I’ve said it before, when it comes to communicating with fans and customers on social media platforms, using videos can be an effective way to grab their attention.
In the last year, business of all sizes have caught on to the benefits of video marketing, and many have successfully used the medium to their boost their reach among fans and potential customers. It doesn’t look like they’re going to stop anytime soon either, according to Melissa Burns in a post on the Socialnomics blog. “Clever use of video in marketing is going to become more and more important—probably because of ever-growing sensory overload people experience, as they are getting less and less likely to read even a single sentence from the beginning to an end,” she writes.
It’s important to note, though, that it takes skill, planning, and plenty of preparation to use video as a successful marketing tactic. So before you dash off to start filming a video for your business, consider these five tips for using the medium successfully.
1. Get Creative
The sky’s the limit on what you can do with video, so get creative with your content. Consider demonstrating your newest product or service, for example, or starting a video series where you share industry tips with your customers. Just be sure to tie video content into your other content-marketing strategies for optimal results.
Also try asking customers to share video reviews rather than writing them, advises Heidi Cohen in an article for Social Media Examiner. “Videos captured with a smartphone are much easier than writing a review,” she writes. “Make it easy for customers by setting up an area of your establishment to encourage them.”
2. Keep It Short
The key to maximizing video viewership on social media is keeping it short and sweet while getting your point across. With the deluge of other posts and videos on their newsfeeds, though, social media users simply don’t have the time or attention spans to watch videos that are more than a few minutes long. In fact, the average length of a YouTube video is 2 minutes and 54 seconds, according to an infographic published on Adweek in October 2014.
Shorter snippets—think 6 to 15 seconds—can be even more powerful considering that many social media users are consuming content using their mobile devices. “The attraction of short-form social videos lies in their ‘snackable’ nature,” writes Donna Moritz in an article for Social Media Examiner. Think of a video as giving your audience a small taste of what your business offers—you want to give them just enough to entice them to come back for the full meal.
Think of video as giving your audience a small taste of what your business offers.
3. Use Tools to Do It Yourself
After you’ve planned the content, decide how you’re going to create your video. If you opt for the do-it-yourself route, be sure to research the best tools for your needs. If you don’t have a video camera, many newer smartphones have built-in filmmaking software, or try using apps like Apple’s iMovie or Twitter’s new mobile app for filming videos.
Use a tripod to ensure you get steady shots, recommends John Nemo in an article for Social Media Examiner. Or try Instagram’s Hyperlapse tool for iOS, which allows users to capture high-quality time lapse videos even while in motion.
Make sure you get high-quality audio along with your video, Nemo advises. “If the audio is bad, you essentially guarantee people will ignore your video no matter how good your content and production quality is,” he writes.
4. Or Consider Hiring a Pro
If you lack the time or the skill to create attention-grabbing videos for your business, consider hiring a professional videographer to take on the task. A local video marketing company or independent contractor who specializes in video production can take the weight off your shoulders and deliver a professional-grade product while you focus on what you do best: running your business.
Not sure where to look for video production services? Ask your family, friends, and the other people in your network if they know any videographers they could recommend. A quick Google search for “videographer” here in Winchester, Virginia, also points to several video production professionals in the area.
5. Think Outside the Camera
Don’t worry if you’re camera shy. Videos don’t always have to feature people on screen. Free apps like Adobe Voice for iPad make it easy to create videos with cinema-quality animation in minutes, and there’s no filming involved. You simply narrate your story one line at time (with Voice helping you structure your story), and then you choose from thousands of images—or upload your own—and from a selection of soundtracks to help communicate your ideas. Voice then automatically pulls everything together to bring your words and images to life in video form.
Screencasts or screen recordings are another useful alternative to featuring people on screen, especially when you want to teach your audience how to do something like use a new product or service. These types of videos can be “a good option for some online businesses that need to reveal their product’s new features to the online world in a realistic way,” writes Juan Jose Mendez in an article for Social Media Today. Try creating screencasts using Jing, a free service that lets you capture both images and video and share them on your social media networks through Screencast.com.
Ready to Make Your On-Screen Debut?
With these tips in mind, you can create powerful video marketing pieces that will leave a lasting impression on your social media audience. Just remember: there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for producing high-quality videos. Experiment with different tools and content strategies to see what works best for your business.