5 Rules For Video Marketing On Social Media

May 3, 2017

DSC_6612I’m always on the lookout for trends.

One of the most prevalent marketing trends happening right now is the increased use of business videos on social media platforms.

And for great reason.

Combine the persuasiveness of video with the popularity of social media, and you’ve got yourself a powerful marketing machine.

According to Responsive Inbound Marketing, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.

If done right, video marketing on social media will not only grab the attention of the right target audience for your business, it will keep them coming back for more.

But as with any marketing idea, you have to plan out your video marketing campaign for social media. You have to be strategic.

Because while many companies are jumping on the video marketing and social media marketing bandwagons, I see a lot of mistakes being made.

Follow these rules for making business videos for social media, and avoid the most common production mistakes…


1.    Don’t forget the big picture

Your video marketing strategy should be long-term and something you can grow upon.

In other words, don’t think of your videos as one-time events, but rather, as parts of a bigger picture.

Your marketing videos should follow a common theme, adhere to a consistent format, and deliver a unified purpose or call-to-action.

Your business should have a constant stream of videos on a set schedule, in order to be truly successful over the long-term.

For instance, consider putting out a video once a week on the same day of the week, at the same time of day.

You will want to plan your scripts well ahead of schedule, so that there is a logic and flow to your video series.

Each episode should have a branded look, last about the same time, and have a consistent format. This will breed a sense of familiarity and reliability with your audience.

When people get used to your video publishing schedule, they can anticipate and respond to your episodes as they would a highly rated television show.

2.    Be able to tell a story without sound

Sound is very important to video production.

You definitely don’t want to skimp out on sound quality when it comes to producing professional videos for your business.

Terrible sound quality can sink an otherwise brilliant promotional video.

However, 85% of videos posted on Facebook are watched WITH THE SOUND TURNED OFF.

I know, it sounds crazy. But this is the nature of the medium, so we as video producers need to adapt.

The best way to adapt to the fact that most videos on Facebook and other social media platforms are watched without sound is to include subtitles (closed-captioning).

Another tactic that has proven very effective is creating a bold text bar across the frame of the video. Admittedly, at first I thought these text bars looked kind of ugly, but they are tremendously effective in getting people to click on your business video when posted on social media.

As an example, UnMarketing published a video on Facebook with pretty great results. But when they re-posted the same video with a mask and titles, their number of views soared – even though it wasn’t a new video.

3.    Understand the power of native video

Most social media platforms will allow you to upload video directly to their platform.

You might think you could save a lot of time and hassle by uploading your business video to YouTube, and then simply link to your YouTube video from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Not so fast.

Uploading your business videos to YouTube is a very good idea, primarily because YouTube is such a powerful search engine, and it will improve your Google ranking.

However, if you are trying to gain traction on individual social media platforms, it is best if you upload your videos directly to each and every social media platform directly (in addition to adding it to YouTube).

This is known as keeping your video “native” to the platform.

Native videos get better rankings, more visibility, more views, and so more engagement.

What does this mean? It means if you upload your video to Facebook, you will get better engagement on Facebook than you would if you had linked to Facebook from YouTube.

In fact, according to a Quintly study, there were more than 4x more interactions on Facebook native videos than those shared from other platforms, including YouTube and Vimeo.

It’s part of Facebook’s algorithm.

Think about it – if you were the creator of Facebook, wouldn’t you want your users to benefit from using your platform to host videos as opposed to someone else’s?

Of course you would.

The same principle applies for Instagram and Twitter.

So whenever possible, keep your business videos native – that is, if your goal is to improve engagement on social media.

If you want to take things even further on Facebook, consider going live. Live videos on Facebook get favored over anything else, and do very well in terms of engagement.

4.    Length matters

The length of your social media video matters.

Be prepared, as you might have to edit various versions of your video content. YouTube allows up to 15-minute long videos (although you can request permission for more with a verified account), Facebook allows up to 45 minutes (with a maximum file size of 1.75 GB), but Twitter allows only up to 140 seconds, and Instagram allows only up to 90 seconds.

One approach to work around this is to make “trailers” or “teasers” on the platforms that only allow short videos, and then direct the viewer to the full version on Facebook or YouTube.

Which brings up the very important point – you can definitely use your various social media platforms to complement one another. Don’t isolate each platform, as they do not each operate in a vacuum. If anything, they should all work together. Again, think strategically and big picture.

In any case, when it comes to creating business videos, you don’t typically want them to run for too long.

Your preferred length, of course, will depend on how long you can keep your video compelling and relevant. But when in doubt, go for shorter rather than longer.

People don’t typically don’t have very long attention spans on social media. You want your video to be just long enough to convince your audience to respond to a call-to-action. Your call-to-action might be to click on a link, share content, subscribe, or a download a file.

5.    Content is still king

Always be of value to your audience.

Social video gets more views and engagement than text or still images, but don’t take this for granted.

Your videos should have high production value, be enjoyable, inspiring, and/or educational.

In other words, in order to have a successful business video on social media, you have to put the needs of your audience first.

You should always be helping your audience, not blatantly advertising. This is true on social media more than anywhere else.

You CANNOT take the “social” out of “social media.”

Don’t even try.

If you try to force-feed advertising on social media, your audience will treat it like spam, not engage, and your business video might do more harm to your business than good.

Video and social media are both advancing as powerful marketing tools in the business world. However, you need to approach video marketing and social media marketing strategically if you want to get results that will help you grow your business. Use native videos and edit your videos to work within the format and length restrictions of different social media platforms. Whatever you do, never forget that content is king and always try to bring value to your audience.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area and looking for a production company to shoot your business video, contact Josh Birt at Josh Birt Media Productions today. We can travel to other states as well.

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