Hang out anywhere on the internet, and you’re just a click, tap or a swipe from a video. We just love the stuff, and there is no end in sight when it comes to our appetite for video. According to a Cisco report published last year, video will make up 80% of global web traffic by 2019 and we’ll be sharing almost a million minutes of video every second.
And social is where we’re getting our video fix: more than half of Facebook users watch at least one video every day. While images were once the top performing content form on social media, soon a post won’t be worth the laptop it’s written on if it doesn’t have a video accompanying it. The online experience has become truly video-led.
But if we’re consuming more video, that means brands need to create more. Video has long been seen as expensive and time-consuming to create but we aren’t talking about commercials, but a new breed of video: the social video.
These are videos that have been specifically created to be delivered via social media, and primarily on a mobile device (almost 80% of social media use is on mobile). They’re short, snappy and need little more than a smartphone camera and good dollop of creativity to record - which means that any company can create great video content that drives engagement.
What makes a great social video? Below I’ll go through the three things you need to consider. (Quick note: while you can stream live videos to social, I’m sticking to pre-recorded video for now!)
1. Audience Social media success relies on understanding your audience and what they want. Are they looking for entertainment, inspiration, or to answer a specific question? Social video should be designed with this in mind from the start. Identify what your users need and produce content that’s relevant and fulfills that need.
2. Channel People use different social networks for different reasons, which means that the same video won’t necessarily receive the same level of success on different channels. Social videos need to be approached with an understanding of the channels you’re using, and a strategy for optimising for different channels might be needed. For example, a longer Facebook video could be edited into several short Instagram videos, or a GIF for Twitter. If you plan right, your video can be repurposed to be used across all your channels.
3. Action The main goal in social media is engagement, but there are many different ways in which customers can engage with your content. Think about what action you want people to take (whether it’s a click, a sign up or a share) and ask yourself whether your video encourages them to do that. Remember, a successful social video isn’t the same as a viral video- getting the right action from your target audience is what really makes a successful video, even if it didn’t get millions of views.