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Four things every marketer needs to know about social video marketing

Video will account for 69% of all internet traffic by next year, so its importance in the marketing mix cannot be overstated.

The use of video in marketing is by no means a new phenomenon. But our ability to track, measure and analyse the effectiveness of this platform, along with the rise of social platforms over the last decade, has given rise to an exponential increase in the popularity of video marketing.

Whereas once video marketing largely centred around product promotion, it can now be employed to deliver on a wide variety of objectives. Today, video is used as an awareness asset, specifically to drive potential customers to a brand’s website. By hosting a video on your website, Google will both index and link to it in search results relating to the topic of your content, promoting your video and driving traffic to your website.

It can also be used to boost conversions.

Research has shown that video can increase conversion by up to 80% with 88% of visitors staying on a website for a greater length of time if it showcases the right video.

Then there’s live streaming. Perfect for storytelling, providing exclusive in-the-moment content, and for reaching out to your followers. It enables your audience to interact with you and meet the personality and face of your brand.

All sounds great, right? To pre-empt your next question, if you’re looking to harness the benefits of video, where do you begin? The sheer volume of change across the social media universe means it can be a bewildering place to be. So, here’s our guide to help you find the right platform for you…

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Facebook

The most influential platform today is Facebook Video, which surpassed YouTube in total number of video views last year. With impeccably finite audience targeting capabilities, Facebook continues to prove itself to be an all-round invaluable marketing tool.

Its ‘Live’ function is no longer restricted to just live content and businesses are finding success streaming pre-recorded and previously aired content, making the platform an ever-growing portal for both fresh and archived material.

Tip #1: Focus on making an immediate impact and never rely on audio. Whilst your video will auto-play in newsfeeds, most users will either have sound disabled or be in an environment where sound is inaudible (e.g. when commuting), so ensure your video captures their attention visually in the first few seconds to prevent them from scrolling past.

Instagram

As the owner of the platform, Facebook works neatly with Instagram, and you can use the same Power Editor tool to create campaigns across both. Instagram has over 500 million users, so there’s an abundance of potential consumers to advertise to. With the old 15 second video limit discarded in favour of a more flexible 60 second length, there’s all the more reason to take advantage of this dynamic and evolving channel.

Tip #2: Inject personality into your video. A bland ad isn’t going to sway anyone, so make sure your video showcases what makes your brand unique and exciting. Above all, share the enthusiasm you have for your chosen subject.

Twitter and Periscope

Twitter is a hive of B2B activity, but is becoming more consumer-orientated with its live video output, having recently agreed a deal with the NFL to broadcast weekly games. There’s a 30 second cap on uploaded video length but anything longer than this can be easily optimised with an inbuilt trimming tool.

Periscope, owned by Twitter, has played a big role in revolutionising online video. The live streaming platform allows people to instantly broadcast across both its own app and Twitter simultaneously. It is perfect for broadcasting brand events and Q&A sessions.

Tip #3: Promote before you broadcast. Make sure your audience is aware of your upcoming live video and build hype by letting them know beforehand. If you’re putting a lot of preparation into your live broadcast, you’ll want to ensure that people will be around to see it. Use a combination of promoted tweets and boosted posts from other platforms, such as Facebook, to encourage cross-platform migration.

YouTube

The godfather of online video with more than a billion users, 300 hours of content uploaded every minute and 4 billion views clocking in each day. Whilst not a search engine in the traditional sense, YouTube is owned by Google and they link together perfectly for SEO purposes. Promoted video campaigns are managed through Google AdWords and links to videos hosted on YouTube appear in Google search results if they are deemed to be relevant.

YouTube is also about to re-enter the live streaming ring with the launch of YouTube Live this month, after abandoning its overlooked Hangouts On Air platform.

Tip #4: Adding cards to your videos enhances the viewer experience and is great for marketing. Cards add interactivity to your videos and point viewers to specific URLs, driving traffic to your website. You can add up to 5 per video and monitor their performance and CTRs in YouTube Analytics.

 

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