10 Ways To Make The Leap To Video Social Marketing
If 2015 was known as “The Year of the Video”, 2016 has also delivered consistently on that promise. Virtually every social media network is pouring money into their video capabilities. In social marketing, videos are being used to create interest, raise brand awareness, generate leads and spark online engagement. Companies everywhere are flocking to video in social marketing, whether it’s on YouTube or Facebook or Vine or Instagram or wherever. And while it seems obvious that video will eventually become a part of our mandatory marketing repertoires, the question burning for most is when and how we make the jump to video marketing.
Below are 10 ways to know if you are ready for video:
- You have the means (both time and money) to publish videos regularly on a schedule. An important thing to remember about social marketing is that it takes time to build an audience. To build a brand, raise awareness and spark online engagement, you have to be willing to show up in the same place regularly. In the case of video, you need to consistently deliver new material and your audience needs to get used to consuming their information in a new way. If you set out to do video, the best recommendation is to start small and deliver consistently. Once you master that schedule you can get even more aggressive.
- You have a regular following on various social media channels. So let’s say you take the time and money to make videos on a regular schedule… then what? If you do not already have a following on different social media channels, the first suggestion would be to go win an audience, channel by channel. As you get involved in social marketing in different channels, you will begin to understand the culture of each channel and learn the do’s and don’ts before you turn to video. You also should write comments and follow others in each network. Video will help you acquire an audience, but it isn’t a magic solution; it probably makes more sense after you’ve already built an audience in a particular network. Winning in social marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
- You have customers who you can interview or your sales associates have industry stories to tell. One of the best social marketing rules, particularly in video, is that you should not be the only one talking about your brand. Before you journey to video, think about your customers and your sales associates as voices that can help you tell your brand’s story. Whether an associate offers industry expertise or a customer offers a heartfelt testimonial, video will always have more impact when you recruit the help of others.
- You can speak frankly and have a plan for emotional connection. The worst mistake in video is thinking only about product, product, product. The immediacy of video gives you the ability to bring social marketing to a whole new level with humor and emotion. In television there is an expression, “Make me laugh, make me cry.” While you may not want to go that far when you are just getting started, presenting a “human” story about your brand or product that touches viewers’ emotions will help you make the most of the medium. If you miss the mark, viewers will just tune you out.
- You have messages in mind that you can communicate quickly. In social marketing, a video viewer will decide within seconds if they are open to hearing your message. Video can be particularly brutal because the viewer can simply opt to shut down the video or stop loading it. If you cannot come up with brand-appropriate ideas for micro videos (remember, sites like Instagram only allow 3 to 15 seconds at most) you might want to rethink the decision to invest in video.
- You have set keywords to optimize your content and have researched video SEO. There are tricks with every form of media, but video absolutely has its own set up rules. Among the tricks in social marketing that you need to consider are uploading to each individual network, and learning to tag your video to make it searchable. If you rely on just uploading your video to your YouTube account, your video will not be optimized for each individual network, because each social network has its own methods for optimizing videos.
- You remember that image matters. Videos are incredibly visual. I say that not to encourage or discourage you, but to get you to consider that your company can appear polished, attractive or sloppy depending on what you feature in a social marketing video in 30 seconds or less. Remember that selecting pleasing color palates, choosing generally well-spoken and attractive people to represent you and careful editing can go a long way toward enhancing your brand’s image. You also may need to think twice about diversity, gender and age as you speak to a target demographic. A company that claims to be global, for example, should absolutely have an air of ethnic diversity, and that should be reflected in what the viewer sees.
- You have a strong CTA and response team ready. Videos can pack a lot of social marketing information into a small period of time. With video you can communicate with audio, with images and even with subtitles—all in a matter of seconds. But one of the things that some people forget is how important the CTA on the video is to its ROI and success rate. Not only do you need to consider where you are driving traffic (do you want the prospect to go to your web page or pick up the phone?) but you also need to have a team set up to handle the lead flow. Remember that in an ideal world a video goes “viral,” but then you have to be prepared to handle the crowd of interested prospects.
- You have a planned way to advertise your videos. A lot of people think that when they make a website or create video that people will just “find” it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Social marketers and SEO specialists have the daunting task of helping make your new content easy to find, but you may also need to turn to advertising to get viewers. You should not only consider paying for lists of new subscribers to distribute your video to, but you should also consider running short videos AS advertisements.
- You have a designated person to monitor interaction on social media and to help with titles, transcriptions and posts. So, what does all of the above really mean? You should really consider the amount of work it takes to deliver well on social marketing videos. While in the beginning you may have a very small or outsourced team putting things together, you absolutely should consider who is ultimately responsible for consistently delivering these activities. Interest in doing videos in this day and age makes sense, but delivering them requires time and money. One of the best things that you can invest in if you are serious about video is a person or team to help deliver them.