Video is far more than just the latest social media buzz or digital trend.
It’s fast replacing written and other static content, as the most dominant form of digital communication. This is fundamentally changing the way we consume content on the web and social media is on the frontline of this digital revolution.
From 360 video to live streaming, social media platforms have embraced digital video in all its forms and there’s a simple reason for this: Users love video.
This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by brand managers. Numerous studies and evidence show that video consistently attracts shares and engagement more than any other type of content on social media.
The do’s and don’ts of social media brand video
It’s worth bearing in mind some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to creating any type of marketing video for social media.
Do provide value.
Your videos should aim to provide value above all else. If you’re not telling brand stories that people want to hear or providing information people find valuable then they just won’t watch or share your content.
Don’t go for the sales pitch.
People have grown wary of companies trying to sell them the next great product, especially on social media. Avoid the sales pitch at all costs.
Do build a content calendar.
Getting real brand traction is all about being consistent. Content calendars will help you maintain your presence, will also help you allocate budget and plan your wider content and social marketing initiatives.
Don’t create content on the fly.
Whilst creating content that relates to real world events is impossible to plan, thinking you can wing it all the time and creating videos without any sort of solid content strategy in place is a doomed venture.
Do create tailored content.
Every social platform has its own conventions, expectations and audience. Optimizing your videos and creating targeted, bespoke content that sits naturally within the social ecosystem it’s intended for will pay dividends in the long run.
Don’t distribute the same video across all platforms.
Whilst it’s tempting to create a single brand video and put it out on every social platform, the payoff that comes from creating repackaged content can be massive.
What platform should you use?
YouTube’s audience is as huge as it is varied. Because it’s not technically like other social platforms, you can upload all your content on YouTube, regardless of format, and create a well-structured YouTube channel that acts as the central hub for all your video content. A lot of YouTube traffic you get to begin with will come from search, so it’s imperative to do your keyword analysis and properly optimize your videos.
Pro tip: You can easily embed or link to all of your YouTube videos on most social platforms, but it can be better to upload native videos directly for better results.
Facebook video is all about being conversational and approachable. This is a platform made up of largely personal networks of friends rather than business connections, celebrity fanbases and industry influencers. As such, your content needs to sit comfortably in people’s feeds alongside status updates from friends and family. Anything corporate sounding is going to fall flat, as will overly lengthy video.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Facebook video auto-plays in people’s feeds on mute, so subtitles are a must and if you’re going to attract attention, you must to do so quickly.
Pro tip: Facebook gives preferential treatment to native video (from 7.9 to 13.2 percent in organic reach according to eMarketer) so upload native content and don’t just link to your YouTube videos.
Twitter videos should be in keeping with the platform’s pithy nature. Twitter is about social commentary and moves very quickly, so your videos must form part of a wider strategy that seeks to engage and take part in these online conversations. Posting a video and forgetting about it won’t play well. You should also be ready to respond to any response you may get in real time.
Pro tip: Like Facebook, native content will auto-play and will attract on average 2.5 times as many replies and retweets as non-native content.
LinkedIn is a business oriented network and as such will play better for B2B content. Unlike Facebook, a highly professional and corporate style can play very well here (but still avoid any overt sales pitch). Keep your video polished and industry-focused in order to build a sense of trust and reliability around your brand.
LinkedIn is about creating connections that are relevant to your industry and if you have done this well, then you may well already have the perfect captive audience for your content.
Pro tip: Over half of LinkedIn users are decision makers at their respective companies, so try to avoid sensationalist or controversial content in order to go viral.
Evelyn Timson is the Managing Director of UK video production agency, Aspect Film & Video.