Social media is undoubtedly one of the most important channels for marketing today, but it’s hard to find traction there. Showing up in a person’s feed is complicated enough with current algorithms, but getting them to actually slow their scrolling long enough to engage with a social update is an uphill battle.
Even before the pandemic, your updates were competing with pet photos, political conversations, and entertainment updates. Now your posts are showing up alongside news that’s frequently shocking, to say the least. And as doomscrolling becomes an international pastime, brand content is more likely than ever to be just one thing people scroll past in their otherwise overwhelming feeds.
You can’t control what’s happening in the world right now. But you can incorporate strategies that increase the likelihood someone in your audience will stop for a moment to engage with your social posts. And one of the best ways to do that is with social video. A 2018 Animoto survey found that 63 percent of marketers ranked video as one of the top two tactics delivering ROI on social media.
Branded video on social media can take a few different forms.
1. Interactive live videos
Part of what makes video such a good tactic for social media is that it’s more engaging than text. Making your video interactive immediately makes it even more engaging. Live video especially works well on Facebook and Instagram. You can host a live Q&A on your Facebook page, or do a live how-to or product demonstration on Instagram.
By responding directly to your audience in real time, you show them you’re willing to listen to their opinions and respond to them directly.
2. Short videos
One tactic commonly used on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, is creating video that’s just a few seconds long. These micro-videos draw more attention than an image, but require less work than creating something more involved. For an example, check out this video from Blue Apron of green onions being chopped up. Or this 6-second Purina ad that essentially animates a graphic to make it more attention-grabbing.
They’re simple, but more likely to draw your eye while scrolling than a static image of the same thing. And once someone slows down to watch the video, they’re more likely to read the rest of the update as well, or click the link included.
3. Instructional videos
Educational videos that teach your audience how to do something are a good way to provide direct value. And that builds goodwill. Instructional videos on social media can be a how-to on a topic of interest to your audience, like this video from National Geographic and Samsung Mobile on how to take a landscape picture. Or they can be more directly about getting more out of your product, like this video on how to use forms in Asana.
4. FAQ videos
Your customers have questions and you can (and should) answer them in writing on your website, whether in a blog post or an FAQ page. But you can provide additional value by also creating videos with the answers. For customers that learn better via video than reading, they’ll appreciate having the additional option. And for some types of questions—anything where a visual helps—video gives you a better way to demonstrate the answer.
By then sharing those FAQ videos on social media channels, prospects who haven’t become customers can learn information that helps them decide to buy. And customers that may have wondered the same thing without asking can find out the solution as well. Warby Parker has a whole YouTube channel dedicated to FAQ videos, and most of them get thousands of views, suggesting their customers find real value in them.
5. Videos that personalize your team
People will never connect with a brand in the same way that they do another person. But your brand isn’t just a logo and product; it represents a company made up of people. Use social video to humanize your brand by letting them get to know the people who create it.
Even while working from home, your employees can create short and simple get-to-know-you videos about who they are, what they do for the company, and some of their non-work interests. By letting some personality into your brand communications, you give your audience even more of a reason to feel connected to your company and the people behind it.
6. Entertaining videos
And finally, a timeless way to build goodwill with your audience and get them to engage with your content is to provide them something entertaining! That’s why so many commercials include humor.
Point is, people are more likely to follow and engage with your social channels if you give them fun and entertaining reasons to pay attention to your feed.
Getting people’s attention on social media has never been easy. By its very nature, it’s a channel full of distractions. But you can make your posts more visible and increase engagement with your content by adding more videos into your feed.