partnering with an influencer to showcase your product to their followers, or create a geotag to pique the interest of people nearby.

Optimize your video for search.

Social media content is a key tool when it comes to search engine optimization, and social video should be no different. When naming and creating descriptions for your videos, keep SEO in mind. Use keywords and phrases as well as hashtags to help your content reach as many users as possible.

Tell a story.

Storytelling is the best way to engage your viewers and get them invested in what you have to say. And when it comes to social media, video is the best way to tell stories. Whether it’s a story about how your product has helped a customer, or a story about one of your employees and how they came to your company, viewers will find stories involving real people engaging. As consumers we respond to familiar story structures, so make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and end, and maybe even a hero. (Bonus Tip: It may be tempting to make your company or product the hero, but avoid doing so. Make your customer the hero in your brand’s story.)

From videos ads to how-to videos or a behind the scenes look at your operation, social video provide endless possibilities for businesses to engage with current customers and reach new ones. Social video is the future of social media marketing, so use these tips to get with the times and begin your social video journey.

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