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Digital trends #6: Social media video content

At the beginning of this year I shared 6 digital trends for 2019 that I believe will shape the digital communications landscape this year. We are now on digital trend #6, although I have a confession. We’ve skipped #5!

#5 was about the impact of Brexit and while the continued uncertainly affects internal comms, marketing teams and brands, I’m not going to make any prophesies or comment on the ongoing events in the Houses of Parliament…

Instead let’s move swiftly to #6 which is all about opportunity!

video content for social media

Social media video content: seize the opportunity

Video content is booming on social media. On Facebook alone, 100 million hours of video are watched every day. LinkedIn is starting to become even more video content driven and videos are a mainstay on Twitter and Instagram.

Branded video content on YouTube also increased by 99% between 2016 and 2017 (latest available figures) proving that it’s not just influencers like Logan Paul that are reaching new audiences with their content.

Here are a few compelling statistics for including video content in your social media strategy:

  • 65% of people use YouTube to solve a problem (how to and explainer style video content) – Google
  • Social media posts with video have 48% more views – HubSpot
  • Over 1.9 billion people (a third of online users) use YouTube – YouTube
  • Facebook’s video platform gets visited by 75 million people every day – Adweek
  • Social media posts with video get 1200% more shares than text and image content combined – G2 Crowd
  • Every day Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos – Mashable
  • Video posts on LinkedIn have 50% view rates – LinkedIn
  • 81% of businesses use Facebook for sharing video messages – Buffer

Creating video content just for social media

We’re increasingly being asked to create short films for brands to use on social media. Both for marketing purposes and for promoting company culture and the employer brand.

There are many opportunities for repurposing existing video content to make engaging clips to share on social media.  We often include social media content in a brief for a brand video.  A 3 or 4 minute corporate video can provide plenty of content to edit into short social media bites. Or you can specifically request that additional content is shot for social media as part of the project.

In my opinion the key to a successful social media video is storytelling. In just 30 seconds it’s possible to tell a story about a brand. You need to be focusing on a key element that will engage your audience. Video content needs to change behaviours. Whether that’s to teach someone something they didn’t know, build trust and loyalty or to take an action like buying a product, having a narrative that uses emotive storytelling devices is the most effective way to do this in 30 seconds or less.

But as well as having a story to tell – and your video production company can help unearth that if you’re not sure what it is – there are some practical considerations to bear in mind.

Here are a few tips:

Create silent movies!

85% of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound off. Having a clear visual storyline is therefore important, as is using graphics or captions to highlight key information and messages.

Include a call to action

Whatever the objectives for your video, viewers respond best when they’re told exactly what to do. Include a CTA that helps them take the next step.

Don’t go overboard with text

Video is a visual medium and in the context of a social media post viewers don’t want to read too much text. However, they do need some to address the issue with volume and to reinforce key pieces of information. A strategic use of captions to convey a key message or CTA is enough.

Use playlists

Facebook and YouTube have a playlist function that allows you to group videos by subject matter. It helps viewers find the content they want, particularly if you have a large volume of content and different audiences.

Optimise for mobile

People are 5 times more likely to be watching videos on a mobile than another device so much sure the format and size are right for each channel and the content works on a small screen.

Keep it simple

Because of screen constraints and the nature of a fast moving social media feed, content that’s simple and accessible is most effective. It needs to grab people’s attention and be easy to understand.

Upload videos directly on Facebook

Sharing videos between different channels is OK but Facebook will always give native video content better visibility. You’ll also get better analytics for measuring the impact and success of your content.

Feature videos

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide the option to feature your brand video or new content prominently on your brand’s page. As well as the ‘pinning’ functionality shared by Facebook and Twitter, Facebook also allows you to feature a video as the ‘cover image’ instead of a photo.

Think about SEO

Google features video content highly in search results, it owns YouTube. Make sure your videos rank by optimising titles and descriptions for the search terms your target audience use.

Enable embedding

Want more people to see your content? Let viewers share it. YouTube videos (and Vimeo) can be embedded in blog posts and other webpages but only if you give people the right permissions.

Promote your content

As with all digital content merely uploading it and hoping for the best is not enough. Support your video content on social media with a proactive strategy for regularly promoting it, using it across different channels, and refreshing your brand pages with new content on a regular basis.

I hope the above points will be a lot more useful to you than my thoughts on Brexit! If you do have any questions about social media video content please get in touch.

You might also like to explore our case study with Silent Pool Distillers. We create a brand video, several spotlight films and multiple social media videos telling the story of this artisan gin brand. Click here to find out more.

Caroline Edmonds

Author Caroline Edmonds

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