So here’s a statistic that will make you sit up and take notice – your brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. And what’s the most engaging form of content, visual or otherwise? Video.
That makes video the super food for your content marketing. And while it works well across all of your assorted digital highways – when used as prescribed – it shines brightest when it’s driving leads through your social media channels.
That’s why I’m going to take a closer look at using video on social media, why it works well, and provide a few best practices to launch your social media lead generation into orbit. So let’s get started.
It’s All About Storytelling
Humans have been storytellers since our hunter and gatherer days. It’s kind of our thing. That’s why we binge TV shows and go to the movies – we like stories. And the more immersive those stories are, the more they envelop the viewer and engage the audience.
Diving a bit deeper, an effective video marketing strategy integrates both verbal and non-verbal cues to convey information. To tell your stories. In other words, it’s not just about the words you hear someone saying but, perhaps more importantly, the smile on their face as they say them.
That’s why video is such an effective content medium – it forms emotional connections that text or even pictures cannot match.
When it comes to your B2B marketing, can you think of anything more powerful than forming those essential emotional bonds with your target customer segments?
Probably not. But as much as I’d like you to just take my word for it, I thought it best to back-up my video marketing claims with actual research:
- 80% of people can recall a video spot they’ve watched in the past month
- Video is the average consumer’s favorite type of content from brands on social media, and 73% have been influenced to purchase based on a brand’s social media presence
- Video marketers get two-thirds more qualified leads than those using other content formats
- By 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will stem from streaming and downloaded video
- Over half of all consumers want to see more video content from brands
- Companies that use video content grow their revenue 49% faster than those that don’t
I could go on and on. And on. But I think you get my drift. Video tells stories. When done right, it’s engaging and compelling, immersing people in a narrative that other content formats can’t get close to matching.
From simple explainer videos to customer testimonials, product ads to quick brand posts, video grabs a viewer’s attention.
The trick, of course, is creating videos that play up to the format’s strengths, and that all depends on your chosen distribution channel. And when it comes to video marketing on social media, there are definitely a few best practices that you should keep in mind.
Tips & Tricks for Using Video Content on Social Media
Tailor Video Length to the Platform
As a rule of thumb, social media video content should be anywhere between 30 seconds and two minutes long. That’s obviously a fairly wide range so, thanks to algorithms and plenty of research, Hubspot has determined the optimal length for each social channel:
Although LinkedIn wasn’t part of Hubspot’s research, the channel itself recommends keeping brand awareness videos shorter than 30 seconds and upper-to-mid funnel video content between 30 and 90 seconds.
Now, does that mean that if your Facebook video ad is 90 seconds long no one will watch it? Or a short video on YouTube that's maybe 15 seconds long will go down in flames? Of course not. Use these figures as a general guide rather than absolutes.
Hook the Viewer Early
It’s somewhat disconcerting to know that the average human attention span is about eight seconds, down from 20 seconds just a couple of decades ago.
Now, what that says about us as a species is a topic for another blog. However, when it comes to your video marketing, it means you have to hook the viewer early.
Just think about how people consume social media – they scroll through their news feeds and only stop when something catches their eye. And that’s really key here since most folks don’t even watch video content with the sound on, at least initially.
Therefore, you want to use attention-grabbing visuals at the very beginning of your video content. As in within the first 10 seconds. Otherwise, the audience is going to scroll on by and, like it or not, dragging your ROI through the mud.
Native Is Better
Yes, you can quickly and easily just post a YouTube link onto any social media platform, but that isn’t necessarily your best move.
First of all, using native formats generally drives a lot more views and shares. Facebook found that native videos saw 10 times more shares than YouTube links.
Also, using native formats means you can take full advantage of a platform’s tracking and analysis tools. More granular metrics like engagement KPIs – play rates, bounce rates, and more – won’t necessarily be available with linked content.
Remember, there's a lot more information to use as a guide than simple video views to inform your social media video marketing, so take advantage of that more nuanced data that the platforms provide on native formats.
Also, when a viewer clicks on a native video, it’s not leading them away from your social channel and into the vast digital badlands like a linked, non-embedded video would. Put another way, native video doesn’t send the viewer packing.
Once again, humans are emotional and communal. We gravitate toward stories that grab us and hit us in the feels, even when we’re just watching a 15 second ad on lawnmowers or low-calorie beer.
When you include emotion in your content, it compels the viewer to stick around and keep watching, even if it's a longer video. And if that video content caps off with a call-to-action (CTA) that motivates the viewer to click-through to a landing page, then you’ve progressed them further along the funnel and closer to conversion nirvana.
Change Things Up When Needed
Lastly, I’ve already alluded to the different types of videos you can use in your social media marketing strategy. Brand spots, tutorials, customer testimonials, webinars, demo videos, even case studies – they each have a valid time and place in the typical B2B content strategy.
Granted, you’ll want to approach an explainer video differently than a brand spot that’s meant to evoke emotion, so you always want to tailor the content to both the target audience and the circumstances.
However, don’t be afraid to change things up a bit and keep your video marketing campaign fresh and vibrant. Does that mean you should use special effects to mimic an alien invasion during a product demo? Perhaps. That depends on your audience, digital marketing strategy, and brand guidelines, though. My point is, shaking things up can keep your audience coming back for more.
Need Help? No Problem
I understand that this is a lot to take in, especially if you’re new to video marketing on social media. The good news, however, is that you’re not alone.
Maybe you're a larger company looking for your first TikTok masterpiece. Or a small business just needing a simple 20 second video for Instagram. Whatever the case, your video content experts here at Creative Cave are ready, willing, and able to start driving flocks of qualified leads from your social networks to your top line. ROI is what we do.