Maximize your ROI with hyper-engaging videos that net conversions and sales
Why did John F. Kennedy win the Presidential election in 1960? Because the Presidential Debate against Richard Nixon, for the first time ever, was televised to the nation. Those who’d seen the debate on TV declared Kennedy the winner, while those who’d listened on their radio came down on the side on Nixon. Kennedy’s ability to look calm and cool on TV – while Nixon was sweating and uncomfortable under the hot studio lights – was the deciding factor.
Today, we know the power of video in social media marketing. If video wins campaigns for the leader of the free world, it will just as surely deliver great value to your small business. No surprise, video social media marketing is rapidly becoming the dominant medium for online users and businesses. One-third of internet users are on YouTube and half of those billion views come from mobile devices. and Facebook hosts 8 billion video views a day across 500 million active daily users. The Web Marketing Video Council reports that 61% of businesses are already capitalizing on consumer trends in video.
As users stream more and more, the challenge to businesses is how to reach audiences in effective ways that drive results. Where video excels is in building brand awareness and storytelling for your brand. But lead generation and customer service campaigns are also meaningful ways to engage your audience with video. Social media videos empower marketing objectives across multiple marketing channels, as every platform allows or hosts it’s own native video capabilities.
This post is going to show you 10 essential ways to create highly impactful videos for your social media marketing plan. We’ll discuss what makes video effective, how to maximize your reach, and what to optimize for best ROI. By the end, you’ll be equipped to drive conversions, boost customer retention, and win revenues by delivering top-notch videos to your audience.
#1 Go Behind the Scenes
Video can seem like just another challenge to overcome, but I see a major increase in my business and brand awareness, all from the power of video. – Lewis Howes, Social Media Examiner
Marketing is about sharing your inner culture with your audience in order to develop trust. Use videos to communicate your branding with viewers and simultaneously share a sense of who you are. Show the hidden side of your company, even if it seems boring from the outside. Your fans will appreciate the sense of transparency.
For example, show how your product is made and who makes them, as Lush Cosmetics does here. A fun social video is a great way showcasing the human side of your business.
#2 Tell Stories
The human brain loves storytelling. In fact, our brains engage more and retain more information through a narrative. Connect with your audience by crafting stories with a concrete message. This will leave them something to remember. Videos are dynamic and can appeal to emotions unlike any other marketing medium, so even a short video can earn your brand recognition.
Be sure to have a clear beginning, middle, and end of your video. Aim to record no more than 30 seconds, so it can be posted anywhere and quickly relates your message. Non-profit company Charity Water uses a 3-part series to follow one volunteer on a mission. Even after one video, viewers feel “in the moment” and engaged with a faraway place.
#3 Focus on Message
Keep it simple by focusing on one message per video. Use a video to communicate one point and one point well – or the main idea will get lost in the clutter. And so will your opportunity for conversion.
Video works well for lead generation since those who watch the whole video are truly engaged. If you promote a webinar or event, your video becomes more shareable as a current event. When you’re out to build your email list, be sure to include a clear, bold call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your video. These clickable buttons should entice views to submit their information on a linked landing page.
On behalf of Microsoft and Limbless Solutions, Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr. made a kids day by bringing him a new prosthetic arm. By the end of the video, we’re feeling warm, fuzzy and ready to donate.
#4 Appeal to Emotion
Humans are emotional creatures. Feeling – not thinking – is what drives us to take action and sticks in our minds. Deliver emotional videos to your audience and you will drive conversions with well-placed CTAs.
Video allows you to maximize the emotional impact of content. From the tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, lighting, background music – match these elements to the message to for an optimal response. As social scientists Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman found in a 2010 study of viral content, it’s not what a person feels – but how deeply they feel – that pushes them to share content.
Physiological arousal or activation drives people to talk and share. We need to get people excited or make them laugh. We need to make them angry rather than sad. — Jonah Berger, Ph.D. at Wharton School of Business, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Take the “United Breaks Guitars” video which earned over 1 million views in four days. This video aroused alarm and anger but was hugely popular and beneficial to the musicians. You can make a video that elicits any emotion to drive awareness. But be sure to position your brand in a positive way in the end.
#5 Make Your Video Shareable
Before you post a video on social media, ask yourself: why is this shareable? If you can’t answer clearly, head back to the drawing board. According to Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe, authors of The Viral Video Manifesto, four principles are necessary when creating shareable videos:
● Be true
● Be unforgettable
● Be human
● Don’t waste time
Voltz and Grobe garnered 120 million Youtube views with their “Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment.” Ultimately, humans only share what is remarkable and serve as fresh social currency in our network.
To understand what your audience wants, research what’s trending on social and look at shared content from competitors. Customer insights steer video creation, as do basic wants for entertainment or practical value.
Here’s the deal.
#6 Keep it Short, Start Now
To optimize your video engagement and conversions, keep them short and simple. People are busy and want fast value. Research by Wistia found that videos across platforms up to two minutes get steady engagement, but afterward, the dropoff is steady by the second. Whether you’re creating 30-second or 90-second videos, each will hold viewers attention equally. Buffer found that the ideal length for a Youtube video is 3 minutes, as the platform hosts many how-to videos and is widely used as an informational search engine.
You must capture the audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds or less, or your views will go looking elsewhere. Vine and Snapchat are popular because human attention spans are short, so be fast in showing why viewers should stick around. Place a hook in the first few frames of the video to illustrate what’s to come. To retain your viewers, you should always try to deliver more in less time.
Remember: each platform has it’s own consumer viewing patterns. A video shot for Facebook will need a serious edit if you’re going to post it on Instagram. Plus, Twitter and Snapchat have their own viewing culture. For best results, look into how viewers are engaging on that each platform.
#7 Make How-to Videos
Many of us have become more comfortable learning visually. Delivering information on a product, service or company through video can help to keep your audience’s attention longer and make what you have to say more easily understood. – Savannah Stewart, Vertical Response
In 2015, North Americans watched over 100 million hours of how-to videos on Youtube. Because they deliver immediate and practical information to solve problems, how-to videos are hugely popular across all social platforms. Aim to deliver tips or lessons that are quick and easy to learn. Straightforward video content will net more shares, but also keep videos short and digestible.
Use how-to videos to promote your product or service without being too obvious. Try to position your product within the video rather than promoting it directly. Most social media users are repelled by promotions because they’re salesy and inauthentic. Sephora does a great job of demonstrating how to create unique looks with everyday models. Users learn how-to, and the cosmetics brand boosts engagement while sharing value to drive sales.
That’s NOT All.
#8 Highlight Your Brand, Tactfully
Social media centers around people instead of brands. But if you’re not heavy-handed with promotional videos, viewers won’t fault you for a choice spotlight piece here and there. Customers know you’re out to profit, so balance video material between user value and sales or risk driving away your fans.
Instead, seek to delight and share relevant material. For example, showcase an event coming up. Or reveal a new product or product feature. Make these fun and lighthearted to engage the audience, while catering the natural curiosity of your users.
The more creative and irreverent here, the better. Take Dollar Shave Club’s hilarious “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” video. It stages a comic scene in the company’s warehouse while telling the viewer why “you” are going to love the brand experience so much. When you talk about your brand, make the video about your users, not the product. Cast them as the hero to create relevant content – since everything’s about me – and the conversions and shares will follow.
#9 Optimize for Search
CISCO predicts that by 2020, online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic. This means optimizing your video content will be the difference between users finding your videos and not. Social networks already favor video in algorithms, and these platforms are becoming more akin to all-inclusive search engines every day. In response to ever-increasing use, Facebook recently declared it will rank its new native live video higher tan uploaded video in the News Feed.
Text and audio in your videos won’t be account for in-platform searches, but video headlines and descriptions will help you. And to rank for SEO too. Add keywords and key phrase to ensure users can find content on any platform and don’t forget to use relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. If you’re posting to Youtube, you can tag your videos to make content more visible to users.
Above, e-commerce retailer ASOS skirts current events and stays visible with users on Twitter by using the International Women’s Day hashtag. The fashion wholesaler makes good by sharing tips and leaving a compact CTA link at the end to enable conversions.
#10 Leave a Call-to-Action
(Social Media Examiner)
The sheer cost of video production has come down to a point where there are no barriers to entry. Buyers have devices that can play videos with them at all times… [and] are engaging in 100% more information year-over-year before they make a buying decision. – Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
Your video marketing has a goal, which requires a viewer action. Whether you’re looking for website visits, shares, product purchases – prompt users with a clearly stated CTA. It’s most natural and effective to place a CTA at the end of the video, as we see shoe retailer Zappos doing above.
To drive action, you can use text in the video, or suggest visiting an URL. Always use a shortened URL when linking, especially for Twitter where characters are limited. It’s equally important to shorten URLs for Instagram since you can’t add a CTA in the comments section. This means you need to refer viewers to the link in your bio. And it’s better to have concise, “pretty” URL instead of a sprawling, unprofessional link. However, Youtube does offer clickable annotations inside every hosted video, which function great as clickable CTAs. At the end, the best marketing videos are not only outstanding but actionable.
The Last Words
There’s no debate: video marketing in social media provides huge value for small businesses. It’s cheap, powerful, and drives awareness – what’s not to love? As we’ve discussed today, video content allows brands to share valuable information and delight their audiences quickly and easily. Viewers are more engaged than ever, so the challenge for companies is creating top-notch videos that instantly capture attention and drive action.
To do this, leverage consumer psychology and focus on the customer. Deliver engaging, shareable stories that position your brand in a creative way. Bring users into your company culture and while sharing value. This is how the best brands use video and social media to drive conversions and revenues.