A majority of today’s video consumption takes place on social media platforms, so much so that Facebook’s news feed is, of course, to replace YouTube as the world’s most trafficked video platform. Social media outlets like Instagram & Snapchat are generating fresh content at an alarming pace (Snapchat jumped from 140 million users in 2016 to 190 million by the end of 2017), transforming themselves into news sources for the general online populace. Facebook has proven to be a fruitful environment for businesses; there are roughly 60 million businesses on the site. Moreover, 32% of all users regularly engage with the pages and media content these online businesses generate.
Nike’s Jordan Brand is a solid blueprint for any business aiming for a classy yet entertaining image online.
Since all of your company’s competitors and rivals are online as well, standing out becomes paramount. The Incredibles antagonist Syndrome summed it up best – “When everyone has superpowers, no one will be super.” Similarly, your company needs to ensure that it remains relevant in a space that everybody else can access as well. Posting your businesses’ video online is not the new thing in town, it’s expected of you. But even among the superbrands, not everyone is using the power of video to its fullest. Here we are laying down some social marketing hacks to max out your video’s lead generation and engagement potentiality.
Who’s Watching: Step into the shoes of your online customer
Ask yourself a few of these questions before designing video content you intend to post online. Assume a user has clicked on one of your videos – why have they clicked on this video? Do they have a specific question they need to be answered or an issue that needs resolving? Have they clicked out of curiosity, and if so, what sort of information and insight will they walk away with?
Understanding your audience is arguably the most crucial ingredient in the entire process of social media marketing. If you fail to grasp why someone would choose to click on your business’ video, then there is a high chance the viewer will close the video in a few seconds, or worse, watch it till the end and leave thoroughly dissatisfied. When an online user clicks on your company’s video, you cannot afford to waste their time in the slightest.
Use the bare minimum to not only ‘hook’ them but to prove that your video will live up to the viewer’s expectations. Gauge who your audience is likely to be, and tailor your video in a fashion that suits them best. Now picture this audience scrolling through their news feeds at a blurring speed; how will you make your video worth stopping for?
Thumbnails & Video Banners: Paint your nails so they pop out
Social media is a highly competitive space that is coupled with a plethora of distractions. To stand out and make a mark in such an environment is not an undertaking for the fickle-hearted. Thumbnails propose a solution; a way to cut through all the noise. Once you have completed producing your video, skim through and find the one shot that is either the most appealing or the most intriguing.
The still-frame shot will appear as the image under the play sign (barring that the video is on an auto-playing platform) and it will pop up every time your video is shared. A thumbnail is not what you want the viewers to see but what you want the viewers to notice. Over time, once you feel that your business has garnered enough traction, you can replace thumbnails with a custom image of your company’s logo and reap the benefits of branding.
Much like thumbnails, a banner also serves the purpose of reinforcing your company’s message online. Banners are the large poster-like image that you see on the top fold of most websites; social media sites offer a custom banner section on the profile pages too.. Yes, banners can be composed invitingly, but what if you could bring that banner to life? Imagine a user finds her way onto your site – in place of the frozen image she expects to see, your company could display a quick animation or a preview of another video. This is called a video banner and can be used to pique her interest, or quickly demonstrate what your company does. Sites like bannersnack can help you create the video banner that would serve you best.
Go Live! Social Media Is A Place To Show Your Brand’s Human Side
Facebook Live has been quite the revelation. Live broadcasting, irrespective of the content that is being broadcasted, is the sort of thing that everyone looks at twice. Harness the power of going live and your business is guaranteed a boost. People online watch live videos thrice as much (time spent watching) as they watch traditional videos. It’s not for any reason other than the fact that your business is alive and actually doing what your user is viewing in real-time. Since going live usually manages to seize the attention of people online, and that too for an extended amount of time, it has the ability to work wonders.
From a business standpoint, going live is about triggering a short-term bang; it’s a great way to put yourself on the map or to let your customers know you’re still in the mix. An example is Dunkin’ Donuts, who went live on Valentine’s Day and broadcasted a team of employees baking some heart-shaped delights. The video has 44 thousand views to date, and we’re willing to bet a lot of people visited Dunkin’ that night with their loved ones.
Single Out Relevant Groups and Influencers To Pitch Through
Getting your video through the online grapevine and into the hands of the right people is perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to get some momentum going. Again, this is a matter of understanding and connecting with your target audience. If you are music business, for example, the onus is on you to get your videos shared by the local gig promoters, artists, producers, and live performance venues. The intensive time and effort people have expanded on online interaction has transformed social media into a densely packed web of information; as a business, you must be confident about where exactly you choose to spin your web.
You can begin by finding the appropriate groups in spaces like LinkedIn and Facebook, groups that are in tandem with your company’s efforts or its philosophy. If you run an online business, the reach you can attain by linking with corresponding groups across the world is seemingly infinite. If there are any, single out the influential individuals in your business and see if you can foster an online relationship with them. That old phrase; it’s not about what you know it’s about who you know – in the virtual world it applies more than it ever has before.
Mind Your CTA: It’s All About The Ends
The end of your video should not be the end of your video. Let’s assume that your video genuinely appeals to someone or intrigues them to investigate your business further; it would be a shame to leave them hanging. Provide the links to your website, your Facebook page, your Instagram handle; pretty much your company’s entire online presence should be on hand as soon as the video ends. But don’t restrict yourself to links and further promotion – end the video with a call to action. Make the viewer want to pursue your business (remember to cater to both customers and investors) and leave them with a friendly reminder that indicates “we’ll be back with more soon.”
Arrows that suggest to a viewer where they should go after your video ends is also an effective strategy. Or have pop-up thumbnails that lead the viewer to new content and other videos your business wishes to share. You can even have a volunteer from your company appear on screen for a few seconds who can ask the audience to subscribe and like the video. Touches like these show the viewer the human side of your business; it shows them that there is an individual or a group of individuals that are working earnestly to expand and improve their efforts. Talk show hosts like Jimmy Kimmel include pieces like this at the end of their videos on Facebook and YouTube.
Cracking social media platforms is, above anything else, about understanding how the average person online thinks and reacts. At times it helps to work backward; think about what your audience would like to see/hear and how your video can impact them. Take it a step further and discern who your target customers are. Adapt to their likes and dislikes, because it’s them you need to keep happy.
Pick your thumbnails wisely and replace your static banner with a video version that gets heads turning. Make sure your video flows logically, with a pitch that is well-timed and forthright. Find the online spaces that correlate with your business’ efforts, and share your videos and other fresh content in these spaces relentlessly. Lastly, do not make the mistake of ending your video abruptly. Communicate to your audience that you wish to be heard and that you will be back with more material in the near future.
Slice it however you want to – social media is a place where people flex and come to see others flexing. Excelling on social media platforms as a business is about finding a balance; you must flaunt but with substance and remain interesting whilst telling your viewers why they need you.