As a digital marketing strategy that boosts your brand, engages your audience and motivates consumers to take a desired action, video is without equal. It works substantially better than text-only content, like blogs and e-books. In fact, 52 percent of marketing professionals say video content has the best Return on Investment (ROI), while 43 percent of consumers want to see more video content from marketers.
Video marketing works because it's compelling and concise (the average video published over the last year is less than two minutes long). More importantly, video works because it creates an emotional connection with the people who view it, which can help push conversions, increase click-throughs and drive sales.
The Numbers Are In
Multiple surveys confirm the power of video to achieve key marketing goals. Here are just a few metrics from some of those surveys, compiled by Hubspot:
• More than 80 percent of marketers surveyed said their use of video led to an increase in sales
• More than 76 percent of marketers believe video boosted website traffic
• 97 percent of marketers said video helped increase user understanding of their product or service
Video Plus Social Media: A Powerful Combination
"Your customers are watching a ton of social video… Any brand that's not creating video and promoting it on social media is missing out on a huge opportunity… Even if you're a small business owner with an iPhone, there's a way to make video work for you."
The opportunity for marketers is unparalleled. For example, 45 percent of consumers watch at least one hour of video every week on Facebook or YouTube, and 82 percent of Twitter users watch videos on that social media site.
Leveraging a Platform-Specific Strategy
For marketers who want to leverage this tsunami of online activity, the question is not whether to push a social video strategy, but how best to do it. That means understanding that the rules are different for each platform.
That said, here are some guidelines for how to have the maximum impact with video marketing on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter:
Facebook: An Affair of the Heart
There's a reason people like to share photos of their new puppy's antics on Facebook – it's the most "social" of social media sites, and the best platform to connect with heart-warming and funny videos. You'll want to keep your Facebook videos short, ideally no more than one minute, and grab your viewer's attention in the first few seconds.
You'll also want to take advantage of Facebook's live streaming feature, launched in 2016. It's among the best ways to communicate your brand story and build a relationship with your audience (videos on Facebook Live see on average of three times the engagement of traditional Facebook videos).
YouTube: Explaining How Stuff Works
People go to YouTube (now a part of Google Display Network) to get answers to their questions, which is why it's the best social platform for your explainer and DIY videos, as well as tutorials, testimonials and behind-the-scenes videos. In addition, because about 60 percent of users view YouTube videos on their mobile devices, you'll want to be sure your YouTube videos are mobile-friendly (and to use YouTube's new features for mobile app viewers).
YouTube videos can be longer than those on Facebook – the ideal length is about five minutes. For maximum impact, place your call to action about 30 seconds in, and keep your marketing message short and straightforward.
Instagram: Mastering the Ephemeral Clip
Instagram boasts some 800 million monthly active users, and many of them are watching "ephemeral clips": approximately 10-second, soft-sell video ads which appear at the top of the Instagram feed. They have a high view rate and are a powerful tool to push engagement and drive sales. They're best suited to offer exclusive content and highlight your products "in action."
Keep all your Instagram videos short, typically no longer than 30 seconds (or as noted above, no more than 10 seconds for ephemeral clips). Use captions with hashtags, which will increase engagement by 12 percent on average.
Snapchat: Gaining Traction for Events
Snapchat is the ideal platform to connect viewers to live events, including trade shows, social events and launch events. Snapchat offers several features to maximize event marketing, including filters, geo-filters, bitmojis and text.
The most effective Snapchat videos offer unique, behind-the-scenes content. To increase engagement, keep Snapchat videos to 10 seconds or less, and focus on making the first snap video attention-grabbing (research shows that almost one in four viewers will look for the exit if they lose interest after the first snap).
Twitter: What's in the News?
Twitter is the social media platform people use to get their news, so use it to share news about your business or news related to your industry, as well as announcements and educational and user-based content. You can increase engagement by using the Twitter mobile app, which links to your mobile phone's camera.
The most effective Twitter videos are short – generally between 30 seconds and one minute. Bear in mind that some 90 percent of Twitter videos are viewed on mobile phones (even more than YouTube), so make sure yours are optimized for mobile viewing.
To create a powerful connection with your target audience, you need to go where they live – and where they live is on social media sites. You also need to give them the content they want – and what they want is compelling video content. If you take the time to learn the rules of each social media platform, you can better engage customers and prospective customers to boost your brand, drive sales and grow your business.