Using Social Video Marketing to Tell Your Story

Social video marketing uses short form videos produced with frequency and integrated with social media and web marketing strategies, to share brand messages and engage with audiences. Social video supports multiple marketing goals: reach, traffic, education, conversion, and ads. For many brands social video is now the go-to format for content marketing because it outperforms other types of content like blogging, text-based social messages and graphic design.

Social video is so effective that Forrester Research recently stated that one minute of video is now worth 1.8 million words. The popularity of social video is undeniable. On YouTube alone, there are more than 100 million video views a day. The majority of viewers do so on mobile devices. Mobile shoppers are 3 times more likely to watch a brand video than laptop or desktop users. So you can see that social video is just one of the many reasons why mobile site optimization is so necessary for all businesses to have today. In fact, responsive web design – which provides a seamless user experience across any and all devices – is likely to define web marketing next year.

While social video may seem fun and entertaining (and it is), it also has a proven impact on a brand’s bottom line. Visitors who watch a brand video are more likely to purchase, and social video provides an outlet to retain them and help ensure that they are repeat buyers.

When conversion is the goal, some of the best uses of social video are those that show value: product/service overviews, testimonials, and reviews – all with clear calls-to-action. Social videos are often created in a series to tell a brand story. This approach is great for retaining customers because it shows them new ways to use your product and keeps them interested in your brand. How-to videos and Tutorials are two of the most common video series that brands use, often tying in a campaign name and hashtag (#) that allows community members to follow along and share their own experiences.

Integrating social video is a great strategy for improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well. Proper optimization of your social video is as important as the production. Videos should have SEO-friendly titles, use rich keywords that provide context; be placed in the correct Category; include a description; and you might want to consider adding subtitles and closed captions.

Google and other search engines value video content over other types of content. Google especially values its proprietary video-sharing site, YouTube. Maintaining a brand presence on YouTube and updating your YouTube channel with fresh video content should likely be a part of your video marketing strategy, in addition to exploring the handful of new and innovative social video platforms like Vimeo, Vine and Instagram. The new video darlings, Vine and Instagram, have distinct community cultures that brands must adapt to in order for their videos to be well received and shared across the web. These audiences (young and tech-savvy) value entertainment, creativity, and personalization. One of the best strategies for creating powerful social videos is to use real people. Faces, talking, and movement all play on the psyche to make us feel that brands are ‘human’. Viewers connect with brands that appear warm and value-centered. This style of content can go a long way in changing how people view your brand, so it’s especially useful if you are going through a rebrand of have online reputation problems.

As you think about creating your brand’s first social video (or video series) consider these tips:– Value and entertainment come before the “message”. This is not the right format for a ‘hard sell’ of your product line. – Tell a story, but not the story of your brand. Create narratives about your customer, mascot, or an idea that embodies your brand. – Hook viewers early. The fist few seconds of your video are the most important.

You don’t need a long lead-in when your total video is less than 6 minutes. Follow basic production techniques. While viewers are not looking for over-produced videos, they also won’t respond to videos that are grainy or poor quality. Social video feels ‘on the fly’ but most big brands have a team of people allocated to production. Today there are even professional ‘Vine-ographers’! One of the biggest misperceptions brands have about video marketing is that the goal of every video is to “go viral”. The goal with social video is to be consistent and to tell a story.