By Kim Niemi, Vice Ghost, Digital Media Ghost
Have you heard the news? The content revolution is real and social media is starting to lose out in the ranking battle. According to Searchmetrics’ Google Year in Review 2015, the top ranking sites were all big name publishers, with just two social networks in the mix – Instagram and YouTube. What sets these two networks apart? Video. Time to make some changes or get lost in the shuffle.
Creating and sharing videos used to be time-consuming and expensive, but now the platforms you’re already using make video so easy to include – there’s no excuse not to use it in your social marketing. Not only have smartphone cameras gotten better than the average point-and-shoot, but video editing apps have too.
Not that you have to be Scorsese to make use of social video – but there are some tips that will help you stand out:
Make it relevant
Once you get going with video, it’s tempting to record everything in sight – but don’t go wild. Think about why your content needs to be recorded – what is the video doing that a simple tweet or other social move can’t really do? If you want followers to click when you do post a video, you can’t ever waste their time. ReelSEO also recommends optimizing videos as a way to make videos “sitting on YouTube and no longer generating desirable results” relevant again.
Make it quick
Instagram video and Vine have habituated users to super short, looping videos – so don’t offer them an epic saga. Even “produced” videos for YouTube or your website should be shorter than you think. For social sharing, The Next Web recommends videos be “as short as possible.” And a variation on the retail “change” rule – where $4.99 is more appealing than $5.00 – also applies: “Always keep in mind with videos, 59 seconds look much better than 1:00.”
You’ve also got to consider the platform and its users. Minimatters relays that many were surprised to see the 30-minute-long Kony 2012 video get millions of views on YouTube. But “more and more people are becoming accustomed to streaming TV shows and full-length movies online” – so that’s something to consider. Test the waters and see what works for you. And when in doubt, be concise, be fun, and be worth showing off.
Stay where you are
If you have a loyal Facebook following, there’s no need to jump around to YouTube or start using Instagram video for your social marketing, and vice-versa. It’s far better to master a single social platform, than be mediocre on several. Vines and short video created with your smartphone work everywhere, so share them to the platforms you’re already using well. Don’t try to recreate the wheel or over complicate things. That being said…
Try something new
You don’t have to be on every platform, but exploring new modes of video is smart. If you only use Instagram or Vine, for example, you’re missing out on livestreaming – and maybe that’s where you’ll really slay. Use options like Facebook Live or Periscope to interview a leader in your industry, or livestream panel discussions. You can save those videos to your social platforms for viewing after your live broadcast has ended, so it works for you twice. And it doesn’t cost you anything but time you were already spending.
Just remember that with livestreaming, the audience is part of the experience – so follow this advice from Social Media Examiner: “Remember to acknowledge your audience and reply to their comments. If you’re streaming an open discussion, ask viewers for their opinions. If it’s an interview, let your audience ask questions and then select the most interesting ones.”
And there are other ways to get your audience involved.
Solicit fan videos
Instead of creating your own, ask your customers to create videos for you. If it fits for your brand, engaging your base in a video contest is a good way to harness the social conversation and get things moving. Word of mouth is still the best marketing, and nothing is nicer than being able to share videos of your real audience to help promote your brand.
With new search and ranking trends favoring video, the time to jump is now – especially with so many options at your disposal. Video content is fun, easy to share, and the best way to get noticed on the web. So just hit “record” already.