By Holly Barry, @HJBarry
In this fast-paced, video-madworld, you’d be crazy not to use video on your social media channels to attract your potential customers’ attention.
As soon as Facebook started automatically playing videos – including sound – as you scrolled down your newsfeed, businesses started to take advantage. The stats backing up the advantage of using video are notable:
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos per week
- YouTube has over a billion users, which totals almost one-third of total internet users
- 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
- More than 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube per day
- One-third of online activity is spent watching video
You’re sure to want to be a part of this growing phenomenon, however before you pull up your director’s chair and shut your clapboard, here are our top tips for video:
Grab their attention early
With over half of video content viewed on mobile devices, you have to remember that many videos are played on the move. Even if we’re checking a mobile screen at home, our hyper connected lives include a need for instant gratification and loss of patience.
Aim to capture a viewer’s attention in the first 10 seconds or less. Many solutions are given in the first few seconds and if that is not possible, ensure there are hooks to keep the viewer watching.
With Facebook automatically playing videos with sound, some users are turning the sound off completely. Make sure that you include subtitles for use where sound is turned off.
There are also many social instances where sound on devices may be turned off, such as when a partner is sleeping, in a waiting room, on public transport. With subtitles, your message can still be received.
Create ‘how-to’ videos
‘How-to’ videos are hugely popular and they have also become the go-to answer for many of life’s problems. It’s so much easier to copy how something is done when you are watching someone right in front of you.
Need to tie a real bow-tie for a black tie event? A recipe asks you to flambé? How do you create smoky eyes or contour with makeup for a night out? Find a how-to video on YouTube and it will show you how and you can always pause and rewind as you copy the technique.
According to Think With Google, ‘how-to’ searches are increasing 70% year-over-year on YouTube!
Most people are pulled in by emotion. Just take a look at the hugely popular John Lewis Christmas adverts. If you draw a viewer’s emotion, it resonates personally and they are more likely to remember the content of your video and share it on social media.
Choose language and music that come together and match the feeling you’re trying to evoke. Happiness is a useful emotion for positive association with your brand. Check out the inspiring stories on ‘Love What Matters’ on Facebook. Think less emotional vampire and more uplifting!
Use calls to action
It’s most effective to place CTAs at the end of a video, even if you just add a few words telling users that they can ‘learn more at (insert URL)’.
A benefit to posting YouTube videos across social media are the clickable annotations, which you can turn into clickable CTAs.
Answering questions gives value to your video and adds credibility to your brand as an expert.
Learn about video lengths
Different platforms have different maximum lengths for video:
- Vine: 6 seconds
- Facebook: 120 minutes
- Twitter: recommends keeping videos under 30 seconds
- Instagram: 60 seconds
- Snapchat: 10 seconds
Carve out a niche
Whatever your area of expertise, you need to make sure that you carve out a niche and offer something a bit different.
In an already flooded beauty market, celebrity makeup artist Christina Flach stayed ahead of the competition because she made herself personable in her business. Christina uses make up tutorial videos to build up a visual relationship with her viewers. By using video she familiarises herself with her viewers.
Beauty vloggers – including household names such as Zoella and Tanya Burr – do the same thing, as video has allowed them to become celebrities in their own right.
Videos are perfect for storytelling on social media. Even a 30-second video lets you share a more of a story than a regular post, as something you can see and connect to and evokes emotion.
Telling stories through video also gives you more control in how those stories get told.
Track your results
Facebook Insights has a screen devoted to video analytics, showing you the number of video views your page has had and the number of 10-second views your video had.
You can also see all the statistics for individual videos. This means that you can easily track the success of a video and see what works.
Facebook Live video lets businesses and users broadcast videos to their audiences in real time. You can see the number of users watching and users can comment on the video and you can answer their questions live.
Users automatically receive notifications when someone they follow is going live which increases visibility. Once your live video is complete, you can save your live video to your timeline so users who missed it live can watch it later. This is another way to build relationships with your viewers.
Optimise for search
Optimisation can make all the difference when it comes to relevant users finding you and your video. The headline and descriptions you post with your video will show up in searches. Add keywords or key phrases to help users find your content on all platforms to boost search results.
Breaking news and announcements
Sharing big developments on social media offers value to your customers and keeps them in the loop. Introducing a new product or announcing a change to your business then sharing this information with your followers via video can be exciting and is an ideal way of engaging your customers – both existing and potential.
Featured videos on Facebook
The featured video functionality on your Facebook business page is an ideal opportunity to make a first impression with your business. You could highlight a product, tell a story or give an overview.
Take viewers behind the scenes
You can add to the curiosity of your viewer by taking them behind the scenes to show them how something is done that they wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. For example, showing viewers how products are made or who makes them can lead to major increases in brand loyalty. Your prospective buyers can connect to real people.
Capitalise on trending topics and hashtags
If there’s a trending topic or hashtag, adding a video with your voice to the topic can result in big view numbers and engagement as it is relevant content.
As technology evolves, we continue to see trends favouring video. Creative videos can be spread and shared on the internet in a matter of hours, potentially receiving millions of views. You need to be innovative with your content to survive and video is the way forward.