Dear Socially Stephanie,
I'm feeling confident with my social media game. I'm just missing one piece - video. I'm not expecting anything to "go viral" yet, but rather I want it to be a part of my ongoing social media content strategy. How do you propose I go about that?
Eager Beaver in Birmingham
Dear Eager Beaver,
You are onto something, that's for sure. Video is one part of the social media equation that can take you to the next level. They say an image is worth 1,000 words. Well guess what? Video is worth 1 million words.
It's true, video is hotter than ever. 55% of people watch videos online every day. In case you are curious, we're talking about 100 million people. Say that out loud with me, (preferably like Dr. Evil). One-hundred-million-people. Sounds good, doesn't it? And because not every brand is using video currently, you have a huge advantage to get in before it's completely saturated.
There are a few different ways to incorporate video into your content strategy. Of course it all depends on your audience. You see, every audience has their preferences to consuming social media content. The older demographic might feel more comfortable and familiar with YouTube, while millennials prefer the 6 second loops of Vine.
Before you go about creating your strategy, you need to break down your audience and tap into their viewing habits and the reason for viewing. Are they looking for information? Are they looking to be entertained? Maybe they want to feel a connection with you. Maybe it is all of the above. Whatever it is, you will be successful if you hit them right in between the eyes.
Now there are a few different types of online video you should start thinking about. The businesses who dominate their marketplace create video across the board. That means Vine, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and even Google Plus Hangouts. The beauty of each of these networks is that you can target the sentiment of the network accordingly.
YouTube tends to be more educational for business. Think product videos and longer format here. Vine can be kooky and be used to really showcase your personality. On the other side it can be used as a customer service tool along with Twitter. Because the video plays right on your Twitter feed, it's a great way to woo them no matter how much they have been complaining. Honda has been famous for this tactic and it works like a charm. Google Hangouts can be used in an interview format or as a live how-to demo. Because it streams on your feed and wherever you embed it, it's great for instant engagement. And lastly Instagram, well Instagram is my favorite, it has been around the longest which gives you a built-in following, plus it's the most preferred length.
Whichever networks you decide to work with remember this. You need to capture your audience within the first 10 seconds or you've lost them. Got it? Good!
Your self-produced video is taken care of. But the video doesn't stop there. This is the time to tap into your fans' inner director. You'll be surprised at the quality you can get from them. Depending on your budget you can use a service like Womadz or WooBox which will help you set up your contest in no time. Or of course you can always host it yourself. The key is to get your fans to create a ton of content for you. In return they'll get recognition for it through your promotional prowess and you'll use to promote your own business.
Ready to get your video on? And action!
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells