Following Sophie’s social video 101 (pt. 1), Chloe, our PR and Marketing Executive, delves deeper into the world of video marketing: discussing the capability of each social platform and her top tips on creating video that will grab viewers’ attention.

Amongst the 2.62 billion people using social media worldwide, we collectively watch over 5 billion videos on YouTube, 500 million via Facebook, and Snapchat manages to captivate 10 billion views… every day!

With such mind-blowing statistics, it’s easy to see the value in spending your time understanding how, and why, video should feature somewhere in your marketing strategy. Whether you are a make-up brand who can utilise one of the many trendy influencers, or a charity hosting a whacky fundraiser that can be live streamed, there is likely to be an appropriate use of video for your business.

The platforms

Although YouTube will always be the founding father of video, it is arguably an archaic platform with very few innovations since its inception. It is worth noting that, on average, 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it a difficult to break through the noise if you’re not already a YouTube sensation. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that the content you are uploading is the best it possibly can be.

Next, we have Facebook. Founded in 2004, the platform now boasts over 2 billion active users and a brand-new newsfeed algorithm, which ensures that marketing is targeted and researched, not overwhelming and irrelevant. Its live stream function offers an opportunity to target users in a real-time fashion, but organically uploading a video to your timeline is also effective. A major selling point for marketing on Facebook is how targeted your advertising can be. Once your video has been uploaded to your timeline, you can then tailor the post to reach an audience based on their demographic, geolocation, a life event or even their recent purchases, making sure to get your video in front of the right people.

With personalised trends and a timeline easy to flick through, using Twitter to showcase your video content is an easy way to engage your existing followers, as well as growing your reach. One important thing to remember about Twitter is that it is based around conversations. Users engage with the platform to keep up to date with what’s new, so videos should be based on announcements and company news, or used to engage in conversations using the video response function. If you’re especially proud of your video, why not pin it to the top of your Twitter feed to ensure maximum views?

We have witnessed the rise and fall of MSN Messenger, BlackBerry Messenger, Bebo and MySpace, but Snapchat has captivated the 18 – 34 year old demographic. There are three ways to share your video content using Snapchat: posting a snap to your story; sending a real-time video directly to your existing following; or using the discover function, which will reach a wider audience. Depending on your budget, all options can be extremely successful.

With 500 million daily active users, and as one of the fastest growing social media apps, Instagram took the world by storm and later added the video-based Boomerang and Hyperlapse apps to its family. Instagram provides a range of tools to edit your video content so that it represents your brand effectively, and can be shared via: organic upload; or Instagram stories, which have the functionality to add emojis, scribbles and more. Instagram stories have become a brand favourite and are a fantastic way to post videos that don’t justify a permanent spot on your feed. Within story mode, the options are endless… this is where you can use Boomerang (the GIF-like app), stream your live videos, or use Instagram’s latest addition, superzoom.

The nitty gritty

Arguably the most important thing to focus on when creating and editing video content for social media is the specification for each platform: especially making sure videos are optimised for mobile use. Here’s the ‘cheat sheet’ we like to use!

Before you work on getting the specs right, you need to consider the type of video you are going to showcase and what the best platform to upload it to will be.

With live streaming on any platform it is important to have a plan prior to recording: think prearranged spontaneity. First, consider your audience and when they are most likely to be online, and on which platform. Then decide what you’re talking about and make sure you know the content inside and out. Let’s face it…it’s awful when people get things wrong (like this Oscars blunder from 2015)! Finally, it’s important to promote your live video to ensure that you achieved your target viewing figures.

If you decide that you want to create pre-recorded video content to use for advertising purposes, or to simply upload onto your profile, then there are other things to consider on top of the above.

It is important to grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds to encourage them to carry on watching, whilst also getting your key messaging in straight away; research carried out by Facebook and data analytics company, Nielsen, found that nearly 50 percent of videos’ value should be captured in the first three seconds.

With 20 percent of our brains focusing solely on vision, making sure your videos are visually appealing is another must: think about the colour palette, backdrop possibilities and adding movement. Although sight dominates the senses, following closely behind is hearing. Has anyone ever told you that if you watch a horror film without the sound, it won’t be as scary? Apply this thinking to your video content. If you don’t have someone speaking, using music in a video can be a powerful tool when used correctly and can spark emotions that can increase attention and appeal.

A favourite advert of mine is the Sony Bravia advert broadcast back in 2005. Why? Because it is creative, but relevant too. Creativity is a wonderful characteristic to have, but it must be reined in to ensure that your content is relevant. On the surface, 170,000 coloured bouncy balls are not relevant to selling a television, but the concluding message, ‘colour like no other’, ties the messaging together.

So, remember…

  • Check the spec – it is so important to make sure your videos are suitable for your chosen platform
  • Plan, promote, perform – the three Ps of live streaming
  • Attention seeking – make sure that you grab your viewers’ attention immediately
  • Eye candy – make sure your video is as visually captivating as possible
  • Cut the gobbledygook – keep your video relevant to your brand and your messaging