Incorporating video into your social strategy can give customers an in-depth look at your products or operations. There are so many different ways you can use video to brand, network and grow your business. In a recent email interview with Small Business Trends, Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted shared some ideas. Here are some of the best ways you can include video in your social marketing strategy.
Social Networking Video Tips
Take Advantage of Native Video Options
YouTube has long been considered the king of online video. But if you want to really reach people on other social networks with your video content, you should upload your videos directly to those platforms. On Facebook especially, native videos get significantly more visibility than YouTube links.
Showcase Micro Content on Instagram
Instagram is another platform that’s really allowing businesses to showcase their video content. Instagram videos can be up to 15 seconds long. So it’s perfect for short sneak peeks or other micro content you want to share with a mobile audience.
Post Videos to Other Platforms, Too
Aside from the major platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, there are plenty of more niche sites that also allow you to share video content. Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter all allow for video sharing. So choose the best sites that fit with your particular niche.
Get Creative with Your Video Content
There’s no one right way for businesses to create videos. And even if that were the case, people probably wouldn’t want to watch the same thing over and over again. So while it can be beneficial to seek inspiration from other businesses, it’s important to come up with your own creative ideas.
Offer a Tour of Your Workspace
One simple way to incorporate video into your content strategy is to show customers where you work. Give them a quick look around your office and introduce them to your team.
Show Off a New Product
You can also give them sneak peeks of new or upcoming products. Video is a great format for quickly demonstrating features and showing off a product from every angle.
Film a How-to Video
Quick tutorials also make for great videos. You can offer some expert advice or demonstrate how to use your products effectively.
Showcase Your Products in Unique Ways
You can also incorporate your products into larger projects. For example, if you sell food items, you could incorporate them into a recipe and create a video showing people how to make it.
Give Customers a Look at Your Day
You can also use video to show customers how you spend your day. If you run a restaurant, maybe create a time-lapse video showing the activity in your kitchen during dinner rush. Or if you’re a web designer, just create a simple video showing clients all of what goes into your day.
Record Your Computer Screen
If you have a technical type of job, it could be beneficial to create a video that shows your computer screen through a certain process. For example, if you sell a software product, you could create a video that demonstrates a common process or problem that users might run into.
Don’t Be Afraid to Face the Camera
While it may not be absolutely necessary for you to be in front of the camera in every type of video, showing your face once in awhile can be beneficial. Customers like knowing who’s behind the companies they patronize. So don’t be afraid to face the camera at least for a short intro or outro once in awhile.
Answer Frequently Asked Questions
People also love turning to videos to get their questions answered. And doing so can make for some popular content.
Moritz suggested in an email to Small Business Trends, “One thing that businesses can do is to write down their 10 most Frequently Asked Questions and answer them straight to video – it provides instant helpful content to upload to YouTube but also to post natively to your favourite platform – try a short Instagram Video or a Facebook Video uploaded directly to Facebook!”
Or … Answer Specific Questions
You could also answer more specific questions from actual customers in videos. Allow customers to send in their questions and then read them and respond in a video, giving credit to each customer.
Show Your Personality
One of the main benefits of getting in front of the camera is allowing your customers to get a sense of your personality. Even if it’s a technical or how-to sort of video, just try to be natural and friendly so customers can feel like they’re sort of getting to know you through video.
Introduce Your Team
You can also use video to give customers a look at the personalities of your team members. Create videos introducing each one or just allow different team members to create videos answering questions or providing advice in their area of expertise.
Get Customers Involved
Or you could let customers actually get to know you through video. If people comment on your videos or interact with your video posts on certain sites, you can incorporate those interactions in future videos. Answer their questions or respond to their comments. It lets them get involved and encourages them to continue watching your content.
Get the Right Mobile Editing Tools
If you post videos on Instagram, the Facebook mobile app or any other mobile centric platform, it’s important to have the right editing tools for your device. Even simple videos can be improved with some polishing. Moritz suggests using Videohance, Videolicious and iMovie on the iPhone for creating and editing video.
Show Time Passing
If you want to create a video that shows change over a long period of time, hyperlapse can be a useful effect. Some smartphones include a time lapse video setting. Or you could use Instagram’s Hyperlapse effect.
Slow Time Down
Alternatively, you can show empasis on certain parts of your video by using slow motion effects within your smartphone or editing app.
Add Text for Extra Emphasis
You can also use apps or editing tools to add text to certain parts of your videos to help explain or add emphasis. You can even make text an integral part of your videos.
Moritz says, “Play with apps like Legend, which animates text to create short video snippets.”
Show Multiple Things at Once
If you’re looking to fit a lot of content into a quick video snippet, consider creating a video collage. Like photo collages, you can show videos side-by-side or even integrate static photos for contrast. Moritz suggests PicPlay Post for creating such collages.
You can also create videos that are essentially montages of photos or short video clips. Apps like Flipagram can help you create those montages.
Make Videos Fit with Your Branding
With so many different effects and types of videos to create, it can be easy for your video strategy to get a little chaotic. While you don’t have to create videos that all look the same, you should find the effects, text and tone that work best for your brand and try to stick to those as much as possible.
Utilize Live Streaming
Video marketing doesn’t have to include just pre-edited and polished content. Live streaming platforms like Periscope allow you to show an unfiltered look into your day.
Offer Live Tours
There are several different ways you can use live streaming platforms to share content, just as you can with traditional video formats. One great way to use it is to offer live tours.
Moritz says, “Live Streaming has huge potential, as it allows people to see the people behind the business. It also has huge potential for industries like real estate and tourism as you can literally take us with you on a tour!”
Interact with Followers
Periscope offers a unique opportunity for you to interact with followers immediately. When people comment on your Periscope streams, you can thank them or answer questions right away within the live stream. That makes it a great format for question and answer videos or other types of content that requires back and forth.
Ask People What They Want to See
You can also use comments on Periscope or other platforms to gather ideas for future videos or live streams. Simply ask people what they want to see in the future and take notes of comments or allow people to email you suggestions.
Post Replays on Other Platforms
Once you’ve completed a live streaming session on Periscope, your followers can only see it for a short amount of time afterward. But if you want to share that content with even more people, you can share the replay of it to other platforms like YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.
Include Calls to Action
Regardless of how fun they may be to create and watch, videos are above all a way for you to market your business. So you should have a goal in mind with each video, whether it’s getting someone to sign up for your mailing list or getting them to buy a product. At the end of each video, don’t be afraid to include a call to action. Tell them where they can buy the product you just showed off. Ask them to subscribe. Or point them to your website or social channels.
Clapperboard Photo via Shutterstock
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Nice article and tons of ideas for videos.
One question though.
Do you think a basic camera, lets say an ipod 6 with a tripod of some sort is enough for decent quality or should it negatively impact the website one wishes to promote?
Is “nothing” better than “top quality” in that manner?
Thanks for this excellent article
Max: I think a smartphone with a tripod stand will work fine for creating videos.
I agree with Martin. I think for most videos on social sites, a basic camera or smartphone would be fine, especially for things like Instagram. If you’re creating something for the main page of your website, I might try to invest in a professional or some better equipment. Just my opinion, but I like seeing “real” videos from brands on their social platforms, so it doesn’t always need to be professionally done.
Err I meant Iphone 6 sorry. Not Ipod
I got it! 😉 I will get the new iPhone 6S+ before the end of this year, and start creating podcasts and videos with it. I will create a simple video for my new crowdfunding campaign for my first book on tea. I will also start to do live streaming of my podcast recordings (and before and after chats) with Periscope.