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How to accelerate your social media strategy?

Both video and social media marketing have exploded in the last few years.

It’s hard to find a business that isn’t at least interested in becoming more social media savvy or investing more heavily in video creation. It’s even harder to scroll through a social media feed without seeing video content from brands already using video marketing on social platforms.

There’s been an explosion of growth in video on social media in recent years. Views of branded video content have increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. On Twitter, a video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet. If you haven’t taken a closer look at the power of social media and video together, you’re in for a surprise. The numbers are big. Really big.

“I see video as a megatrend,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, February 2017

We could go on and on with more numbers like that, but it’s better to show you. Let’s see how brands are driving dramatic growth with video on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Facebook

Facebook has the largest audience of any social network, with more than 2.07 billion monthly active users. That’s more than one-third of the world’s population, and a whole lot of those people are watching video. Around 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook. Like YouTube, Facebook has a massive and diverse audience, which makes it harder to characterise than the emoji-filled landscape of SnapChat. The overall point to remember about Facebook is that people come to be entertained.

Facebook Video Power Tips

Make sure to experiment across a wide range of creative strategies to identify what works for your brand, and keep in mind that entertainment tends to win the day on Facebook, as does emotionally-charged content. Set goals (such as for more views or engagement) and track your performance. And consider going long. Facebook recently announced a change to the algorithm, “We know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one… we’ve realised that we should therefore weight percent completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalising longer videos.”

Here are some more tips:

– Remember graphics: 85 percent of videos are viewed with the volume off, according to Digiday.

– Create playlists of videos: Make it easy for people to find similar videos.

– Add a featured video: You can pin a video to the top of your page to introduce your brand or highlight a new product.

– Upload videos directly to Facebook: Native videos give you analytics and better visibility in the feed.

– Make sure you have a call to action: Give them something to do after they watch (or during) the video with an on-screen CTA.

YouTube

More video is consumed on YouTube than any other social network. Over 1 billion hours of video are watched daily on YouTube in 88 countries in 76 languages, according to YouTube’s statistics. YouTube is also the world’s second-largest search engine after its parent company Google. YouTube has tremendous reach, but finding people with so many other videos vying for eyeballs is the tricky part. Yet, marketers find overwhelming success on YouTube. Out of the 85 percent of marketers who have published video content on YouTube, a whopping 83 percent found it to be an effective strategy. Let’s look at a few of those companies who are hitting the mark.

Hitting Your Target With YouTube Video

YouTube has the most variety of video on any social network. People stream everything from entire movies to six-second bumpers. With so much range on YouTube and less clear structure, it’s essential to know your audience. Yet it’s harder to pin down what feels native here, especially when you compare it to more defined platforms like Snapchat (playful fun) and Instagram (visually engaging). Even if you don’t have a YouTube channel yet, start with what you already know about your customers. Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind:

 Get personal: With such a diverse platform, start by targeting your audience (whether you’re using AdWords or not). What are your most popular website pages? Who are the people looking for those products? Think about what they’d like to see. (Audience segments + context)

 Be more interactive and try new things: You have one of the widest audiences to experiment with. Learn more about what your audience wants to see by testing out a variety of video content, even interactive video. Then double down on what works.

 Release new videos on a regular schedule: YouTube is eating up viewing time from TV networks, so keep your content fresh if you want to pick up these viewers.

 Optimise your content so it ranks: Remember, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. You’ll also be helping people find you from Google. Write great titles and metadata with engaging calls-to-action.

 Make sure you’re sharable: Enable embedding so people can share the love they feel after watching your video. Go to advanced settings in your Video Manager, then Distribution options, and check “Allow embedding.”

Instagram

People love Instagram. For many people, it’s an alternative to information overload. There’s a seductive simplicity of gazing at visual content without having to read. Even though it’s not the biggest social network, a lot of users like it the best. A recent Forbes article entitled “Why Instagram Is The Top Social Platform For Engagement” broke the network’s success down to its highly visual nature and simplicity, which also works great on mobile. The stats on the network are impressive. There are 800 million monthly actives, 500 million daily actives and 250 million daily stories actives, according to Instagram company data. Marketers are loving it, too – 65% of video marketers plan to include it in their 2020 video marketing strategy

So how do you get the attention of all those Instagrammers? According to James Quarles, Instagram’s VP of business, “People are in a mindset of being open to discovery.” To harness that, Quarles recommends that the interests of users makes effective targeting signals for ads. It’s good advice for creating organic video as well. Let’s look at an example of how to do video on Instagram.

Instagram Power Video Strategies

While people love beautiful, playful moments on Instagram, putting in a little story (even humour) can get big results. Here are a few more strategies to rev up your videos on Instagram.

 Reduce words: Don’t make people read too much. Instagram is a visual medium

 Think in variations on your theme: People tend to find a theme and stick with it. Instagram accounts often have an overall look and feel, then keep repeating their theme in new ways.

 Keep it simple: Don’t get overly complicated, but keep the execution beautiful. People look to Instagram for simplicity and a breath of fresh air. Give highlights, not all the instructions.

 Maintain focus: Be single-minded in your focus on one idea for your video.

Snapchat

While Instagram is playful and sometimes funny, it’s still stylish and polished. Not so with our next social network. Snapchat captures the fun of drawing a moustache on someone while they’re sleeping. There’s a playful (sometimes prankster) humour, which many of the most successful Snapchat videos capture. And it’s definitely off the cuff. There’s a raw quality to Snapchat that’s all part of the fun. If you’re thinking that’s not what big brands and serious businesses do, you’re dead wrong.

Tips for Your SnapChat Strategy

Sometimes, the best place to fish is where no one else is fishing. If you’re contemplating using video on Snapchat, the field is likely to be more open now than in a few years, according to projected growth reports. Yet even with Snapchat’s growth, the results from marketers are the most mixed of any network. In our recent State of Video Marketing survey we found that 11 percent of marketers have used Snapchat video. If you’re not already on Snapchat and still on the fence, get an account and start watching other brands. Here are a few thoughts to help spark ideas and improve your strategy:

 Colour outside the lines to tell your story: People like text and emojis with their Snapchat stories.

 Go behind the scenes: Snapchat users gravitate to the raw quality of video that’s less produced and feels more real.

 Try repurposing content to video from your blog: Create a video based on a listicle on your website, and do quickie DIYs. Just be sure to adapt the content to video, point out helpful hints on-screen, and add plenty of emojis and notes.

 Embrace the fleeting nature of Snapchat: Get creative about timely events. Think of your Snapchat presence as a daily newspaper that chronicles your brand. What happened yesterday was old news. Your audience wants to know what today’s headline is.

 Keep it really real: The immediacy of Snapchat could make for impromptu interviews around your company and straightforward Q&As. Revel in the transparency of giving your audience an unvarnished look at who you are and who the people in your company are.

Twitter

Although video is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Twitter, maybe it should be. According to Nielsen, Twitter video is two times more memorable than other premium platforms. The effectiveness of video within Twitter is pretty impressive, too. Video tweets are six times more likely to be retweeted than photo tweets. Why is that? There’s research showing people feel like Twitter video is organic in their social feeds and they respond better to it.

A report by IPG Media Lab explains the data like this: “The unique environment of social feeds, where content is personal and self-curated, has an impact on how video ads are perceived, specifically, as more ‘relevant to [consumers’] interests’ and ‘less intrusive’.”

How to Get People to Watch Your Twitter Videos

While Twitter isn’t synonymous with video the way YouTube is, Twitter video may just be the undiscovered gem in your content strategy. Video has been shown to be more effective on Twitter than other networks. Here are some data-driven tips to help your video strategy. According to Twitter marketing research, there are four things that make people more likely to watch your video:

 Having an early story arc: This makes a video 58 percent more likely to be viewed past three seconds.

 Topical content: This makes your video 32 percent more likely to be viewed past three seconds and leads to 11 percent higher completion rates.

 Putting people in the first three seconds: This increases emotional intensity viewers have with the content by 133 percent (versus videos without people).

 Adding in words: Videos that have text are 11 percent more likely to be viewed, and they have 28 percent higher rates of completion.

Why not video for your business in 2020?

Videos offer consumers content that can be quickly and easily digested across a high number of channels. From B2C and B2B perspectives, they are effective at answering questions, giving information and creating relationships, making them a must-have for your digital marketing strategy.

However, it is no longer enough to simply create a short video for social media, you need to ensure you’re using videos across your marketing funnel, as well as making use of the latest video formats and techniques in order to remain competitive.

It’s worth noting that while previously companies have struggled with the cost of creating videos, but now that they are becoming such a popular content type that they are more accessible for brands than ever before. This ultimately means that failing to utilize videos could leave you far behind your competitors.

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