From the revolutionary Tasty videos to the recent roll-out of Instagram TV, video as a social media marketing tactic has become, “the new black.” The mad rush of businesses incorporating videos into their digital marketing and advertising strategies may have you in a panic, but before you dump a ton of dollars into video production, first take a step back. It’s best to approach social video marketing with a cool and collected mentality. Dive into these tips to determine how you can incorporate video into your digital strategy.
1. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is a key piece in any marketing plan. Establishing your target audience early on will help you determine what type of content to plan and post later. Whether you’re implementing video or still imagery, make sure it’s relevant to your target audience and true to your brand. Stick to useful, engaging content, that doesn’t stray from your brand’s look and feel. Consistency is key.
Make sure your visuals compliment post copy. For example, if you are promoting a blog post about technology trends, a cat picture probably isn’t the best idea. When the post copy and visual element are related, it ensures success and avoids confusion in the long-run.
If you decide to use video to promote a blog post, or explain a product, try to not give everything away at first glance. The point of creating a video or using a captivating image is to encourage people to click through to your website or landing page. If you tell the viewer everything they need to know in one sitting, the chances of holding their attention after the video ends are slim-to-none. Images and videos can be the first point of contact with your potential new customer. Keep them coming back for more!
2. Images should still have a place in your heart—and on your feed
The heavy focus on video these days almost makes still images seem like the MySpace of content— outdated and obsolete. Know that not everything on your feed needs to be video. Still images play an important role when it comes to visual communication. In order to create a balanced strategy, it is important to recognize that some content lends itself to video, while other content is more enticing with the use of an enhanced image. Informational videos are a great way to promote new products, features, or services by highlighting value points in a concise and entertaining way. However, using an image to promote an upcoming event or program can be just as successful.
Post subject matter and topics that create audience engagement, but avoid overwhelming them with too much of one type of content, or worse—boring them by not posting enough. As you dive into the world of digital video marketing, keep a well-rounded approach to your strategy. Too many videos may cause your audience to lose interest. Keep them on their feet by adding in variation, and don’t be afraid to mix it up!
3. Test, test again, and keep testing
The rise of social video marketing has encouraged many businesses to incorporate videos into their social strategy, but how do you know if it’s right for you?
The answer? Tracking and testing.
A/B testing content on social platforms is an ongoing process in any marketing initiative. Before putting a big budget towards video production, take it slow.
Here are a few A/B testing suggestions to get you started:
- Introduce simple videos ranging from 15–60 seconds, each with different messaging.
- Test closed captioned videos versus videos with sound narration.
- Test videos with music and sound effects versus those without.
- Test informational videos versus fun videos.
Track all of your efforts. A/B testing will provide you with more data and knowledge on what your social media audience likes and dislikes. Knowledge is power! Use your findings to give your audience what they’re looking for, on whichever platform you’re testing. Remember, you can never be too thorough when it comes to testing different types of content. Something that worked for another business, may not work for yours—and that’s ok. Try new things; yes, some ideas will flop, but others will fly! Make sure you learn from all of your results and apply your new knowledge to future initiatives.
4. Utilize platform insights and reporting
Monitor and report the success of each video. Notice how your audience reacts, and whether or not the video created conversations or engagement online. Did more people engage with your post than normal? Were engagement rates higher on certain platforms and lower on others? Did you gain any new followers?
Asking these questions will help as you build out your content calendar, and ultimately, create a robust social media marketing strategy. Defining and monitoring a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) will determine what types of content to continue making and posting to your social channels. There are many KPIs to monitor but start with tracking follower growth, link clicks and engagement metrics.
Video is a powerful tool in the world of social media marketing. However, take precautions when adding social video marketing into your holistic digital marketing strategy. Be smart and strategic; get your feet wet with A/B testing and take the time needed to learn the likes/dislikes of your target audience. Last but not least, remember that images are still important to sprinkle into your overall strategy. Have fun with it, and take risks! Happy videoing!