Make Video A Bigger Part of Your Social Strategy

Video Rules

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*This the the first post of a three-part series on video content for social media. This article covers the “Why;” the second article will discuss shooting, editing and optimization; the third post will focus more in-depth on how to promote video content through social media.You need to be doing more with video.

That is, if you’re interested in engaging and growing your audience. Whether it’s to share news, stories, client testimonials or provide live updates, there’s a video platform that’s right for you. Here’s why you should be building more video into your social media strategy.

Video was the crux of the conversation in Facebook’s Q4 earnings call back in January. Facebook users are now watching 100 million hours of video per day, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. To put that in perspective, YouTube has been around a lot longer and claims “hundreds of millions of hours” of its videos are viewed daily — so Facebook is catching up. It’s also creating incentives for media companies and celebrities to stream live video by paying them hefty amounts. Several publishers have even signed contracts in the millions; BuzzFeed and The New York Times are both being paid more than $3 million to publish live video.

Marketers have experienced success using Facebook’s ad campaigns and boosted posts for audience engagement and ROI. Now, they’re able to do the same with video. Facebook’s targetable audience data is growing, as are the metric measurement capabilities for marketers. This means Facebook video campaigns will only grow smarter and easier to manage.

But let’s talk about the unpaid content. You know, the “organic reach” that has significantly been reduced, for better or for worse, since Facebook rolled out paid ads? Well, the same isn’t true for video. Organic video content has been performing surprisingly well, thanks to Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm, which seems to favor video over images and text posts. Before Facebook videos were a thing, the only way to share video content was linking it from other video sites, like YouTube, which are now in direct competition with Facebook. It would only make sense for Facebook to favor its own video content creators.

Ten years ago, video was expensive. If a company wanted to release a short testimonial, they’d have to hire a videographer or agency, pay for time spent filming, editing and then for post-production advertising. A two minute tutorial might’ve cost upwards of $10,000, which made video a hard market to crack for small businesses and agencies that didn’t have the budget to compete. Now, for as little as $10, you can promote a video on social media and reach thousands of people. Not only that, but you can target your video to highly specific audience segments so that the people seeing it might actually care enough to watch it.

Now that nearly everyone has a phone that’s capable of shooting HD video, the playing field is leveling out. I don’t suggest entirely replacing a skilled videographer with a smartphone (or a high-end camera with a smartphone for that matter), but nearly anyone can be trained to shoot decent video using their phone. Apps like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook allow for easy uploads. Most smartphones now include basic video editing capabilities. Platforms like Storyvine further streamline the editing process by automatically editing videos in the cloud and sending back a ready-to-use professional video in a matter of minutes.

It’s no secret that visual content accounts for the highest engagement rates across social media channels. A big driving factor is video. According to Shareablee’s January Scorecard, Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” experienced the highest growth in engagement among the media publishing industry. Looking closer at Tasty’s engagement, Shareablee found a whopping 99 percent of total social actions were taken on video content.That’s right, more people engaged with a tutorial on how to make Pizza Puff Pastry Twists (2.8 million shares and counting) than, well, just about every piece of legitimate news — except for National Geographic(!), which is still ranked first among media publisher engagement. There may be hope for our society yet!

Oh, and here’s that Pizza Puff video because I know you’re curious.

If you enjoyed this post, stick around for my next one in which we’ll discuss more about the logistics of producing video — shooting, editing and optimizing, all of which can be done on a small business’s budget.

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