You no doubt have noticed lately how video is becoming a major of part social media. In fact, video content is now the biggest driving force for all online traffic, accounting for up to 74% of internet traffic last year. [source]
Facebook and other major social networks are continually optimizing their platforms for video content. New features and ways to display video have been developed across each major social network. Previously unrealistic features like live video, 360 videos, even virtual reality and augmented reality are now becoming a reality.
Naturally, many social media marketers are moving in to take advantage of this trend. After all, video posts are given the greatest organic reach at Facebook and typically produce the best ROI.
Still wondering whether it’s worth revising your social media strategy to include more video? Or unsure how to get started? We’ve got this, keep on reading.
- Why Videos Rock on Social Media
- How to Optimize Videos For Each Social Platform
- Best Types of Video Content to Create for Social Media
- Best Places to Find Stock Images, Footage & Music
- Best Tools to Easily Create Social Media Videos
Why Videos Rock on Social Media
Increased Conversions & Sales
The effectiveness of video in capturing attention (something that seems to be getting harder to do as social media gets more saturated) and forging connections with viewers is unrivaled. Marketers who already use videos have seen up to 49% faster revenue growth than those who don’t. [source] Furthermore, online shoppers who viewed demo videos were seen to be almost 2x more likely to purchase than non-viewers. [source]
Even before this recent spike in popularity, over 50% of marketing professionals named video as the best type of content in terms of ROI. [source]
Better yet, you don’t need high-end equipment or a production setup to reap these benefits. Today, video equipment and software are getting better, easier to use and more affordable than ever. Even videos shot from smart-phones and using simple online video editing tools can offer great, cost-effective results.
Greater Engagement & Trust
Building trust is a key for brands and advertisers generating leads and driving sales. Creating video content that resonates with your target audience is now the fastest way to engage viewers, fire up emotions and build trust.
Strong Support From Social Networks
Social networks have noticed the profound influence video has on their users. That’s why they are optimizing their platforms to take full advantage of everything video has to offer. The largest social networks developed their own specific functionalities based around creating and sharing new video content.
- Facebook has native videos and live broadcast videos and is heavily investing in virtual reality with Oculus Rift and Facebook Spaces
- Instagram has 60-second videos and 10-second Instagram stories that are a core part of the Instagram experience
- Twitter has periscope
- Youtube itself stands as the close 2nd most popular social network
Emotional and entertaining videos are generating the most shares, comments and likes – leading to increased traffic and exposure. This is due to a simple fact: we initially react based on emotion rather than actual facts.
It Can Reach the even the “Laziest” of People
Videos are so damn easy to consume that even those with the shortest of attention spans can still be reached. Noticed how Facebook now auto-plays video content as you scroll through the feed?
The average user is being bombarded with content all day long, but well-executed videos that can catch their attention can still get your marketing messages across.
How to Optimize Videos For Each Social Platform
Since each social network is slightly different from the next and each has its own user demographics, you’ll need to tailor your videos accordingly to achieve the best results.
Here’s what you need to know to get most out of video content across 3 of the major platforms:
Facebook offers excellent marketing opportunities, a massive user base and ultra-precise ad targeting capabilities. They’ve been quick to increase emphasis on video content recently, and marketers are taking advantage.
Right now, video content is one of the best ways to increase brand presence and advertise on Facebook in terms of ROI. Here are some tips for getting great results with Facebook Videos:
- The first 3 seconds of your videos are absolutely crucial for catching attention
- 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound (this is by default), so ensure videos are visually self-explanatory and contain captions
- Videos with the most views and engagement are often funny, DIY, emotional or charitable/cause-related
- Facebook is really pushing their Live Broadcast feature – make sure to use it when the majority of your audience is online for maximum reach
- Ideal video length for peak interest: 1-minute
- Optimal video size: Widescreen aspect ratio (16:9)
Since Twitter focuses on providing a news-based social network, news-related video content can spread here like wildfire.
As most users are in “information gathering mode”, focusing on branding instead of straight selling offers the best results here. Check out these tips for creating engaging Twitter videos:
- Twitter is said to have the fastest scrolling users, so catching their attention instantly is key here
- Special promotions, teasers, announcements and education-based videos all work well here
- Native Twitter videos have been seen to drive much more engagement than third-party shared videos (2.8X retweets, 2.5X replies and 1.9X favorites)
- Ideal video length for peak engagement: 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Optimal video size: For the best viewing experience use a 2.39:1 aspect ratio
Facebook was quick to notice this social network’s massive potential, leading to its acquisition back in 2012. More recently, we’ve seen Instagram ramping up video capabilities by introducing standard 60-second videos and 10-second Story Videos.
Strategies that are working well for brands now include exclusive content, behind the scenes footage, showcasing products in action, launch events or asking for user contributions. Here are some tips for getting the most views and engagement from Instagram Videos:
- Instagram’s users base is quite sensitive to hard-selling. Focus instead on showcasing products, services or brands using creative or storytelling videos
- Instagram Stories are 10-second picture/clips; they can drive huge reach by appearing at the top of Instagram feeds.
- Posting at the right times is very important for reaching the most users on Instagram. You should know when your audience is active
- Don’t forget to optimize your caption and comments using hashtags
- Ideal video length for peak engagement: 30 seconds to 1 minute (10-seconds for Story videos)
- Optimal video size: Widescreen or 1:1 aspect ratio, portrait mode for Instagram Story videos
Best Types of Video Content to Create for Social Media
Your videos will need to 1. attract, 2. engage and 3. eventually, convert viewers into customers. Yet this cannot be achieved all in one single video or even one video format. Instead, you can use a range of different video formats to guide visitors toward your end goal.
Educational & Tutorial Videos
If you teach viewers something new, interesting and highly relevant to them, you’ll have provided real value. Not only will they be hungry for more, they’ll start to trust you and be more likely to share your content with friends. These videos are all about showcasing your expertise in a quick, useful and straightforward fashion.
It’s time to redefine the ROI of social media. Learn what social ROI is (and how to prove it) in our guide: http://ow.ly/H2Rg30d2ITz
Posted by Hootsuite on Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Hootsuite does a great job at teaching viewers how to define the ROI of social media, something that their customers would find very useful.
For brands focusing on getting their name and ideas out there, explainer videos can be very effective. Creating a narrative to demonstrate how viewers’ lives could be improved quickly establishes authority as well. Try to do this in a fun, exciting or humorous manner.
Dollar Shave Club does an awesome job with their explainer video. Not only does it present a strong case for using their service, but their charm and humor is almost irresistible.
Behind-the-Scenes & Sneak Peak Videos
Creating immersive behind-the-scenes videos are an excellent way to connect and build a more personal relationship with your viewers.
Burberry provides an intimate behind-the-scenes story using compiled clips of the location, decorations, models, and even a few pieces from its collection.
Animation & Whiteboard Videos
Animation & whiteboard videos take viewers on a visual journey. They provide an ideal way to tell a brand story, demonstrate ideas or explain new concepts. They are best suited for educating and informing.
Purina launched their new pet food using a series of colorful professional whiteboard videos. This clip was only 15 seconds but has been viewed by over 1.8M people!
Although this video may appear a little crude, notice how well it hooks you in and delivers a strong message. In just 30-seconds they managed to cover the fundamentals of CrossFit and establish familiarity with viewers.
Stop Motion Videos
Stop motion videos are a fun, quick and effective ways to promote new products. These videos are a chance to show creativity, humor and wit. The best ones are highly shareable and naturally entice engagement.
Chobani created this stop-motion video to reveal a partnership with Plated in a fun, delicious way.
BuzzFeed Style Videos
BuzzFeed generates 250M views per month on YouTube alone, which proves they know how to create wildly popular videos. Typically, their videos can be split into 3 different categories: Identity, Information & Emotional. They are usually positive, funny and strongly spark curiosity before you even press play.
But it’s worth reading a greater explanation of BuzzFeed style videos if you wish to adopt this approach.
Let’s be honest, you can’t resist watching this quick video to see what happened. That’s exactly why these videos work so well. Check out their Youtube channel for more inspiration.
Bringing real-life experiences into your videos has a profound effect on a viewers’ ability to connect. While witnessing the raw emotions of others, we can’t help ourselves from relating. You can create strong connections with viewers by telling personal stories of founders, customers or anyone else influenced by your company.
When's the last time you did something for the first time? Escape the ordinary with Tough Mudder in 2017 #EscapeTheOrdinary
Posted by Tough Mudder on Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Tough Mudder tells numerous personal stories with their 2017 promotional video. They used a montage of interviews with attendees reflecting on how this event changed their lives for the better.
Company Culture Videos
Expressing the unique personality of your company’s culture is another way to create strong emotional connections with viewers. This often includes team-building, pranks, parties, slice-of-life, humor, interviews and all things in between. There’s plenty of room for creativity here, but focus on keeping it fun and interesting for your audience.
BambooHR did a great job with their company culture that’s funny yet informing. They mixed personal statements and testimonials about the company with fun animations. It’s a great way to humanize their brand and attract like-minded individuals.
Promotional Product Videos
Product promotion videos are still very effective, but you’ve got to get creative to be seen on social media. Showcasing your product in a bold, funny, unusual or impressive manner can trigger an emotional response while showing off your product.
In this Volvo Trucks video, they used an extraordinary way to demonstrate their brand and products. By thinking outside the box they pulled off a viral stunt that will never be forgotten by viewers.
Lululemon shows off a creative and playful side while telling their brand story. This is exactly how to create successful promo videos without directly selling.
Quick Reaction Videos (Wow, Cool, Funny, Cute)
Tapping into a viewer’s emotional circuitry is a fast way to drive engagement and shares. Those quick, hard-hitting Vines and GIFs that float around the Internet are too hard to resist. You could show something amazing that’s happening in your industry, or just tickle viewers positive emotions using short clips.
This Vine video from General Electric draws in people’s curiosity and amazes them with a quick how-to video.
Best Places to Find Stock Images, Footage & Music
There are numerous resources for finding images, video and audio content – both free and paid.
Free content generally comes in the form of a Creative Commons license – one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work.
Paid content generally offers a greater range and higher quality options. Prices range depending on what you need but you’ll find it can still be done quite inexpensively and generally it’s well worth a small investment to build great video content.
Best Places to Find Free Content
There are various resources that provide all the content you need, for free. So you can get started without any investment if you wish.
(Free Photos, Illustrations, Videos)
Over 1.3M high-quality photos, videos, illustrations, and vector graphics, all free for commercial use with no attribution required.
Gifted from a community of photographers from around the world, here you’ll find high-quality free images and photos you can download and use for any project. No attribution required.
Another amazing resource for free stock photos you can use everywhere. Free for commercial use with no attribution required.
A great place to find free stock footage for websites and promo videos. All videos here are free for use in both personal and commercial projects.
(Free Images, Videos, Music)
An all-in-one search engine that enables you to find different content under the creative commons license, across various platforms.
Just be aware that they do not guarantee that all content returned is free to use without attribution, so you may need to double-check each time you find something you want to use.
Best Places to Buy Content
(Paid Photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, video, music)
Shutterstock has the largest database holding millions of royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, and vectors and an unbelievable ten thousand new, high-resolution images added daily.
They are the more expensive option but they do have the largest selection. Prices start at $49 for 5 images or $29/month subscription for 10 images per month.
(Paid photos, illustrations, clip art, videos and audio)
iStock is an online, royalty free, international micro-stock photography provider based in Alberta, Canada. The firm offers millions of photos, illustrations, clip art, videos and audio tracks.
They use a credit system and subscriptions at medium level pricing. Typically expect to pay around $10 per image, down to as low as $4 per image with a monthly $40 subscription.
(Paid Photos, vectors, illustrations and videos)
Can Stock Photo offers a wide range of highly affordable royalty-free content. This includes photos, vector clip art images, clip-art illustrations, and videos.
They also use a top-up credit system and offer subscriptions options. Featuring as one of the cheapest options for buying a small number of images: as low as $2.50 per image depending on the size.
Best Tools to Easily Create Social Media Videos
Traditionally, creating videos was an expensive and difficult ordeal, making it unrealistic for the average social media marketer.
Now, in 2020, there’s no need for big budget high-end productions to get outstanding results from video marketing. Creating engaging videos on social media can actually be quite simple.
The key is to quickly capture attention and get a strong message across to users. This can easily be achieved using simple animated images, slideshows and short videos.
Believe it or not, many wildly successful videos were captured using only mobile devices and edited using online tools. You really don’t need to be an expert, spend a long time or have access to expensive equipment to get started.
There are hundreds of easy to use tools available online, some paid and some free. Here are our top picks for quickly creating videos and animated images to use on social media:
Create eye-catching animated videos and share them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter with one tap.
- Available to download for your Android or Apple mobile device
- Free version or $9.99/month for Pro version
Turns photos and video clips into professional video slideshows in minutes. Fast, free and shockingly simple – awesomely easy.
- Free 14 day Trial, plans start at $8/month
- Available for iPad, iOS, and Andriod
You must have heard of GIFs before. Those short, hard-hitting animated clips that are often incredibly funny, often a little crazy! Well, they work incredibly well at getting a reaction on social media. Giphy makes it easy to customize and personalize short clips.
Quickly and easily combine multiple photos and videos to create attractive collages and slideshows.
- Available for Apple, Android, Mac and Windows
Magisto quickly polishes “normal” videos and photos to create highly-attractive movies. Ideal for telling video stories for sharing across social media channels.
- Free trial, packages start at $2.49/month
- Web-based tool plus Android and iOS apps
Calling all Instagram markets! Boomerang is a built-in application that stitches together a burst of photographs to create a 1-second video loop forwards and backward. The result is a unique clip that looks a bit like an animated GIF.
- Instagram only – built-in functionality
If you are into Adobe software, you’ll like this one! Adobe Spark enables you to bring stories to life by combining videos, images and voice narration.
- Integrated web and mobile solution
- Part of Adobe software suite (free trial/paid)
Stop Motion Studio helps you to create terrific stop action movies with a whole host of unique features. Like the frame-by-frame editor, the never get lost timeline and the sound editor.
- Available for Mac, Windows, iOS & Andriod
- Free trial available, paid applications $2-$10
With modern software and optimized social networks, it’s never been easier to reach people using videos. Right now, there are two main components for success with social media videos:
- Keep things simple, you can use animated images or slideshows to get going. Short videos can have a big impact. Once you’re comfortable, you can start to get fancier with your video production.
- Catching viewer’s attention quickly is crucial. Auto-play features give us an advantage, but you will need to focus on hooking viewers in as early as possible to convey your message.
Ready to drive more engagement and reach more customers this year? Getting started with video is easy, plus, it will give your campaigns the edge over others who are yet to fully adopt it.
For those who have already had experiences using videos in your social media campaigns, or those interested in starting, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.