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Best Practices for Video Marketing on Social Networks from Cisco, SAP & Bally Switzerland

Posted on Apr 7th, 2015
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    Driven by consumers’ insatiable appetite for video content, video marketing has become an important part of social media marketing. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram launching their own video applications, videos can be optimized for success beyond web pages and YouTube to where customers are actively seeking, consuming and sharing video content: social networks.

    Whether you’re a video marketing pro, or unsure of where to begin, here are several useful tips for launching video marketing campaigns on multiple social networks.

    But first…

    Is Video Marketing Really Worth It?

    Internet users have been watching videos to entertain or inform themselves for decades, but most marketers are only now beginning to take advantage of the power of video marketing. Video is becoming increasingly democratic, with self-service video editing programs making it so that you don’t have to have deep pockets or a degree in cinematography to create an effective marketing video.

    Digital Sherpa reports that one third of all online activity is spent watching video, and that videos increase peoples’ understanding of your product of service by 74%. Add a compelling element to your brand’s online presence and help people realize the value and utility of your product with video marketing and social media.

    Create a Video Marketing Strategy

    Jumping on the video marketing bandwagon isn’t a good enough reason to create video for your Facebook or Twitter followers. A strategic approach to video marketing starts by identifying an objective and creating a plan for how video will attract, engage and persuade your customers. Determine what action you’d like the viewer to take after watching your video, and make it easy for the viewer to take that action.

    Targeting your video to a specific persona or customer segment will provide a more meaningful and relevant experience, resulting in a much greater chance of video marketing success.

    When it comes to content topics, be sure to use video to answer a common question about your brand, or to highlight a problem that your brand helps solve. Establishing an objective and actions to measure early on will make it easier to quantify the success of your video marketing campaign.

    Time Check: Keep Your Videos Brief

    AdWeek found that the average length of the top 50 YouTube videos was 2 minutes and 54 seconds. Tailor your video for short attention spans by keeping it under three minutes. The risk of creating longer videos is that they may not be watched in their entirety, meaning that viewers might miss important takeaways and calls to action in the final moments of the video.

    The length of your video will also depend on the platforms that you intend to distribute it on. For instance, Instagram videos are just 15 seconds long, and Vine videos just 6 seconds. Before you script and create your video, determine which social platforms you’d like to play it on, and the time limits associated with videos on those channels.

    Let your creativity shine in short videos, like this six second Vine created by Cisco. Cisco uses this short amount of time to share a tweetable fact, and create interest in a hashtag campaign. Since six seconds is not enough time to talk about the Cisco brand, the Cisco logo is simply visible in the upper left hand of the video.

    Include Text in your Videos

    Social networks like Facebook and Instagram auto-play videos in the news feed without sound. That means many social media users watch videos on mute. With this in mind, your task as a marketer is to make sure that the message of your video comes across without sound.

    To capture the audience’s interest without sound, use a compelling title frame. Then use text to tell a story by projecting keywords or phrases over images. You can also edit in frames of text that explain what’s going to happen in the next scene. If dialogue is the most important element of your video, consider adding subtitles.

    SAP is a B2B brand that excels at video storytelling. SAP adds drama to their videos with text overlays that emphasize keywords in the storyteller’s narration. Text overlays make the narration more memorable, and help viewers understand the narrative arc of the video, even if they are watching without sound.

    Use Annotations to Embed Links into your Videos

    Once you’ve attracted viewers and engaged them with useful video content, guide them through the marketing funnel by encouraging them to take action. You can accomplish viewers taking action by adding interactive annotations to your videos. There are a variety of annotation tools that allow you to add notes, text bubbles, and calls to action. Annotations can drive viewers to key pages of your website, or to other videos. However, be prudent in your use of annotations to ensure that they support, instead of distract from, the objective of the video.

    Bally Switzerland used annotations to make an interactive look book in this creative video marketing campaign. Annotations on the right side of the screen link to landing pages for handbags, shoes and more. The names of key items are also called out in the video, in case users want to know more about an item that they saw a model wearing.

    Upload your Video Directly To Each Social Network

    Because each social network optimizes, archives, and plays videos slightly differently, best practices indicate that marketers should upload their video individually to each social network, instead of simply sharing a YouTube link. This will ensure that the video plays correctly on that social network, and will reduce the amount of steps between your audience and the video.

    For instance, uploading a video to Facebook will ensure that the auto play functionality works, allowing users to watch your video as soon as they see it in their newsfeed. This is easier that having viewers click a link to watch the video on a different social network like YouTube.

    Optimize Your Videos for Search

    To make videos easily discoverable, utilize SEO best practices with your video. Choose a keyword that encapsulates the theme of your video, and use it in the video’s title, description, and tag. Providing a relevant keyword in the video text content will make it easier for search engines to understand and can result in a much better ranking when customer search. Adding a clear call to action in the video’s description will provide another opportunity for viewers to take the desired action – even if they don’t watch the full video.

    Report, Analyze, and Improve

    To understand how effective your videos are, use native social media analytics to analyze how your video performed across social channels. This means that you will have to collect data from multiple sources (Facebook, YouTube, etc.) in order to have a complete view of your video’s performance in attracting viewers, engaging them in a meaningful way and inspiring them to take action.

    Using social media video analytics, you can dive in to discover which channel your video performed best on, and why. Then you can use those insights to summarize what went well in the campaign and what you might do to make future video marketing efforts more successful.

    As you can see from the Bally, SAP and Cisco examples above, video marketing is now an essential part of social media marketing. Social networks are meeting marketers’ demand for video marketing by rolling out new video tools and video ad options at a dizzying pace. Be sure to take advantage of all of the video creation, hosting, editing and distribution tools on social media platforms with a clever video marketing campaign that will attract, engage and inspire your customers.

    How does your brand use video marketing to connect with customers?

    Photo: Shutterstock