Camera capturing social media video content

Social video for advertisers

The way people read has changed since the advent of the internet, in short, they don’t. Reading long paragraphs of text is at odds with the way our smartphone-addled brains have evolved to quickly consume information while simultaneously checking social media and ordering take out.

Video content has emerged as the saviour of brands who want to communicate with and entertain their audience in a way that is engaging and aligned to the way people consume information, e.g. on the go and across multiple devices. As mobile device battery life improves and screen size increases, the appetite for video content grows. A report by Cisco found that 80% of all consumer traffic online will be to video content by 2019. Videos are also easily one of the most shareable digital assets going, making it an indispensable part of any social strategy.

Social media video vs. TV commercials

Video content is slowly replacing TV commercials (TVC’s), according to a study by Google and Nielson, in 2015, television viewing fell by 4%, and time spent on YouTube went up 74%.

The shift to video is good news for advertisers who find the production and distribution costs associated with TVC’s to be prohibitive. The production cost of high-quality video continues to fall with cheaper camera technology and editing software, which means that budget can move to distributing this content online. The audience data that you receive from your social campaigns also enables you to optimise and improve the effectiveness of your video content over time; something TV advertising has never mastered.

Girl watching video on laptop

Social Video Engagement

Video content is now crucial to brands who want to run an effective social media marketing program.

Firstly, the general popularity of video content on social platforms is staggering. YouTube has 167 million monthly active unique users in the USA alone. Globally that number is 1 billion. That’s a third of all global internet users :o. Facebook also has impressive video stats, boasting 8 billion video views per day. Though, bear in mind that Facebook count a view as anything over 3 seconds, inflating the number when you consider their auto-play feature, which automatically plays native video content as a user scrolls through their feed.

Advertisers and brands cannot ignore social media channels for their video content if it is audience reach they’re after, engagement metrics are equally impressive. By 2019, people will share nearly a million minutes of video content every second, and video content is 12 x more likely to be shared than text or images.

Stats like this are compelling reading, and the temptation is to jump straight in and start creating video content, however, you need to have a video content strategy first. The strategy should cover the following points:

Social media strategy checklist

  • What content should you create
  • What channels should you post on
  • When should you create content
  • When should you post content
  • Tracking, reporting and optimising your video content strategy

Without a strategy, your run the risk of spending significant time and money on video content that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Content for different social platforms

When creating social media video content, you need to think about each of your social channels and their audiences. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be creating specific custom content each time. However, in many cases, you should think about re-purposing and be customising your master content specifically for each platform.

Here’s a quick run-down on what to consider when making content for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Social platform video tips

  • Facebook for your short, impactful, content that galvanises users to act and share the content with their network. An excellent example includes the Ice Bucket Challenge, which entertained people but also provoked millions of video shares on the platform and beyond. People’s attention span is short when they’re on Facebook, so resist the temptation to post 15-minute-long monologues or to copy and paste your TV commercial. Tailor the content to the platform and the user
  • YouTube is the place where you can go a little bit more in-depth with your video content. Unlike Facebook where you’re trying to quickly grab and maintain people’s attention long enough for them to engage with the content, people are actively looking on YouTube for video content so try and match your content to what people want to watch. You can work this out using Google’s Keyword Planner
  • Instagram videos should be visual first, which might sound obvious, but lots of video content relies on the user having audio enabled which isn’t necessarily the case when someone is scrolling through their feed on mobile. Keep it short and attention-grabbing. Overly branded content doesn’t work well on any social platform, but Instagram users were sheltered from advertising on the platform until recently, meaning their patience with brands trying to communicate with them on this platform is unusually thin Genuinely interesting, visually appealing content is the way to go here. Your content should fit with Instagram’s visual, organic, storytelling aesthetic and not be overly commercial. Instagram recently updated their algorithm to prioritise video content from advertisers over images which is another great reason to trial the format on this platform
  • Pinterest recently added video to their list of available advertising formats. This move comes as audiences begin to expect this type of content from their social platforms. While it’s early days for promoted video on this platform, organic video content has been around for a while, and unsurprisingly it is lifestyle content that works best. Beauty, travel, homewares all have a huge advantage here, and video advertising on the platform is no different. Whatever your industry, keep it short, informative and visually compelling

Social media video inspiration

Here are some great social videos created by Genero’s community of filmmakers:

Great British Chefs & Encona

These fun videos are an excellent example of short, entertaining videos that entice people to watch. Perfect for Facebook.

Moroccon lamb kebabs

Peruvian chicken salad

Mad Max: Fury Road

These video edits are an excellent example of fast-paced, attention-grabbing content that works well on Instagram. It is also a masterclass in re-editing existing content to fit a particular social platform.

Get in touch if you would like to find out how Genero could help you with your social video content.

Want to read more about social video? Read our latest post on Facebook video advertising or YouTube video marketing.