Social media is hot, and so is online video. More than 6 billion hours of video are viewed on YouTube each month, Google reports. Put social and video together, and you’ve got today’s hottest marketing trend: social video.
Social video refers to sharing and promoting your videos through social media. If you’re involved in social media, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that images get liked and shared more than other types of content. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than 40 percent of social media users regularly repost or share photos or videos that they see online. Maybe your online video won’t go as viral as the music video for “What Does the Fox Say,” which has been viewed nearly 150 million times, but it could expose your business to a whole new audience of potential customers.
So how can you make the most of social video?
Unlocking the Power of Multimedia Content reports that 10 percent of all online video viewed in the first quarter of 2013 was viewed on a mobile device. As you create videos, think about how they will read on a small screen.
With more people viewing video on smartphones, on the go or during short windows of time, it’s no wonder shorter videos are the latest trend. Like snacks, these videos can be grasped in the time someone has to kill while waiting in line at the ATM. I’m talking really short, as in the Vine app which allows you to create and share 6-second looping videos, or Instagram’s 15-second non-looping videos.
What will get customers to share your online videos? Cute, humorous videos or those that convey an emotional message that resonates with many people are likely to spread. So are videos with useful information, as long as it’s conveyed in an easy-to-understand, entertaining fashion.
Here are some things you can do with video:
- Demonstrate how to use your product or service. For instance, if your website sells a kit that allows users to fix their cars’ oxidized headlights, showing how to use it will ease their concerns about making the purchase.
- Create testimonial videos with your best customers. A short testimonial of how your company helped a customer do something better can be a great marketing tool.
- Feature yourself, an employee or a customer talking about an industry topic. For instance, if you own an accounting business focusing on small businesses, you could talk about important upcoming tax law changes or how to take a home-office deduction without breaking any laws.
- Show off your wares. Video can be more effective than photos at showing off visual products. For instance, a realtor could video quick tours of homes for sale; an interior designer could walk through a room she recently decorated.
- Show behind-the-scenes video. For instance, a video game developer could show the brainstorming meetings.
Intimidated by the idea of longer videos? Start small and short by using the Instagram and Vine apps to create and share short videos on social media.Once you’ve created videos, also cross-promote them on your website, on YouTube, and in your email marketing newsletters.